By Alex Jensen –
Just when it looked like OLED TVs might have reached the top of their game having achieved a record-breaking year in 2021, it seems this technology’s ready to roar even louder in 2022 – well, it is the Year of the Tiger after all.
Among the rave reviews LG Display received for the OLED innovations it unveiled at CES 2022, there’s been some special love for OLED.EX, which could transform the premium TV landscape from this year.
Combining ‘Evolution’ and ‘eXperience’, EX is another leap for a technology that LG Display’s been the master of since becoming the first company to mass produce OLED TV displays in 2013. We better take a closer look – as The Verge points out, “LG is the maker of some of our favorite OLED TVs, so when the company says it’s improved on its basic panel technology, it’s worth paying attention.”
Brighter, thinner, better
The media have been particularly focusing on the promised 30% brightness boost and even sleeker design that LG Display’s OLED.EX breakthrough will allow on top of the self-emissive advantages that OLED technology already boasted. Brighter and more immersive viewing means your home movie or sports experience is about to get a serious upgrade.
PC Mag sums it up like this: “LG Display’s OLED.EX Promises Brighter TVs with Even Thinner Bezels.” It goes on to explain the 30% brightness increase comes at the same time as retaining “the key characteristics we expect from OLED,” such as perfect black, rich and accurate color expression as well as an extremely fast response time.
A lot’s being made of the brightness enhancement because it’s an area that backlit TVs such as QLEDs have been able to shine in, quite literally. Digital Trends states that “if LG Display’s OLED.EX panels can get 30% brighter, it could mean that QLED is about to lose one of its last remaining advantages in its ongoing war with OLED.” But then OLED.EX isn’t just about brightness, as it “also allows for improved color accuracy,” as noted by Engadget, which elaborates that OLED.EX “apparently uses algorithms to predict the usage of 33 million OLED diodes in an 8K display.”
Moreover, regarding the design side, OLED.EX has been widely lauded for reducing bezel thickness from 6mm to 4mm in the case of a 65-inch OLED display. “Given how optimized this technology already is, every little improvement has to be fought for,” reflects The Verge. Indeed, considering one of OLED’s big strengths has been seamlessly blending in with the home environment thanks to slim panels not requiring a backlight unit, it’s exciting to consider that this design benefit is about to be extended! Forbes suggests that “narrower frames also tend to create a more immersive viewing experience, as your eye is less distracted by the physical presence of the display around the image.”
The tech behind OLED.EX
You might naturally wonder what’s changed to allow OLED TVs to get so much better. Forbes does a great job of stating the significance of adding a substance called deuterium to the OLED panel production process. “Deuterium enables (OLED) diodes to emit stronger light levels … LG Display has discovered a method of not only extracting deuterium from water, but stabilizing the resulting compounds so that they can be applied to OLED pixels, allowing them to output more light while maintaining high levels of efficiency over long periods of time.”
The other big improvement factor cited by the media is the incorporation of algorithmic image processing. Digital Trends notes “personalized algorithms based on machine learning technology “leads to more precise control of the display’s energy input,” and that “the algorithms and deuterium compounds combine to enhance the stability and efficiency of the organic light-emitting diode.
Will 2022 be Year of the OLED.EX?
So, when will we start to feel the ripples of this big splash? LG Display plans to integrate OLED.EX technology from the second quarter of this year. Once OLED.EX TVs hit the market, we can therefore expect a sales boost. According to this Korean report citing market watcher Omdia, last year’s 6.5 million OLED TVs sold will improve to 8 million in 2022. With OLED TV panel shipments increased by more than 70% last year, LG Display’s OLED TV business turned to profit in the second half of 2021 and reached a break-even point for the year.
That kind of performance will only spur further innovation. In the meantime, it’s clear that OLED.EX has wowed the TV experts, with Forbes declaring this technological evolution to be “a new era of OLED picture quality innovation.”