Samsung Unveils its First Ever QD OLED TVs
The biggest tech mystery of 2022 has been solved at last, as Samsung has finally confirmed that its new TV range will include models that use new Quantum Dot OLED (QD OLED) technology.
If you haven't come across the technology before, QD OLED screens combine traditionally separate LCD Quantum Dot and OLED self-emissive lighting technologies to give you the advantages of both. They achieve this by shining light from a blue organic element through red and green Quantum Dot layers - a process that, crucially, doesn't require introducing any white elements of the sort that regular 'WRGB' OLED TVs include. This means you can combine the wider colour volumes and ranges associated with premium bright LCD TVs with the contrast talents of self-emissive OLED TVs.
To put all this another way, QD OLED sounds like a potential holy grail solution for AV fans on the lookout for the next big TV picture quality revolution.
Tech analysts and fans have been speculating about Samsung QD OLED TVs from the moment we first learned a few years back that Samsung's professional Display division had started to develop QD OLED technology with a view to making it a viable product.
The Samsung QD OLED TV speculation escalated last year when it turned out that Samsung had started to actually sell the technology as a commercial display option. And the rumours and gossip then reached fever pitch in the latter stages of 2021 on the back of QD OLED TV rumours coming out of South Korea ahead of the January 2022 CES.
But then CES came and went with Samsung's TV division having nothing to say about its eagerly anticipated QD OLED TVs. Instead, Sony came out of the QD OLED traps first, announcing an A95K range of 55 and 65-inch models at the CES that it has since demonstrated in the flesh to many journalists across the world to a universally positive response.
The lack of Samsung QD OLED TV talk was even stranger given that Samsung announced its new range of Neo QLED TVs at the CES, and then backed that announcement up subsequently in February with more Neo QLED TV range detail while still saying nothing about QD OLED.
This all led to speculation that Samsung Display was struggling to manufacture enough QD OLED panels. Or that there was an internal power struggle going on between Samsung's LCD and QD OLED divisions. Or even that Samsung was nervous about introducing any OLED technology - even a new one - to its range, having spent so many years attacking great rival LG's OLED technology.
All the 'will they, won't they' doubts have finally been put to bed, though, with the announcement by Samsung that two QD OLED TVs will be launching as soon as April. The S95Bs will be available in 55 and 65-inch sizes and will boast all the features you might expect of a premium Samsung TV.
Processing will be provided by Samsung's latest Neural Quantium Processor 4K, with its combined knowledge of 20 separate neural networks. This processor has been optimised to take account of the new technology's capabilities, of course - but more intriguing in our opinion are Samsung's claims that the S95Bs will also benefit from 'OLED brightness booster' and 'perceptional colour mapping' features, with a view to achieving punchier, more realistic brightness highlights and more wide-ranging, more natural-looking colours.
Samsung's press information on the S95Bs also confirms that the two models will carry Dolby Atmos sound decoding delivered through one of Samsung's object tracking sound (OTS) speaker setups. OTS involves building speakers all around the screen's edges so that sound effects can be placed as if they're coming from exactly the place on screen that they're supposed to be coming from.
Despite QD OLED being a brand new technology you'd expect Samsung to want to shout about, the brand actually only added the information on the S95Bs to the bottom of a wider press release about its regular LED and micro LED TVs. Even more strangely, Samsung has decided to refer to the S95Bs merely as OLED TVs, not QD OLED TVs, making it hard for regular consumers who don't follow tech news closely to understand that they're actually quite different to other 'regular' OLED TVs.
There's also good news when it comes to the S95Bs' pricing. Amazon in the US is running a listing for them that shows the 55-inch model selling for just $2,199, while the 65-inch model is listed at $2,999. Not only are these strikingly affordable prices for an all-new premium consumer technology, but they also actually undercut the prices of Samsung's flagship 4K LCD TVs for this year. A decision we can only assume Samsung has made because its flagship mini LEDs are still capable of delivering substantially more brightness than the new QD OLED models can.
Not that you're going to find us complaining about potential contenders for best TVs of 2022 costing much less than expected…
Naturally, we'll be moving heaven and earth to get our hands on an S95B as soon as possible (bearing in mind that it appears they will go on sale in the US slightly ahead of other territories). Once we get eyes-on, we'll be able to finally determine whether we're right to feel seriously excited for QD OLED technology or whether Samsung is right to be so strangely reluctant about it!
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.