For the last few years, one of the most consistently awe-inspiring displays at all of CES has been Samsung’s “The Wall” MicroLED display. The Wall is something that neither words nor video can do justice, and is perhaps the single most “you’ve gotta see it in person” item at CES. Comprised of modular panels that fit together to form a seamless screen of virtually unlimited size, The Wall is a towering vision of the future of TVs.
The Wall is made possible because of microLED, which promises to be the next revolution in display technology. It combines the best of both LED and OLED technology: the potential brightness and long-life of the former, with the self-emmisive nature of the latter. A microLED display won’t need a backlight, and doesn’t have the risk of burn-in inherent to OLEDs. Samsung’s microLED displays come in modular panels which can be connected together to create a totally seamless display, thanks to an essentially imperceptible gap between individual diodes. There’s no realistic limit to how many panels can be joined, so—assuming the presence of an adequate power supply and a video source that can drive the display—a user can easily build a 16K or 32K screen to cover an entire wall.
But Samsung’s microLED is about more than just pure display size. It also promises new levels of picture quality, besting both LED and OLED TVs. You’ll get better color purity and peak brightness than LED TVs, with the pure blacks and extreme contrast ratio of OLEDs. Plus, since microLED will first be used in commercial applications, it’s designed with an ultra-low reflective surface, and built to resist dust, water and impacts. You’ll be able to confidently install a microLED display just about anywhere.
Sounds amazing, huh? Unfortunately, there’s a catch (as there often is with tech this promising): microLED is very difficult to manufacture, which means it’s very expensive to manufacture. But that won’t keep microLED from making it to market. Samsung tells us that microLED will be “consumer ready” this year—expect to see microLED TVs in preset sizes before the end of 2020.