Alongside a refreshed lineup of Neo QLED and OLED TVs, Samsung unveiled a 76-inch version of its Micro LED display at CES 2023. It's the smallest-ever Micro LED people will actually be able to buy.
While the Micro LED CX’s display looked as eye-catching as ever on the show floor, the allure is a bit dampened by the fact the technology is still too expensive for most consumers. The silver lining? Samsung says that this probably won’t be the case forever; in fact, the launch of the 76-inch configuration could be a big step toward taking Micro LED mainstream.
When Samsung first debuted The Wall, a 146-inch behemoth of a screen, customers perhaps weren’t so much concerned about price as where they could possibly fit a TV this size. But as Samsung started to scale Micro LED displays down to “normal” sizes (last year it came in a 86-inch configuration,) the technology seemed more accessible from an installation standpoint.
That’s even more the case with the 76-inch Micro LED CX, which could’ve been mistaken for the new Samsung QN95C Neo QLED TV or Samsung S95C OLED TV if you weren’t paying close attention. Unlike all the Micro LED TVs we’ve previously seen from Samsung, this one looks like it could be displayed alongside QLEDs and OLEDs at Target or Best Buy.
Of course, upon closer inspection, we saw that the Micro LED CX’s picture stood out from the types of OLED TVs and QLED TVs we normally test in our lab.
“It’s brighter, it has perfect black levels, perfect off-angle viewing, perfect color, perfect color volume, it’s millimeters thick — everything about it is just phenomenal,” said Dan Schinasi, Samsung TV director of product planning.
As a refresher, Micro LED is designed to take everything that's great about OLEDs — the self-emissive technology, the perfect blacks and the outstanding colors — while ditching the organic compounds. That translates to Micro LED panels being exceedingly thin and capable of delivering outstanding viewing angles.
While this all sounds great, Micro LED’s position as an emerging display technology means it’s not currently suited for a large-scale production line. Yet an underrated upgrade to how Samsung is making Micro LED TVs could move the products in the mass market’s direction.
“There’s some new manufacturing techniques about how they attach the LEDs,” said Schinasi. “They take them off the crystal and attach it to the wafers, and using a laser, instead of just attaching them one-by-one — there’s millions of these LEDs — they’re doing it with lasers that can do it 15 times faster. By doing it faster, they can produce these more efficiently faster, driving down the cost. So when costs are driven down, then in theory it’s possible to make smaller sizes.”
Samsung even showed off smaller Micro LED TV’s at CES, in the form of 63- and 50-inch configurations; however, these sizes won’t be available for purchase in 2023.
“Those are more for proof of concept,” Schinasi said. “Micro LED is a large-screen experience. In some cases, you’re even seeing Micro LED replace a traditional cinema. It can scale to something that large, and it’s really quite impressive.”
For now, Micro LED remains reserved for premium customers. If you're able to afford it, it's an elevated kind of TV-watching experience that could possibly ruin all other TVs for you.
"The consumer can have this ultimate viewing experience that you can’t get otherwise in your home," said Lydia Cho, Samsung TV head of product marketing. "It’s now available to the customers. What’s really exciting is that it’s the best-of-the-best out there."
Next: This is the TV I'm most excited for this year — and it's not from LG or Samsung.
I didn't see mention of a price??