It’s been a busy and exciting month to kick off the year when it comes to OLED displays, with many new TV’s and monitors being announced in time for CES 2023. One thing you might have seen talked about is a new OLED generation referred to as “META” along with a new associated technology called MLA, or “Micro Lens Array”. These new so-called “META Technology” panels will succeed the current second-generation “OLED EX” panels, and are designed to help improve picture quality and viewer experience.
LG.Display have said that MLA will eventually come to all their OLED panels, but for now it’s reserved for some of their top end offerings, including the company’s own top-end OLED TV range. The good news is, MLA is also being used on the company’s new OLED monitor panels.
META Technology Benefits
LG Display’s newly-unveiled META Technology comprises two components, a “Micro Lens Array” (MLA) that maximizes light emission from the OLED panel and “META Booster”, a brightness-enhancing algorithm. LG.Display’s press release material suggests these two technologies combine to form the “META Technology” generation and naming convention, and bring two key enhancements:
- Improved brightness by up to 60%
- Improved viewing angles by up to 30%
The most attention grabbing improvement here would be the brightness improvement. The company’s all-new META technology follows ‘EX Technology,’ the second-generation OLED TV panel technology that LG.Display introduced last year which uses deuterium and personalized algorithms to enhance brightness by up to 30% compared to its predecessor (normal WOLED panels from the first generation). These benefits are carried over to the third generation panels, but further enhanced with META Technology. LG.Display say in their recent press release that:
With its innovative META Technology, LG Display redefines TV picture quality once again by achieving 2,100-nit peak brightness, the highest level of any TV display on the market today.
These are massive improvements over today’s OLED panel market, although do keep in mind that the white point is not mentioned in this press release, and it’s unlikely that this would be achieved at a calibrated D65 (6500K) white point, more likely at the panel native, and overly cool default white point. Some early testing by HDTVtest confirmed >2100 nits was achieved, but do confirm that it was at the panel native white point of >9000K. We would expect something in the region of 1500 nits to be a realistic expectation for peak brightness at D65 white point but further testing will be needed,
In regards to the viewing angle improvements, LG.Display say they have:
Improved the angle that brightness halves when compared to maximum brightness by up to 30 percent, resulting in a wide viewing angle of 160 degrees which delivers accurate pictures at any angle without image distortion.
Micro Lens Array (MLA)
MLA is a new technology developed by LG.Display and is at the core of their third-generation OLED panels. The key to LG Display’s META Technology is the ‘Micro Lens Array,’ a layer of micrometer-sized convex lenses that were “inspired by the eyes of a dragonfly” and which maximizes light emission from the OLED panel and enhances energy efficiency by 22% compared to that of the same brightness. With this technology, LG.Display say they became the first panel maker to resolve the lingering issue of light being reflected back into the panel and being lost, which restricted the maximum brightness.
Given the structural limitations of conventional OLED panels, Micro Lens Array is an innovation that pushes the boundaries of OLED. When an image signal is transmitted, OLED produces light in the organic light emitting layer and operates on the principle that the light is transmitted to the user. However, much of the light generated is lost within the panel due to internal reflection, resulting in lower brightness. By applying the Micro Lens Array, micro lens patterns help emit a significant amount of light that had been lost due to internal reflections, creating a brighter screen than existing panels. Usually, additional power consumption is required to increase brightness, but the Micro Lens Array structure efficiently emits internal light in a way that no additional power is required.
As an example from one of their new panels, LG.Display’s third-generation 77” 4K OLED TV panel based on META technology has a total of 42.4 billion micro lenses, approximately 5,117 micro lenses per pixel, which work to emit even the lost light due to internal reflections to produce the clearest and most detailed pictures. Keep in mind this number of MLA lenses will vary depending on panel size and pixel density.
In addition, these billions of Micro Lens Array allows the latest OLED displays to improve the viewing angle by up to 30%, resulting in an even wider viewing angle among existing TVs that delivers accurate pictures at any angle.
The other technology that works alongside MLA is their new “META Booster”. META Booster is LG.Display’s exclusive new brightness-enhancing algorithm, improves both screen brightness and colour expression by analysing and adjusting the brightness of each scene in real time.
This innovative algorithm enhances HDR (High Dynamic Range), which represents brighter lights and deeper darks, to express more detailed and vivid images with the most accurate colour expression to date. It makes adjustments in each scene so OLED panels can express peak brightness accurately even when areas of peak brightness in the image increase.
META Technology TV Panels
From LG.Display’s point of view they have announced that third-generation META Technology TV panels will be available in size of:
- 88” 8K
- 77” 8K
- 77” 4K
- 65” 4K
- 55” 4K
Panasonic were the first to acknowledge the use of META Technology and MLA for their 2023 flagship MZ2000 TV, reporting a 150% higher peak brightness than their average OLED panels. The META/MLA technology will be featured on their 55″ and 65″ models in the range. As reported by FlatpanelsHD, “During a presentation Panasonic measured a 10% window where MZ2000 reached close to 1500 nits. It also demonstrated that it could maintain over 1000 nits on larger patches than 10% on the screen compared to last year’s LZ2000”.
LG Electronics (the TV manufacturer as opposed to LG.Display the panel manufacturer) have been more cagey with their promotion of MLA for their TV range and while they have not publicly mentioned it or used the branding, it is reported by FlatpanelsHD that the 2023 LG G3 series will feature this technology.
No other TV’s have been confirmed to feature the new META Technology or MLA at this stage, but expect more to follow in the coming months.
META Technology Monitor Panels
Somewhat overlooked in the announcements and coverage of the new META/MLA technology, and not even mentioned in LG.Display’s own press release, is the fact that these technologies will also be featured on LG.Display’s new OLED monitor panels. Available in 27” 16:9 and 45” 21:9 formats, both with a 240Hz refresh rate, the new OLED panels have already been utilised in a wide range of recently announced monitors.
That means that the 27” 2560 x 1440 resolution, 240Hz OLED monitors including the LG 27GR95QE, Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM, Acer Predator X27U and Dough Spectrum ES07E2D will all feature this new generation of META Technology OLED. Likewise the 45” ultrawide, 3440 x 1440, 240Hz OLED panels like the Corsair Xeneon Flex 45WQHD240 and LG 45GR95QE will also feature META technology. Note that the other 240Hz OLED panels announced are 49″ in size but feature QD-OLED panels produced by Samsung, and so are not included here.
This is confirmed on LG.Display’s META Technology page, and in their panel line-up.
These new gaming OLED monitors have been announced as featuring peak brightness of 1000 nits (some still have specs pending). This is an advancement on the 700 to 800 nits achieved by the current smallest LG.Display WOLED panels used in several 42″ OLED displays like the LG 42C2 and Asus ROG Swift PG42UQ for instance. The new 27″ and 45″ monitor panels will be the smallest WOLED panels the company produces, and the expected improvement in peak brightness (assuming 1000 nits is relevant at D65 white point) has been made possible it seems thanks to the additional of META Technology.
LG.Display have confirmed these new panels will feature MLA to boost the panel brightness, but it’s not clear whether “META Booster” is also responsible. LG.Display’s technology information about this new generation of OLED panels implies that MLA + META Booster combined is what leads to “META Technology”, and LG labelled the new monitor panels as “META Technology” at the CES event this month in January:
It’s a confusing area and it’s hard to know which technologies are being used, but LG.Display have said that MLA is at least included on these new monitor panels at the CES event. Additionally at CES 2023, LG Display confirmed that it has the “aim of extending it (MLA) to all lineups down the road” which should mean other new monitor panels as and when they’re announced, plus hopefully other smaller TV options like their popular 42″ and 48″ OLED panels.
META and MLA Naming Usage
The other confusing aspect to this whole situation in both the monitor and TV market is that individual TV and monitor brands may or may not choose to use these names or refer to the technologies. Panasonic are the only ones to do so so far for their MZ2000 TV series, but even LG Electronics themselves have not used these terms yet. Asus, Acer and the other manufacturers have yet to adopt any of this naming when promoting their monitors, although the whole topic is quite new and LG.Display are only really now promoting this new generation of OLED properly. There’s a good chance you will see some of the monitor manufacturers adopt these terms in their marketing material and on their product pages we would think.
- [CES 2023] A New Era of Premium OLED, META Technology – LG Display Newsroom
- LG Display Unveils Third-Generation OLED TV Panel at CES 2023 – LG Display Newsroom
- META Technology | OLED SPACE | LG Display
- The Secret Ingredients in LG’s Next-Gen OLED Panel with META Technology (2100 Nits!) – HDTVtest
- LG Display confirms MLA OLED: Up to 2100 nits, improved viewing angles & efficiency – FlatpanelsHD
- Panasonic unveils 2023 OLED flagship MZ2000: 150% higher peak brightness – FlatpanelsHD
- Our article: OLED Monitor Panel development plans and roadmap for the future
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