The new Philips OLED+908 TV isn't just one of the best OLED TVs with Philips' Ambilight technology. It's also a glimpse into the future of OLED TV.
It's all down to something called Vanta Black, which is in the latest panels made by LG Display including the ones in Philips' range-topping TV. Samsung has something slightly different, which I'll come to in a moment.
The panels are called WOLED panels with MLA. The W stands for white light, which is beamed through colour filters for better contrast, and MLA means Micro Lens Array, which means there's a layer of microscopic lenses on top of the OLED pixels. MLA TVs are generally brighter than non-MLA ones.
As for Vanta Black, that is an anti-glare technology that can absorb almost all of the light that falls on it. That means a huge reduction in how much glare you see on your screen. According to LG, the OLED+908 is 25% less reflective than previous panels; according to some reviewers, it looks even better than that suggests. Philips thinks so too: it says that its TV reduces reflectivity by up to 30%.
Samsung's QD-OLEDs are getting better too
Reflectivity is the bane of many TVs, including mine: I have to position the reading light next to me just-so if I don't want to see a rainbow stripe running diagonally across my Samsung mini-LED. But it's even more of an issue for OLED, which can be a problem in brightly lit rooms.
Samsung Display, which like LG Display makes panels for multiple firms, has announced that its 2023 QD-OLED panels will feature a new anti-reflective coating with a multi-layer reflection reduction mechanism. As with LG's panels, less reflectivity means a much clearer picture. Samsung moved its production of all panels to the improved technology in late 2022.
Samsung also says that this year's panels will have a more natural tone – some 2022 models had a slight reddish tint – and much smoother blacks too.
Whether it's an LG panel or a Samsung one, these are really significant improvements, especially for more social watching in brighter rooms. For now it's limited to more premium TVs, such as the new Philips and the LG G3, but the improvements will be coming to OLEDs of all sizes in the coming months.