Developments in the QDTV Market

After several decades of intense experimentation, quantum dots (QDs) are finally beginning to impact consumer markets to the extent that early researchers first anticipated. The rate of development has been hindered by a range of factors: the inherent toxicity of fundamental materials, early processing difficulties, thermal instability issues, etc. Yet the obvious advantages offered by QDs has resulted in significant investment and innovation to ensure large-scale commercialization of this ground-breaking technology. This is particularly true in the consumer electronics and display sector.

Early QDTVs: Premium Tech at Premium Prices

Consumers were unfamiliar with the underlying technology of quantum dots when the first QDTVs were released to the market in 2013, courtesy of Sony’s trademarked TRILUMINOS technology. The first Sony BRAVIA QDTVs utilized the edge-lit method of QD integration into a liquid-crystal display (LCD). Panel size ranged from 55- to an impressive 84-inch model, establishing QDTVs as a new premium in consumer displays.

All major display manufacturers followed-suit, but Samsung Electronics was one of the true first-movers opting to focus on QDTVs rather than established organic-light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Samsung was the first company to coin the term QLED, the semantics of which have been debated within the industry. They were also one of the founding members of the so-called QLED alliance alongside Hisense and TCL.

These first movers have released QDTVs based on QLED, QD-LED, QD-LCD, and myriad other device architectures that fall within these acronyms. You can learn more about the working principles of current and theoretical next generation QDTVs by reading our previous blog post: How Do Quantum Dot LCDs Work?

Developments in QDTVs

While commercial QDTVs largely stemmed from the same basic architecture as a standard LCD matrix, QDTVs in research and development (R&D) facilities were yielding much more dramatic results. At the same time as the release of the very first QD-enhanced Sony BRAVIA, a research team at Manchester University in the UK produced an ultra-thin QDTV that could be rolled up and carried in an individual’s pocket.

Modern QDTVs are now routinely producing peak brightness levels of up to 2,000 nits and unmatched coverage of DCI-P3. Multiple QD films have been integrated into dual cell LCD architectures to produce hybrid displays with pixel counts upwards of 3840 x 2160, enabling 4 – 8K Ultra HD resolution.

Since the initial dichotomy of OLED vs. QDTV, there has even been a shift in terms of development thinking. Samsung, the earliest proprietor of a QD-first mentality, is now working on hybridizing OLED panels with a QD color converter.

If you would like to learn more about how QDTVs are performing, you might like our previous blog post: Are Quantum Dot TVs Outperforming OLEDs? Otherwise, contact a member of the Avantama team if you have any specific manufacturing questions about current and future generation QDTVs.