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Samsung Ditching All LCD Production This Year

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Samsung is dropping all LCD display production in favor of its “quantum dot” or QLED displays, a spokeswoman for the South Korean company told Reuters Tuesday. 

This follows a similar statement from October, when Samsung announced it was shuttering one of its two domestic LCD production lines, due to falling demand and a surplus of supply. At the same time, Samsung announced a nearly $11 billion investment in quantum dot technology.

“We will supply ordered LCDs to our customers by the end of this year without any issues,” the company said in a statement. 

In the past, Samsung's quantum dot displays have used a film filled with quantum dots, semiconductor particles only a few nanometers in size, to change light provided from an LED backlight into different colors as they hit it. Samsung named this type of display QLED, which it developed to compete with OLED, which uses individual subpixels that emit their own light.

Samsung is now hoping to use new research to create true, self-illuminating quantum dot displays This research comes off the back of discoveries from November, when Samsung researchers published a paper in Nature explaining a new potential quantum dot technology. It replaces cadmium, a toxic chemical previous Samsung QLED panels had used, with indium phosphide. The researchers also claimed improved lifetime by up to a million hours and the prevention of burn-in issues that its previous QLED displays faced.

In October, Samsung also detailed five-year plans for converting its remaining South Korean LCD production line into a quantum dot display production line. The company also runs two LCD production lines in China, which it has yet to comment on beyond its commitment to stop LCD production.

Samsung rival LG said earlier this year that it would suspend domestic LCD TV panel production by the end of 2020.

Beyond TVs, Samsung also makes some of the best gaming monitors and PC monitors in general. Samsung has plans to release QLED monitors this year, including the Samsung Odyssey gaming monitors that use QLED VA panels. But for any upcoming displays, including TVs, that leverage LCD technology only (and no LED backlight), it's possible Samsung could continue buying LCD panels from suppliers. 

But OLED's gaining popularity, due to its deep blacks allowing for better contrast, which we consider the most important factor in image quality. OLED has received a bad reputation for burn-in, but new use cases, such as OLED gaming monitors and the role OLED can play in finding the best HDR monitor or TV, might help explain Samsung and LG's renewed focuses. 

  • JamesSneed
    Nice. Hopefully we will get some better anti reflective OLED's now.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    JamesSneed said:
    Nice. Hopefully we will get some better anti reflective OLED's now.
    I'll worry about screen gloss after OLED's two major issues are fixed: 1) cost and 2) burn-in.

    When OLED was "discovered" about 20 years ago, the expectation was that it would enable production of large extremely affordable displays using either silkscreen or inkjet technology for most of the manufacturing. We're still not there yet... and may never be now that manufacturers are focusing on other options like emmissive q-dot and micro-LED.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    InvalidError said:
    I'll worry about screen gloss after OLED's two major issues are fixed: 1) cost and 2) burn-in.

    When OLED was "discovered" about 20 years ago, the expectation was that it would enable production of large extremely affordable displays using either silkscreen or inkjet technology for most of the manufacturing. We're still not there yet... and may never be now that manufacturers are focusing on other options like emmissive q-dot and micro-LED.

    Cost inst bad now. LG has 65 inch TV's for $2,000 now so that is a bit high but not outside of what a high end LCD with FALD sells for. Burn in is really the only issue these days and it's better now but more needs to be done.

    For me they just fix the antireflective coatings so I can use an OLED TV in a room that is bright during the day and i'm in as long as they keep the 65 inch under $3,000. Samsung has the best anti-glare tech so I'm kind of excited about this move.

    Micro-LED is likely the holy grail but i'll buy an OLED next year to hold me over :)
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    JamesSneed said:
    Cost inst bad now. LG has 65 inch TV's for $2,000 now so that is a bit high but not outside of what a high end LCD with FALD sells for.
    If you compare one overpriced product to another overpriced product, sure, the increase is small. If you look at the market as a whole though, you can get a 65" TV for under $400 these days and unless you have money burning holes in your pockets, you have to really ponder whether the increase in contrast ratio is worth paying 3-5X the cost of nearest equivalent regular IPS or VA models.

    I personally don't like FALD since you can see the backlight halo around bright elements on a dark background especially in a darker room which I would consider more distracting than full-panel backlight bleed. In a brighter room, the backlight bleed is generally a non-issue since it gets swamped out by ambient light. I wouldn't pay any sort of premium for it as I'd likely just end up disabling it.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    @InvalidError I understand your point but as someone who has had higher end TV's for over a decade I can not go backwards in quality. No sub $1,000 65" TV that has anywhere the picture quality I want so yes the 3-5x increase is very worth it to me but I get it many wouldn't care. Your point on FALD is exactly why I would go OLED. However OLED is not living up to its cheaper to make mantra we were fed many years ago but it certainly has the best picture quality today.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    JamesSneed said:
    However OLED is not living up to its cheaper to make mantra we were fed many years ago but it certainly has the best picture quality today.
    If cost is no object, then laser-based imaging has some of the best picture quality currently available, not OLED :)

    Ironic how OLED was expected to become inexpensive due to hypothetically lending itself to simple low-temperature fabrication and now it seems micro-LED is on track to blow it over in the near future.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    Huh, I would have thought this had happened years ago.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    InvalidError said:
    If cost is no object, then laser-based imaging has some of the best picture quality currently available, not OLED :)

    Ironic how OLED was expected to become inexpensive due to hypothetically lending itself to simple low-temperature fabrication and now it seems micro-LED is on track to blow it over in the near future.

    The smallest true laser TV I have seen so far is 100 inches. If someone makes one in the 65-70inch range (all the space I have) then I would consider one.

    Yeah the promise of cheap hasn't come into fruition. I think once Samsung is on board in a couple years we should see smaller cheaper TV's. With only really having LG making OLED panels has stifled competition which has kept prices inflated.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    JamesSneed said:
    The smallest true laser TV I have seen so far is 100 inches. If someone makes one in the 65-70inch range (all the space I have) then I would consider one.
    100" is the nominal size they are designed for. Between geometry compensation capabilities and angling the screen, you should be able to drop the image size somewhere in the 70-80" range.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Perfect, even higher prices
    Reply