QD-OLED TV: Everything You Need To Know About The Game-Changing New TV Tech
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision|January 2022
Samsung’s latest flat-panel TV will be a hybrid between its own Quantum Dot displays and the OLED tech used by its rivals

Sometimes it seems as if the world of flatscreen displays is dense with terminology that is deliberately created to mislead – from endless, deceptively similar acronyms to old tech rebranded with new jargony monikers.

Developed by Samsung, QD-OLED is one of the newest and most exciting kids on the flat-panel block. For once, its name represents exactly what it is: a combination of the Quantum Dot (QD) displays, endorsed by market leader Samsung as well as the likes of Hisense, Vizio and Roku, and OLED technology – of which Samsung’s arch-rival LG is the dominant player, as the sole supplier of large OLED panels to other manufacturers.

The two screen types have different strengths and weaknesses, and combining them could potentially yield results greater than the sum of the parts, achieving that holy trinity of TV manufacturing: vivid colours, high peak brightness without light bleed, and dark, saturated blacks.

But how will it work? When will it be available? And why has Samsung, an avid anti-OLED campaigner until now, done a U-turn? First of all, since QD-OLED is a hybrid, let’s recap the individual components before tackling the whole.

How does OLED work?

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a type of display that uses an organic carbon-based film through which two conductors pass a current, causing it to emit light. To produce an image, an OLED TV combines blue and yellow light from OLED sources to create almost white light. This is then passed through a colour filter made up of red, blue and green subpixels.

Unlike traditional LCD TVs, which rely on a separate backlight passed through a layer of pixels, each individual pixel in an OLED can take care of both brightness and image creation. Because each pixel is its own light source and can be completely blacked out if need be, this means a bright pixel can appear next to one that’s black with neither impacting the other, creating the exceptional overall contrast for which OLEDs are renowned. And, because the image doesn’t need to pass through an LCD matrix, viewing angles are wide, while the overall build of an OLED TV is thin and light due to its simple structure.

The downside is that OLEDs struggle to reach the same peak brightness as even an average backlit model, as each pixel is limited by its size in the amount of light it can produce and by energy absorption from the colour filters. To address this, LG started using a WRGB pixel structure, adding a white subpixel to try to increase brightness levels. This has drawbacks though, and can wash out the colour of the other subpixels. Also, as the organic material in OLEDs is not permanently stable, its lifespan decreases at an inverse rate to the amount of brightness it is made to produce. So pushing the white sub-pixel could shorten your TV’s life expectancy.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WHAT HI-FI SOUND AND VISIONView All

How The Airpods 3 Were Made - And How Apple Plans To Make Them Even Better

We sat down with Gary Geaves, Apple's VP of Acoustics, to talk all things AirPods 3

8 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

The Problem With Hi-Res Audio Is How You Might Be Listening To It

Just because kit can play hi-res audio doesn't mean it will do it justice

5 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

Glo-ing with age

"When you get it right, the Vu Masterpiece Glo delivers a smashing picture, replete with deep blacks and very natural skin tones."

4 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

Chord Mojo 2

'Mobile Joy'is ineven more lavish supply in this re-engineered sequel to Chord's game-changing portable DAC

7 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

Best of both worlds

"Between Cinema and Game though, everyone from Fury to Forza fans will be covered, without much tweaking."

4 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

Kudos Audio Cardea Super 10A

"There's a good amount of low-end grunt but it's the speakers' ability to paint bass textures that impresses most"

4 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

Goldmund Telos 590 Nextgen II

"If the recording is done properly, then this amp is capable of thumping out large-scale dynamic swings with venom"

4 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

MASTERING THE ART OF TV TECH

Nishant Padhiar speaks to the Boss lady of India's very own luxury TV brand, Vu.

2 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

The G.O.A.T of soundbars

"The sound is simply there, filling up your space with clarity, punch and attack in a way that no other soundbar has ever come close to."

5 mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022

The long and the short and the tall

Speakers come in many shapes and sizes; the trick is to find the pair that fit – and sound – best in your listening room. Welcome to our speaker round-up

10+ mins read
What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision
April 2022
RELATED STORIES

OnePlus 10 Pro: Three reasons to get it (and one reason why most people won't)

With the 10 Pro, OnePlus continues down a tricky path.

6 mins read
PCWorld
May 2022

A Juice Boost

Belkin's latest power bank will get your gadgets charged when outlets are hard to find

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 02, 2022

Concealed Screens

The Connected Life

4 mins read
Sound & Vision
April - May 2022

Xiaomi 11T Pro

Price R14000/takealot.com

4 mins read
Stuff Magazine
April/May 2022

Where Did All the Chips Go?

Even though the world has begun to open up, the after-effects of the pandemic on the supply chain are noticeable. Limited shipping containers and flights have created a backlog putting massive pressure on component manufacturers. Where does that leave Africa?

6 mins read
Forbes Africa
April - May 2022

Samsung Galaxy S22+: A Crowd Pleaser

The best Galaxy this year

9 mins read
PC Magazine
April 2022

Neoliberalism Still in Vogue In Moscow

○ Putin doubles down on free markets and fiscal restraint even as Russia’s import-dependent economy reels

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 14, 2022

Buy an SSD While They're Still Cheap: Contamination Ruins 6.5 Billion Gigabytes of Storage

A manufacturing defect affecting millions of terabytes of storage means a new supply crunch.

1 min read
PCWorld
March 2022

DATA RECOVERY

Lost valuable files? Don’t panic! Nick Peers is here to help you recover them

10+ mins read
Maximum PC
March 2022

Moore, Moore, Moore

It’s not dead. It isn’t slowing down. It’s not even sick. Give it up for Moore’s Law, the computing paradigm that’s still very much alive and kicking. Jeremy Laird investigates how much longer our PCs can keep getting faster

10+ mins read
Maximum PC
March 2022