After failing to deliver on its promise of "home-ready" microLED TVs last year, Samsung says that 2021 will really be the year of microLED TVs. But are you prepared for visible seams?
Will 2021 be the year?
At CES 2018, Samsung unveiled its 146-inch 'The Wall'. At CES 2019, Samsung announced 75- to 219-inch microLED TVs. At CES 2020, Samsung announced "home-ready" 75- to 150-inch microLED TVs.
At this week's CES 2021, Samsung is announcing microLED for a fourth time. The company says that it will bring the very first microLED TV, a 110-inch 4K version, to the consumer market in the first half of 2021. Smaller 99-inch and 88-inch models are planned for late 2021.
- "In 2021, the promise of Micro LED comes home. With the new MICRO LED line, Samsung has made Micro LED available in a traditional TV form factor for the first time—bringing consumers a breathtaking visual experience on an ultra-large next-generation screen," announced Samsung. "Available in 110’’, 99’’, and smaller sizes by the end of the year, the new MICRO LED line uses micrometer-sized LED lights to eliminate the backlight and color filters utilized in conventional displays."
We have seen microLED many times before and these displays are truly stunning. You have to stand in front of it to appreciate just how good the picture is. Like OLED, microLED is self-emissive meaning that each pixel emits its own light for pixel-level luminance and color control. MicroLED is brighter and of course much larger than a typical OLED TV.
Samsung announced a 75-inch microLED at CES 2019 in January 2019. Photo: Samsung
CES 2021 is a virtual show so we have not yet had a chance to see the 2021 version, which is the first prefabricated microLED TV, says Samsung. However, it is still assembled from modules, according to Business Insider who had a chance to see it before CES 2021.
- "One scene, featuring a starry night sky over mountains, was particularly striking as each star shined brilliantly from the screen against inky blacks. It's the type of infinite contrast that I've only ever seen on OLED TVs before, but the HDR effect was even more pronounced. Viewing angles were also essentially perfect, with no real color or contrast issues when viewing from the side," said Business Insider. "As impressive as Micro LED is, no display technology is perfect. We'll need to spend more in-depth time with a Micro LED TV to really evaluate it, but based on what we've seen so far there is one slight downside that's already clear: seams are sometimes visible on the screen." Also read: MicroLED displays expected to reach mass market by 2026, says report
Visible seams on a $155,000 dollar display? That does not sound very "home-ready" to us and even if Samsung manages to bring smaller 99- and 88-inch versions to the market in 2021, it is difficult not to be a little skeptical about the whole thing. Please prove us wrong, Samsung.
- Source: Samsung, Business Insider