Quantum Dots Looks To Revolutionize TV Display Technology
Wearables. The Internet of Things. Connected cars. HDR. Curved displays. These are the current emerging technologies, which are part of some of the most prominent ongoing developments and innovations in various fields of modern-day technology. However, if you look at the CES 2015, there was another futuristic tech, rubbing shoulders with the 4K crowd, and creating buzz all over the tradeshow.
This new technology is Quantum Dots, which is believed to be the next big thing in TVs and projection, bringing better image quality and color enhancement to cheaper sets.
Quantum dots are actually nanocrystals made of semiconductor materials that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties. Their electronic properties are closely related to their shape and size, which also determine their color.
The quantum-dot technology basically changes the color of the LED-backlit of an LCD screen. In most LCD TVs, the LED emits white light, but the one in quantum-dot TV sets emits blue light.
The blue LED light drives the blue hues of the picture, whereas red and green light is created by a Nanosys quantum-dot film sheet (QDEF) that fits along the entire back of the display alongside a TV bezel.
If you observe this quantum-dot light with a spectrometer, you would see sharp and narrow bands of red, green and blue lights, all travel through the polarizers, liquid crystals, and color filters.
So when those blue LEDs shine on the quantum dots, the dots glow with the highest intensity.
In traditional LCD TVs, white light produced by the LEDs has a wider spectrum. This causes a lot of light to fall in a color range that is literally of no use to the set’s color filters. Since a quantum-dot set has colored light, it certaily produces a way better image quality by offering brighter and more-accurate colors that an average LCD.
Jason Hartlove, the President and CEO of Nanosys — a company that makes film-based quantum-dot systems for several products — explains this particular phenomenon in following words (via Wired):
A filter is a very lossy thing. When you purify the color using a color filter, then you will get practically no transmission through the filter. The purer the color you start with, the more relaxed the filter function can be. That translates directly to efficiency.
Quantum-dot sets are more likely to come only in 4K because of the industry’s big push toward UltraHD/4K resolution. So they will surely cost more than your normal LCDs, but they will be cheaper than OLED.
That’s because of the fact that OLED TVs are pretty expensive to build, and they offer the best picture quality you’ve ever seen. Though quantum-dot sets are closer to OLED in color performance, and they also have extra brightness, they are still LCD sets — they won’t have super-wide viewing angles, and amazing contrast of OLED.
But the comparitively lower price bracket of quantum-dot sets will appeal to a huge consumer base which won’t be able to purchase pricy OLED TVs. The new crop of the quantum-dot TVs will probably cost between $2,500 to $4,000 for a 55-inch 4K set.
At this stage, three companies – namely QD Vision, Nanoco and Nanosys – are manufacturing these 4K LCDs and supplying to some big names, including Sony, Samsung, LG, and TCL. If you’re interested in buying one of these TV sets, you’ll have to wait until the spring as researchers are currently working out UltraHD content-delivery complications.