News Article

Time to Buy a Quantum Dot TV
Date: May 15, 2013
Author: Chris Chinnock
Source: Display Central ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: QD Vision Inc of Lexington, MA

Vs -- The quantum dot TV era has arrived. You can now buy both FHD and UHD models from Sony that feature quantum dot technology from QD Vision. Why is the technology important? Because it can offer about the same image quality of AMOLED TVs, but at fraction of the cost -- and it is available now.

To see if this was true, I called up my local Best Buy store to see if they had any quantum dot TVs in stock. Sony calls these models Triluminous TVs. Unfortunately, the local store did not have them on the show floor, so I could not eyeball them for this article. But they are available for pre-order. Best Buy carries the Sony XBR55X900A and the XBR65X900A UHD models (55″ and 65″) for $4,999.98 and $6,999.98. These 4K TVs are 3D-capable, offer a 120Hz refresh rate, access to OTT content and more.

The site offers the KDL-55W900A, a 55″ FHD Triluminous model for $2,799.99 (available May 20th). This includes X-Reality PRO, Dynamic Edge LED backlight, Motionflow XR 960, S-Force surround sound, wireless smartphone screen mirroring with NFC technology, and built-in Wi-Fi. The same TV is available on

For comparison, a 55-inch curved OLED TV from LG is now in pre-order status for $13K. It has FHD resolution. Is curved and OLED worth $10K?

Sony even has a little video that plays on the Best Buy site to explain what Triluminous is. The way they explain it, Triluminous uses a much bigger box of colored crayons to paint the picture. Normal TV use a smaller box of colors. They then show how strawberries look redder, skin tones are more natural and oceans water is more aqua colored with Triluminous.

QD Vision calls their quantum dot technology Color IQ. Quantum dots are semiconductor nano crystals that are embedded into a glass optic that is placed at the edge of an edge-lit LED backlight. The white LEDs are replaced with blue LEDs, which then stimulate the quantum dots. The red and green quantum dot materials have two different sizes as their size determines the light output. Part of the blue light is absorbed by the nanocrystals and re-emitted as red and green light. Blue LED light also passes through the optic to produce that component.

As can be scene in the images below, Color IQ allows for a more narrow emission in the red, green and blue and a wider color gamut compared to using white LEDs (not really more crayons, but maybe that helps with consumers understand the technology).

We had a chance to talk to Matt Mazzuchi, Vice President, Market and Business Development at QD Vision today. He told us that the company has grown significantly to about 150 people to support the production of the Color IQ product. They recently located to a new Lexington, MA facility, but are already bursting at the seams. This is a clear success story for the U.S. display industry -- with product made in the U.S. In March, the company closed on a $20M round of financing that will be used to support expansion of its high volume production capacity.

The Color IQ product is aimed at edge-lit backlights, but there has been a trend recently to offer direct-type LED backlights. As Mazzuchi noted, these direct lit products tend to be lower cost, smaller sized and thicker than most edge-lit TVs. "Right now, we remain focused on edge lit TVs as this is the main part of the market and offers the best performance, making them most suitable for integration of the Color IQ technology." As several of our analysts have expressed previously, OLED may indeed have a really hard time competing against LCD quantum dot solutions in big screen TVs.

The company also released news today that they have now achieved an external quantum efficiency of 18% for their QLED devices, which are a bit different than the company's Color IQ product. QLEDs are electrically activated nanocrystals, as opposed to the photo luminescent or optically activated Color IQ product. QLED devices can be fabricated on high resolution backplanes for use in electronic viewfinders, for example. Potentially, they can be used to make larger-sized direct-view display too, but that is a ways off.

This efficiency level is near the fundamental efficiency limit for the technology, and twice the previously reported efficiency, so quite a breakthrough. At this level, the efficiency is slightly better than evaporated OLED and significantly better than solution-based OLEDs.

QD Vision will be at SID next week where we plan to meet with them and shoot a news video. Watch for our coverage of this event. -Chris Chinnock

5 Responses to Time to Buy a Quantum Dot TV

This sounds like the same slow, leaky, LCD display with a different backlight scheme. OLEDs are faster with more precise color and they don't leak when a pixel is shut off. Am I wrong?
May 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm
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sure, it is still an LCD so has all the temporal issues. But at least quantum dots help a lot with the color gamut. -- Chris

Chris Chinnock
May 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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Right on the money Chris -- same response and same dark contrast characteristics, but improved colour gamut, derived from the narrow band RGB emissions. The LCD response will likely always be inferior to OLED and the reduced dark contrast probably does not matter -- unless the purists like viewing in the dark. Display reflections soon reduce real world contrast so those big numbers are really irrelevant.

The narrow spectral emissions though -- this is important, because it could allow the LCD manufacturer to run with rather poor RGB filters that improve the effective transmission and so reduce power or increase luminance. And then there is the improved (i.e. greater colour saturation, following from the fact that each primary is better saturated. This does make it a great equaliser in the OLED performance battle.

But just wait -- someone will say colours are "over-saturated". Oh well.