Back in February of this year, a rumor went around that Samsung would utilize OLED technology in some sort of hybrid quantum dot- OLED TV. Not long after Samsung initially denied the reports, the company let on that is was researching a hybrid QD-OLED approach , but said it had no plans to commercialize it.

Now it appears that the rumor has legs because a new report from South Korea's ETNews , which has been picked up by OLED-info and HD-Guru indicate that Samsung could well be pursuing a novel approach to making a TV that combines the benefits of OLED and quantum dots.

According to the OLED-info article, Samsung already has working prototype panels using this process and has ordered the equipment needed to put together a pilot production line that could be up and running in the second half of 2019. Of course, that does not mean the technology will come to market—Samsung could be serious in saying it's just investigating what's possible using this approach, which is an alternative to the WRGB OLED technology (featuring a white pixel as well as red, green, and blue pixels) used by arch-competitor LG .

Samsung Display signed a non-disclosure agreement with Canon-Nokki (the company that will provide the equipment for making the OLED layer), so presumably, the story is a leak. The news also noted that Samsung is working with inkjet-deposition process specialists Kateeva ; apparently, the company will provide the inkjet-deposition machines that apply the quantum-dot layer.

Currently, Samsung is pursuing microLED technology in the form of The Wall, which was introduced at CES 2018 and provides a 146" 4K screen. The main issue with microLED is that the technology is expensive, and it is not yet possible to cost effectively make 4K TVs at sizes consumers would buy using the tech. However, microLED is an "endgame" technology that checks all the boxes for performance, so it makes sense that Samsung would pursue it.

Meanwhile, Samsung's premium consumer TVs currently use an LED backlight and a quantum-dot layer to render vivid color, but the native contrast of these displays is limited compared to OLED technology, and the FALD (full-array local-dimming) backlight implementations are just not thin and sexy like OLED.

What makes this development interesting is that current OLED technology has started to plateau in terms of performance. Long story short, OLED TVs are struggling to get to 1000 nits of peak brightness and 100% DCI/P3 color coverage. If there's a way to get the qualities of an emissive display technology (with its perfect blacks) with the cost effectiveness of transmissive quantum-dot LED-lit LCD (with its brighter whites and higher color volume), that's sure to be appealing.

Of course, I can't predict the future. However, there are enough hints now to indicate that this rumor has a chance of coming true. As a consequence, it seems worth reigniting the discussion, so the comments link in this article will take you to the discussion that began in February. See you there!

The discussion thread can be found here: