Samsung confirmed rumors today and announced a massive, modular MicroLED TV called The Wall.
The easiest way to think of it is a fine pitch LED wall for the consumer market. The announced configuration for CES this week is 146-inches diagonal, but it is positioned as something that can be made bigger, smaller or a different shape, by adding or removing modules. So like I said – a video wall, for stinking rich people.
“At Samsung, we are dedicated to providing consumers with a wide range of cutting-edge viewing experiences,” says Jonghee Han, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “As the world’s first consumer modular MicroLED television, ‘The Wall’ represents another breakthrough. It can be customized to any size and delivers incredible brightness, color gamut, color volume and black levels. We’re excited about this next step toward the future of screen technology and the remarkable viewing experience it offers consumers.”
Micro LED is an advanced variation on fine pitch LED that uses microscopic LEDs to create displays in a range of sizes. Nerds argue over whether the Sony CLEDIS display shown in the past year at ISE and InfoComm is true micro LED, but it’s in the ballpark.
Micro LED displays have LEDs smaller than 100 micrometers, and each LED chip generates a light source. The problem with this tech is that you need millions and millions of teeny LEDs to make a substantial screen. That means a lot of cost in material, but also in time. There are no robotics machines out there that pick and place LEDs on a substrate to “build” one of these screens quickly.
The press release has few details about the tech, the price or release date (if it goes beyond trade show candy). The only details I could get is that the display can push as much as 2,000 nits and that the self-emitting technology “delivers incredible definition without restrictions to size, resolution or form. It replaces color filters with micrometer (µm) scale LEDs, which are much smaller than current LEDs …”
Interview with Samsung guy by excited AV nerd:
It’s likely what Samsung is demo’ing would have taken days or more likely weeks for a machine to build. There is lots of R&D work going on to figure out how to mass transfer LED chips, which would dramatically speed up manufacturing. Samsung would have the resources and financial clout to fast-track that development, or buy a company that has figured that out.
Some analysis here …
Samsung introduces a 146-inch modular, MicroLED based TV it calls The Wall. Now we're left to guess what's Beyond The Wall. pic.twitter.com/SrwFFPjNke
— David Katzmaier (@dkatzmaier) January 8, 2018
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.