LG Renews Commitment to HDR in OLED Lineup, While Samsung Stands Firm with 'QLED' Screens

It's a busy week in the TV business, as CES exhibitors roll out their best and brightest new displays, in many cases adding support for different flavors of HDR color. Vendors hope HDR is the next big feature add that will give consumers a compelling reason to upgrade their sets. 

LG already has a line of Super UHD LED TVs that supported the basic HDR10 standard as well as Dolby Vision, but upped the ante by announcing that all of its new OLED displays support HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. In addition, LG promised the 2017 models are "ready to support" the Advanced HDR by Technicolor scheme for HDR display, which includes technology for "upconverting" SDR content.

Along the same lines, LG has added the HDR Effect function, which it says reprocesses SD content to give it a brighter look with enhanced contrast.

LG said its CES booth would highlight an array of HDR content, most of which is delivered to consumers via OTT services. Demos included screenings of HLG material from DirecTV, Dolby Vision shows from Netflix, and HDR10 content from Amazon Prime Video, LG said.

Another win for Dolby came from TCL, which introduced the least-expensive Dolby Vision-enabled sets to date — the 50-inch P-Series TV will sell for $500 when it ships later this year. Dolby Vision TCL TVs will be available with screen sizes ranging all the way up to 75 inches, TCL said.

Dolby, meanwhile, announced that Lionsgate, Universal, and Warner Bros. had committed to releasing Dolby Vision UHD Blu-ray Discs starting early this year — good news for those who own Dolby Vision-enabled sets, but potentially irksome for anyone who already owns a TV that supports only HDR10. (However, Dolby Vision UHD Blu-rays should include an HDR10 base layer for compatibility with non-Dolby players and displays.)

Samsung qled

Photo courtesy Samsung

Speaking of TVs that don't support Dolby Vision, Samsung is sticking to its guns this year. Not only is the company ignoring Dolby Vision, it is continuing to naysay OLED in favor of its own quantum-dot technology, now branded as QLED. The company said its QLED displays can accurately capture all colors in the DCI-P3 color space at all levels of brightness between 1,500 and 2,000 nits. 

Samsung is also promising improved performance in the blacks. Furthermore, angles of viewing are said to be much better with QLED displays compared to traditional LED LCD screens.

Panasonic is touting the TX-65EZ1002B, a 65-inch OLED screen that supports HDR10 and HLG (but not Dolby Vision). It's described as an "ultra-bright panel" but we're waiting to hear more about what that actually means. 

In this context, it will be interesting to see what Sony reveals in its own press announcements later today. Rumor has it the company will announce its own OLED TVs, using LG panels, at least in prototype form. (Sony has been producing OLED professional reference monitors for years, but not full-size consumer grade TVs.)

Sony is not, however, expected to join the Dolby Vision camp this year. Maybe in 2018?