Display technologies can be confusing and daunting at times, especially when the market is filled with buzzwords such as UHD, HDR, FPS, and LCD. Getting the right monitor for yourself means having to understand the different technologies and how they affect the quality of the monitor. In recent years, one other technology has been making its name in the world of displays. And that is quantum dot technology.
Continue reading to get an insight into what quantum dot technology is. Or you can take a look at ViewSonic ELITE monitors decked with QLED capabilities.
Before we delve into quantum dot technology, we need to understand what a light-emitting diode, or LED, is. It is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it. An LED display is technically an LCD model that uses LEDs for backlighting to project pictures on the screen, which results in darker blacks and more saturated colors. However, LED lights do not glow white naturally. They are actually blue LEDs coated with a yellow phosphor to produce white.
But how does this relate to monitors with quantum dot technology?
What is Quantum Dot Technology?
Quantum-dot, or QLED (Quantum dot LED), screens are essentially a new type of LED-backlit LCD, and they make use of tiny phosphorescent crystals to react to light and electricity. Less than 500 nanometers in size, the “nanoparticles” can glow in a range of colors which is precisely determined by the number of atoms within. And instead of using pure white backlights, the quantum dots emit red or green when struck by blue light. This means you will see much more highly saturated and accurate colors than an average LED screen.
How Does Quantum Dot Work?
Every pixel on the monitor emits red, green, or blue light, or sometimes a combination of all three. The accuracy of the color of each pixel is defined by wavelengths. And quantum dots can be easily tuned to their determined size to release different specific wavelengths for the best color production.
The quantum dots can be placed in tubes or more commonly arranged inside a film. The sheet is then inserted between a blue LED unit and color liquid crystal display (LCD) filters. When the blue LED shines on the quantum dots, they start glowing red and green. All three colors combine to produce the “purest” white light. The white light offers the color filters a more precise source to filter out the three colors efficiently and precisely.
The diagram above illustrates how the quantum dots are placed in a QLED display. The blue LED light source emits light that passes through the film enhancement layer to produce gradations of red, green, and blue. The different colored light goes through the LCD panel and color filter glass, and then to the screen for image display.
Advantages of Quantum Dot Technology
The added quantum-dot layer brings your monitor a whole host of benefits.
Precise Color and Higher Peak Brightness
As quantum dots can be tuned to emit the precise amount of light, it means the color produced will be more accurate. The nanocrystals can render a wider spectrum color at maximum brightness without losing saturation. This allows pictures to be shown clearly even in brightly lit rooms. And brightness is critical to high dynamic range (HDR) experience, making sure that all details of light and color onscreen seem more lifelike.
Better Energy Efficiency
Quantum dots only require a small amount of energy to work, and this can be achieved by a single blue light. In fact, they can produce a 30 percent increase in brightness while using about 30 to 50 percent less power. This reduced power consumption results in lower costs. Unlike conventional LCDs that waste energy combining and balancing different colors, QLED screens emit precise colors for improved energy efficiency.
Longer Lifespan and Low Burn-In
As QLED displays are based on existing LCD technology, they benefit from having a longer lifespan as they rely on modern and energy-efficient backlighting. Quantum dot technology also does not degrade over time, meaning QLED displays are less prone to burn-in. Burn-in is when part of an image will appear like a “ghost” on the screen and would not go away. This only happens when each self-lighting pixel dims over time.
Versatile Sizes and Thinner Panels
Since quantum dot technology is easier and less expensive to produce, QLED displays can be made in a greater range of sizes and can go as large as 98 inches. They can also be applied on large, thin, and flexible LCD panels, making the QLEDs easy to transport and install.
QLED vs OLED: What’s the Difference?
Another display technology you have probably come across is OLED or organic light-emitting diode. OLED composes of organic compounds that glow when electricity is introduced. This effect is called electroluminescence.
The diagram below shows how an OLED display works. The organic emissive layers are sandwiched in between a negatively charged cathode and a positively charged anode layer. An electric current will travel through each layer from the cathode to the color filter to produce colored light.
Unlike a QLED which uses backlights, every pixel in an OLED display is self-emissive. The organic materials in an OLED screen are usually more expensive to produce and have a shorter shelf life due to degradation. An OLED’s self-emitting pixels do not produce the same amount of brightness as a QLED, but they can project the blackest black for deeper contrasts. When it comes to screen burn-in, OLEDs are much more susceptible to image retention. However, it is important to note that OLED displays also deliver great viewing angles, high response time, and almost-perfect colors.
Are QLED Monitors Any Good For Gaming?
Most displays that feature quantum dot technology are televisions. But the capabilities of a QLED can also be translated onto a monitor, which makes it ideal for gaming. Especially in the world of esports, gamers prefer to play on gaming monitors that can provide an immersive viewing experience. Quantum dot technology presents games in dramatically lifelike picture quality with more vibrant colors and sharper contrasts.
Should the gamer need to enable HDR content, QLEDs offer darker blacks, wider color gamut, and higher brightness as compared to a regular screen. And QLED monitors often deliver better technical performance than televisions with their added features such as sync technology and black level stabilization. This means gamers can blast through graphics-intensive games and still see every single element in captivating detail.
It is clear that displays with quantum dot technology offer color-rich imagery and many other benefits. From a gamer’s perspective, quantum dot screens can elevate the standard viewing experience into a cinematic treat. One thing to note is that quantum dot technology is constantly being refined to bring environmentally-friendly displays with better color performance, higher brightness, and perhaps even lower costs. So, it will only be a matter of time before QLED gaming monitors become a standard for all gamers.
To learn more about gaming monitors, you can check out our ultimate guide on choosing the right esports monitor. You can also explore ViewSonic ELITE’s complete collection of monitors designed just for gaming.