Samsung Introduces Neo QLED
Yes, we recently described to you what LG’s QNED LCD display technology only a couple of days ago. We surmised it was LG’s way of retaliating against Samsung’s introduction of the QLED branding. Samsung has (apparently) one-upped LG by introducing their new Neo QLED displays at the 2021 virtual CES event.
Details are currently sparse but let us take you through what we know. The Neo QLED displays are simply LCD displays with a new backlight. This new backlight technology is called “Quantum Mini LEDs,” which are reported to be 1/40th the height of normal LEDs. The idea is that they are smaller and can be packed into tighter groups. This would lead (presumably) to more zones of dimmable areas though Samsung has not released specific numbers yet.
Samsung will include Neo QLED only in their flagship 8K and 4K models – the QN900A and QN90A respectively. The previous version of their 8K model sold for just under $12,000 so don’t expect these new TVs to be cheap. Samsung hasn’t released any specifics so we will have to wait until these displays are closer to release to do more direct comparisons to other technologies.
What Does Neo QLED Mean for Consumers?
What we are seeing is the advent of an LCD war. In the past, LCD manufacturers have mostly marketed against other technologies. They took down plasma TVs. They railed against OLEDs. But now they are taking aim at each other. Will this bring down prices? Perhaps. But more importantly, it will introduce a lot of confusion to general consumers.
These acronyms are too similar. Too interchangeable. QLED vs QNED vs Neo QLED? Who, other than a hardcore AV nut, is going to be able to tell these apart? This leaves the door open for OLED to stand apart. OLED has been around and we haven’t seen that moniker change. There hasn’t been an iOLED or an OLEDx as of this writing. Consumers know what OLED is. And they know it is quality.
With the changing acronyms of LCD, we are going to see greater consumer confusion. We’ve already seen that as LCD manufacturers have moved towards describing their TVs by the backlight and not the display technology. With more and more acronyms hitting the market, how will consumers choose?
Price, obviously. But they will also know that the “best” displays are still OLEDs because they’ve always been OLEDs. As LCD manufacturers take aim at each other, they are diluting their brand to consumers. In the end, while the least expensive display technology will likely be the winner, infighting within the LCD ranks may leave the door open for OLED to retain its consumer reputation as the best.