Bigger screens, boosted performance: Standout TVs from CES 2018


I'll talk about what's going on with the two most popular conventional TV technologies-LCDs (including most of what is marketed as LED sets) and normal OLEDs-in my next post, but in this post I'll discuss some of the more interesting alternative display technologies I saw at the show. What we saw was a TV that did something that would make even the cynical AV enthusiast's heart flutter: it very successfully converted low-resolution content into 8K UHD using the world's most advanced upscaler.

Samsung seems to have taken this hyperbole to heart and launched a 146-inch monstrosity of a TV at its annual First Look event at CES 2018.

The proprietary LG OLED technology is designed to deliver perfect blacks thanks to its ability to turn each pixel on or completely off

At achieving this latter PR stunt, The Wall succeeds wonderfully.

So what exactly are these other technologies? Dubbed as "The Wall", the big screen is comprised ironically of a rather massive array of MicroLEDs.

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And then there's a new 85-inch 8K QLED TV. While that phrase sounds like typical PR/marketing hyperbole, we are actually inclined to trust Samsung's diagnosis in this case. It's billed as the first consumer modular MicroLED television or, for the layman, "The Screen of the Future".

Finally, Sony was also keen to show off its 8K developments, with an as yet unnamed 8K TV. Thus, this beast of a television can also get incredibly bright, much more so than OLED, managing up to over 2000 nits according to its makers.

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The RGB subpixels should also ensure a wider colour spectrum too, for an overall brighter, punchier picture than OLED, but still retain with the same great black levels and off-axis viewing. In other words, aside from its ridiculous size, The Wall is as close to the ideal new TV as we've seen so far from any brand. This results in a high contrast footage that is better than the traditional LCD screens.

Another cool feature of the Wall is that it can be customized to even larger sizes. The bezel that surrounds the screen isn't all that thick (maybe an inch at most) but it's a far cry from the completely bezel-free The Wall, another Samsung product shown off at this year's CES. It's not the same technology as OLED, and Samsung says it offers the flawless blacks of OLED but can get much brighter and has fewer off-axis color issues.

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But because it is modular, it is much easier to ship and install in a home compared to most of the other very large displays. Because each LED can turn on or off individually, MicroLED has the potential for infinite contrast, just like OLED TVs.