QLED may have to wait 8K TV to breakthrough, says WitsView

November 27, 2017 // By Julien Happich
In an analysis of high-end TV sets, market research firm WitsView (a division of TrendForce) expects OLED TV to retain their dominance over QLED TV during 2018.

While more brands are expected to enter the OLED TV market in 2018 with shipments expected to reach a new high of 2.5 million units (over 1.5 million in 2017), major QLED TV makers including Samsung, TCL and Hisense have experienced issues around the promotion of QLED TVs due to their high price tag.

Despite of OLED’s lifespan problems including colour decay of organic material and burn-in issue, major TV brands are still interested in research and development of OLED which can be thinner with potentials in constant optimization of colour saturation and contrast, while the development of LCD is approaching a limit.

QLED TV makers have been advocating its features of better colour saturation and no lifespan problems, however, the self-emitting QD display has not yet met the commercial market standards because its light output is difficult to last for a long time due to the low external quantum efficiency. In the short term, WitsView expects QLED advocates to still use QD backlight products to compete with their rivals, where QDs on a quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF) are activated by a LED backlight to create more highly saturated colours. This backlight system makes the TVs thicker than competing OLEDs, hence the probable use of glass light guide plates to make next-generation QLED TVs thinner TV.

It's all about pricing

Taking the 55-inch 4K TV as an example, the retail price difference between OLED TVs and QLED TVs is only about 100 US dollars, notes TrendForce. And promotional efforts by major TV makers such as LG and Sony have pushed OLED TV at the forefront of high-end TV in consumers’ minds.

WitsView estimates that, QD CF and QD self-emitting displays on QLED manufacturers' roadmaps, will not enter mass production until 2020, at the earliest. So far, however, the highest possible resolution of OLED can only reach 4K due to technical limitations, while QD backlight has no restrictions regarding resolution.