Chinese Electronics Maker TCL Attacks OLED with its own Much Cheaper “Comparable” Technology in 4K TVs

by on September 5, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 05, 2014

The Chinese TV maker TCL has been busy announcing the launch of a new series of 55 inch 4K Ultra HD TVs at this year’s IFA electronics show in Berlin.

And what makes their announcement so interesting is that the company claims the TVs’ “Quantum Dot” technology is as good as OLED screens in 4K TVs but at a much lower cost that’s two thirds less than OLED.

TCL’s 4K screen technology is supposed to deliver what the company claims is a “crisp 100 NTSC (National Television System Committee) color gamut performance”. And the way in which the technology hopes to do this is by implementing what they call Color IQ technology from QD Vision, one of the main makers of quantum dot components for conventional HDTVs.

QD technology supposedly works similarly to OLED in that light is supplied on demand in highly specific calibrations through algorithms that manage illumination. However, in contrast with OLED, the quantum dots in a TV with QD technology supposedly don’t degrade over time or have any sensitivity to humidity and oxidation. Thus, according to TCL, quantum dots can support even very large TV displays just as well as OLED, with the same clarity but without the wear of prolonged use.

Furthermore, TCL explains that QD tech uses blue LEDs that are wrapped in red and green “quantum dots” which are then placed inside the edges of a QD UHD TV. From here, each LED can then create blue, green and red lighting in a way that is supposed to be superior to actual OLED display illumination technology.

According to both TCL and QD Vision, most LCD TVs only deliver about 60 to 70% of the NTSC color gamut standard and even OLED TVs don’t fully reach 100%. TCL’s Color IQ QD technology, on the other hand, is supposed to give viewers 100% by NTSC standards.


LG’s OLED 4K TVs are inferior to Quantum Dots and too costly according to TCL

These are some truly tall claims from the companies involved, and given the arguments in OLED’s favor by some of the biggest brands in the TV market, it’s a bit difficult to take TCL’s statements about the superiority of quantum dots at face value.

Nonetheless, QD Vision CEO Jason Carlson seemed confident, recently claiming that, “this [QD technology instead of OLED] is a world class system that sets a high bar for the rest of the industry”.

However, if this is indeed the case, it begs the question of why companies like Samsung and LG, leaders in the technology of TV displays, are investing so much very public and expensive effort in OLED development instead of simply going with quantum dots if they’re superior while at the same time also being drastically less costly?

Either way, TCL hasn’t yet released specific details about model numbers and prices for their new QD 4K TVs but the sets are expected to initially be available in China and only later go on sale worldwide.

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