Beyond 4K: Should you buy a quantum dot TV?
Many people are just coming around to the idea that their high-def televisions have already been surpassed by much buzzed-about 4K/Ultra high-definition technology, but wait—there’s another new television technology on the block. That’s newcomer is the quantum dot television, and it’s one you’re going to want to know about.
What is quantum dot television?
Quantum dot televisions work very similarly to LCD televisions, with the addition of one crucial element … you guessed it: quantum dots. LCD TVs have been around for a while, and the good news there is that there has been a lot of time to hone LCD performance. Adding quantum dots to the equation is just a way of taking that technology to the next level.
What’s so great about quantum dots?
Great performance at a lower price point. In general, the prevailing wisdom would call OLED televisions (a TV display technology based on organic light) the top TV tech out there, but there’s one problem: it’s very expensive. It’s so expensive, in fact, that only a few companies are even attempting to produce televisions with OLED technology.
Quantum dot technology can produce similarly rich color, exceptional contrast and lower energy use, all at a significantly lower price than OLED televisions. Part of the reason for this is that quantum dots technology is based on the established, well-understood platform of LCD technology. No need to (expensively) reinvent the wheel.
What’s the downside?
While these televisions do offer richer color than you’ve likely ever experienced in a home viewing environment, they share one major challenge with their more expensive cousins, OLED TVs, as well as 4K ultra high-def TVs: content. Actually getting movies, cable, satellite or Internet streaming services like Netflix or Hulu that deliver the experience promised by these systems is uncommon.
Some movies have been or are being remastered to work with these high-tech systems to deliver authentically rich color and sharpness, and the rest of the content will improve in time, but right now, investing in one is a bit like buying a spaceship to drive to the grocery store.
That said, things are changing at light speed, and content is catching up. Look for major upgrades to content within the next year for sure.
Where can I get a quantum dot television?
Right now, a number of manufacturers are developing quantum dot TVs, including Sony, Samsung, LG and TCL, a few of which were showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but which have yet to hit stores, despite predictions that they would be available by spring. Despite the delay, electronics enthusiasts are early awaiting their chance to test these companies’ new quantum offerings, and we’ll bring them to you as they happen.
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