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.
Click here for a more in-depth comparison between LCDs and OLEDs.
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.
Reviews of OLED TVs are terrific, and most experts and consumers agree that these OLED TVs are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality and beautiful form factors.
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:
LG Display shows its latest OLED displays at CES 2023
LG Display has an impressive presence at CES 2023, showing many OLED displays, products and prototypes.
The video above starts with LG's automotive displays, which include new 18" slidable OLEDs and some more OLED and LCD displays.
Omdia: Samsung to increase QD-OLED TV panel shipments in 2023, LGD to lose OLED TV market share
Omdia posted an interesting market analysis, saying that Samsung Display is looking to increase its OLED TV market share, and will push QD-OLED TV shipments strong in 2023. SDC will increase shipments by 141% in 2023, and will continue to increase production.
Samsung's production increase will be met by an increased number of suppliers - not just Samsung and Sony as in 2022, but other companies will start offering QD-OLED TVs (Philips, TCL and Sharp).
TCL plans to sell its first QD-OLED TV in 2023
Update: TCL says it issued that statement by mistake, and it has no current plans to ship a QD-OLED TV in 2023
TCL announced that it is set to launch its first QD-OLED TV in the coming months. If all goes according to plan, TCL will be the third company (following Samsung and Sony) to offer QD-OLED TVs.
That's the only information we have so far. The TV will likely be offered in 55-inch, 65-inch and/or 77-inch sizes (the available QD-OLED panels today) with a 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz. That's the current QD-OLED standard.
LG confirms its latest OLED TV panels use microlens arrays, brands it as META Technology
A few days ago LG Electronics unveiled its 2023 OLED TV range, which included the OLED G3, LG's slim all-in-one design OLED TV which is LG's brightest OLED TV yet. As we reported, LG Display announced today that its latest OLED panel adopts a micro-lens array to boost the performance.
Branded as META Technology, the OLED Panel is covered with a micro lens array to maximize the light emission. LGD says that this increase the brightness by 60%, and also increases the viewing angles by 30%. The G3 panel has a peak brightness of 2,100 nits.
Samsung to start producing 49-inch and 77-inch QD-OLED panels
Samsung announced that it is set to start producing several new QD-OLED panels and products in 2023. In addition to the current 34-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch panels, it will also offer a 49-inch 240Hz ultra-wide 5120x1440 QD-OLED for gaming monitors, and a 77-inch TV panel.
Samsung will adopt the new 49-inch ultra-wide QD-OLED panel in its upcoming Odyssey OLED G9 monitor. We already knew Samsung has finished developing this panel back in November when MSI unveiled their own QD-OLED monitor project. The 77-inch panel was also unveiled before.
LG Electronics announces its 2023 OLED TV range
LG Electronics announced its OLED TV range for 2023. LG is introducing several new technologies, one of which is microlens array (or MLA) to achieve up to 2,100 nits (in the G3 series).
The entry-level model is the A3 series, which offers 4K 60Hz 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch WOLED panels. The A3 offers WebOS 23, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1 VRR and support for G-Sync and FreeSync Premium. The B3 series is similar, but with support to 120Hz.
Omdia sees a recovery in the OLED TV market in 2023
Omdia says that global TV shipments reached 204.5 million units in 2022, down from 213 million in 2021 and 225 in 2020, where the COVID-19 pandemic expanded demand for TVs.
Omdia expects a recovery in 2023, especially in OLED TVs and the super-large TV segment.
LG Electronics may launch a transparent OLED TV in 2024
LG Display is producing 55" transparent OLED panels for some years, mostly targeting signage (commercial) applications. According to a report from Korea, LGD is in talks with LGE regarding the launch of a consumer transparent OLED TV.
Xiaomi's Mi TV Lux Transparent Edition
The reports suggests that LGE does not see a large demand for such a TV, especially in the current market conditions, and if this will happen, it will only happen in 2024. LGE in addition would have to develop new technologies, including using reinforced glass to cover the whole panel.
LG Display may start producing microlens MLA WOLED panels by 2024
In May 2022 we reported that LG Display is looking into adopting a microLens array in its large OLED TV panel architecture. The microlens layer could boost brightness by up to 20%, which will also increase efficiency (if brightness is kept as before). According to a new report from Korea, LGD is progressing in its project and estimates that the first MLA (Micro Lens Array) OLED panels will enter production in 2024.
MicroLens array structure, University of Michigan
The original report in May stated that LGD could actually begin producing MLA OLEDs as early as in 2022 - but it seems as this was overly optimistic. Earlier this year, LGD demonstrated a 77" 8K MLA WOLED panel.
LGD: all of our new OLED panels use deuterium-based OLED.EX technology
In December 2021, LG Display unveiled its OLED.EX (Evolution and eXperience) technology, that are based on deuterium-enhanced compounds to increase brightness by up to 30%. The company now announced that it has completed upgrading all of its WOLED TV production lines (in Korea and China) to EX technology, and all new panels will use the new materials.
LG Display says to develop the OLED.EX technology, it has converted the hydrogen elements present in organic light emitting elements into stable deuterium. LGD extracts the deuterium compounds from water, and after stabilization, the compounds allow the OLED devices to be brighter - and also last longer.