LCD TV makers are responding to the challenge of OLED, with quantum dot (QD) technology, curved screens and other innovations. According to new information from DisplaySearch, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), in order to boost consumer value in the LCD television market, 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) enhanced-color LCD TVs, using quantum dot (QD) technology will become available in 2015, with 1.3 million shipping worldwide. Shipments of quantum dot TVs are expected to grow to 18.7 million in 2018.
“While LCD technology undisputedly dominates the TV scene, manufacturers continue to innovate, in order to bring additional value to consumers,” said Paul Gray, director of European research at DisplaySearch. “The launch of new 4K UHD services promises to foment another round of innovation, as content creators bring richer, deeper colors to their art. Curved screens are also a popular feature this year, but there will be limited opportunity for growth, as the market for this feature is expected to peak next year.”
Based on information in the DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, ITU-R Recommendation BT.2020 (rec.2020) colors promise a new level of fidelity that beyond the range of current high-definition TVs. “While broadcasters and cinematographers have begun to capture such images, the television industry has just started to respond to the challenge,” Gray said.
“Quantum dot is one of the weapons that the LCD industry is using to create ever more faithful images, which are very close to the full viewable range of the human eye,” Gray said. “Broadcasters are finalizing their plans for UHD, but they very clearly want there to be more to their UHD services than simply extra pixels. Richer colors work on any screen size, regardless of one’s visual acuity, and subtle shading increases the perception of reality. Quantum dot is part of the LCD industry’s response to the challenge posed by OLED technology and its use demonstrates that there is still room for innovation.”
Curved LCD TVs
A similar response to the challenge posed by OLED can be seen in the emergence of curved LCD TVs, which proves that LCD has further opportunities for innovation. In fact 1.8 million curved TVs are expected to ship in 2014, peaking at 8.2 million in 2016 and 2017. DisplaySearch analysts anticipate that Western Europe will be the dominant region for curved TVs, with 2.6 million shipping in both 2016 and 2017, resulting from consumer taste for unique design and Samsung’s dominant market share.
“Curved TVs are an industry styling fashion, in the same way that sets became very thin when the first LED backlights were introduced,” Gray said. “In due course, such fashions can burn through, leaving enduring value. For example, the legacy of thin TVs is their lower power consumption. It is easy to dismiss fashion, but it remains a critical element in maintaining value and consumer interest in the TV category.”
The Quarterly TV Design and Features Report tracks all 4K UHD TV product ranges, forecasts, video processing and broadcasting; plus, detailed information on other aspects of TV design such as smart TV, backlighting technology, OLED and 3D. This report is delivered in PowerPoint and includes Excel-based data and tables.