We recently reported that Samsung’s pioneering micro-LED TVs – the next-gen technology that offers all the contrast advantages of OLED TVs, with the longer lifespan and higher brightness of LED TVs, in theory – are farther from becoming realistic at home than we expected.
However, the good news is that Samsung is finally ready to take the first steps towards making this a reality. according to a report by The Elec (opens in new tab). Samsung originally launched a 4K micro-LED TV in 2021 with a generous size of 110 inches, but promised smaller models would be released soon after that.
Just not. Pandemic factory closures and production issues, followed by a full relocation to a new factory, mean Samsung has been unable to even start production of smaller models, let alone launch them, despite announcing new sizes in 2022.
But The Elec’s report says that Samsung plans to finally change that soon (in “Q3”, which means somewhere from July to September), and will start production of an 89-inch 4K micro-LED TV using a new TFT-based manufacturing process, which should be what gives it the smaller size needed to fit its advanced 34 x 85 micrometer LED chips into a screen smaller than 100 inches. Elec says Samsung will likely use the same technology for a 101-inch and 114-inch model as well (with the latter replacing the original 110-inch offering).
Now, 89 inches is obviously still much, much bigger than most of us want for a TV, and it’s still much larger than the 76-inch model Samsung promised us in 2021. A 76-inch model is where size is. starts to become realistic for more people – the best 75-inch TVs have been growing in popularity in recent years – so we’re hoping that the size reduced to this level will be Samsung’s next technological hurdle to overcome and that it could move to 55 – the 65 inches from there.
But the other obstacle is even bigger: the price. Samsung originally set the price for the 89-inch model to $80,000 – we won’t know what the final price will be until Samsung is ready to release it, of course, which could be next year depending on the success of the new one. production process is.
Analysis: micro-LED is the future. But, like, in the real future
The reason micro-LED is exciting is that it uses self-illuminating pixels, just like the best OLED TVs, which means that each pixel can control its brightness individually. So you get perfect precision in the contrast between light and dark areas and infinitely deep black levels.
But micro-LED could be much brighter than OLED TVs – hitting 2,000 nits initially, according to Samsung, but maybe even 4,000 nits in the future. In comparison, the likes of the LG G2 are just pushing 1,000 nits.
That means you’ll get even more spectacular and realistic HDR performance, and it should mean that TV images are simply more visible in sunny rooms, with no reflections taking over the screen in dark areas. Also, they should have a longer lifespan than OLED TVs.
However, despite the core technology having been around for some time – and it’s regularly used for advanced digital signage from Sony, Samsung and LG – making it small enough for high-res TVs is clearly a struggle. Only Samsung is really trying to do this for consumers so far, and it hasn’t been able to put it into anything for the rest of us so far.
The $80,000 price tag for the 89-inch model above is still a big price drop compared to the original version — about a 40% drop. Even if Samsung manages to reduce the price by 40% every two years, it will still take eight years to get to $10,000 for a TV, which is still pretty high-end – but in line with the best 85-inch TVs with premium technology. .
So unless some very big things change (which they often do), micro-LED TVs still seem to be a long way off for most of us.