What is an OLED?
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is an emerging display technology that enables displays that offer better image quality and are thinner and more efficient than current LED and LCD displays. OLED TVs deliver the best picture quality ever, and in the future will also become flexible, rollable and transparent.
What is a 4K OLED TV?
A 4K OLED TV (also called UHD OLED TV) is an OLED TV that features a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. While especially useful for large TV panels, 4K has gained in popularity and is now being offered on all premium TVs.
OLED is still a relatively premium technology - and all OLED TVs released from 2016 forward support 4K resolution. The entire LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup support 4K resolution - the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 (which attaches to the wall using magnets), the high-end OLED-on-glass OLEDG8 and OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8.
LG Display is the only OLED panel producer, but it ships its panel to over a dozen TV makers, not just LG Electronics. All of these TVs also support 4K resolution - including the ones from Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Skyworth and more.
The latest 4K OLED news:
LG Display had an impressive booth at CES 2019, show off the company's latest display technologies - and most of these were OLED displays, of course. LGD sent us this nice video that shows the main displays at their booth:
The video shows LG's flower OLED installation made up from four curved 65" OLED TV panels, the 88" Crystal-Sound-OLED (CSO) panel with the built-in speaker, LG's new 65" Crystal-Motion OLED (which features an MPTR of 3.5 ms - the world's fastest according to LGD) and finally LG's latest 55" transparent OLED panels.
Samsung Display announced that it will start mass producing its new 15.6" UHD (3840x2160) OLED display panels in February 2019. SDC is targeting premium laptops, as these ultra high resolution panels are optimized for gaming, graphic design and video streaming.
At CES we saw three companies that announced 15" OLED laptops - HP with its Spectre x360, Lenovo with the Yoga C730 and Dell with the XPS 15, Dell G7 15 and the Alienware m15. It is likely that at least some of these laptops will start shipping in March 2019 when SDC can start supplying the panels.
China-based Hisense announced a new technology that the company says will enable its LCDs to compete with OLEDs in high contrast. The so-called ULED XD panels use two LCDs panels, on on top of the other. The inner LCD is a monochrome (geyscale) FHD LCD that is used to block the light on low brightness images, and on top of it is the usual 4K full-color LCD.
This is basically a way to achieve a high number of 'local dimming' zones for an LCD display (over 2 million such zones, in fact). The TV itself is very bright (over 2,900 nits) and reportedly offers a great image quality and an almost perfect contrast. HiSense it will release its first ULED XD TVs later this year in China. Apparently SkyWorth is also demonstrating a similar technology at CES.
Razer unveiled two new laptop concepts at CES, based on the company's 15" Razer Blade laptop. One of the concepts spots a 4K touch OLED display (the second used a 240Hz FHD LCD).
Razer says that the OLED display delivers "amazing color, deep blacks, and efficient performance". The company did not disclose if and when it aims to release this as an actual product.
Sony announced its 2019 TV range, with two new OLED TVs. First up is the Master-Series A9G, that offers "consumer reference-quality image" and features Sony's X1 Ultimate Picture Processor, Pixel Contrast Booster and an automated calibration mode (including a dedicated mode for Netflix).
The A9G will be available in 55", 65" and 77". The Android TV features Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio - which means that the TV stand doubles as a high end speaker.
Update: LG also announces a 65" rollable OLED TV, the Signature OLED TV R
LG Electronics announced its OLED TV lineup for 2019. LG's new OLED TVs will be powered by the company's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor and will offer its ThinQ AI. LG says that the new OLEDs will offer better image quality and sound quality based on the new AI capabilities and new algorithms. All the new TVs will also offer new implementation of Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant.
The top of the range will be the Z9 OLED TV based on LGD's latest large 8K 88" OLED panel. There's a new wallpaper model, the OLED W9, the midrange OLED E9 and the new OLED C9 which is LG's entry level OLED TV model.
So first up is JOLED's first OLED TV panel. The 55" 4K (3840x2160, 80 PPI) panel offers a 120Hz refresh rate and a color gamut of 100% DCI (135% sRGB) and is printed on JOLED's Transparent Amorphous Oxide Semiconductor (TAOS) backplane.
According to reports from Korea, Samsung aims to launch its first 4K OLED Laptop at CES 2019 (January 8). Samsung will offer the laptop in three sizes: 13.3", 14" and 15.6". Samsung Display, who makes these OLEDs, is also in talks with HP, Dell and Lenovo with an aim to supply them with these new OLED laptop panels.
According to the Korean reports, these will be rigid (glass-based) OLEDs produced at SDC's A2 fab. According to reports, SDC's rigid OLED fab utilization rates have dropped to about 65% and in February 2018 we estimated that SDC may try to find new applications for its underutilized OLED capacity - maybe in monitors, transparent signage or indeed laptop devices.
BOE is hosting its Global Innovation Partner Conference 2018 (BOE IPC-2018, which invited experts from all over the world to see BOE's latest technology and future trends.
During the event, BOE unveiled an ink-jet printed 55" UHD OLED TV prototype. This is the first time that BOE demonstrated an ink-jet printed TV (in May 2018 BOE unveiled 5.5" FHD flexible AMOLED which was also produced using a printing process).
Japan-based printed OLED developer JOLED announced that it will demonstrate a 55" 4K printed OLED TV at Finetech Japan 2018 (December 5-7 2018). JOLED will also introduce its proprietary printed OLED manufacturing technology. A few weeks ago JOLED announced that it has signed an agreement to develop, manufacture, and sell printing equipment together with Panasonic and Screen Finetech.
This is the first time JOLED will show a 55" OLED prototype (in July 2018 the company did include TVs in its future roadmap). JOLED tells us that it has no plans to produce large size OLEDs at this stage - and this TV is on display just to demonstrate JOLED's printing technology.