LCD TVs Are So 2019….

Looks like the next generation of televisions is around the corner! Samsung just announced it is shipping a 110-inch LED TV that can be installed by anyone in their home, right out of the box. While no pricing has been announced yet, it looks like this product is in a totally different price point category than their $360,000 Wall LED display.

To quote from the release:

Unlike its modular counterpart, installation and calibration is streamlined since the new 110” MicroLED model is prefabricated — offering stunning video, audio, and smart capabilities out of the box.”

You have to read through the release to find this information, but the display resolution is Ultra HD (3840×2160 pixels) and a built-in multiviewer function lets you tile up to four separate 55-inch images simultaneously.

This TV also supports high dynamic range video (most assuredly using Samsung’s HDR 10+ dynamic metatada format, and likely HDR10 and HLG but no Dolby Vision), and can reproduce the DCI P3 and Adobe sRGB color gamuts. Samsung also notes that there is no bezel or black matrix – images go right out to the edges of the TV, free of seams. It has a built-in 5.1 channel audio system, although the release implies it can also reproduce 3D spatial sound.

This kind of installation with a lot of ambient light would show the advantages of LED brightness. Image:Samsung

No specifications were released on pixel pitch, although for a 55-inch tile with Full HD resolution (1920×1080), the pixel pitch would fall between 0.6 and 0.7mm – smaller than The Wall’s .85mm pitch. And no mention was made of luminance levels, although for TV use, it’s likely the LEDs will be loafing along most of the time in PWM mode with an APL in the 100-200 cd/m2 range for diffuse white and peak (specular) white values between 1,000 – 2,000 cd/m2 – very bright indeed for a home television, but within a typical range for HDR programming.

The LEDs Should Last

Samsung claims the LEDs should last 100,000 hours, which is not unreasonable if they are using high PWM speeds (say, >1000 Hz) and setting peak luminance within the lower ranges mentioned. (Still; LEDs can crap out, just as OLEDs can burn out and TFTs can stick.) Not knowing how this TV goes together but assuming it ships as four separate 55-inch tiles that lock together; replacing a tile may not be that big a deal in case of LED or power supply failures. (Hey; our kids spent hours building things by snapping together Legos – we should be able to snap together an LED television.)

As far as the price goes? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. Samsung is going to reveal more at CES 2021 next month, but if their 98-inch 8K “bells and whistles” QLED retails for $60,000, the 110-inch LED model will certainly be priced at a premium over that, making it essentially a luxury purchase right now. Time will eventually moderate prices – remember that the first 50-inch 768p plasma monitors had tickets of $30,000 and more back in the mid to late 1990s. (After Pete wrote this article, Samsung told the Korean press that it would sell for around 170 million won. That’s around $155,000!)

And it looks like more screen size options will be coming. The release goes on to say,

“…Samsung innovated to make it a reality by developing cutting-edge surface mount technology — along with a new production process derived from its semiconductor business — making MicroLED technology easier to manufacture, deliver, and install. These same innovations will allow Samsung to produce even smaller MicroLED models in the future, so even more consumers can enjoy the breathtaking MicroLED experience.” – PP