Samsung's New Micro LED TV Has An Amazing Trick Up Its Sleeve

Image: Samsung

Samsung has leapfrogged a number of major TV makers at CES this year. The company's new Micro LED televisions allow you to customise a screen to fit any room or space. It's like Chose Your Own Adventure for the lounge room or home theatre.

According to the Korean electronics giant, the new technology, which originally debuted last year in The Wall, allows users to add Micro LED modules to expand a display to any size - even irregular 9x3, 1x7 or 5x1 screen sizes to fit particular aesthetic and functional needs.

So, you could use these to create digital frames to fill in a boring section of wall that would be otherwise hard to decorate. As the displays are bezel-free, you can put a number of displays next to each other for an uninterrupted image without dark lines disturbing the view.

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As the name suggests, Micro LEDs are really small LEDs. By shrinking them, Samsung has managed to create a display that offers lots of detail, blacker blacks - some say it's superior to OLED which is the current premium display tech for TVs - and far better contrast. This is because Micro LEDs are inorganic and not subject to the same long-term degradation as OLED.

Being inorganic, it's possible to create smaller LEDs than OLED allows, which means you can pack more pixels into a smaller area. Because they're smaller, it allows for borderless and thinner displays. And there are potential power savings with some experts suggesting Micro LED could use half as much power as OLED.

Image: Supplied

Last year, manufacturing yields on Micro LED panels were low as the process to make them was relatively new and not yet fully refined. This is typical of new new technologies and is usually resolved as engineers refine processes assuming the market for Micro LED makes it worthwhile.

There are challenges with getting the individual pixels close to each other. Samsung's core display in 2018 for Micro LED was a massive 146-inch display dubbed The Wall. But this year, they were able to show Micro LED working in a more home-friendly 75-inch display.

So when will we see this technology in Australia? The official statement from Samsung says: "Samsung Australia is currently assessing when to launch this product locally. More details will be shared regarding local availability at a later date."

When Samsung debuted The Wall last year, it suggested Micro LED wouldn't be mainstream for another couple of years. It seems that they have been able to overcome the manufacturing challenges and miniaturised the tech to a more consumer friendly size ahead of that schedule.


Comments

    The more I read on whats behind The Wall, the more interested I get. Its so close to reaching the goal I imagine that I can taste it. They just need to take that one final step and make the individual panels purchasable.

    Stick a 150 inch screen up to show the potential, but sell the 5" or 10" panels that make it by themselves. $15 or $50 respectively and the cost is reasonable, and lets people build/upgrade their displays as they see fit.

    Personally, I'd love to be able to go to a 60" or 70" tele, but its not practical to replace a perfectly fine 50" tele just to do so. If I could add the necessary panels a few at a time, its a different story. I could build on it every fortnight rather than wait for it to break to replace.

      Companies don't work like that, they want you to replace the whole thing rather than getting cheap upgrades.

      Take modular smartphones, there was a lot of hype about them but they don't really exist outside of concept. Most companies madden the other way and made batteries non-removable over the last few years as the battery is the main weak point and they would rather you buy the latest model for $1500+ than change the battery for $100!

        I know, but it would be a game changer if someone did. I'm not going to go out and get a bigger tele on a whim, its simply not practical, and sizes have gotten to the point people aren't upgrading just for the sake of it. This would change that.

        Theres a diminishing return on upgrading just for size. If you have a 60" tele, the cost to get a prebuilt 70" when upgrading is massive, for a relatively small increase is screen size. Old TV's don't have any resell value.

        You also breed brand loyalty. Once you invest in that sort of smart infrastructure, you're going to stick with it. A panel breaks, you replace it with a Samsung panel, not a Sony, or HiSense. Today, your TV breaks, you replace it with whatever fits your budget at the time. Its more value than brand.

        Imagine they did sell the panels individually. 10" for $50. To get a 60" tele, I'd need to buy 36 of em, or $1800. A lot of 60" teles today are well under that. To jump to a 70" I'd need another 13 of em, which is another $650. I'd happily pay that to upgrade an existing, working tele. I wouldn't go out and spend $2500 to get a 70" tele until I was forced to.

        From a manufacturing point of view, its considerably cheaper to make small displays, and that's the secret with this. They'd end up making more money at the lower end of the market than they do now, while reducing that leap in consumer cost to upgrade a big screen to a bigger one.

          I love the idea and the price optimism!

          Realistically, it's the entry level TVs that are in the $1250 50" range. I got my 55" Sony a year ago for that much, cracking TV but big bezels and not too thin.

          I'd imagine that any company releasing these would want them in the ultra premium price range, maybe $10,000 for a 60" so about $300 per 10" panel.

          Then you'd have to factor in the brackets for wall mounting or extra legs for free standing, plus a top of the range PC to sync up 36 individual displays to 4K.

          If your idea gets made I'd bet it won't come cheap!

            You might be right but for me, they'd have to make the prices comparable to existing products to work, and that brings the price down massively. Its not hard to google 10" lcd and see what they cost - there are plenty at $40 to $50 by the way. A 5" screen should be a bit over 1/4 that.

            If they made them $300 a panel, it fails, pure and simple no matter how they sell em. It ends up being way too much compared to a standard tele. You can buy a 75" tele for $2k these days. The biggest tele at JB's these days is 86" for $4500. 64 panels for an 80" tele shouldn't be more than that.

            Even at $50 a panel, a 70" screen would be about $2500 to make. That's not unreasonable. With how manufacturing works I expect it would actually end up being a bigger profit margin anyhow. The cost to make a panel goes up exponentially the bigger it gets. Being modular wouldn't. Not to the same degree anyhow - the increased cost would actually be at the smaller end rather than the upper end.

            I just think theres a market for them, and they seem to think the same. It just needs that extra step away from them dictating the whole process for this to potentially be a game changer.

              Yeah if they just click together and make them cheap it would be great. The biggest hurdle is making the bezels small as say you have 25 small screens making up a 50" display you'd need really tiny bezels or it would be horrible to watch!

              Maybe needs a raspberry pi type maker to show the way forward rather than the expensive companies making them.

                I dont think they have or need a bezel. It was suggested Samsung put one on as a finishing touch, but other info I've seen today suggests thats purely cosmetic. I assumed they needed one to hide any visible electronics on the edges, thinking that would be how they linked, but that might not be the case.

                And was thinking of the possibilities of linking these with Pi's :) They seem a match made in heaven. End of the day its going to come down to cost. They probably wont be as cheap as I imagine, it IS new tech after all, but I cant see why they cant end up there.

                Early costs are largely because there are no mass production lines tooled for them, which changes as something becomes more popular. Like how 42" LCD's were $1000 a decade ago, but $100 today.

    I don't want to be 'that guy' but there is a typo in the fourth para -" Microsoft LED" instead of Micro LED.
    On the article itself I can certainly see great potential to this especially in homes like mine where the wife dislikes a big telly the fact this could be on a wall and at a size we want we reduce the impact of the TV on a stand dominating the room but a panel that can display art when not in TV mode is appealing.

    At long last, we'll soon be able to trick our friends into thinking there's a forest in your lounge room. Like Ripley at the start of Aliens, but without the subsequent screaming and intra-thoracic xenomorph gestation.

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