Samsung’s QLED TV expressing various and dynamic colors

The Science of QLED TV – for Non-Scientists

Dec 01. 2017

Does anyone remember Cathode Ray Tube televisions? They were part of our lives from the 1950s until Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) was invented in the early part of this Century, followed by Light Emitting Diode (LED) TVs about 10 years ago. Now there's a new TV on the block called QLED, which uses quantum dots technology. It also has some clever, new design features which brings a viewing experience like never before into your home.

But what exactly is QLED? How does it give us more color? And how does this new TV fit better into our lifestyles?

We sat down with ‘Nano Expert’ Eun-Joo Jang, the First Female “Master” at Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology, and her colleagues Kyu Bok Lee, Designer, and Sungwan Koo, Product Planner, from Samsung’s Visual Display team to find out more.

“Quantum dots are very, very small – nano sized – man-made crystals which glow a particular color when we shine light on them. One quantum dot is less than just 15 atoms in diameter; the amount of color they glow depends on their size.”
Eun-Joo Jang, Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology

First of all, what is a quantum dot?

Jang: A quantum dot is a nano-sized, inorganic crystal made from semiconductor material.

A cross section of the quantum dot, a nano sized man made crystal

Photo: quantum dot, a nano sized man made crystal

Say again?

Jang: OK, quantum dots are very, very small – nano sized – man-made crystals which glow a particular color when we shine light on them. One quantum dot is less than just 15 atoms in diameter; the amount of color they glow depends on their size.

We use them in our TVs to make a long-lasting screen that delivers maximum color and brightness, but which doesn’t use a massive amount of energy.

What does medieval stained glass have in common with quantum dots?

Jang: The quantum dot technology found in Samsung QLED TVs goes back about 30 years. However, using nanoparticles to create magnificent color has been around for more than 1000 years. Medieval artisans blended gold and silver chloride with molten glass to create red and yellow tints which were used in the magnificent stained-glass windows you see in many European churches. When light strikes the stained glass, the chloride nanoparticles react in a similar way to quantum dots, reflecting a range of glorious red and yellow light. Of course, the artists of the time did not realize they were dealing with nano technology; all they could see was the effect of mixing certain colored powders with molten glass.

Comparison between conventional TV and QLED TV on color volume explaining that QLED TV can achieve 100% color volume

Quantum dots build brightness, improve contrast and open up a huge color palette

How does a quantum dot work to create more color in a TV?

Jang: Quantum dots have revolutionized TVs by mimicking what people see in real life – what you get are pure and realistic colors that are incredibly fine, dense and bright. In a TV screen, these inorganic dots build brightness, improve contrast and open up a huge color palette that achieves what is known as 100 percent color volume. In fact, QLED is the first technology to be certified by Europe’s major standards authority as being able to achieve 100 percent. An organic LED (OLED) TV, by comparison, usually only reaches around 67 percent of color volume.

How does the quantum dot reduce the risk of burn-in?

Jang: By using an inorganic material, quantum dots have a (very) long lifespan; far longer than any other component. This means there is negligible risk of any permanent discoloration of the screen or ‘burn-in’ as it’s known. And of course, they’re cadmium-free, so are better for you and the environment.

Is it true that you can get the same experience whether watching in bright light or complete darkness?

Koo: Yes, QLED TV works fantastically well in both the light and dark. The brightness of each image and scene is automatically adjusted to deliver optimum brightness and a wide color volume.

What does the no-bezel design mean for me as a TV viewer?

Lee: We created a bezel-less frame on all four sides of our TVs to give viewers a greater sense of immersion from the front of the television. We’ve eliminated features that are unnecessary to create a sleek and refined design – the viewers only see what is absolutely needed on the display.

The QLED TV uses the Samsung One Remote Control – how does this simplify our lives?

Koo: The Samsung One Remote Control is designed to be easy-to-use and to help streamline our homes. You can control all your devices that are connected to the TV, such as gaming features or streaming services like Netflix, with a simple setup using the One Remote Control.

It’s actually based on a new operating system that makes apps faster than with previous versions. It has more efficient memory storage. It’s incredibly useful to have a seamless, high-performing interface that’s easy to navigate.

Image split in half comparing conventional TV wiring and the Invisible Connection, to the left is a cluttered TV area with wires and devices out in the open, to the right is a tidy area with no devices or visible wires

Samsung’s gapless wall-mount with invisible connection

You’ve talked about the Invisible Connection™ cable – how have you managed to detangle the cables in our homes?

Koo: We’ve taken powerful fiber-optic cables - which are normally used for sending massive amounts of data over long distances, such as in national government networks, submarine networks or between base radio stations – and brought them into the home.

The Invisible Connection is a transparent optical cable, only 1.8 millimeters or 0.07 inches in diameter. It has fast and large data transmission capabilities between all connected devices, and eliminates the messy setup of mounted televisions and multiple cables.

It’s a great innovation when it comes to design and installing a TV in the home.

How does the No Gap Wall-mount fit better into my living environment?

Lee: I guess it’s what it says it is – no gap between the TV and the wall. It’s a universal mounting system built into the back of the TV, which minimizes protrusion from the wall and creates a seamless design and viewing experience.

It’s also easy to set up and adjust the TV when positioned on the wall. Viewers can place their TV almost flush against any vertical surface, providing another way to design your living space while having a great viewing experience.

Our new generation of Samsung TVs are as stylish as they are technologically advanced.

  •   “This article was first published as an advertisement feature on WSJ.com and was created by WSJ Custom Studios, on behalf of Samsung Electronics.”