Samsung has used its pre-CES unveiling event to launch a complete line-up of Micro LED TVs, ranging from a 75-inch fixed screen model to the modular Wall at a massive 292 inches!Micro LED is a revolutionary self-emissive display technology that uses pixels composed of microscopic red, green and blue LEDs. This approach potentially offers the best of all worlds, with the deeper blacks and wider viewing angles of OLED, combined with the increased brightness and richer colours of LCD. As an added bonus, Micro LED is also free from the dangers of image retention and screen burn.
Related: What is Micro LED?
Samsung already offers Micro LED to the luxury custom install market under the guise of The Wall. This implementation uses a modular approach, allowing installers to create bezel-less Micro LED screens to fit all shapes and sizes. Theoretically, there's no limitation to the screen in term of its size, shape and resolution thanks to the modular nature of Micro LED. Or as Samsung puts it in its marketing: "No boundaries, just endless possibilities".
CES 2020 video report
Until recently the LED chips making up each module have been quite large and difficult to produce. This has resulted in the screen sizes being big by necessity, because if you want a minimum 4K resolution that requires a lot of modules. In addition, this approach is obviously very expensive, and joining the panels seamlessly is a delicate and tricky process. However recent advances by Samsung have resulted in LED chips that are smaller, cheaper and more efficient.
The new LED chip is 15 times smaller, with reduced light leakage and improved current and beam control. The smaller chips allow for an optimised backplane that uses a TFT substrata rather than a PCB, which vastly improves the integration, wiring and tolerance of the modules. In addition, Samsung is integrating a resolution-free algorithm into the SoC, which when combined with an AI upscaler allows for aspect ratios and resolutions optimised to screen.
Related: What is TV AI?
As a result, the company can now manufacturer 4K Micro LED TVs with smaller screen sizes, or at least smaller relative to The Wall. The new range of fixed screen Micro LED 4K TVs will come in 75-, 88- and 93-inch screen sizes. To put this in perspective Samsung not only had these three models on show, but also 110-, 150- and 292-inch versions of The Wall. The 110-inch model is also 4K, but the 150- and 292-inch versions have a resolution of 8K.
As anyone who has seen Micro LED in action can tell you, the images it produces are undoubtedly impressive. The self-emissive nature of the technology results in an exceptional contrast performance thanks to absolute blacks and an increased peak brightness due to the absence of any colour filter reducing the direct light from the LEDs. As a result, HDR images are very bright, with the current models hitting 2,000nits, and a colour gamut that's 100% of DCI-P3.
However, the success of this technology will depend on how effectively the modules are combined to ensure a seamless image. A prototype 75-inch Micro LED TV was shown at CES 2019, but the press wasn't able to see it up close. I did get a close-up look at The Wall back in November, I have to say that with one exception the seams were invisible, and the image was fantastic with no obvious white balance differences between the modules.
As is often the case with such cutting-edge display technology, Micro LED won’t be cheap but it does offer a tantalising glimpse of the future.
So what do you think? Has this news got you excited and busy saving your pennies for that first Micro LED TV or do you think it's too soon for this kind of display technology? Let us know what you think in the discussion thread.
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