Samsung nixes modularity to make MicroLED TV consumer-ready
A few years ago Samsung unveiled The Wall, a huge display that was more billboard than home entertainment. Now the company is bringing the technology behind it, MicroLED, to consumer-ready TVs – although we’d imagine it's still too much for most consumers to handle.
Currently available LED TVs are somewhat of a misnomer – they use LED backlights but the displays themselves are liquid crystal (LCD). MicroLED displays are a bit truer to the name, built using an array of tiny LED lights to represent each individual pixel, similar to a stadium scoreboard. These pixels can produce their own light and color, allowing for more realistic color representation and more accurate brightness and contrast.
Samsung debuted its MicroLED tech at CES 2018 with The Wall, a 146-in modular display that allows multiple segments to be connected to create all kinds of shapes and sizes. The following year, that size ballooned to 219 in and then a mammoth 292 in, with resolutions up to 8K. None of these are intended for general consumers though – they’re more suited to advertising and public displays.
Samsung has previously experimented with modular MicroLED TVs for home use, but really, does anyone need a screen they can shuffle around like Lego bricks? Perhaps realizing that, the company has now unveiled its first MicroLED TV that’s just a regular old 16:9 rectangle.
The new MicroLED TV measures 100 in – still a monster for most homes – and with a screen-to-body ratio of 99.99 percent, there’s very little space going to waste. It sports a 4K resolution, made up of eight million pixels. It can display visuals in high dynamic range (HDR), and express 100 percent of both the DCI and Adobe RGB color gamuts.
The TV can also make good use of all that screen real estate, allowing up to four sources to be played split-screen simultaneously. Those screen sections can each be up to 55 in, so it’s basically like having multiple regular-sized TVs anyway.
Samsung claims that the MicroLEDs themselves are incredibly long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours. That’s a full decade of continuous use, 24/7.
There’s no word on just how much the 110-in MicroLED will cost but, let’s be honest, it’ll likely be more than most people would want or be able to spend on a TV – and that's assuming you've got the wall real estate for it in the first place. Still, Samsung says it’s working on ways to scale the tech down further, which should mean it’ll be available on more sensible-sized sets, with more modest price tags, in the nearish future.
The 110-in MicroLED is available now in South Korea, and will be released around the world in the first quarter of 2021.