Samsung's 2024 OLED TV panel lottery: Here's what to expect

Mike Wheatley

Having agreed to buy millions of WRGB OLED panels from LG Display last year, Samsung Electronics has decided to go ahead with what will effectively become a lottery for buyers of its upcoming 2024 OLED televisions, according to media reports.


A report in Flatpanels HD said anyone who buys one of Samsung’s OLED TVs will experience a “panel lottery”, because the company won’t make it clear exactly what kind of display technology is being used in each model it sells.

Until recently, consumers who bought an OLED TV would always know exactly what they’re getting for their money, because LG Display’s WRBG OLED panels were the only offering available. Every OLED TV sold by the likes of LG, Sony, Philips and so on used an LG-built WRGB OLED panel.

However that changed when Samsung Display debuted its QD-OLED technology in early 2022. The company branded its first QD-OLED TVs simply as “OLED TVs”, unlike other brands such as Sony, which specifically designated its TVs as being QD-OLED.

We now know why Samsung has decided to take this approach. The company hopes to shift millions of OLED TVs this year, but Samsung Display doesn’t have the capacity to manufacture that many QD-OLED displays, hence the company is making up the shortfall by acquiring millions of WRGB OLED panels from LG Display.

As such, the company is simply calling its most advanced TVs “OLED”, and the exact type of panel used in some models will be a lottery, FlatPanels HD and The Elec reported this week.

The decision will cause a lot of confusion for anyone who cares about the type of panel being used, and there are good reasons to care about it. Most experts agree that QD-OLED delivers higher colour volumes and peak brightness than WRGB OLED. However, the latter does not suffer from raised blacks in bright environments, unlike QD-OLED, which does. So ideally, consumers in the know would like to have a choice of which technology they’re buying, taking these differences into consideration.

But Samsung won’t allow consumers to choose on certain types of “OLED” TV models this year.

The good news is that anyone buying Samsung’s flagship S95D TV should almost certainly get a QD-OLED panel, as the company appears to be keeping them in reserve for its premium and most expensive model. The S95D will only be available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch sizes, because Samsung Display is currently unable to mass produce smaller, or larger sizes than this.

Where it gets really confusing is with the Samsung S90D step down model, which will be sold in a wide range of 42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch sizes. Consumers will know that if they buy a 42-, 48- or 83-inch S90D, they’ll definitely be getting one of LG Display’s WRGB OLED panels, but those who opt for one of the other sizes will be subject to the lottery, as the type of panel used could be either, FlatPanels HD reported.

Further complicating things, The Elec says Samsung may sell different variants of the S90D TV in different regions, so we could possibly see models such as the S91D, S92D, S93D and so on.

Last, Samsung’s S85D, which is a brand new model, will probably only feature WRGB OLED panels, as the company reserves its “best” displays for its higher-end TVs.

Flatpanels HD points out that none of this has been confirmed, so even its guesstimates might be considered a lottery. Nonetheless, consumers should know that there will be plenty of guesswork in store if they opt to buy a Samsung OLED TV this year.

For those who are still confused, HDTVTest has put together this detailed explainer to illustrate what Samsung OLED TV buyers can expect: