It seems that lately, Samsung is really calm in the face of innovation. When we got time to digest 'The Frame' we fell in love with not only the concept but the value it can bring to integrators. Since the release of that TV, it made a huge showing at CEDIA and IFA, but is already being shadowed by a new product, dubbed 'The Wall.'
Naming conventions aside, The Wall is a 146" self-emitting MicoLED TV that should be available "sometime" this year. Thankfully, MicroLED is a real thing that doesn't twist existing leading standards (looking at you QLED) that could be the industry standard in the next five to 10 years.
Seriously, MicroLED stands to be just as impactful down the road as OLED is right now. In fact, we made that same prediction when they released a modular 'High-Definition LED' movie screen concept back in March of 2017.
First, let's take a look at MicroLED. Samsung's new tech acts a lot like OLED. As we know, OLED uses an emissive display for those deep black levels, wide color gamuts, and perfected off-angle viewing. The trade-off is limited brightness, expensive materials, and occasional burn-in. It's an easy trade since it looks so much better than conventional LCD, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Conversely, MicroLED is also an emissive display, without the caveat of using organic materials. What that means is your viewing-angles, perfected black levels, and wide color gamut doesn't have the same tradeoff's, especially with the price. MicroLED can be turned on and off, individually, no backlight needed.
The most significant advantage might appear to be the modular design, but in fact could be it's Achilles heel. While a bright picture looks good spread across the panels at Samsung's First Look event at CES this year, it's clear that getting too close showed small seems and interrupted the picture. However, if perfected, a modular design creates endless designs and display sizes for consumers.
But let's slow down. MicroLED isn't quite there, yet. For now, it's clear that The Wall is a concept. Details at their First Look event were sparse. And although the current saturation of OLED can make the concept phase feel like a lifetime ago, MicroLED still needs time to grow. We predict that MicroLED may not spell trouble for the traditional theater setup but it may make some noise by early adopters in the next five years.