27.11.17

8K TV the breakthrough for QLED?

Samsung 98 inch SUHD prototype on display at show

Findings from market research specialist TrendForce states that whilst OLED continues to dominate the high end TV market, the introduction of 8K TV could provide a “breakthrough” for QLED technology.

According to WitsView, a division of TrendForce, OLED will remain “remarkably dominant” in the high-end TV market in 2018, in spite of continuing competition from QLED products.

More products are expected to enter the OLED TV market in 2018 with a growing field rate, and the shipments are expected to reach a new high of 2.5 million units, a significant increase from 1.5 million in 2017.

In particular, promotional efforts from the likes of Sony have raised shipments of OLED TVs to higher than expected this year. Manufacturers including Samsung, Hisense and TCL, in contrast, have been met with some issues promoting their QLED TVs due to its price level.

Using the US price of a 55-in 4K TV as an example, the difference between OLED and QLED is only US $100, yet LG and Sony has successfully promoted OLED as “a representation of high-end TV in consumers’ perception in recent years” – more so than QLED.

In spite of OLED’s lifespan problems – including colour decay of organic material and burn-in – manufacturers are still making heavy investment into the research and development of OLED. Whereas OLED technology still could be thinner (thanks to opportunities in constant optimisation of colour saturation and contrast), LCD development is approaching a limit.

In quantum dot backlight products, the backlight system incorporates quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF). Quantum dots are activated by the light from LED to create more highly saturated colours. This backlight system increases the thickness of QLED TVs compared to OLED TVs, meaning it will probably have to incorporate a glass light guide to create a thinner TV.

WitsView estimates that, QD CF and QD self-emitting displays, a new generation of display technologies, which QLED advocates are expecting to enter mass production in 2020 at the earliest. So far, however, the highest possible resolution of OLED can only reach 4K due to technical limitations while QD backlight has no restrictions regarding resolution. Therefore, for QLED TV brands, 8K TV may be a breakthrough opportunity for them to regain their competitiveness in high-end TV market.