LG Need Not Yet Worry About Samsung, Hisense, TCL’s “QLED Alliance” for 4K TVs
Stephan Jukic – May 7, 2017
Calling their new partnership the “QLED Alliance”, These three giants of 4K TV display manufacturing are working together to develop improved technology which will seriously challenge the cutting-edge stature of LG’s OLED TV display in the 4K or other TVs of the very near future.
Quite simply, Samsung and its two smaller partners want to develop QLED display in LCD 4K TVs as it stands today into something that genuinely gives the highly advanced OLED display panels that only LG now sells on the consumer market a serious run for their money. Up to this point though, they still have little to go with in their quest. The term “QLED” in its current practical definition has so far only been used as a trademarked sort of marketing gimmick by Samsung to describe what is in all practical terms just LCD display technology with a color-enhancing layer of refined quantum dots which also add some extra viewing angle benefits. Now, thanks to this partnership between the three companies, the term QLED itself will also be used by Hisense and TCL for their own 4K quantum dot TV displays with their own enhanced colors. Later down the road other manufacturers could also possibly join this partnership for expanded use of the term QLED and further refinement of the technology behind it as well.
This announcement by the three companies was made recently in Beijing, China during the first ever QLED International Forum, which is hosted by the Chinese Electronics Chamber of Commerce. At this event, Samsung, Hisense and TCL all showed off their current and upcoming QLED 4K TVs which all offer versions of the same essential technology of quantum dot color filters for considerable color volume and vibrancy enhancements. These new TVs also promise or offer (in the case of Samsung’s existing QLED 4K HDR TVs) enhanced levels of peak brightness, deeper, richer blacks and better local dimming. Samsung in particular insists that its new QLED TVs compete effectively with LG OLED display technology on picture performance. As we ourselves have covered previously, this is isn’t exactly the case.
Quite simply, this rather naked competitive move against LG’s OLED TVs and the coalition of companies which sell LG OLED panels in their own TV models (Sony and Panasonic mainly) has little to give it an edge. QLED technology sounds fancy but in its current version, it’s still just glossed up and slightly refined LCD/LED display as we’ve always known it.
All of Samsung’s current cutting-edge QLED 4K HDR TVs are beautiful pieces of ultra HD display technology to be sure but the way in which they work is little different from how it was in the company’s 2015 and 2016 4K HDR TVs. The same goes for the best 4K HDR TVs we’ve yet seen from Hisense and TCL. None of these displays can come close to matching OLED in most overall performance specs and particularly when it comes to pixel-precise local dimming and brightening. Samsung’s QLED TVs do create levels of peak brightness which exceed those of LG’s best OLED TVs but in all other specs for display performance, they fall behind OLED. Even the best feature of today’s version of QLED, its capacity for wide color gamut (WCG) DCI-P3 and Rec.2020 color space coverage, is at least matched by LG’s 2017 OLED 4K HDR TVs.
In other words, today’s QLED is not much of a match for the sheer performance of LG’s OLED, despite the new “QLED Alliance” that has been formed. Instead, what we’re waiting to see and what these companies are laying the groundwork for, is the eventual arrival of “true QLED” display technology of the kind which actually could compete with LG OLED.
This eventuality was in fact covered at the QLED International Forum in Beijing and during a presentation by the nanotech company Nanosys, which builds the quantum dot QLED filters for Samsung’s 4K TVs, a roadmap was presented for the introduction of true QLED display in near future 4K TVs. Unlike today’s QLED, –for now just LCD/LED with better colors—real QLED displays would consist of millions of individual pixel-sized quantum dots being directly lit by electrical current to generate images and colors on a QLED TV screen. Since these types of QLED displays would be able to light up or blacken individual pixels just like OLED TVs can, they could match the perfect blacks of today’s OLED while also delivering their own extraordinary color quality.
So far, no such “true QLED” TVs exist to our knowledge and the QLED Alliance of Samsung, Hisense TCL and possibly others down the road can for now boast nothing more than LCD 4K TV display with better color. LG doesn’t need to sweat too much about the impressive quality and remarkable popularity of its OLED 4K TVs quite yet.
Story by 4k.com