Dubai: New TV technology has started to roll out, starting with Quantum Dot by Samsung and Chinese manufacturer TCL.
Quantum Dots are just a new film added to an LED screen to produce deeper, brightness and richer colours and to withstand the challenge posed by OLED technology.
Vinod Nair, general manager of Audio Visual at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said that the picture quality is two times better than the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and the manufacturing cost is only around 50 per cent of OLED. It gives 64 times more colour reproduction and 2.5 times brighter than conventional TVs.
Samsung calls its Quantum Dot TV as “SUHD”.
“SUHD has a 4K resolution display. Quantum Dot is a dramatic improvement in LED line up and the amount of brightness, colour and contrast it can deliver are much more than a 4K TV,” he said.
Samsung will run all its TVs on Tizen operating system and LG has its own upgraded WebOS. Panasonic has formed an alliance with Mozilla to bring Firefox OS while Sony, Sharp, Toshiba and Philips are turning to Android TV.
Samsung has started pre-bookings for its 78-inch curved SUHD TV for Dh34,999 and a 65-inch curved model for Dh17,999. The pre-booked customers will also get a new Samsung S6 Edge for free. The 78-inch 4K TV is priced at Dh22,999 while the 65-inch for Dh10,999.
Samsung launched its 65-inch 4K TV last year for Dh26,999 while LG launched the same screen size for Dh19,999.
Deepak Babani, CEO of Eros Group and the distributor for TCL and Samsung TVs in the UAE, said that TCL will launch a 55-inch Quantum Dot TV with Harmon Kardon speaker for Dh7,999 by end of the month, and a pre-booked customer will get a Dh1,000 gift voucher.
He said the same size 4K TV by TCL is priced at Dh3,999.
“When comparing SUHD with UHD, the price difference is only around 20 per cent. There will be some tech-savvy people who prefer high picture quality. The advantage of SUHD is that the image does not burn out compared to an OLED TVs,” Babani said.
He said the TV sales have narrowed down before Gitex, so the demand should be good and expect a spike in sales.
“We expect the whole of February TV sales to happen in the next four days. Prices of some TV models will be discounted. For example, a 65-inch curved 4K TV will be sold for Dh7,499 compared to the pre-Gitex price of Dh9,999 while a 55-inch 4K TV for Dh5,499 compared to pre-Gitex price of Dh6,299,” he said.
Nair said the prices of SUHD TVs are similar to the prices of 4K TVs when launched last year.
Samsung sees 10 per cent growth in UAE TV sales this year. The top TV manufacturer recorded 46 per cent growth in value in 2014 and 38 per cent rise in volume.
LG bets on OLED
The second largest manufacturer LG, meanwhile, will focus on 4K OLED with better resolution and bigger sizes.
“The year will be good for LG to improve its premium image in the industry,” said D.Y. Kim, President LG Electronics Gulf.
He said that 4K TVs will become more common this year and in smaller sizes — 40 and 42 inches.
LG bets on OLED as a much better technology than Quantum Dot and Kim said that OLED will eventually win the race.
LG aims to ship 600,000 OLED panels globally in 2015 and 1.5 million in 2016.
LG will be launching it new OLED models in the UAE by May.
Kim said UHD TV will be the main growth factor for this year as it has become very affordable. LG will improve its picture colour quality via wide colour gamut (WCG) technology in UHD TVs.
WCG is the combination of software and chip. It is less expensive than Quantum Dot technology and give more colour reproduction.
Kim sees OLED TVs remaining in the premium segment but said that quantum dots are just many ways to improve colour range in a UHD TV.
He said that LED contrast ratio cannot be better than OLED even though LG is also launching its quantum dot TVs known as ColourPrime UHD TVs.
Nair said that Quantum Dot is going to be the next big thing in UHD TV technology and Samsung’s bet will be on this technology.