The deployment that Samsung carried out in the edition of the ISE fair that is currently held in Amsterdam (Holland) is a clear statement of intent. It is not the first time that the South Korean brand exhibits MicroLED panel.
The rise of the MicroLED panel
We were surprised by this technology in the CES edition that was held in January 2018.
Since then this innovation has been the undisputed protagonist of practically all the fairs and events in which this brand has shown its display devices.
But something important has changed.
We have just returned from ISE, which is one of the most relevant professional A/V fairs on the calendar.
There, we have not only able to see the impressive deployment of MicroLED panel solutions that Samsung has prepared.
We also witnessed the maturity of this technology.
And it is that this brand has already prepared its first panels with a pixel pitch of 0.6 mm.
It reflects that, now, MicroLED TVs for the consumer market seem to be very close.
‘The Wall’ doesn’t impress just because of its size; also for your specifications
All the photographs that illustrate this article show ‘The Wall’.
The gigantic MicroLED panels screen with a professional vocation that is helping Samsung to publicize this technology.
But it is not the only thing we saw in ISE.
Those responsible for this brand also showed us several more panels with much smaller dimensions.
More importantly, with a pixel pitch of only 0.6 mm.
This parameter measures the distance in millimetres between the geometric centre of two subpixels of the panel that reproduce the same primary colour.
Ideally, it should be as small as possible because in this way the screen will offer us a higher resolution.
Our experience will be more satisfactory when we look at it at a reduced distance.
Samsung already has MicroLED panel with a pixel pitch of only 0.6 mm.
A milestone that marks a turning point in the development of this technology.
Those responsible for Samsung asked us not to photograph these latest MicroLED panel screens.
Hence they do not appear in any of the images in this article.
But without a doubt, they are the closest solutions to televisions with this technology that will arrive at our homes.
When will they do it?
Samsung has not yet announced a specific date.
But if we read between the statements of some of its executives, and, above all, if we stick to the level of development in which this technology is currently, I would bet that the first MicroLED TVs Domestic will reach stores in two, or, at most, three years.
Although, as we see, the vocation of ‘The Wall‘ is professional and its dimensions clearly exceed those usually handled in a domestic installation.
It is a perfect starting point to know very precisely what this technology will hold when we have it at home.
Currently, the largest version of this MicroLED panel screen is 583 inches.
Samsung confirmed that both this and other versions with a more restrained size are now available worldwide.
And to be integrated into professional facilities.
During 2020, 219 and 292-inch reviews of ‘The Wall for business’ will also be available.
But we still don’t know how much they will cost, although it is clear that they will require a significant outlay.
The MicroLED panel screen ‘The Wall’ that we have photographed in this article is 8K and measures 6.4 x 3.2 meters.
We already know the context in which we move.
MicroLED Panel Specifications
So now I propose that we investigate the figures.
The MicroLED screen that appears in the photographs of this article has a native 8K resolution and measures 6.4 x 3.2 meters.
In its implementation, Samsung has used thirty-six 80 x 42 cm MicroLED modules without frames.
It allows us to intuit one of the great advantages of this technology: its enormous flexibility.
Its modular design allows to manufacture screens almost the size that we want and with the aspect ratio that we prefer.
Although, as it is logical, in a scenario of domestic use the interesting thing is to be able to manufacture devices with a manageable size and aspect ratio 16: 9.
The pixel pitch of this screen is 0.8 mm.
So it is not far from the 0.6 mm of the most advanced MicroLED panel screens that Samsung currently has.
And its refresh rate is 120 Hz.
As you can see, these figures look really good.
But the really impressive thing is to see it running.
And is that MicroLED technology proposes a native contrast ratio similar to that of OLED panels.
Because each diode is self-emitting (emits its own light).
But its brightness delivery capacity is significantly greater than that of OLED.
In addition, the LEDs that are used in the manufacture of the MicroLED modules are inorganic.
So they are relatively immune to image retention in some areas of the panel in the medium or long term.
Somehow MicroLED panel combines the most attractive features of OLED and LCD.
At the same time resolves its disadvantages.
All this on the wallpaper very well.
But it dazzles when you place yourself in front of a MicroLED screen that has no less than 6.4 meters of base.
It installed in a brightly lit space.
Fortunately, it is not so.
The contrast relationship between ‘The Wall’ is one of those who remove the hiccups.
You really have the feeling of being in front of an OLED screen.
Because blacks are absolute and establish a very solid frame of reference that allows other colours to look like they should.
And all this has merit if we do not lose sight of the dimensions of the MicroLED screen and a large amount of light in the space in which it installed.
The native refreshment of this screen is 120 Hz.
In the demonstration videos that Samsung played on it, the movement was very smooth and absolutely fluid.
With regard to the resolution and the level of detail, I have nothing to object.
It seems to me at least debatable that the 8K resolution really brings value compared to 4K UHD on TVs less than 75 inches.
But on a screen with the dimensions of ‘The Wall’, I think that 8K is the way to go.
At a meter distance, we can no longer distinguish the pixels.
So our perception of sharpness and detail is very convincing.
As I mentioned a few lines above the native refreshment of this screen is 120 Hz.
The truth is that in the demonstration videos that Samsung play on it the movement was very smooth and absolutely fluid.
Dealing with heat is a challenge, but it is no longer a problem
There is a fact about which I have not intentionally talked to you in the previous paragraphs with the purpose of doing it now.
The ability to deliver brightness.
This MicroLED panel screen has a typical brightness delivery of 600 nits.
A figure that is not but not bad.
But the really striking thing is that it manages to deliver peaks of up to 2,000 nits in specific portions of the panel.
In this field, it surpasses all OLED TVs.
Also, a good part of the latest generation LED LCDs that we can find nowadays in stores.
This ability to deliver brightness has a very positive consequence.
‘The Wall’ has no problem playing HDR content.
And besides, they look great.
I suggest you take a look with some calm at the photographs of the black hole and the space shuttle that illustrate this article.
Because, although a static and compressed image of a few centimetres is not as impressive as a moving image of several hundred inches.
It can help you intuit the quality of the HDR of this MicroLED screen.
The electronics of ‘The Wall’ is responsible for managing in real time the brightness delivery capacity of the diodes with an essential objective.
To keep under control the energy they dissipate in the form of heat.
The victims of high temperatures are not the diodes themselves.
They are the welds that fix them to the substrate on which they place.
And on a screen like this.
It is evident that the diodes placed close together.
so that the area of the panel that is delivering a peak of very intense brightness at a given moment could reach a relatively high temperature.
Under these conditions, the welds that I just talked about could get degraded.
But a Samsung engineer who is an expert in MicroLED technology assured me that they solved this challenge.
35% of the residual energy in the form of heat emitted by the screen dissipates forward.
The remaining 65% dissipates backwards.
According to this head of the South Korean brand, this capacity to transport heat energy ensures that the welds will not be degraded.
So that the life of a MicroLED panel is currently comparable to that of an LCD panel with LED backlight: about twenty-five years.
Perhaps during the two or three years that will possibly pass until the first domestic MicroLED TVs arrive at Samsung stores.
The other companies that are working with this technology can further extend their useful life.
In any case, if that longevity faithfully reflects the reality we could plant ourselves here.
Because it is unlikely that a user today aspires to use the same television for more than two and a half decades.
MicroLED panel is definitely the technology of the future
This was not our first contact with MicroLED panel technology “live”, but the deepest.
And it has not let us down.
It has not done so because when you are in front of a screen that uses it you really have the feeling of witnessing something new.
Something that effectively brings together the qualities of OLED and LCD LED screens.
The native contrast ratio of the former.
And the ability to deliver brightness and longevity of the latter.
In addition, as we see, the pixel pitch already allows manufacturing devices for small spaces.
It can be observed from short distances.
And the resolution is no longer a problem.
There is no doubt that MicroLED technology is the way to go.
But we can also be sure that when the first devices with domestic vocation arrive at stores.
They will do so at a high price and with generous inches, probably in the order of 75 and 85 inches on.
From here, as on many other occasions, the economy of scale will come into action to gradually reduce the manufacturing of these screens.
Which will have a downward impact on its price.
This trend will go hand in hand with technological development.
It will surely allow brands that are betting on MicroLED to reduce pixel pitch even more.
When this happens we will soon see televisions with this technology below 75 inches.
Until then all we can do is stay ourselves with patience. And wait.