What is an OLED TV?
OLED TVs use a display technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) that enables displays that are brighter, more efficient, thinner, flexible and with higher contrast and faster refresh rates than either LCD. Simply put, OLED TVs deliver the best picture quality ever!
OLED TV technology
Each pixel in an OLED TV emits light on its own (in fact each pixel is made from 3 different OLEDs, red, green and blue). OLEDs are truly emissive devices with a simple design which gives them many advantages over current LCD technology:
- High contrast: in OLEDs we have true blacks as when a pixel is off it does not emit any light. In LCDs, the backlighting is always on and so true blacks are impossible to achieve. Even when compared to the latest high-end mini-LED backlit LCDs, the contrast of OLEDs is superior.
- High refresh rates: OLEDs can switch on and off much faster than LCDs.
- Better power consumption: OLEDs only consume light on lit pixels - as opposed to LCDs who always need to use the backlighting. The power consumption of OLEDs depends on the image shown, but in most cases OLEDs will be more efficient than LCDS.
- Flexibility: the simple design of OLEDs enables next-generation flexible, bendable, foldable and even rollable displays. LG is now shipping the world's first rollable TV, the 65" 65RX.
OLED TVs on the market - what can you buy today?
As of 2022, the leading company that produces OLED TV panels is LG Display - making panels ranging from 42-inch to 97-inch. These OLEDs offer the best image quality of all TVs on the market today. LGD is offering its OLED panels to many companies, including LG Electronics, Sony, Vizio and Panasonic.
In 2022 Samsung joined LGD and started to produce its own OLED TV variant, called QD-OLED (which is based on blue OLED emitters and quantum dots color conversion technology). Samsung is producing 55-inch and 65-inch QD-OLED TV panels.
There are dozens of models available today, ranging from entry-level OLED TVs to high-end rollable, bendable and even transparent ones. Click here for the latest OLED TVs on the market.
Direct Emission vs WRGB / QD-OLED
The most straightforward OLED architecture uses 3 color OLED sub-pixels (Red, Green and Blue) to create each 'pixel'. This is referred to as a direct emission OLED, and is the design used in mobile OLED displays (for example those used in Apple's latest iPhones and Watches).
For its OLED TVs, however, LG Display is using a different architecture, called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) which uses four white OLED subpixels (each created by using both blue and yellow OLED emitters) with color filters on top (RBG and W). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) was found to be easier to scale-up for large-area OLED production, although it suffers from lower efficiency and more complicated design.
As we stated, Samsung's OLED TV architecture is based on blue OLED emitters and quantum-dots color conversion layers.
The latest OLED TV news:
Aviation display technology specialist Rosen Aviation is increasing its line of high-end OLED displays, and is set to introduce a 97-inch WOLED panel, the biggest ever display in an aircraft cabin.
Rosen Aviation - future VIP cabin design concept
Rosen Aviation's 97" OLED is set to receive the supplemental type certificate for a VIP aircraft by the end of 2023. Rosen has already signed up its first customer. Rosen says that beyond the exception OLED display quality, this display is very lightweight compared to a comparable LED LCD solution.
Omdia released its latest analysis on the global large-area display market (LCDs and OLEDs combined), saying that it sees a decline in unit shipments of 7.3% from 2022. This is a sharper decline that what Omdia estimated a few months ago, as the demand continues to slide.
Interestingly, looking at the total market by display area, 2023 will see a slight increase (0.5%) over 2022, this is mostly because consumers are buying larger TVs and larger gaming monitors.
LG Display showed its WOLED roadmap during the K-Display conference in Seoul, saying that it will soon start producing 32-inch (16:9), 34-inch (21:9) and 39-inch (21:9) models. These panels are aimed for computer monitor applications, rather than TVs, although the 32-inch could also be used as a TV panel.
LGD did not detail when it expects to start producing these panels. Dough already unveiled a few weeks ago that it is working on a 32" monitor, and this will be base on an LGD WOLED panel
LG Display is demonstrating its new 30" and 77" transparent OLED displays for the first time, at the company's booth at K-Display 2023, in Seoul, Korea.
Credit: LG Display
The new 30" transparent OLED offers HD resolution, while the 77" panel offers 4K resolution. All of LG's latest transparent OLED displays offer 45% transparency. LG showed its entire range of T-OLED displays in a coffee shop setting, in partnership with Starbucks.
Market research firm Omdia says that according to its latest forecast, the OLED market will grow at a CAGR of 11% from 2022 to 2030, by total display production area.
The main OLED application is smartphone displays, and Omdia says that in 2022 the penetration of OLED displays into that market reached 42%. The market share of OLED smartphones will rise steadily in the future. The OLED TV market is experiencing a slowdown, but Omdia says it will resume growth in 2024.
DSCC expects the AMOLED stack material market to grow 4% in 2023, to $1.4 billion, and to reach $2.18 billion in 2027, that's a 12% CAGR from 2023 to 2027. In 2022, the market declined by 10%. The forecast does not include any UDC revenues from blue PHOLED materials, which means that if UDC succeeds in commercializing its blue material, revenues could be higher by hundreds of millions of dollars.
DSCC says that demand for OLED TVs will continue to decline in 2023. In 2022, revenues of OLED TV revenues declined by 17%, and in 2023 revenues will decline 3% further. Growth will resume, though, in 2024, and in 2023-2027 the market will grow at a CAGR of 13%.
Samsung officially launched the 83S90C, the company's first TV to use LG's WOLED panels. It uses a 4K 120K 83" OLED display, and is powered by Samsung's AI-powered Neural Quantum Processor. The S83S90C will start shipping in a few days in the US, with a suggested price of $5,400.
Interestingly, Samsung decided to have its first WOLED TV sit in the same range as its QD-OLED TVs, the S90C, which includes 55-, 65- and 77-inch QD-OLED TV panels. It's likely the company will try to blur the differences between the QD-OLED and the WOLED panels, and not discuss too much its reliance on LG Display's supply.
Independent testing and certification leader TÜV Rheinland has awarded LG's OLED TV and monitor panels with its 'Circadian Friendly' certification. LG's OLEDs are the first displays to ever receive this award.
TÜV Rheinland new 'Circadian Friendly' certification is given to products that meet the standards of minimizing their impact on people's quality of life during the day and promote better sleep at night. These products undergo rigorous testing based on the 'Circadian Stimulus' metric, designed by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center.
According to recent reports, LG and Samsung finally officially signed a WOLED TV panel supply agreement, as Samsung Electronics plan to start producing OLED TVs based on LGD WOLED panels.
According to recent reports from Korea, Samsung Electronics placed the first order for WOLED panels (77-inch and 83-inch) from LGD earlier this month. This was a small order, used by Samsung to develop the first OLED TV, which Samsung aims to launch later in 2023. It seems the two companies haven't yet finalized all the details of their agreement.
DSCC says that OLED panel revenues will decline 7% in 2023 (to $38.9 billion), the second consecutive year that the OLED market is seeing a decline in sales. The largest declines will be in the OLED TVs and laptops segments.
The OLED smartphone market will actually grow 4% in unit sales, but revenues will decline 5%. The OLED TV market will decline 29% in 2023 in both revenues and units. OLED laptop unit sales will decline by 15%. All other segments, including AR/VR, automotive and tablets, will grow in sales and revenues in 2023.