Don’t Hold Your Breath for Micro LED

Image: LG

Yesterday, LG unveiled a 163-inch display called the LG MAGNIT. Ginormous size aside, this happens to be the first commercially available panel leveraging Micro LED, the mythical successor to OLED: today’s preeminent display technology. Broadly speaking, Micro LED is supposed to displace OLED because it doesn’t rely on organic materials, which inevitably degrade and result in embarrassing defects like severe image retention or, worse, permanent burn-in.

A lot of AV enthusiasts have skipped out on LG and Sony’s OLEDs for this very reason, proudly proclaiming that they’re going to “wait for Micro LED” despite mass production seemingly being years away. But while LG’s recent MAGNIT announcement has brought a bit of optimism (again, it’s commercially available, apparently), experts such as HDTVTest’s Vincent Teoh are warning that Micro LED is still a pipe dream.

Teoh shared a video today revealing the “brutal truth” about Micro LED and why people may want to move on. As you might imagine, the technology is a nightmare to manufacture due to the countless, microscopic LED modules that comprise each panel. This probably explains why the MAGNIT is only 4K despite measuring 163 inches – the defects at 8K (assuming LG dared to try it) were probably extreme.

Of course, all of these production headaches amount to ridiculous prices for consumers. While LG did not reveal the price for its Micro LED display, Teoh pointed out that the cheapest one available today (Sony’s 146-inch “Crystal LED”) already costs 350,000 Euros ($415,000). That’s a stupid amount of money.

The point of all this is that people who desire the best image quality should just invest in OLED, as no alternative will be mass produced and sold at sane prices any time soon. Sure, burn-in is a very real concern, but calibrating your set properly (e.g., don’t run it at insane brightness settings) and not watching CNN all day does wonders.

Original Press Release:

Launching this week in key markets of the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, LG Electronics’ new Micro LED signage solution, LG MAGNIT, will deliver groundbreaking picture quality and durability with LG’s proprietary Black Coating display technology as well as streamlined installation with its clever block-assembly design.

An evolutionary step forward in display technology, Micro LED features self-emissive micrometer-scale pixels applied directly to the substrate board, to deliver sharper images with improved contrast and a wider viewing angle. And LG’s new Black Coating technology applied to the front of the displays is designed to improve contrast and color accuracy while helping to protect the tiny LED pixels from moisture, dust and external impact. Anti-glare and anti-fingerprint, LG Black Coating also minimizes distracting reflections and makes it easier to remove unsightly smudges.

The versatile LG MAGNIT is ideal for luxury consumers seeking a premium, large-scale display for the home with 163 inches of 4K resolution for enjoying favorite movies, series and sports. Featuring LG’s webOS smart signage platform for intuitive navigation and control of the many useful functions, including features and presets, LG MAGNIT’s superb picture quality is boosted by an AI-powered α (Alpha) image processor found in state-of-the-art LG TVs that intelligently analyzes content and source and automatically optimizes visual output in real-time.

In addition to spectacular images, LG MAGNIT offers the benefit of hassle-free installation and configuration. Each Micro LED cabinet measures only 600W x 337.5H x 44.9D mm and links seamlessly to other cabinets, allowing technicians to quickly and painlessly erect large-scale display on site. The ability to smoothly send and receive signals wirelessly is due to LG’s non-contact connector technology. LG’s block-assembly design allows power to be sent to each cabinet via pin connectors located on the edges of the LED cabinet hub. And LG MAGNIT cuts the time needed for cable management, with only a few wires on the back of the displays to link the cabinets to system controllers and power mains.

“It’s always exciting to present true innovation in LED signage and we are particularly thrilled to introduce our LG MAGNIT lineup at this time,” said Paik Ki-mun, senior vice president and head of the Information Display business unit of LG Electronics Business Solutions Company. “With its combination of superior picture quality, expandability and convenient setup, LG MAGNIT is a great Micro LED signage solution for a wide variety of commercial and public spaces, including convention centers, corporate and hotel lobbies, luxury boutiques, broadcast studios, control rooms, exhibition halls and museums.”

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