If you want the best 4K home TV, there really are only three (soon four) models to consider at this point in time – the LG C9 OLED, the Sony A9G OLED, the Samsung Q90 QLED and the Panasonic GZ2000 OLED (to launch in September).
All but the Samsung are OLEDs, and all those OLEDs are actually manufactured by LG with Sony and Panasonic’s screens only differing in their processing chips and the design of the TV exterior. Samsung’s QLED, on the other hand, is just a regular LED-LCD TV albeit top of the range.
Samsung has embraced OLED for both its own Galaxy handsets and the most recent Apple iPhone models, and manufactures OLED screens for that purpose. However they have steadfastly refused to join the OLED TV movement for years after trying and failing with the tech due to what were high cost/low yield rates back in 2014.
Instead they stuck with LCD, rebranding the familiar tech as SUHD and then QLED and ramping up their marketing campaigns to target one of OLEDs only weaknesses – the extremely slim possibility of burn-in. Their fixation on what was a tiny potential problem very few users would encounter nearly led to a legal stoush indicates SamMobile.
That’s about to change it seems as WhatHi-Fi, FlatPanels HD and The Elec are all indicating that Samsung has closed down some of its LCD production lines in Korea’s South Chungcheong Province as part of a gradual move towards the manufacture of ‘large-sized’ OLED TV panel production.
The move makes sense. While QLED panels are decidedly brighter and longer-lasting, their picture quality can’t match OLED in terms of color precision, refresh rates, perfect black contrast and off-angle viewing. Ironically Samsung, having spoken down about OLED TVs in recent years despite the independent reviewers praising them, may soon find itself having to change hearts and minds to join the club.
In recent years Samsung has been teasing the possibility of microLED TV, a tech that could actually top all current display technology. However, that remains in the prototype stages and a long way from mass production let alone consumer affordability.