Samsung’s cheaper OLED 4K TVs hang in the balance as it battles LG

Samsung is launching its first-ever 4K OLED TVs this year – that’s for sure. The Samsung S95B is now available for purchase in many countries, but this model uses a new generation QD-OLED panel that has never been seen before, which naturally means that it has a high price, even for OLED.

But it’s been rumored for months that Samsung is also planning to launch OLED TVs with the more standard W-OLED panel, which you’ll find on all of today’s best OLED TVs. These other TVs might be a lot cheaper than the S95B, but they haven’t officially made an appearance yet.

A recent report from The Elec seems to shed some light on why: Samsung and LG Display (which is the only maker of W-OLED panels for TV) are engaged in a battle over the price of the panels, and The Elec’s sources say that if they can’t reach a deal by the end of May, Samsung’s cheaper OLED TV models aren’t expected to arrive in 2022.

Samsung would probably prefer to make more mainstream OLED TVs available in 2022, and The Elec notes that ideally they would arrive before the 2022 World Cup, which is thankfully late in the year. (Fortunately for Samsung’s business interests, not so much for the rest of us.)

Opinion: maybe next year will be better anyway

Samsung's QD-OLED-based S95B TV

The Samsung S95B OLED TV is gorgeous, but would it be even better with Dolby Vision? (Image credit: Jeremy Kaplan/TechRadar)

We at TechRadar are really excited to see what Samsung’s image processing can do when combined with OLED panels, but it’s not like there’s a shortage of OLED models among our list. of the best televisions.

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But there’s another reason we’d be happy to see Samsung hold off on launching more OLED TVs for the time being: Dolby Vision.

Samsung has staunchly refused to support this HDR standard, and that’s basically the only resistance among major TV companies. But one of the big advantages of Dolby Vision is that it better exploits HDR images on screens with limited brightness, including W-OLED televisions. Samsung’s S95B and its QD-OLED panel promise higher brightness, so it might be possible to get by without Dolby Vision – but any TV using a normal W-OLED display without Dolby Vision will struggle with an arm strapped behind the back.

There are, however, good signs that Samsung’s Dolby resistance is melting: in 2022, new Samsung TVs include Dolby Atmos sound for the first time. It’s not impossible that in 2023, Samsung’s TV processing platform will finally include Dolby Vision.

That said, we expect all other TVs launching in 2022 to use the same processors as other 2022 Samsung TVs – so maybe good things will come to those who wait. It’s not like there’s a lack of great sets among the best Samsung TVs currently available, after all…

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