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Samsung says QLED better than OLED

Samsung used the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show to introduce QLED, its take on premium screens designed to take on OLED’s high-end supremacy.

QLED or Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode is not OLED – the two are very different technologies. A great deal has been written about Quantum Dot technology (Samsung’s site is here) but putting all the hype aside it uses different sized quantum dots (2 to 10 nanometre) to reproduce different colours.

QLED places a layer of Quantum Dots in front of a full array LED backlit LCD panel (most panels use a lower cost side lit panel), essentially meaning each pixel can produce its own individual colour. OLED still has the advantage of “true black” where a pixel can be switched off but QLED can produce more brightness and therefore potentially better HDR images. It may also have a wider viewing angle.

The reality is that QLED is still LED/LCD but it has narrowed the picture quality gap on OLED and is cheaper to make.

Samsung unveiled the 75-inch Q8C QLED TV, which adds new metal material to nano-sized semiconductor quantum dots to deliver what it says is the perfect mix of light and colour currently available in display technology.

The result is claimed to be an accurate and precise picture that can be viewed from any angle or in any environment. The new QLED TV features:

  • Deep black levels.
  • 100% colour volume when measured with DCI perfect match.
  • HDR optimal brightness of 1500 – 2000 nits.
  • Reduces reflection, consistent colour and picture quality from any viewing angle.
  • Practically invisible optical cable helps to solve the issue of unsightly cords (5m optical cable attaches to a separate breakout box).
  • Optional “No-Gap Wall Mount,” flush mount against the wall.
  • Samsung One Remote has been enhanced.
  • Tizen OS unique to Samsung.
  • Samsung SmartView app — available on Android and iOS — allows users to get personalised SmartHub experience on the phone and notifications of new content.
  • Samsung Sports service has customisable content and alerts based on a user’s team preferences.
  • Two different TV stands – Gravity and Studio.

Samsung QLED stand

Samsung also showcased its 2017 line-up of home audiovisual products, including the new Soundbar Sound+ which features a built-in sub-woofer, H7 Wireless Audio and the latest UHD Blu-ray Player.


I am a little weary of all TV makers – their use of marketing hype, extreme invented terms, and superior claims bothers me but it is to be expected in this cut-throat category.

Frankly I have seen and reviewed the best of the best of each major brand and while LG’s OLED is my personal viewing preference, I would also be ecstatic to own a top-end Samsung, Sony, or Panasonic because they are all excellent and fit for purpose.

But you know that lesser known brands are significantly cheaper and suit Joe Average’s needs admirably. Would I be happy with a 65” Aldi 4K for $799 at a tenth of the LG OLED price? Probably. Read Gizmodo’s take on that here.

There is no doubt that Samsung’s QLED will be a game changer, not because it provides a better picture than OLED but because for a hopefully reasonably lower price it will be an acceptable compromise. It will be a step above its current 4K SUHD QD models simply because it has a full array LED backlight.

At its heart, it is still LCD technology, admittedly with a full array backlight like Panasonic or Sony’s top screens, and Quantum Dot does produce great colours and brightness – but not necessarily better than the former's technologies do.

Samsung should focus on where its Tizen operating system adds value over, say Android TV or LG OS, etc. It needs to show how it provides a better user experience, more content and a better fit overall with the Samsung ecosystem including how it will fit into the smart home or be used as a smart home hub.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!


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