Samsung Display’s QD-OLED TV first look: Best. Picture. Ever.

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I thought this was the tech unicorn of CES 2022: a quantum dot OLED display that, by just specs and science, has the potential to revolutionize TV picture quality. Then I took a closer look at it, and I’m here to tell you that it’s the best looking image I’ve ever seen from a screen. And not even by incremental margin. I hate the term “game-changer”, but it absolutely applies here. I couldn’t be more excited for this giant leap forward for TV in 2022.

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How I Finally Came to See Samsung Display’s QD-OLED (Important Note: It’s No A consumer television from Samsung Electronics) is an adventure story in itself, and a story at best for another story. Here, I want to focus on what I saw and why I believe this latest adaptation of OLED display technology is the most exciting thing since the introduction of HDR TVs.

Caleb Dennison at Samsung Display at CES 2022.
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You may have read or seen reports about QD-OLEDs that were based on technical briefings, but they are full of speculation and educated guesses. As one of the few TV reviewers who have been fortunate enough to have their eye on this technology, I’d like to offer some unique perspectives based on both subjective and objective analysis.


QD-OLED isn’t just the usual CES hype – it’s technology is real.

What is QD-OLED, again?

To understand what makes QD-OLED different from traditional OLED, it’s important to understand how traditional OLED TVs work.

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The OLED panels available on the market today are manufactured by LG Display (like Samsung Display, you can think of LG Display as a separate sister company to LG Electronics) and by many other brands in OLED TVs such as LG, Sony, Panasonic and more. is used to. They are WRGB OLEDs, that is to say, a white OLED subpixel (which is the W in WRGB) is used to boost the brightness of the red, green, and blue (RGB) OLED pixels. It’s a solution that has worked well for several years now – OLED TVs consistently top our lists of the best TVs you can buy. But it’s not without its drawbacks, and they all point to the use of a color filter and white subpixels.

QD-OLED panels get rid of white sub-pixels and color filters entirely, using an all-blue OLED panel with a sheet of printed quantum dots that glow red and green when activated by blue OLED light . The result is a true RGB display. Without the color filter, the overall brightness increases significantly. And without the white sub-pixel, the brightness of the colors increases significantly too.

Other promised benefits of QD-OLED displays are consistent color saturation when viewed off-angle, and a significantly lower potential for burn-in.

In other words, QD-OLED retains all the advantages of WRGB OLED and mitigates some of its (but important) drawbacks. On paper, it sounds pretty exciting. But tech reporters have rightly been skeptical, pending an in-person view.

Samsung QD-OLED display at CES 2022.
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After sitting through a brief briefing, I was shown Samsung Display’s QD-OLED display, which was mocked as a TV. It didn’t have a tuner, smart TV interface, or many of the other things that make a TV a TV. But the proof of what it’s capable of was accurately represented in the performance I saw, and it was nothing short of surprising.

The high brightness and superior color saturation of the QD-OLED have tremendous dazzling and immersive effects, and the display technology’s ability to show very high levels of detail in dark, shadowy areas is immediately apparent. What I experienced was a picture with incredible detail, depth, richness and excitement. It was simultaneously vivid and deep, with an almost 3D-like effect.

Once I tempered my own enthusiasm a bit, I dug a little deeper and noticed that the white light it produced was of much higher purity than the whites I’d see with a WRGB OLED TV, Which have a green tint. That tint isn’t something you notice when you watch an OLED TV, but when it sits next to an LED TV and in this case, QD-OLED, it’s not impossible to see.

Off-angle viewing was also markedly better. Well any drop in picture quality from edge to edge was hard to discern without a deeper investigation. And frankly, it’s probably not something that most viewers would notice anyway.

In a separate display, where a 34-inch computer monitor version of the tech was working, I noted a complete absence of motion blur from the quick-scrolling test pattern. This was real world proof of the QD-OLED’s 0.5 ms response time for TVs and 0.1 ms response times for computing displays. Text was also pretty sharp compared to what I’ve seen from a traditional OLED display.

Clearly, QD-OLED is going to be as exciting for gamers as it is for videophiles.

Samsung QD-OLED display at CES 2022.

QD-OLED will be here later this year, but it will cost you dearly.

When can you buy QD-OLED?

The good news is that the wait for QD-OLED TVs won’t be long. A Sony representative told me that the company is targeting a late 2022 launch for its Bravia A95K QD-OLED TV. The bad news is that I expect the TV to be extremely expensive.

For its part, Dell’s Alienware gaming division has already shown off a 34-inch widescreen gaming monitor using QD-OLED, and promises that it’s coming soon. Again, I’d expect a great piece of hardware to be jaw-droppingly expensive compared to the most expensive gaming monitors available today.

As for Samsung? Who knows. While Samsung makes the display technology, Samsung Electronics — which is what makes the TVs we plant in our homes — has been silent with any details surrounding Samsung-branded QD-OLED TVs. However, I expect we’ll have some more information on the Samsung QD-OLED TV (they’ll probably call it QD-display, because Samsung) in early March 2022.

First for the rich – then for the rest of us

As is often the case with groundbreaking technology, for most people it will be too expensive when it first launches, then drop in price over the course of several years. It may be a while until you or I can expect to own a QD-OLED TV, but knowing that someday we can have such stunning pictures in our homes is a bright future I look forward to. Am.

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