Tomorrow's TV

A dark-horse technologythe Grating Light Valvemay join the competition to dethrone the CRT

7 min read

The cathode-ray-tube TV set has ruled the consumer electronics world for decades: since its introduction, more than a billion of them have been sold. In some countries, households are much more likely to have a TV than a refrigerator.

From a baroque box with a bulbous little black-and-white screen, TVs became big, bright, and ubiquitous. Today they not only dominate entertainment rooms, they also perch on dressers, hang under kitchen cabinets, fit into pockets and purses, and pop down from the ceilings of automobiles. They got their start snatching signals out of the air, but TVs are now apt to be fed from cables, satellite dishes, VCRs, and DVDs, and, increasingly, computers.

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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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