Technology

Explained: What is MicroLED TV technology and how is it better than OLED

Explained: What is MicroLED TV technology and how is it better than OLED

MicroLED is a technology that helps a display produce brighter, more contrasting images that are not possible with other known technologies. Manufacturers claim that the microLED panel format has multiple benefits, including increased brightness, longer life, and lower power consumption.
This technology was introduced by Samsung at CES 2018 and the company eventually released a number of different TV sizes with microLED. However, these TVs are very heavy on the pocket even though they were all aimed at consumers. MicroLED is still a direct competitor to OLED and hopefully the technology will become more affordable in the future to make it a truly viable alternative for consumers. So, let’s dive into the details of how this technology works and how it can be a suitable substitute for OLED.
What is microLED?
As we saw earlier, microLED screens almost look like OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) panels made up of many microscopic LEDs, which self-illuminate per display pixel. The only difference here is that unlike OLED displays, microLED displays use inorganic materials, which also has the benefits of ultra-low black levels, but with higher peak brightness.
Most common LED panels are actually LCD panels with LED-based back or edge lighting. MicroLED panels don’t need a separate backlight, which means blacks are darker and whites brighter without the light loss that’s typically associated with most LED-backlit TVs.
How does the micro LED work??
MicroLED achieves exactly the same results as OLED because it also has self-illuminating pixels. Just like OLED, each pixel in microLED displays is its own light source that can turn on or off as needed. This helps produce better contrast and there is no light leakage onto surrounding pixels. So when you see a black pixel on the screen, it means that a pixel has turned off and there is no light.
How? ‘Or’ What is microLED better than OLED??
Brightness is not only important in determining the quality of an image, but it’s also crucial to the HDR effectiveness of content. MicroLED has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and can illuminate much brighter than OLED displays (which are up to 30 times brighter). However, OLED panels are getting better, but the peak brightness levels of these panels are limited compared to other LED panels like Samsung’s QLED panels.
This is possible thanks to the inorganic material (gallium nitride) used in microLED screens. This material allows individual RGB LED sources to be brighter for a longer period of time. The organic matter of OLED panels decreases if the screen is too bright for too long. On the contrary, inorganic materials have a longer overall lifespan.
Benefits of microLED panels for manufacturers
MicroLED technology is a modular technology in which the panels are made up of several smaller screens, which are then “knitted together” to form a large screen. This means that manufacturers can customize the panel according to customer requirements. It is a very flexible solution that allows multiple aspect ratios like — 21:9, 16:9 and others.
You can expect irregular sized microLED TVs in the future. Samsung also mentioned that scaling and processing won’t interfere with delivering sharper images.
Availability of microLED TVs
Samsung unveiled the 146-inch “The Wall” 4K TV at CES 2018 and followed with the commercial launch of The Wall Professional, designed for industrial installations. Later, in 2019, Samsung unveiled a 219-inch version and in 2022 the company introduced a 1000-inch 8K 120Hz panel, citing the breadth of this technology.
The South Korean tech giant also rolled out a 75-inch 4K version for home consumers, but the price was huge. The company had planned to announce a new release in 2020-21, but there are no updates on those plans yet.
LG also launched its own 175-inch MicroLED TV at IFA 2018, but there are no updates on the TV’s availability and the company seems to have focused entirely on OLED TVs.
The future of microLED panels
MicroLED panels have the potential to compete with and even surpass OLED panels. Consumers will be able to see the same black levels but with greater brightness, lower power consumption and longer life.
The main disadvantage of the technology is its manufacturing cost, which is expected to drop in the future as manufacturers’ investments increase. It can be a real rival to OLED panels once it becomes more affordable.