I don’t think that many people will qualify 2020 as a “great year”… I wrote a book 7 years ago titled “2020: The end of television” where I was foreseeing traditional television loosing it’s dominant media position by this year… However, I didn’t foresee that 2020 would be “The end of life as we known it”!
Joking aside, I wanted to talk about OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) in TV screens. I think that it was about 25 years ago when I first saw OLED screens in trade shows. Those were prototypes but the potential was very clear. The fact that it didn’t need backlit meant that the potential for contrast, viewing angle and quality was much better than any other technologies at the time.
But because OLED is organic (based on carbon atoms), it is fragiles and subject to degrade if there is a contact with oxygen or humidity. So, while I wanted to get an OLED TV eventually, it would take a few decade for the technology an manufacturing process to produce cost effective screens that are big and reliables.
And finally this year, it reached a point where I was able to buy one! It’s now being a few weeks since I installed a 65 inch 4K OLED screen in my living room. It produce an absolutely stunning picture, especially when watching 4K HDR (high dynamic range) content. One thing that I am still getting used to is when the picture goes to black between scenes… it is so completely dark that it is exactly as if we turned the TV off! There is also zero light leaks between a white pixel and a black pixel next to it, it is a very unusual experience to watch it when you did spent your life using displays that had much more limitations.
Can TV screens get better than this? I am sure it is possible but we really reached a point this year where it is possible to get stunning pictures in a average living room on a budget that won’t need you to take a second mortgage!
In a sense, and don’t we need some positive news this year, 2020 is the year of OLED… well, at least for me it is!