Better OLEDs, better LCDs, and a little something called QD OLED

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Until a few weeks ago, I felt pessimistic about the likely state of TV technology in 2022. 2021 has turned out to be a vintage year thanks to the widespread adoption of new, brighter OLED materials and Samsung and LG’s switch to mini LED backlighting. for LCDs, the first words about what we might expect to see in 2022 made it seem like it would just be a year of consolidation. A few more areas of gradation here, a little improvement in treatment there, but nothing to really sink our AV teeth.

The pre-CES rumor mill, however, now makes me think that 2022 may actually turn out to be even more of a turning point for TV tech than the year we’re about to say goodbye.

Leading the excitement is the growing certainty that we will finally see the world’s first QD OLED TVs released to consumers. Combining Quantum Dot LED and OLED technologies, QD OLED displays promise to deliver the brightness and color volume advantages of LCD technology with the self-illuminating pixels and the resulting extreme contrast and viewing angles of OLED technology.

There have been rumors that QD OLED has been hitting living rooms for years now, but this time around the combination of anecdotal and specific chatter I hear from a multitude of sources suggests that 2022 is definitely going to see TVs. QD OLED arrive. And most likely from more than one brand as well.

In terms of “regular” OLEDs, as I reported a few days ago, things suddenly got unexpectedly interesting here too, with LG Display announcing new OLED EX technology. This claims to be able to use deuterium in a way that was not previously possible to deliver up to 30% more brightness than regular OLED displays, and is expected to go into mass production in the second quarter of 2022.

It must be said that the higher brightness OLED panels introduced in 2021 already offered a brightness gain of between 15 and 20% compared to previous standard OLED displays. So the new OLED EX might actually only be 10% brighter than those 2021 OLED game changers. However, when you talk about local contrast control down to the pixel level, like the OLED can. provide, 10% more brightness can give really significant results. Also, I would expect TVs using OLED EX technology to be probably significantly cheaper than early QD OLED sets.

What is not yet clear is whether 2022 OLED TVs from brands that sell OLED TVs will use OLED EX technology. Even if they don’t, it certainly looks like we can expect more widespread use of high-brightness OLED panels last year in the OLED lines of various brands, including seeing them making their way into. more common OLED prices.

The other big area of ​​television where I have gone from “meh” to “yes” recently is the Mini LED. Again, I initially suspected that we were going to see a bit of consolidation on this front – stuff like that is making its way into slightly more current prices, plus maybe a small increase in the number of zones. gradation and so on. It now seems more and more likely, however, both that Mini LEDs will be adopted by more brands, instantly raising the level of “average quality” of LCD TVs in general, and that new developments in processing and management system could potentially take Mini LED’s already solid performance to the next level. higher “second generation” level than I had initially expected.

Another area where I’m starting to think we might see more interesting things than initially expected is in living room projectors. Ultra short throw projectors started to be developed and marketed as a serious alternative to televisions like never before in 2021, and I expect this trend to develop UST models with more picture quality and functionality. suitable for video continues to expand in 2022.

I also think, however, that these “permanently installed” UST projectors can be joined by a new generation of what one might reasonably call lifestyle projectors; Ultra portable, ultra bright, exceptionally easy to configure models with built-in smart features and potentially even battery power options. Practical, design-oriented models that fall somewhere between the old “Pico” projectors briefly popular a few years ago and the larger, more picture-quality-oriented models AV fans have grown accustomed to.

We’ve seen the first signs of this new market emerge from a relatively obscure brand or two from the Far East, but it is expected to expand into more traditional brands during 2022.

Finally, let’s end with something that looks – once again – NOT to become a TV “thing” in 2022. I’m talking, of course, of Micro LED. Once considered the natural future of television due to its ability to deliver self-emitting pixels like OLED technology does, but without the brightness and screen burn limitations associated with organic OLED elements, the issues Manufacturing associated with Micro LEDs continue to do both good too. expensive for the mainstream market and pretty much not started at screen sizes less than 90 inches or so.

Micro LED seems so far away as a feasible living room option for anyone who is not a millionaire, in fact some have speculated that Samsung felt compelled to focus more on its QD OLED technology as a means to Long-term Micro LED replacement.

The good news is, we don’t have long to wait before we get a pretty good overview of whether or not my TV predictions for 2022 are accurate or not. After all, CES 2022 in Las Vegas is still set to take place next week. Covid issues around the world, bringing with it the inevitable deluge of new technology TV announcements. All of this, of course, I will cover on my Forbes channel. We’ll see each other there!

Related reading

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