Although last week in the Display Supply Chain Monitor we covered some of the top developments from the IFA conference in Berlin (“Sharp Makes Splash at IFA with 8K Intro”, DSCM 09.05.2017), the conference had too much to cover in a single week. DSCC’s Yoshio Tamura spent a day and a half in the IFA exhibit halls, and had the following observations.
Overall, from a pure display perspective, there was not a lot new at the conference. Generally, this should not be a surprise: as a consumer-focused conference, IFA’s exhibits are targeting consumer-ready products, so the type of cutting-edge display technology that we see at SID does not appear (or if it does, only in private rooms by invitation only).
However, in TV the OLED vs. LCD war rages on, and OLED can stake a good claim to have won the IFA battle. The number of TV brands highlighting OLED TVs as their flagship premium models increased, whereas the number of brands with LCD (including Quantum Dot designs such as Samsung’s QLED) in the flagship spot declined. The table below highlights this discrepancy:
TV Brands with OLED Flagship TV Brands with LCD Flagship
LGE Samsung (QD)
Sony TCL (QD)
Skyworth/Metz Sharp (8K)
Panasonic Hisense (ULED)
Philips Changhong (8K)
A number of the OLED brands had some of the most advanced features. For example, Skyworth introduced an OLED TV with LGD’s Crystal Sound technology, which uses the display panel as the audio speaker, and also demonstrated their version of “Wallpaper TV”, see Figure # (as in 2016, Skyworth held a joint exhibition space with the European brand Metz):
I list Changhong in both the OLED and the LCD column because while they staked a claim in the OLED camp with a Wallpaper TV of their own, they also demonstrated an 8K 65” LCD TV, see below, with a panel supplied by BOE:
Although LG has led the charge for OLED TV, they demonstrated again at IFA (as they did previously at CES) their Nano Cell technology for LCD TV.
From LG’s description (below, from their web site), they are using nanoparticles but not quantum dots, and these nanoparticles embedded in a light-guide-plate (LGP) or diffusion film are absorbing some of the light from the standard white LED (based on a blue LED with YAG phosphor) which falls in the yellow part of the spectrum, thus allowing for more pure colors.
Presumably the Nano Cells in the backlight can be coupled with a redesigned color filter in the LC cell, allowing for the slightly higher peak of each primary in their diagram.
TCL, on the other hand, remains firmly in the LCD camp with their connections to Samsung technology and their growing capacity with panel maker CSOT. TCL showed a line of Quantum Dot based LCD TVs, and even adopted Samsung’s QLED nomenclature.
Samsung continued to highlight its QLED line, and extended the technology into a line of high-end gaming monitors, including this 47” model with a 32:9 aspect ratio:
The monitor as 4K resolution in the horizontal direction at 3840, but Full HD in the vertical direction with 1080. To get the most out of HDR content, the monitor hits 600 nits peak brightness, and the quantum dots allow it to reach 95% of DCI color gamut. Whereas in the TV space Samsung has pulled back on its emphasis on curved, they continue to push it for these gaming monitors, where it makes more sense to a single viewer.
IFA has generally not served as a major venue for introduction of phones; the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February takes that role. However, as reported last week in the DSCM, LG demonstrated their OLED smartphone, and many brands showed 18:9 aspect ratio LCD models. One prominent brand that seems lagging on the 18:9 trend is Chinese giant Huawei.