One of the technologies that attracted the most attention at the recent CES 2023 was the presentation of the new OLED META panels that use the new Micro Lens Array (MLA). In recent years we have seen great advances in OLED panels, such as the Evo panels that LG launched in 2021, Samsung’s QD OLED panels that saw the light of day last year, and now at this 2023, LG Display’s MLA OLED panels are making their debut.
As we will now show you, this new panel uses a micro-lens system that will allow it to reach maximum brightness levels of up to 2100 nits. These new panels, called “META Technology”, replace the second generation of “OLED EX” panels that we first saw in 2022, which used deuterium.
LG Display’s 2nd generation deuterium OLED EX panels.
We already know with 100% certainty that LG’s G3 series uses this panel, as well as the Panasonic MZ2000 and Philips OLED+908. This year, users looking for the best quality will be in luck, as they will be able to choose between TVs with OLED META panels and TVs like Samsung’s S95C and S90C, as well as the Sony A95L with QD OLED panel.
77-inch LG 8K TV with new META OLED Panel
To help you understand what changes are taking place in this new generation of OLED panels, here’s an in-depth explanation of what the new OLED MLA technology is all about.
LG Display’s new META technology consists of two elements: a Microlens Array (MLA) that maximises the light output of the OLED panel, and META Booster, an algorithm that increases brightness. These two technologies together form the generation and naming convention “META Technology” and bring two important improvements that we will now explain to you.
The new OLED MLA (Micro Lens Array) panels use a layer of convex lenses inspired by the eyes of dragonflies, which have an unlimited 360-degree view of the world through their millions of compound eyes. These microscopic lenses are placed on top of the OLED pixels, and to give you an idea, LG Display claims to be able to place 5,000 microlenses on a single pixel, or 42.4 billion on a 77-inch TV. The number of microlenses depends on the panel size and pixel density.
Convex microlenses of META OLED panels.
This technology maximises the light output of the OLED panel and increases energy efficiency by 22% for the same brightness. Now even the light lost to internal reflections is guaranteed to be emitted, producing brighter and more detailed images.
The key feature of MLA displays is the amazing increase in brightness that can be achieved through these tiny lenses, apparently controlled by LG Display’s META Booster algorithm. LG’s latest G3 OLED display and Philips’ OLED+908 were able to achieve brightness levels of up to 2100 nits. However, it is believed that 1500 nits is more realistic for the type of content and settings used in the home, and is unlikely to be achieved with a calibrated D65 (6500K) white point, but rather with the panel’s native and overly cool default white point. Some early tests confirmed that up to 2100 nits could be achieved, but with a native panel white point of 9000K.
The other technology that works with MLA (Micro Lens Array) is the new ‘META Booster’. META Booster is LG Display’s exclusive new algorithm that improves both screen brightness and colour reproduction by analysing and adjusting the brightness of each scene in real time. This innovative algorithm enhances HDR (High Dynamic Range), resulting in brighter highlights and deeper darks to deliver more detailed and vibrant images with the most accurate colour reproduction to date.
“With the innovative META technology, LG Display is once again redefining TV picture quality by achieving a maximum brightness of 2,100 nits, the highest brightness of any TV display currently available on the market”.Hyeon-woo Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of LG Display’s Large Inch Division.
LG Display says it is fully focused on META OLED, producing 4K panels in 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch sizes, as well as 8K displays in 77-inch and 88-inch variants. We’re talking about both its own models and those of other brands such as Philips and Panasonic, which use the same panel.
Advantages of the new OLED+908 panel with META panel
The new OLED META technology offers a number of benefits, but perhaps the most striking improvement is in brightness. The new META technology is the evolution of “EX technology”, the second generation of OLED panels for TVs that LG Display launched in 2022. This technology uses deuterium and customised algorithms to improve brightness by up to 30% over its predecessor (the regular first-generation WOLED panels). These benefits are carried over to the next generation of META panels, but with further improvements.
Given the structural limitations of traditional OLED panels, Micro Lens Array is an innovation that pushes the boundaries of OLED. When an image signal is transmitted, the OLED generates light in the organic light layer and works on the principle of transmitting light to the user. However, much of the generated light is lost due to internal reflection within the panel, resulting in lower brightness.
By using the microlens array, a significant amount of the light lost to internal reflection can be emitted using microlens patterns, making the display brighter than existing panels. Normally, increasing brightness requires additional power consumption, but the Micro Lens Array structure emits the internal light so effectively that no additional power is required.
Microlens system of the new META OLED panels.
The META Booster algorithm makes adjustments to each scene so that the OLED panels can accurately reproduce peak brightness even as areas of peak brightness increase in the image.
The latest generation META OLED panels also improve viewing angles, one of the strengths of OLED. The angle at which brightness is reduced to half of peak brightness has been improved by up to 30%, resulting in a wide viewing angle of 160 degrees, providing sharp images without distortion at any angle.
The panels that we will see in 2023 will also notice that reflections are less visible compared to the OLED TVs of 2022. As we were able to see live on the Philips OLED+908 in its presentation in Amsterdam, it has managed to reduce reflections, making it much easier to see in brightly lit environments. We were able to see how it compares with the spectacular anti-reflection filter on the Samsung S95B QD OLED.
Finally, it also improves durability and possible burn-in. Some people are still concerned about panel burn-in. META panels tackle this problem head-on, because instead of overloading the OLED panel (i.e. forcing the OLED elements to be brighter), these lenses simply focus the light that is already emitted. This additional efficiency allows higher brightness to be achieved without the risk of burn-in.
Frequently asked questions
LG has announced that MLA technology will eventually be available for all OLED panels, but for now it is only planned for some of the company’s flagship products, such as high-end OLED TVs from other manufacturers, as well as in monitors.
Important also to mention that not all inches have this META panel. They are only manufactured in 55, 65 and 77 inches.
The models that mount META OLED panel, are the following:
– LG OLED G3
– Philips OLED+908
– Panasonic MZ2000
– Up to 60% brightness improvement over first generation OLED TVs. Maximum brightness levels of over 2000 nits.
– Up to 30% improvement in viewing angle: The result is a wide 160-degree viewing angle that delivers sharp, distortion-free images at any angle.
– Reduced reflections due to the Vanta Black coating on the panel.
– Reduced risk of burn-in due to lower stress on OLED components.
– Higher brightness without increasing power consumption, improving energy efficiency.