By Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President, DisplayMate Technologies Corporation
Displays with Organic Light Emitting Diodes, OLEDs, are the most interesting and promising new display technology in over a decade – possibly ever. In a span of just a few years this new display technology has improved at a very impressive rate, first challenging and now surpassing the performance of the best LCD and Plasma displays. OLEDs are an entirely different and new form of display technology – they are very thin solid state displays that emit colored light directly, while LCDs use a liquid crystal that regulates light transmission from a separate backlight, Plasmas use an ionized gas with phosphors, and CRTs use an electron beam in a vacuum with phosphors.
While there have been quite a few experimental and prototype OLED displays shown over the last 5+ years, including an 11 inch 960×540 pixel TV by Sony, OLEDs first appeared in actual consumer products as 4 to 8 inch displays in Smartphones and Tablets beginning in 2010. However, producing a large screen OLED TV is considerably more difficult for many reasons – for one, a 55 inch TV screen has 121 times the area of a 5 inch Smartphone. This results in major production and technology issues, particularly in manufacturing yield and cost.
There are currently only two manufacturers that have begun production of OLED TVs: LG and Samsung. The TVs are based on somewhat different OLED technologies. This article examines the LG OLED TV. LG provided DisplayMate Technologies an early production OLED TV (model 55EA9800) with a 55 inch (1.4 meter) screen to test and analyze for this article. Over the past few weeks we have performed an extensive series of Lab tests and viewing tests to evaluate the LG OLED TV technology and picture quality, and also to compare it to existing LCD and Plasma TVs. We’ll cover these issues and much more, with in-depth comprehensive display tests, measurements and analysis that you will find nowhere else.
This will be a two-part article: this first article is devoted to explaining the unique performance capabilities of the OLED TV, with only general comparisons with LCD and Plasma TVs. In Part II we will provide detailed Lab measurements and side-by-side performance comparisons with an LCD TV and a Plasma TV. Before we begin the technical analysis, here are several other important issues…