Samsung started selling its LCD TVs under the “QLED” banner this year but it has seen little success with the line-up of edge-lit LCD TVs. The Korean company has this month trademarked ‘Direct Full Array Elite’, which suggests that at least some models next year will switch back to full array local dimming, or FALD.
Tons of trademark filings
The two trademark filings in EUIPO (European Union International Property Office) were first spotted by LetsGoDigital. They were filed on October 31st, 2017 by Samsung. In addition, FlatpanelsHD has confirmed that the trademarks were also filed with USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
The first trademark filing is for ‘Direct Full Array Elite’, which is noteworthy for a number of reasons. None of Samsung so-called “QLED” LCD TVs this year use a full array local dimming system like the one in Sony Z9D or Panasonic DX900. Instead, Samsung is using edge LED, which cannot faithfully reproduce HDR video due to limited control over luminance levels. Switching back to FALD would make the LCD TVs thicker but at the same time markedly improve picture quality.
Before 2017, Samsung sold FALD LCD TVs such as KS9800 (US) / KS9500 (EU) in 2016 and JS9500 in 2015.
"QLED" to remain LCD tech
The filing also suggests that Samsung will continue to use LCD panels in 2018, while all major competitors have switched to OLED display technology. This strategy has cost Samsung greatly in 2017 where its share of the premium TV segment has dropped to just 13% from +55% just two years ago, according to IHS Markit.
The second filing for ‘Q Contrast Elite’ suggests that Samsung will continue to sell its LCD TVs as “QLED” next year. The company is developing micro-LED display technology as well as true QLED, which is a new type of self-illuminating display technology with similarities to OLED, but these new technologies may not be ready for 2018.
Samsung Electronics has also filed for a number of other trademarks in Europe and the US in October 2017, including ‘Q HDR Elite’, ‘Q Engine’, ‘Quantum Engine’, ‘Micro Slim Array’, ‘Slim Direct Dimming’, ‘Cinema LED’, ‘Connect & Share’, ‘One Access’, ‘Quantum Direct Dimming’, ‘Dynamic HDR’, and ‘Beyond Experience’.
Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Samsung. The company will unveil its 2018 TV line-up at CES 2018 in January. FlatpanelsHD will be in Vegas for CES.