You might have heard about Quantum Dot technology in the newest TV screens from industry players like Samsung. You might even have heard that Samsung has decided to go all-in on Quantum Dot technology in their QLED TVs over the older OLED screens. But what does all of this mean and why does it matter to anyone?
What Is HDR?
High Dynamic Range – or HDR for short – is basically how bright or dark a TV screen can render a scene. For example, in scenes with lots of sun and dark shadow areas, a standard TV screen will struggle to render all of the details in those areas.
In fact, this is one of the challenges that digital cameras face. Digital sensors in general often struggle to record enough information in the highlights and the shadows of an image – or the brightest and darkest areas. What this means is that the resulting image is lacking details in those areas and it can look a bit flat.
Camera manufacturers have solved this issue to some extent with a technique called HDR bracketing. This is a photographic technique where three or more of the same scene is captured at different exposure values. These photos are then combined cleverly and the darkest and brightest areas contain as much detail as the multiple exposures have captured.
The same is true of older TV screens. Screens that can’t display High Dynamic Range images tend to look flat and even a bit washed out. There are details lacking in both the brightest and darkest areas. The good news is that Quantum HDR technology solves this.
How Does Quantum HDR Make a Difference?
Samsung QLED TVs implement a technology called Quantum Dot HDR. So, how does it work and why is it beneficial?
Every TV screen is made of lots and lots of tiny pixels that display color and brightness information. The images look good, especially on the best resolution screens, but Quantum Dot HDR improves this significantly.
Quantum Dots are tiny particles that are only 50 atoms wide. You definitely cannot see these dots with the naked eye as they are so tiny. These Quantum Dots take the place of the much larger pixels that have traditionally been used in TV panels.
So, what are the benefits of Quantum HDR vs HDR? Consider the following:
1. Much Brighter
HDR produces great peak brightness in the brightest areas of an image, but quantum dots allow for even more brightness to be displayed while preserving picture details.
What this effectively means in practice is that you could theoretically see a scene on the screen of a sunrise and feel as if you are looking right at the sun. The quantum dots would produce an image so real and so bright that it would be like looking out of your own window.
2. Better Colors
HDR does indeed produce better color accuracy than the old standard definition screens, without any doubt. But the tiny size of each quantum dot means that it can be tuned much more accurately to render more lifelike colors.
For example, you might see a high-resolution image on the screen that contains lots of delicate colored gradients. It would certainly look good on regular HDR, but a quantum HDR screen would much better preserve all of the detail, luminance, and color accuracy. In effect, those delicate gradients would look as real on the screen as if you were using your own eyes to see them in real life.
Without any doubt, the development of quantum dot technology will improve TV screen panels. This technology provides superior resolution, better color accuracy, and better High Dynamic Range.