Why Gorgeous OLED Gaming Monitors May Soon Be Plentiful And Affordable

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OLED gaming monitors might actually become "a thing," at least if the latest reports out of Korea are accurate. It is unconfirmed, so take it with however many fistfuls of salt that you wish, but a report originating with Korean news site Korea Daily says that LG Display is preparing for mass production of 20-to-40-inch W-OLEDs.

Traditionally, LG has focused its OLED production efforts on the TV market. The company has been selling OLED monitors for a while now, but those haven't been using its own OLEDs. Instead, those are sourced from Japan OLED, like most smaller OLEDs. Mass production of smaller OLEDs could mean that these panels find their way into monitors and TVs.

OLEDs are desirable for both video watching and gaming. Because the parts of the display that are black are actually turned off, they have excellent contrast. Current-generation OLEDs struggle with hitting the kinds of peak brightness that high-end LCDs can achieve, especially in light scenes where much of the display is brightly-lit, but for the kinds of gritty, dark scenes you often see in films and games, they're quite an upgrade over typical LCDs. LG may have resolved that issue with its EX Technology, anyway.

Sample-and-hold effect diagram from Microsoft, via Blurbusters

OLEDs also have near-instantaneous pixel response without needing overdrive like LCD panels, meaning that you don't have any of the motion artifacts that you can see on even high-end LCDs. Of course, like all sample-and-hold displays (including all LCDs and OLEDs), you still have to contend with visual motion blur caused by the nature of the output. Black Frame Insertion (BFI), backlight strobing techniques (on LCDs), and "rolling scan" (on OLEDs) can overcome this limitation.

The supposed reason for the shift is due to a slump in demand for high-end OLED TVs. This author knows his demand certainly slumped when LG removed the high-frame-rate BFI feature from its latest-generation OLED TVs. There's a lot of folks still limping along on older 1080p gaming monitors, so a new wave of more-accessible OLEDs is very welcome, especially if they also push prices down on extant monitors.

According to the report, LG is generally focusing on OLEDs in the 20-40" range, but it also specifically remarks on 27" and 32" panels as being slated for mass production. The report also says that LG will bring out a 27" OLED TV and gaming monitor in the first quarter of next year, which is quite soon if production is only starting at the end of the month.