Samsung Display’s new QD-OLED panel can hit 1,000 nits brightness for improved HDR

Third-party certification company SGS has revealed key specs for Samsung Display’s QD-OLED TVs. The South Korean display maker has also announced. The new panels can reach a brightness of 1,000 nits and display more than 90 percent of BT.2020, according to SGS, both of which are significant improvements over the current OLED TVs available on the market.

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These figures are similar to those released by YouTube channel LinusTechTips last week in a video sponsored by Samsung Display. It is notable that these impressive specs have been validated by an independent certification agency, though only partially.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLED AND QD-OLED?

QD-OLED screens differ from the traditional OLED panels that’ve long been manufactured by LG Display in the way they produce an image. LG’s displays are considered WRGB OLED, because they use blue and yellow OLED compound to generate white-ish light pixels that are passed through color filters to produce red, green, and blue sub-pixels. More recent OLED TVs also have a fourth unfiltered / white sub-pixel meant to enhance brightness — especially for HDR content.

QD-OLED changes this up by emitting blue light through quantum dots to convert some of that blue into red and green without any need for the color filter. (Blue is used because it has the strongest light energy.) This leads to greater light energy efficiency; since you’re not losing any light to the color filters, QD-OLED TVs should offer brightness gains compared to past-generation OLEDs.

Screen Shot 2022 01 03 at 1.51.06 PM
A simplified breakdown of QD-OLED.
 Image: Samsung Display

They should also be able to maintain accurate, vivid quantum dot color reproduction even at peak brightness levels, whereas WRGB OLED can sometimes exhibit some desaturation when pushed that far. The already-superb viewing angles of OLED are claimed to be even better on QD-OLED at extreme angles since there’s more diffusion happening without the color filter in the way.

The possibility of burn-in isn’t eliminated by QD-OLED, but the hope is that these panels could exhibit a longer overall life span than existing OLED TVs since the pixels aren’t working as hard. Samsung Display is using three layers of blue OLED material for each pixel, and that could help to preserve longevity.

LinusTechTip compares the QDOLED’s specs to LG’s flagship OLED G1 from last year, which has an OLED Evo Panel. LTT reports that Samsung Display’s QDOLED reached almost 200 nits for fullscreen brightness. It also rose to 1000 nits above a 10% patch and 1500 nits above a 3 percent section of the screen. In general, the brighter an OLED screen, the better it can be. Rtings reviews of the LG G1 show it reaching a maximum peak brightness of 167 nits, 827 on a 10% window and 846 on an 8 percent window.

According to reports, the QD-OLED panels have a wider color gamut than the G1. The new panel by Samsung can display more than 90 percent of BT.2020 and 120 percent DCI-P3 colors according to SGS. Ratings reports that the G1 cannot display approximately three-quarters of BT.2020 and about 100 percent DCI-P3.

The important thing is that Samsung Display’s new panel does not sacrifice the benefits of OLED displays. These include blacks that emit no light and excellent viewing angles, compared to LCD TVs. SGS claims that Samsung Display’s QDOLEDs have better viewing angles than OLEDs. They maintain 80 percent luminance at a 60-degree angle, compared to 53 percent with a conventional OLED.

Important caveat: these comparisons were made with LG Display’s flagship 2021 model, which will be replaced this year by a new line of OLED TVs. LG Display has also developed a new generation OLED panels called OLED EX. These panels boast increased brightness levels up to 30%. It remains to be seen if this is enough to stay competitive with Samsung’s new panels.

While we still need to wait until consumer TVs actually use both panels, it looks like an impressive set for Samsung Display’s new technology. Samsung’s display arm makes panels for many companies so it’s not just Samsung TVs that will benefit.

It remains to be seen when exactly Samsung Display’s new panels will go on sale. Interestingly, the first QDOLED TV was not from Samsung Electronics. It was from Sony who announced that its Bravia XR A95K will be using a QDOLED panel from Samsung Display. Alienware has also a QD-OLED computer monitor in development. It is unknown when Samsung Electronics will release its own QD-OLED TV.

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