Last night, Samsung unveiled its vision for the future of the living room: The Wall, a 146-inch 4K TV comprised of MicroLED panels. Yes, Samsung is skipping OLED entirely as it moves beyond its QLED LCD technology. The company claims The Wall has all the benefits of OLED without any of the downsides, like the potential for burn-in and worries about shortened life-spans. Since each pixel is self-emitting, there's no backlight like there is with LCDs, which means it can deliver brighter whites and pure blacks like OLED.
In person, The Wall doesn't look much different than a large OLED set. It's astoundingly bright, colors are rich and vibrant, and the black levels are indeed inky dark. Samsung describes the TV as a scalable product that can fit almost any size you can imagine (its technology comes from Samsung's 34-foot cinema display). It's not just a single screen; it's actually made up of a series of square MicroLED panels. That allows for the size flexibility, but I also noticed that you can easily make out those panels when you're looking at The Wall up close. When it's off, it almost looks like a checkerboard. In the image below, you can see that pattern where the flash bounces off the screen.
Samsung isn't commenting on whether that checkerboard issue will be present in the final product. In fact, it's saving most details for a press event this March. There's no doubt MicroLED is impressive, especially as consumers demand ever-larger sets. But I also can't imagine that The Wall will be something most people will actually be able to afford over the next few years.
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