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It's the Stupidity, Stupid

What the demotion of classical station WQXR to 600 watts means for civilization

5 min read
It's the Stupidity, Stupid

This is an extended version of the "Spectral Lines" column that appeared in the November, 2009 print issue

On 8 October, the storied classical music radio station WQXR, in New York City, ceased operation as a powerful commercial station and become a public radio station on the fringes of the FM dial. Another predictable step in the inexorable collapse of classical music as a viable entertainment medium? Yes, but also something more than that. All over the world—in Hollywood, in Paris, in Rome, in Mumbai—fatuousness is on the march. This is an important milestone.

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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.

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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