I saw Samsung’s new Micro LED and the bright, gorgeous display could be the future of TV

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Samsung Micro LED TV lifestyle 2
  • Samsung has revealed a new 110-inch TV model with an advanced Micro LED screen.
  • Micro LED is designed to compete with OLED, and it could offer even better performance. 
  • We got to examine the display during a CES 2021 event, and the TV looks stunning in person.  

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Samsung has been showing off massive Micro LED displays at CES for the last few years, but the impressive technology has yet to hit the consumer market. This year, however, the company aims to change that.

For the first time, Samsung will be releasing 110-, 99-, 88-, and 76-inch Micro LED 4K TVs. There’s no word on pricing, but the 110-inch model is set to launch globally this spring. 

Micro LED promises key improvements over other TV panel types, and it could even end up beating our current favorite TV technology, OLED. To help demonstrate what makes Micro LED so special, Samsung invited Insider Reviews to an in-person CES 2021 event. 

The 110-inch Micro LED TV was on hand at the demo, and the gorgeous screen does not disappoint. It’s important to note, however, that Samsung described the model as a prototype, so the version we saw could still go through some changes before hitting the market.   

That said, based on what we’ve seen, Samsung’s Micro LED shows incredible promise, and the technology could very well end up being the future of TV. It’s not perfect, but the overall picture quality is simply stunning.  

Note: Samsung did not allow pictures of the Micro LED TV at the CES event, so all images included here are provided by the manufacturer.

What is Micro LED?

Samsung Micro LED lifestyle 3

Micro LED is an advanced panel technology used for displays. The tech is designed to compete with other popular TV types, like LCD (often branded as LED or QLED) and OLED.

As the name implies, Micro LED screens are made up of millions of microscopic red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes. Micro LEDs are self-emissive, allowing them to dim, brighten, or turn off individually. This results in an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels and wide viewing angles – which are all areas where regular LCD TVs struggle.

Meanwhile, OLED TVs are capable of similar contrast, but that technology uses organic LEDs which can degrade over time. This leads to brightness limitations and the potential for burn-in. Since Micro LEDs are inorganic, however, Samsung says that they can get brighter and last longer than OLED TVs with virtually no risk of burn-in.  

In other words, Micro LED has the potential to combine everything home theater fans love about OLED TVs while also offering similar brightness capabilities as an LCD TV. Basically, it could be the best of both worlds. 

Unlike typical TVs which use one panel, Micro LED screens are actually constructed from multiple tiles that are aligned together. This creates the potential for modular screens, where you can add, remove, or shift tiles around to create different display sizes and orientations. 

Samsung offers a modular Micro LED screen for business and luxury customers, called “The Wall,” that has this capability. That said, the upcoming 110-, 99-, 88-, and 76-inch Micro LED TVs will have fixed configurations and won’t be modular. 

Samsung Micro LED TV picture impressions

Samsung Micro LED lifestyle

For demo purposes, Samsung had a prototype of its 110-inch Micro LED TV set up in a dark room displaying a gorgeous reel of 4K HDR video.

As is typical with demonstrations like this, the footage featured a beautiful assortment of colorful images ranging from shining gem stones to towering cityscapes. The images dazzled no matter what was on the screen with rich saturation, precise highlights, and deep black levels that disappeared into the room.

Samsung didn’t offer a specific number in nits, but to my eyes the peak brightness was very impressive, offering a more punchy image than I’m used to seeing on a screen so large. One scene, featuring a starry night sky over mountains, was particularly striking as each star shined brilliantly from the screen against inky blacks. 

It’s the type of infinite contrast that I’ve only ever seen on OLED TVs before, but the HDR effect was even more pronounced. Viewing angles were also essentially perfect, with no real color or contrast issues when viewing from the side. 

An LCD TV this big, even with advanced local dimming, would still show signs of blooming, crushing, or off-angle fading. An OLED would likely look similarly impressive but not as bright. The Micro LED was able to demonstrate all the benefits of both of those technologies while offering no real signs of their flaws. That said, pixels were visible if you put your face right up to the screen, but that’s the case with any 4K TV this big. 

Of course, demos like this only offer a limited view of what a TV can do, and it’s important to remember that the model on display is still a prototype. At the end of the day, though, the experience has only left me wanting more.

Problems with Micro LED TVs

As impressive as Micro LED is, no display technology is perfect. We’ll need to spend more in-depth time with a Micro LED TV to really evaluate it, but based on what we’ve seen so far there is one slight downside that’s already clear: seams are sometimes visible on the screen.

Since Micro LED TVs are constructed from several display tiles that are connected together, there are seams between each tile, creating the appearance of a grid. Thankfully, these seams are very faint and, during my demo time, I found them to be extremely hard to spot. 

In fact, from a normal viewing distance and a centered angle, they are essentially invisible. It’s only when getting very close to the screen or watching the display from an off-angle that the seams faintly come into view. Even then, the seams generally only pop up when certain colors are on the screen. Likewise, you can see them when the TV is off. 

It’s too early to say how much of a factor this will be when watching a Micro LED TV under normal viewing conditions, but I doubt it will end up being too much of a problem. Though LCD and OLED TVs don’t have this specific issue, they have their own uniformity quirks that can be just as distracting. 

How much will Samsung’s Micro LED TV cost?

Samsung has not announced US pricing for its Micro LED TVs yet, but it’s safe to say that they will be very expensive when they hit the market. New panel technology always comes at a premium, and Micro LED has been particularly hard to scale down to a consumer level.

According to ZDNet, the 110-inch Micro LED TV model is launching in South Korea for 170 million won, which is around $156,000. A similar price is likely for the US.

The closest premium TV we can look to right now as a comparison is likely LG’s flagship 88-inch OLED 8K TV, which currently sells for $30,000. Samsung’s Micro LED TV is 4K rather than 8K, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a similar, if not higher, price tag for the 88-inch model.  

Samsung Micro LED TV release dates

The 110- and 99-inch Micro LED TVs are set for release globally this spring, with expected availability starting in late March. The 88-inch model will then follow in the fall.

A 76-inch Micro LED TV has also been announced, but an estimated release window has not been confirmed yet. 

The bottom line

Samsung Micro LED Lifestyle 4

Samsung’s Micro LED could very well be the future of TV, but like any display tech, it won’t be perfect. Still, based on what I’ve seen so far, the picture quality pros look like they will far outweigh the cons. 

The real question will be how much these displays end up costing. I expect that this first wave of Micro LED TVs will be prohibitively expensive for regular buyers, but the 2021 lineup could help pave the way for more affordable Micro LED TVs in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

If you’re looking for a high-end Samsung TV at a more consumer-friendly price point, be sure to check out the company’s new lineup of Neo QLED 4K and 8K TVs. The 2021 collection starts at $1,600 and promises several improvements over last year’s models. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Samsung’s new 2021 4K and 8K Neo QLED TVs are now available to preorder with prices starting at $1,600

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV

Samsung has launched preorders for its upcoming lineup of flagship TVs. The company’s Neo QLED TV collection features 4K and 8K models. A a massive 110-inch Micro LED TV is also scheduled for release in 2021, but pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.

The term “LED” (light emitting diode) gets thrown around a lot when detailing new TVs so it can be a bit confusing to figure out exactly what each new variation means. When it comes to Samsung’s “Neo QLED” displays, the key differentiator this year is the actual size of the LEDs. They’re much smaller than before, and smaller LEDs can equate to better picture with improved contrast, brightness, and color. 

Below, we’ve broken down what makes Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs unique in greater detail, along with pricing information and preorder links. 

Samsung Neo QLED TVs

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV

Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs promise improved contrast and brightness over regular QLED displays.

For 2021, Samsung is taking its QLED lineup to the next level with a new collection of Neo QLED TVs, including the QN900A 8K TV, QN800A 8K TV, the QN90A 4K TV, and the QN85A 4K TV.

The “Neo” branding is being used to highlight new panel technology that Samsung is using to improve picture quality over last year’s already impressive QLED models. Unlike regular LED or QLED TVs, Neo QLED TVs use a “Quantum Mini LED” backlight to illuminate the screen. According to Samsung, each Mini LED is about 1/40 the height of a standard LED that you’d find in a typical TV. Smaller LEDs enable more precise control of local dimming with more zones.

At the end of the day, this should result in better contrast with deeper black levels and brighter highlights. Until now, TCL has been the only company using Mini LEDs in its TVs. The TCL 8-Series and 6-Series both employ the tech, and those models do showcase some benefits over the competition.

That said, blooming has been an issue with TCL’s models. Blooming results in a halo effect around bright objects on dark backgrounds. To combat this potential problem, Samsung is touting new “Quantum Matrix Technology” for its Neo QLEDs, which it says will help reduce blooming.

In addition to picture quality improvements, the flagship 8K QN900A Neo QLED TV features a nearly bezel-free “Infinity One Design.” It also uses an attachable Slim One Connect box to house the TV’s ports, enabling a slimmer panel and easier cable management.

Samsung’s Neo QLED TV lineup is now available for preorder through Samsung’s online store. Estimated shipping dates differ depending on the model and size your order, but current dates range between February 27 and March 20. As a special bonus, customers who preorder any of the new 8K models can receive free professional TV mounting service (a $120 value).

Samsung 4K Neo QLED TVs

Product Card (medium)

Product Card (medium)

Samsung 8K Neo QLED TVs

Product Card (medium)

Product Card (medium)

Samsung Micro LED TVs

Samsung Micro LED TV lifestyle 2

Samsung’s Micro LED TVs could best OLED TVs when it comes to overall picture quality, but they’re likely to be very expensive. 

Samsung has been showing off Micro LED TV technology at CES for the last few years. The company even released a massive Micro LED display, called “The Wall,” in sizes as big as 292 inches for business and luxury customers. But, the technology has been difficult to scale down to a more manageable size and cost. This year, however, Samsung aims to change that.

For the first time, the company will release consumer-ready Micro LED TVs in 110- and 99-inch screen sizes. Though these displays are still expected to cost a pretty penny, unlike The Wall, you may actually be able to order them from a store.

Micro LED TVs offer lots of benefits over other display technologies, like LED, QLED, and even OLED. Like OLED TVs, Micro LED TVs are self-illuminating, which means that each of the TV’s 24 million LEDs can dim, brighten, or turn off individually without the need for a backlight. This results in an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels.

Unlike OLED TVs, however, Micro LED tech promises higher brightness levels. Samsung also says that Micro LEDs provide a longer lifespan over OLED, with no risk of burn-in across 100,000 hours of use.

Samsung’s 110- and 99-inch Micro LED TVs are expected to launch before the end of 2021. We’ll update this article with pricing and purchase details once they’re available.

Read the original article on Business Insider