Two new technologies seem to dominate the LCD TV market in CES 2015. First up are quantum dots TVs - which are LED backlit LCDs that include a QD film that enhances the TV's color gamut, efficiency, brightness and contrast. Sony has been producing QD TVs for almost two years, but this year we have new launches from Samsung, LG, Philips, TCL and others.
These new wave of QD TVs are Cadmium-free, which was one of the major stumbling block towards real QD commercialization. The major advantage of QD TVs is the enhanced color gamut, which is even larger than the color gamut currently offered by OLED TVs (although LG promises their OLEDs will catch up soon). LG still considers OLEDs as their future TV technology, and Merck also says that quantum-dots are not a real game changer (unlike OLEDs).
Samsung brands their new QD TVs as SUHD, launching TVs ranging from 48" to 88" in size (and all running the Samsung-backed Tizen OS). Samsung says that SHUD TVs "perform beyond expectations" and mark the dawn of a new era. Interestingly they do not specifically mention quantum dots, but rather say that they use "Nanocrystsal Semiconductors". One of the leading QD companies, QD Vision just announced it completed a significant funding round.
But we also see a new innovation at CES - ultra slim LCDs. LG Display is showing 7.5 mm thick LCD prototypes while Sony launched a new TV, the 65-inch "floating style" X900C which is only 4.9 mm thick - pretty much closing the gap entirely over LG's current OLEDs.
DisplaySearch posted an interesting article explaining how Corning's new Iris glass product which enables thinner light-guide plate (LGP) in edge-lit LCDs. The Iris glass is 36 times stronger than plastic-acrylic based LGP (which are typically 3-5 mm thick) and so can enable much thinner LGPs. LGP glass also has some disadvantages of course: they cost higher to produce, and the transmittance is 1-2% inferior compared to acryl-resin LGPs.
OLED TVs still offer the best image quality and the thinnest profile (and, at least for now, OLEDs are the only technology that enables flexible/bendable TVs). But LCDs are advancing all the time while still offering a large cost advantage over OLEDs. This is a very tough competition for OLEDs, and hopefully other companies besides LG Display will soon start developing and promoting OLED TV panels.