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Blu-ray’s Empty Victory

HD-DVD is beaten, but online movie rentals and the humble hard drive may claim the spoils

3 min read
Photo: Junji Kurokawa/AP Photo
Photo: Junji Kurokawa/AP Photo

By now you’ve probably heard the biggest news to come out of January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES): Sony’s Blu-ray has beaten Toshiba’s HD-DVD in the high-definition DVD war. Yet the real winner may be Apple. Or Netflix. Or Comcast.

Until January, the major movie studios were evenly divided between the two formats. But then Time Warner, which had supported both, announced at CES, in Las Vegas, that it would no longer release its movies in HD-DVD. In Hollywood, where the line between perception and reality can be thinner than a laser beam, this was taken as a complete victory for Blu-ray and, therefore, it was one.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Sony
Blue
Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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