Monday, January 14th 2019

Hisense Introduces New Display Tech at CES 2019 With ULED XD

China-based Hisense came out at CES 2019 with quite an ingenious new display solution that has (speculatively) a much better chance of faster PC monitor integration that OLED. OLED's implementation in PC monitors has been excruciatingly slow despite recent developments of the technology - mainly due to some underlying problems for PC's mostly fixed-image use-cases with its UI elements. As a result, display technology in the monitor space has been somewhat stagnant. Hisense, with its dual-panel ULED XD solution, whoever, could have a much cheaper and easier to implement solution that could bring another technology player to the PC monitor market.

The ULED XD solution basically crams two panels in front of the LED array. One is a 4K, RGB VA panel. This is your run-of-the mill implementation. However, there's a second panel sandwiched between the RGB and LED array in the form of a greyscale, 1080p resolution panel. What does this particular implementation offer, you ask? Well, it just so happens that different lighting conditions across the same RGB image are expanded upon by the grayscale monitor, even if it works at a lower resolution - it only serves to increase contrast if high and low luminosity areas, with black areas being supported by the blacks of the grayscale monitor. And even at that resolution, look at these as local dimming zones - over 2 million of such across a single panel.
Of course, a fancy new technology in no way means fast adoption from the market. Manufacturing costs, panel yields, and many other factors come into play - especially considering the PC monitor's required features. But that's where this tech actually could have an advantage over, say, microLED - it's just much cheaper to produce, easier to implement, and doesn't have the same yield constraints as that technology. A 4K RGB display is today a run-of-the mill production, and a 1080p grayscale panel is expectedly even more so. Whether this solution is even capable of employing VRR technology is something else entirely - two panels will have to be perfectly synced for that to happen, but then again, they'll have to be perfectly synced to display any image as well.

It's an interesting new take on old technologies, which Hisense says allows the TV (the product on display at CES 2019) to achieve more than 2,900 nits of brightness and the "highest dynamic range" seen on an LCD panel. Inspiring stuff. Source: Engadget
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18 Comments on Hisense Introduces New Display Tech at CES 2019 With ULED XD

#1
londiste
I am hopeful but until we see a marketable product, cautiously so.

In the interview guy says one of the problems is image processing for the solution and challenge was to make it work in under 25ms. That actually does not sound too good.
Panel, at least the top one, they said was VA.
There has been no talk about prices, much cheaper might not pan out in exactly this way. This is still two LCD panels/layers bonded together - by a new process they came up with.

MicroLED is not necessarily the right comparison here. Samsung's 75" 4k MicroLED screen is state of the art in terms of density.
That 2900 nits might just be necessary with this type of screen and not the output. Last time someone tried this a few years ago they said each LCD layer will absorb about 30% of brightness.
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#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
londiste said:
I am hopeful but until we see a marketable product, cautiously so.

In the interview guy says one of the problems is image processing for the solution and challenge was to make it work in under 25ms. That actually does not sound too good.
Panel, at least the top one, they said was VA.
There has been no talk about prices, much cheaper might not pan out in exactly this way. This is still two LCD panels/layers bonded together - by a new process they came up with.

MicroLED is not necessarily the right comparison here. Samsung's 75" 4k MicroLED screen is state of the art in terms of density.
I must've missed that VA part on the video. i'll update the story, thanks for pointing that out.

The comparison to microLED comes only in the yield and manufacturability of said solutions - while density is incredible for microLED, it's currently the most difficult process available for a display tehnology, if I've been reading things correctly. You're still correct on all counts.
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#3
iO
The technological problems seem tricky as Panasonic had the same idea a few years ago, with two panels in one but they never made it into an actual product.
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#4
robertjsullivan
If there’s one thing that can be relied upon to steal the show at CES year after year, it’s TVs. The technology powering the biggest screens in our homes might not move as quickly as it does for smartphones or smart home gadgets, but their sheer size means that it’s very impressive when it does.
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#5
Prince Valiant
iO said:
The technological problems seem tricky as Panasonic had the same idea a few years ago, with two panels in one but they never made it into an actual product.
They were supposedly rolling it out for pro line displays but I guess they never did; if Panasonic dropped it I don't have high expectations for Hisense.
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#6
Capitan Harlock
I think some people should watch some video from CES about this because they don't understand how great this is.
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#7
Vayra86
Capitan Harlock said:
I think some people should watch some video from CES about this because they don't understand how great this is.
This. Its a pretty impressive bit of tech and its not entirely similar to what Panasonic tried at the time, I believe. The most interesting bit of it all is the actual cost / difficulty of production. It has none of the problems emissive displays have. We're looking at a technology that can combine the strengths of LCD and OLED - high peak brightness + very low black point, cheap to produce yet capable of true HDR and no burn-in problems.

And... response time... I mean, we're first and foremost looking at repurposed TV displays. Not high refresh monitors. 25ms is quite standard in that space.

For me personally this panel was the most interesting bit of CES '19
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#8
Gasaraki
Seems like a solution searching for a problem, especially when MicroLEDs are a few years away and OLEDs are moving in to the desktop space this year. This might come out the same time frame as MicroLEDs and if that's the case, it will be dead on arrival.
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#9
lynx29
all depends on the pricing. my Dad owns a 65" HiSense 4k HDR, and i have to admit, I am very impressed with it. the software updates always go smoothly, its very smooth, looks freat, low latency, etc. only cost $550 on a black friday.

very impressed with Hisense though, so if price is within range and it looks good comparable to Samsung QLED, i might bite. i am still leaning towards Samsung QLED though for my playstation 5 tv i plan to buy, but who knows. thats still awhile away.
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#10
InVasMani
Does the two display resolution layers impact refresh rate at all on the display?
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#11
Slizzo
InVasMani said:
Does the two display resolution layers impact refresh rate at all on the display?
Doesn't look like it. They're promising 120Hz native if HDMI 2.1 is ratified by the time it hits market.
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#12
bug
A second panel will either kill luminosity or require a much stronger backlight to compensate (at the expense of more power draw). We've had a somewhat similar problem when phones started to go 4k and the solution was... wait for it... more power draw!
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#13
lynx29
bug said:
A second panel will either kill luminosity or require a much stronger backlight to compensate (at the expense of more power draw). We've had a somewhat similar problem when phones started to go 4k and the solution was... wait for it... more power draw!
linustechtips already showed how they made it work. he has a nice video on it.
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#14
XiGMAKiD
Raevenlord said:
...to increase contrast if in high and low luminosity areas...
Seeing that XD in the title confuses me a little but then I realize that it's a product name not an emoticon. Imagine a product called Wiibo UwU or RawR OwO :twitch:
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#16
Mistral
bug said:
A second panel will either kill luminosity or require a much stronger backlight to compensate (at the expense of more power draw). We've had a somewhat similar problem when phones started to go 4k and the solution was... wait for it... more power draw!
The second panel is in a way part of the backlight...
Anyway, if Sharp had RGBY rolling for a while back in the day, why hasn't anyone gone and properly done RGBW yet?
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#18
sonofthe44thpear
Vayra86 said:
This. Its a pretty impressive bit of tech and its not entirely similar to what Panasonic tried at the time, I believe. The most interesting bit of it all is the actual cost / difficulty of production. It has none of the problems emissive displays have. We're looking at a technology that can combine the strengths of LCD and OLED - high peak brightness + very low black point, cheap to produce yet capable of true HDR and no burn-in problems.

And... response time... I mean, we're first and foremost looking at repurposed TV displays. Not high refresh monitors. 25ms is quite standard in that space.

For me personally this panel was the most interesting bit of CES '19
From the sound of it, it's not the response time that is 25ms (which would cause really bad smearing) but the input lag that's <25ms. 25ms input lag wouldn't cause smearing, but would cause the feeling of hand and screen being more slowly conected when gaming. I hope these displays come to the gaming market, it would be fantastic.
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