Samsung isn’t planning to release OLED TVs in 2015, Instead it will go with Quantum Dot technology

by on December 15, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – December 15, 2014

The latest word from Samsung on OLED Technology in its 4K and HDTVs is that there won’t be any in 2015. This at least is what Kim Hyun-seok, head of the Samsung TV division recently announced to a number of reporters in Seoul, South Korea.

According to the Samsung executive, OLED is still not an ideal technology for the company to pursue, particularly in its new lines of 4K ultra HD TVs and instead the company will focus on building improved LCD panels with more conventional technologies and also on developing OLED-like quality in a new line of LCD panels with something known as Quantum dot technology.

Currently, LG is the only company that is actively developing and now selling 4K ultra HD TVs with OLED display technology built into them and several of their models have been available to customers since October of 2014. OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode displays provide a much sharper, clearer and better lit picture quality than conventional LED LCD TV panels.

In fact, LG’s OLED TVs are currently considered to be the very top of the line in terms of picture quality among all the brands and models currently available. However, while superior to conventional artificial LED lighting in TVs, OLED is also extremely expensive due to the manufacturing process that goes into it. This is why the LG OLED 4K sets that are available for sale are also some of the priciest UHD TVs on the market today. The 55 Inch model alone retails for $3,500 and the company’s 77 inch OLED 4K TV sells for a whopping $25,000, much more expensive than any other comparably sized 4K TVs on the market today.

In part, this is almost certainly the reason why Samsung doesn’t want to bother with the effort of creating its own OLED 4K models yet. The high cost of production and consequently high retail prices mean a very small market of buyers and LG has already filled much of the demand in this area.

However, this doesn’t mean that Samsung is resting on its laurels either. For one thing, the company is actively working on creating OLED display panels for much smaller screens like those in smartphones and tablets. In this area, the company’s research division is testing a new “printing” method of manufacturing the screens that is both easier and cheaper than the more widely used “doping” method employed by LG.

Given this ongoing R&D, Samsung will almost certainly soon make a move into the OLED TV market as well, but only once they’ve perfected a means of making their own versions of these TVs much cheaper than those from LG.

Secondly, there is the new quantum dot LCD TV display technology for Samsung to focus on.  This is something that the manufacturer indeed does plan on showcasing by 2015 at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas. As far as quantum dots go, the picture quality they provide is considered by some to be as good as that of OLED, while others argue the opposite. Whichever is the case, QD technology is definitely cheaper than OLED based manufacturing and, thanks to chemical innovations by chemical companies partnered with Samsung, also much safer than it was before.

Quantum dots being manufactured in different color ranges by PlasmaChem

Quantum dots being manufactured in different color ranges by PlasmaChem

The safety concerns come from the fact that Quantum Dot displays required cadmium for their construction and that particular element is hazardous to human health.

Further details about its new QD developments for TV display technology are still not forthcoming from Samsung, but we’ll almost certainly see what they’ve created with it at CES International this January in Las Vegas.

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