If 2014 was the year 4K finally got off the ground, with prices plummeting and content finally arriving in homes courtesy of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, 2015 was supposed to be the year of OLED. The plasma-thrashing TV tech looks phenomenal, with some of the deepest blacks and brightest whites we’ve ever seen on a TV, but according to a new report we may be waiting a while longer for it to arrive at an affordable price. Instead, Quantum Dot technology will take it’s place – at least on LG TVs.
LG announced its first Quantum Dot TV in a press release this morning, ahead of the International CES show due to take place in Las Vegas in January. According to the release, the technology will be reserved entirely for the company’s 4K TV range, with Full HD models expected to stick with existing LED backlit IPS panels. The new models will sit alongside existing LCD and OLED TVs, rather than replace them.
Quantum Dot technology is an evolution of existing LCD technology, rather than an entirely new type of display. It uses nano crystals to emit different colours based on their size, which can be anything from two to 10 nanometres. Placing a film of these dots in front of the LCD backlight improves overall brightness and colour vibrancy. According to LG, the combination of an IPS panel and Quantum Dot technology means its TVs have more than 30% better colour reproduction than competing manufacturers.
LG won’t be the first TV manufacturer to use Quantum Dot technology, however; Sony already uses it as part of its Triluminos branding, which has appeared on most of its high-end Full HD and 4K TVs for the past few years including the 2013 W9 Full HD LED and the current S90 4K. We were impressed with image quality when we reviewed the W9, but it certainly can’t compete with OLED panels.
OLED TVs are very costly to manufacture, and if LG is already deflecting focus away from the technology, it could mean it still isn’t happy it has reduced costs enough to begin a wider rollout. That suggests we may not have many new models to look forward to in 2015, meaning Quantum Dot will be the stopgap until OLED is cheap enough to manufacture in larger numbers.
Either way, we’ll be at CES in January to get a first look at the new TVs, so be sure to check back to find out if Quantum Dots are indeed the future, or whether we’ll still be saving our cash for OLED.