There is no doubt that despite some shortcomings, LCD TVs are the dominant type of TV sold to consumers as the center of their home entertainment experience. The rapid acceptance of LCD TV definitely accelerated the demise of CRT and Rear Projection TVs, and is also the main reason that Plasma TV is now experiencing a slow death.
However, OLED TV is being touted by many, with its "enhanced" performance as the rightful successor to LCD. However, as much as proponents might like to think that OLED represents a step-up in TV technology, LCD TVs can still take it up a notch with the incorporation of Quantum Dots.
What is a Quantum Dot?
For the purposes of application in TVs and video displays, a Quantum Dot is a manmade nanocrystal with semi-conductor properties that can be used to enhance brightness and color performance displayed in still and video images on an LCD screen.
Quantum Dots are emissive particles (somewhat like phosphors on a Plasma TV), but, in this case, when they are hit with photons from an outside light source (in the case of LCD TV application a Blue LED light), each dot emits color of a specific bandwidth, which is determined by its size.
Larger Dots emit light that is skewed towards red, and as the Dots get smaller, they emit light that is skewed more towards green. When Quantum Dots of designated sizes are grouped together in a structure (more on this on the next page), and are combined with a Blue LED light source, they can emit light across the entire color bandwidth required for TV viewing. Taking advantage of Quantum Dot properties, TV makers can enhance the brightness and color performance of LCD TVs above current capabilities.
The image above shows both the structure a quantum dot (on the right), a hypothetical example the relationship of Quantum Dot color emission properties according to size (on the left), and the method by which Quantum Dots are actually manufactured (looks like something out of Dr Frankenstein's lab or college chemistry lab).