Samsung and LGE spent much of last year fighting over 3D technology, with LGE aggressively promoting its passive FPR (film patterned retarder), with claims that it was better than Samsung’s SG (shutter glass) 3D TV, as its FPR enables a flicker-free, light and cheap 3D TV solution compared to shutter glasses. Samsung counterattacked by highlighting the lower resolution of FPR 3D TV, but generally avoided a direct battle in 3D TV, and jumped into promoting Smart TVs instead.
This year, with OLED TV showcased at CES, Samsung faced a similar battle with LGE about OLED techonology; Samsung has been developing RGB patterning (in which red, green, and blue organic emitters are deposited into each sub-pixel), while LG has been pursuing white with color filter. Like 3D, OLED is an immature technology for TV so that there is plenty of room for Samsung and LGE to attack the weak points of each others’ technologies and to use them as a marketing tool for their TVs.
There are still several rumors that Samsung may adopt FPR 3D and white OLED like LGE, but Samsung presented a different focus at the “2012 Samsung Premium TV Showcase” last Thursday in Korea, intended to reinforce the message that Samsung is the leader in OLED TV. Perhaps the most interesting potential impact to emerge from this event was the “smart dual view” OLED TV, which uses the fast switching speed to show two channels simultaneously.
“Smart dual view” is not a particularly new idea. This technology originally come from shutter glass 3D, and was often used as a gaming feature allowing two-player game views. However, it could also enable consumers to watch two different programs simultaneously. For example, one member of the family can watch a drama while another enjoys a baseball game, on one TV at the same time. In the past, the “picture in picture” function enabled viewing two channels, but the secondary channel was in a greatly reduced format and without sound.
While plasma and LCD can also enable “smart dual view,” it is not likely that Samsung would feature it on these technologies. Many in the industry see OLED TV as a chance to save a saturated TV market but also worry at OLED TV is not differentiated enough from LCD TV. If Samsung succeeds in driving OLED TV with “smart dual view”, shutter glass 3D may attach itself to OLED TV, while making FPR 3D an old feature associated with LCD TV. Samsung’s new OLED TV even comes with two pairs of shutter glasses to reinforce the message that shutter glass 3D will prevail over FPR.