Over the last couple years, Samsung has showed off (and sold to a very rich few) its futuristic, modular TV dubbed The Wall that uses MicroLED technology. MicroLED shares many of OLED’s best traits — without most of the associated drawbacks — and is widely viewed as the next big upgrade leap for the displays in our lives. Now, Samsung is taking MicroLED and putting it into a more traditional TV form factor. Today the company announced the 110-inch MicroLED TV, which goes up for presale today in Korea and will launch globally in the first quarter of 2021.
As for the first question that probably comes to mind, no, Samsung isn’t yet revealing a price for this enormous TV using the latest picture technology. But you can expect it’ll cost far more than any of the company’s other 4K (or even 8K) sets on account of the self-emitting MicroLED magic. You won’t really notice any bezels or borders in these images; this TV has a 99.99 percent screen-to-body ratio, but Samsung still managed to build in “an embedded Majestic Sound System” that it claims “delivers breathtaking 5.1 channel sound with no external speaker.”
Here’s what Samsung says about picture quality:
The 110-inch MicroLED uses micrometer-sized LED lights to eliminate the backlight and color filters utilized in conventional displays. Instead, it is self-illuminating — producing light and color from its own pixel structures. It expresses 100 percent of the DCI and Adobe RGB color gamut, and accurately delivers wide color gamut images taken with high-end DSLR cameras. This results in stunning, lifelike colors, and accurate brightness from the display’s 4K resolution and 8 million pixels.
Since all those LEDs are self-illuminating, you get the perfect blacks and fantastic contrast that have come to define OLED. But crucially, MicroLED is inorganic and thus should have better long-term durability. There shouldn’t be any threat of burn in, which is already getting rarer on modern OLED TVs. Samsung estimates a lifespan of around 100,000 hours — or “up to a decade.” In the case of The Wall, those MicroLEDs are put into modular panels that can be combined to create a TV of pretty much any size — if you’ve got the scratch to pay for it. Here’s one example of The Wall that was installed in a luxury London home. But the 110-inch TV is a more traditional form factor.
As for whether the 110-inch MicroLED includes HDMI 2.1 and supports all the things that it makes possible (like 120Hz 4K gaming), I’ve asked Samsung. but an answer wasn’t available at press time. One neat software trick is the ability to simultaneously watch up to four sources of content (even from different HDMI inputs) with the TV’s Multi View feature.
Samsung says that manufacturing a 110-inch MicroLED TV wasn’t possible until recent innovations, and the company credits “a new production process derived from its semiconductor business” as helping to make it possible. Smaller MicroLED TVs are already on the roadmap, so while this thing is sure to have a price that’s out of reach for many people, someday there will be models that won’t be as cost-prohibitive.
That’s still a ways out, though, and Samsung is expected to have a fresh lineup of more mainstream (and still great looking) consumer QLED 4K and 8K TVs next month during a virtual CES 2021.