A recent video call I had with LG Electronics (on the subject of the specific peak brightness figures of the new G3 OLED) featured a surprise presentation from Soomin Chang of LG Display – the panel manufacturer of the huge LG company.
LG Electronics (which produces the actual TVs that make it to the store) and LG Display are different entities, and the former tends to avoid discussing its work with the latter as much as possible, so an appearance like this is much rarer than you might imagine.
The topic of Soomin Chang’s presentation was also an eye-opener, as it dealt with “image sticking” (often referred to as image retention or burn-in), and how the OLED panels it produces suffer significantly less from the phenomenon than the QD-OLED panels produced by Samsung Display.
Chang cited Rtings accelerated life test (opens in new tab), with TVs showing live CNN for an average of 19 hours a day, and appears to result in image retention on the Samsung S95B and Sony A95K QD OLEDs after just two months. Conversely, LG’s C2 and G2, which use LG Display’s second-generation “OLED EX” panel, appear to have no image retention. Chang says this is thanks to the use of a superstable particle called deuterium in his panels, as well as white sub-pixels, which are apparently more durable than their colored counterparts.
One could, of course, question the validity of Rtings’ accelerated longevity test, in that it bears no resemblance to “normal” TV use, and Rtings is outspoken about its limitations, but the results are interesting nonetheless.
However, there’s still one big problem with this comparison: it’s comparing a second-generation LG OLED panel to a first-generation QD OLED panel. That makes sense of course as those are the latest versions of each available but we know a second generation QD OLED panel will be available this year as part of Samsung’s S95C and perhaps more models to come be announced.
I actually raised the issue of burn-in with Nathan Sheffield, Samsung Europe’s Head of TV and Audio, and he told me that “the panels we have this year, we’ve increased efficiency.
“Brightness levels have been increased [but] we don’t need to run them at full, optimal power all the time. So you can enjoy the best picture quality without maxing out the TVs. I think that will probably mitigate some of the risks you allude to.”
In other words, the new QD OLEDs will be brighter, but more efficient, so the delicate OLED materials won’t be subjected to as much stress.
As we know, efficiency is key to the longevity and durability of OLEDs, so any improvements here could have a huge and positive impact. What’s not entirely clear is how these second-generation QD-OLEDs achieve this extra efficiency, but Samsung Display refers to something called “OLED HyperEfficient EL” material in some of its marketing around the new QD-OLED panels and added a mention of “Heavy H+ OLED” in its 2023 CES presentation. “Heavy H” should be heavy hydrogen, which is another name for deuterium.
In short, LG Display’s claims that its WOLED technology is less prone to burn-in than QD-OLED is interesting, but it doesn’t apply to the new models launching this year. 2023 is a new OLED TV battleground, brighter than ever before, and we can’t wait to see how the new models fare from all sides in our comprehensive, comparative reviews.
View our Samsung S95C hands on
And here’s ours LG G3 hands on
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