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What is the most ubiquitous, mundane piece of electronic equipment in the home? I think it is the infrared remote control, or "clicker." There are eight of them sitting on top of my living room television. I don't even know what some of them control. Probably they worked with things that were discarded years ago, but I'm afraid to throw any of them away. I calculate that in 117 years my house will be completely filled with remote controls for long-gone equipment.

In spite of being a primary source of control in the home, remotes are taken for granted--until, of course, one disappears. Like odd socks in the washer or umbrellas in the closet, these things have a way of slipping into the fourth dimension, causing everyone to go on the dreaded hunt for the lost clicker. Remotes have evolved the ability to burrow under cushions and conceal themselves, surviving unfound for years. Those without this ability did not survive, eventually being crushed or knocked underfoot accidentally.

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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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