Samsung and LG call truce in battle over who is better in TV production

08, Jun. 2020

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

SEOUL, AJU - In the face of a tough challenge from foreign rivals, Samsung Electronics and its domestic rival LG Electronics have called a truce in their battle over who is better in producing super high-definition TVs. The ceasefire comes as the two major TV makers step up their drive to take the upper hand in the global premium TV market.

Samsung and LG have retracted charges against each other, the Fair Trade Commission, a state anti-trust watchdog, said, adding concerns over consumer misunderstanding were resolved as LG stopped its negative marketing.

For years, the two companies have tried to take the upper hand in the premium TV market. LG focuses on OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology while Samsung's quantum dot LED (QLED) TVs use nano-crystals to enhance the brightness and color of its display. A quantum dot film layer was placed between the liquid crystal displays (LCD) panel and the LED backlight.

The battle reached its peach in September 2019 when LG filed a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission, accusing Samsung of misleading consumers with false hyperbole advertising. LG argued QLED TVs are structurally identical to LCD TVs because they have no separate self-emitting light source.

Samsung filed a countersuit, accusing LG of violating a law by with groundless allegations. Since then, the two companies have launched a smear campaign against each other. At the center of contention was Contrast Modulation (CM).

The International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM) defined the measurement of CM which describes accurately and quantitatively how distinguishable the neighboring pixels are from each another. For any TV display to deliver the resolution indicated by its pixel count, ICDM requires the minimum CM value to exceed a threshold of 25 percent for images and 50 percent for text.

LG argued Samsung's QLED TVs fell short of ICDM's requirements, highlighting the limitations of QLED TV's backlight. Samsung described CM as an old concept which is not suitable for the evaluation of ultra-high-resolution color displays. Samsung officials said 8K QLED TVs meet resolution standards set by the International Organization for Standardization, a standard-setting body, while LG's 8K OLED TV does not properly implement 8K contents.

To cope with an aggressive investment by Chinese companies that have glutted the global LCD market, Samsung and LG have an inevitable choice to shut down LCD production in a strategic shift to widen a technological gap in next-generation technologies.

LG has also promised to release microLED TVs. MicroLED is an emerging technology that uses microscopic LEDs. Compared to OLED displays, microLED displays have higher brightness and a wider range of color. Also, the new LED technology does not have luminance decay issues commonly found on OLED displays.

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas in January, Samsung showcased a new lineup of TVs using its latest microLED technology that features ultra-slim designs and almost no bezels. Samsung said multiple microLED TVs of various sizes can be put together and connected to create new combinations.

To enhance the quality of QLED technology, Samsung has disclosed a massive investment to produce next-generation quantum dot organic light-emitting diode (QD-OLED) panels. QD-OLED is hybrid display technology that uses OLED to create blue light and a quantum dot layer to covert some of the blue into red and green.