LG & Sony to announce advances in OLED & MicroLED

Mike Wheatley

LG Display could launch larger and brighter 4K OLED TVs next year, while Sony has promised to introduce a “breakthrough premium direct-view display technology” that will most likely be some new kind of MicroLED display.


LG Display originally only made three different OLED display sizes, namely 55-inch, 65-inch and 77 inch screens, before introducing a smaller 48-inch panel last year. For 2021, the company is reportedly planning to go bigger and roll out its first 83-inch 4K OLED TV panels, according to a report by AVCesar.

The company additionally makes 77-inch and 88-inch 8K OLED panels.

It’s a promising development, and not only for LG Electronics but for other companies too, as LG Display also sells its OLED panels to the likes of Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Vizio. So, if the larger panels do appear there’s a good chance those brands will also start selling bigger 4K OLED models from next year.

The more interesting possibility though is that LG is trying to make its OLED panels even brighter. The AVCesar report mentions a “high luminosity” OLED panel that has a peak brightness of about 1,000 nits, similar to the customized panel that’s found in Panasonic’s flagship OLED TVs.

A second report in Flatpanels HD said that according to an anonymous source, what LG is actually developing is “the next OLED evolution” where the pixels are built with a new luminous element and composition that enables more brightness. Flatpanels HD said the new displays are 20% brighter than existing OLED is capable of, though it stressed that none of this can be confirmed.

The main criticism of OLED panels is that they’re not as bright as regular LCD is, making them difficult to view in brighter rooms. So if LG really can make its OLED panels brighter that would perhaps allow the company to finally claim superiority over Samsung’s QLED displays, as they’re already considered to offer deeper blacks and better contrast. We're expecting some kind of advance in LG's OLED displays anyhow, for the company recently claimed that its 2021 OLED TVs landed an "innovation award" that will be presented during CES 2021.

In other news, Sony has said in a teaser video that it will unveil a new kind of display technology during an event that’s planned for January 6. The video outlines the “innovation and milestones in display technology” that led to the company’s first ever MicroLED TV prototype, which was shown off at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.

That prototype later evolved into Sony’s modular Crystal LED display, similar to Samsung’s The Wall that went on sale last year. Both of those screens were aimed at commercial applications and luxury installations rather than the consumer market, but Samsung will launch a more traditional form-factor MicroLED TV next year that’s aimed at consumers, albeit only those who’re extremely rich.

"Join us as we unveil the next Sony breakthrough in premium direct-view display technology, designed to faithfully bring content to life as the creator intended," Sony said in its teaser video.

While Sony doesn’t say MicroLED by name, the video strongly hints at the prospect. But interestingly, the video was made by Sony Professional Solutions, so it’s more likely to be a display for the custom installer market than a consumer product.