The Wall is back, but Samsung’s modular MicroLED TV line is doing things differently for 2021. During a spate of announcements ahead of CES 2021, Samsung unveiled a new MicroLED set that can be wall-mounted without professional installation – and looks to be putting its modular design to good use.
Available in three different sizes – 110-inch, 99-inch, and 88-inch – this MicroLED TV features a 99.99% screen-to-body ratio, meaning the bezel is pretty much non-existent.
Aside from this all-screen design, though, buyers will be able to utilize the modular design of Samsung’s MicroLED tech to split each model into up to four different screens with a new Multi View feature. If you want to keep several channels on at the same time, say, to follow multiple news broadcasts, get up match commentary while a game continues on another channel, or just bring some chaos into your life, you’ll have the option. You can even adjust the volume for each section.
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In the case of the 110-inch size, this would mean your screen is split into four 55-inch screens, with that dropping to four 49.5-inch or 44-inch screens for the 99-inch and 88-inch sizes respectively. You can opt for just two or three screen sections, though.
We’re assuming this would be compatible with smart security camera feeds if you need to keep an eye on the front door, and we could see a use case for viewers flicking to a different channel while mid-episode adverts are running elsewhere, but we’ll no doubt be hearing more about the set’s capabilities in the weeks to come.
MicroLED is a TV panel technology that uses microscopic LEDs for incredible brightness control and contrast – resulting in a picture that can even rival the best OLED TVs – and has been quietly gaining steam in the past couple of years.
There are a few advantages over OLED, with no risk of image retention, and a panel structure that's far simpler to expand to larger screen sizes (hence the 163-inch microLED set from LG, or 292-inch screen from Samsung).
This may be the year that Samsung’s MicroLED technology starts creeping into the world of mainstream televisions. While the smallest 88-inch size is still pretty gigantic compared to standard 55-inch or 65-inch sizes, it’s still within the realm of commercial sets, as with the 88-inch OLED TVs we’ve seen in the past.
MicroLED still faces plenty of obstacles before becoming a mainstream technology – mainly its high pricing (yet to be announced for this set), and difficulty bringing its LED arrays to smaller sizes while retaining high resolutions such as 4K. It’s early days for the technology, too, and it may be a while before it gets the kind of market saturation or manufacturing sophistication of OLED.
A report from IDTechEx cites "technology immaturity, cost barriers and supply chain incompletion" as "three major hurdles in large-scale commercialization for microLED displays".
These sizing options, though, along with buyers’ ability to install the set themselves, is bringing MicroLED tech within closer reach of everyday shoppers than ever before.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.