Samsung is launching its first-ever OLED 4K TVs this year – this much is certain. The Samsung S95B is available to buy now in many countries, but this model uses a next-gen QD-OLED panel that’s never been seen before now, which naturally means it comes at a high price, even for OLED.
But its been rumoured for months that Samsung is also planning to launch OLED TVs with the more standard W-OLED panel, which is what you’ll find on all the current best OLED TVs. These other TVs could be much less expensive than the S95B, but they still have yet to officially appear.
A recent report from the The Elec appears to shed light on why: Samsung and LG Display (which is the sole maker of W-OLED panels for TV) are locked in a battle over the price of panels, and The Elec’s sources says that if they can’t reach an agreement by the end of May, Samsung’s cheaper OLED TV models are unlikely to arrive in 2022.
Samsung would likely prefer to make some more mainstream-priced OLED TVs available in 2022, and The Elec notes that ideally they’d arrive before the World Cup 2022, which is mercifully late in the year. (Mercifully for Samsung’s corporate interests, not really for the rest of us.)
Opinion: maybe next year is better anyway
Here at TechRadar, we’re really looking forward to 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 TVs.
But there’s another reason why we’d be happy to see Samsung hold off on launching more OLED TVs just yet: Dolby Vision.
Samsung has resolutely refused to support this HDR standard, and it’s basically the only hold-out among the big TV companies. But one of the big advantages of Dolby Vision is that it makes better use of HDR images on screens with limited brightness, which includes W-OLED TVs. Samsung’s S95B and its QD-OLED panel promise higher brightness, so might be able to get away without Dolby Vision – but any TV using a regular W-OLED screen without Dolby Vision will be fighting with one arm tied behind its back.
There are good signs that Samsung’s Dolby resistance is thawing however: 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 any further TVs launching in 2022 to use the same processors as the other 2022 Samsung TVs – so perhaps good things will come to those who wait. It’s not like there’s a lack of awesome sets among the best Samsung TVs currently available, after all…