The humble television set has come a really long way from its early days of a huge big box showing only black and white content to the present day smart TV. It does beg everyone to ask themselves the question – “What’s next?”.
With a slew of launches at IFA 2017 Berlin, one would be able to take a guess for sure that OLED is where the technology of the television is headed towards. A majority of the major marquee brands were showcasing their take on the much famed OLED tech.
OLED to become mainstream?
Nope, OLED is not going to be as widespread as one might be thinking, even though most of the players were showcasing their OLEd models. It is likely to remain a niche segment tech for many many years.
Yes, OLED got a massive shot of adrenaline with all the players launching an OLED model which the likes of Sony with their humongous 77 inch A1 OLED TV, Loewe with its Bild 3 and Bild 4 OLED TVs and even the Eclipse TV by Bang and Olufsen.
Talking of some of the major brands present at the event, if we were to cherry pick – there was Panasonic’s 77 inch EZ1000, Philips was there too with its 65 inch 9 series OLED TVs and even Toshiba (thought to be way past getting on board with the OLED tech) with its 65 inch X97 OLED TV. LG, the sole manufacturer of OLED displays, too was there, wowing all of the attendees with its OLED tunnel fixture on display on its stand.
Even though the high end brands such as Loewe and Bang and Olufsen have started to put their might behind OLED and the volume segment players such as LG and Sony too doing it, Simon Bryant, Associate Director at Futuresource Consulting states that there is still a long way to go before OLED becomes mainstream.
Models are prototypes
Most of the models showcased at IFA 2017 were still in their prototype stage. All of them are previews for models that most probably will be released late next year.
This does substantiate Simon Bryant’s statement that if the marquee manufacturers do not swallow the OLED tech concept that they are showcasing at IFA 2017, then all of these models will never see the light of day.
The reason for this doubt is because OLED is a massive investment for all of the players on account of huge screens and even bigger price tags attached. Going by the past trend at IFA and CES, most of the prototypes showcased generally do not make it to the market.
Samsung, the world’s number one TV brand, has not decided to not get onto the OLED bandwagon and instead plans to focus on its own tweaks to its LCD tech, calling it QLED.
Samsung showcased two models – a 55 inch screen and a 65 inch screen. TCL too had on display its new 85 inch Private Theatre XESS X6, which it claims has double the colour lifespan of regular OLED displays.
The road is long and tedious
With Samsung, TCL and Hisense which are among the top 5 brands in the television space, resisting the OLED technology and focusing on QLED, LCD is what is still being pushed as the mainstay.
Even other brands such as LG, Sony, Toshiba and Loewe had massive displays of their new LCD prototypes. Considering LG, the sole manufacturer of OLED displays, itself hasn’t made up its mind to ditch LCD and make OLED a mainstay, it for sure looks like OLED has a long and tedious road ahead of itself to make itself popular.