New research from the Department of Chemistry at Pusan National University, Korea, could have a major impact on the future of OLED TV manufacturing, with the net result being a fall in OLED TV prices as new, more energy-efficient materials emerge. are introduced.
The best OLED TVs are a go-to option for movie buffs and gamers alike for their sharp, high-contrast images with deep, detailed blacks. And while competing QLED models regularly feature on our list with the best 4k tvs thanks to more recent improvements such as mini-LED backlighting, the willingness of many to pay the generally higher prices charged by OLED TVs is a testament to the popularity of the display technology.
A major reason why OLED TVs are more expensive than their QLED counterparts is that manufacturing OLED TVs, which uses a process called vacuum thermal evaporation, is both expensive and labor intensive. An alternative to current manufacturing methods are solution-processed OLEDs, but so far the use of that technique has been limited due to the difficulty of “stacking” the component layers used in OLED panels, according to a abstract of an article in the Chemical Engineering Magazine that describes the research.
Specifically, the Pusan National University researchers were able to synthesize a solvent-resistant hole-injection layer material used in the OLED stack, one that “achieved greater efficiency and longevity,” according to the abstract, which it then characterizes. as “an important step forward for the commercialization of efficient solution-embedded OLED displays.”
With the new solution-engineered OLEDs promising “an economical, large-scale manufacturing technique,” OLED TV panels can be made more cheaply, efficiently, and on a larger scale. This bodes well for the prices of OLED TVs, which have not recently fallen to the same level as QLED TVs, which are getting cheaper on a year-over-year basis.
Analysis: OLED prices need to come down to stay competitive
Anyone wondering if OLED prices will drop in 2023 just need to look at the recent ones LG price announcement for its new TVs in the U.S. The company’s cheapest 2023 OLEDs, the B3 seriesare generally more expensive than those of 2022 B2 serieswith the 65-inch B3 model seeing a $400 increase over the 65-inch B2.
The LG A2 series that we felt is a great cheaper OLED option for movie fans in 2022 is also being discontinued in the US, although an A3 successor will be available in select European countries.
The arrival of Samsung’s QD-OLED technology, which is used in TVs like that company, is coming QN95C series and that of Sony A95L series, creates strong competition for LG, and that should ultimately drive down the prices of the company’s W-OLED offerings. But premium LG OLED TVs like the new G3 series usually see an increase in costs compared to last year G2 models, with the 77-inch G3 priced $500 higher than a G2 screen of the same size at launch.
Admittedly, the price increase for the G3 TVs is mainly due to the introduction of a new feature for that series called Brightness Booster Max, which combines an optical element called MLA with a new META light-enhancing algorithm and physical heat sink to maximize screen brightness.
The new G3 OLED and QD OLEDs from Samsung and Sony will be pricey, high-end TV options for 2023. Meanwhile, regular QLED TVs, such as budget models like the Hisense U8H And TCL Series 6 see great improvements in image quality through the use of mini-LED backlighting, with top-end sets like the Samsung QN95C displaying near-OLED-like blacks while offering OLED-beating brightness.
Looking at the future TV landscape, it’s clear that OLED TVs will have to come down in price to stay competitive, although the opposite seems to be happening now.
Will Pusan National University’s research lead to price drops of OLED TVs in the near future? That’s hard to predict based on a scientific abstract, but the researchers’ optimism is clear, and OLED technology clearly needs the boost in manufacturing efficiencies that they claim will remain commercially viable.