FSI Announces Industry First Quantum Dot OLED Mastering Display

June 1, 2023

Get a FIRST LOOK at our industry's first Quantum Dot 2,000 nit reference display, the Flanders Scientific XMP550. We chat with FSI's CEO.


QD-OLED: The next generation of reference-level mastering displays offers hope for colorists!

In our Post-NAB 2023 Office Hours, we discussed the dismal reference display landscape for HDR 4K mastering. There weren’t any promising technologies at NAB 2023 for HDR reference displays priced under $30,000US. MicroLEDs seem many years from having reference grade displays that can be used in the color grading suite.

Quantum Dot? It has barely hit the consumer market, with the first QD-OLED released in 2022. Plus, ‘quantum dot’ sounds more like a marketing term than a physical ‘thing’ that makes a meaningful difference for video displays.

It turns out – Quantum Dots are real.

After seeing the new FSI QD-OLED in person at the end of May 2023, I immediately starting researching the technology. One of my first stops? ChatGPT, of course! Here’s what it said about Quantum Dots:

“Quantum dots” are indeed a real thing, and they represent an important area of nanotechnology and quantum physics. In the simplest terms, a quantum dot is a tiny semiconductor particle, only a few nanometers in size, which is small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties.

Specifically, the “quantum” in quantum dot refers to the fact that these particles can only emit or absorb specific, discrete (or “quantized”) amounts of energy. When a quantum dot is excited by light or electricity, it can absorb that energy and then re-emit it as light of a specific color. The exact color of the light emitted by a quantum dot depends on the size of the dot. Larger quantum dots emit light that’s more toward the red end of the spectrum, while smaller dots emit light more toward the blue end …

… So, while ‘Quantum Dot OLED’ can indeed be used as a marketing term for certain display technologies, it’s rooted in real, tangible science. These technologies are still being developed and refined, with the goal of producing higher-quality, more energy-efficient displays.

ChatGPT v4

Here’s a graphic from Nanosys.com, the company that developed quantum dots, to help explain how they work:

Nanosys.com visual representation of quantum dots structure.
Quantum dots are carbon chains. The size of the molecule determines the color it emits when ‘energized’. (Image: Nanosys.com)

If you click the link in the caption, Nanosys has a variety of simple graphics and explanations to help the non-scientific among us understand this new technology.

If our members would like, I can put together a more detailed Insight on how QD-OLEDs differ from traditional LCD and OLED panels. In the meantime, visit this conversation I had with ChatGPT that does an great job explaining the differences between QD-OLED, OLED, and LCD displays.

Flanders Scientific (FSI) introduces the industry’s first reference grade QD-OLED mastering display: XMP550

I was excited to be invited up the FSI’s global HQ by their CEO, Bram Desmet. Bram was VERY jazzed when he called me and said he had something new to announce. The panel is being unveiled at Cinegear 2023 in Los Angeles. But I felt honored to be the first non-FSI employee to evaluate the display in person.

Bram also agreed to an on-camera interview – which I’ve embedded into this Insight.

My quick takeaway

The XMP550 represents the first panel technology in years that may bring down the price of legitimate HDR UHD mastering displays to the sub-$10,000US price point. Currently only offered at a 55″ size, if you look at the consumer market, a few QD-OLED gaming monitors have rolled off Samsung Display’s production lines in the 34″ range, for colorists who want to color grade in smaller suites. Some other observations of mine:

  • Off-axis viewing is as good as we discussed in the video and is specified at 179ΒΊ.
  • It’s astonishing to see how much detail this panel holds in the highlights, especially compared to Full Array Local Dimming displays currently dominating the sub-$10,000 market.
  • Bright pixels AND colorful? Yup.
  • There are moments in the video interview where you can get a sense of just how bright, contrasty, and colorful the images are. But really, you have to see it in person to get a true sense of its performance.
  • Contrast ratio: >2,000,000:1

Additional Links and Information

Mixing Light’s First Look with Bram Desmet about the new Flanders Scientific XMP550 2,000nit QD-OLED mastering display


Comments

Homepage Forums FSI Announces Industry First Quantum Dot OLED Mastering Display


  • Evan Anthony
    Member

    Great info!
    THis is exciting to see this. 4000nit would be great since Apple/D+ want to go that way.


  • Tony Salgado
    Member

    Congrats to Bram and FSI for unlocking the holy grail of affordable large size reference grade monitors. I look forward to one day seeing a 32″ and 27″ models hopefully in the sub $10K pricing range. Great job Patrick on the exclusive interview and first look. Was Joey D’Anna at the FSI with you? I thought I heard him in the background at the end of the interview.


    • Patrick Inhofer
      Administrator

      My pleasure, Tony! Joey was only with us in spirit, as those laser lights playing on the display at the end of the video were provided by him πŸ™‚


  • Evan Anthony
    Member

    Well I know someone that just placed an order for one.


  • Sam Howells
    Member

    Curious what the bottleneck is in hitting 2000 nits full screen, especially as they highlight the power efficiency as compared to dual layer monitors like the BVM-HX310. Yes–I never ever want to stare at a 2000-nit image full screen. But I have a hard time trusting the reference image if it cannot display any image up to its peak brightness. I wonder if there’s a way to set the tally light to go off if the monitor is activating some sort of dimming in cases where more than L20 is at 2000 nits in the image, etc.

    • This is a good question so hopefully this provides some useful perspective:

      First we should note that loading behavior is pretty ubiquitous across almost all HDR display devices. LMCL LCD is just about the only exception to that rule so this is not something new or unique to the XMP550. Moreover, in attempts to push LMCL over 1000nits some companies are now combining that technology with FALD and as a result these products will also exhibit loading behavior so you are going to find that to some extent almost everywhere.

      The XMP550 will have less loading behavior than something like an X300, which of course has been widely used for HDR mastering so we do strongly feel that loading behavior is not going to be any sort of real world limitation for the vast majority of users and use cases.

      The tally light suggestion is a good one and something that has already been under feasibility review for a bit now. No promises on that, but the point is well taken.

      Regarding the efficiency question: LMCL LCD monitors are much more inefficient in that they don’t draw less power when displaying dimmer scenes compared to when they are displaying brighter scenes. Backlight is always going at 100% on those regardless of content and this makes them highly inefficient. When displaying a dark scene with a few bright areas for example the XMP550 will draw several times less power even though it is a much larger display.

      The reason for loading behavior across virtually all HDR display technologies just comes down to physics: we have to manage heat and power draw. A graphite heat sink can dissipate heat quite well without fans provided we aren’t trying to squeeze 2000nits out of every pixel on the screen at the same time. The vast majority of users, whether in the pro or consumer space, would not be willing to go the route of having a much larger, louder, liquid and fan cooled display that also requires special power outlet considerations just to avoid any trace of loading behavior that pragmatically speaking comes up more as an edge case. And for those few that would be willing to make those tradeoffs we still then have the price tradeoff, it would be exponentially more expensive.

      Thx for the question and for the opportunity to respond here.


      • Sam Howells
        Member

        Really appreciate the thorough reply Bram! Definitely helps me understand the reasoning and good to see you all are active in looking for feedback πŸ™‚

  • This is an exciting step in the right direction, for sure! But until there’s a 27 or 32 inch version at 10-12K I’m sticking with my HD SDR Sony πŸ™‚

    I know HDR is the future β€” I’m not a naysayer of the tech by any means and I’ll definitely make the jump at some point β€” but how many of you outside of the blockbuster studio/streaming system are actually getting that much HDR work? Granted, I’m not in the US and I’m a small single-suite shop, but I do a healthy mix of commercials, network TV shows and indie features and I haven’t even had so much as a casual enquiry about HDR. Even the bigger facilities here with HDR capabilities are still mostly mastering SDR content. I’m genuinely interested if this lack of demand for HDR is a regional outlier or if there are other’s out there around the world who are, like me, still exclusively grading SDR?


  • Evan Anthony
    Member

    Last year I was 90% SDR, 10% HDR. This year it’s the opposite. 90% HDR


  • Marc Wielage
    Member

    Saw a demo of the display at FSI’s booth at Cinegear over at Paramount Studios this past weekend, and I was very impressed. The material they were playing back was from the ASC’s “STeM2,” which is a torture test for any display technology. I was knocked out by how great it looked.


  • Tony Salgado
    Member

    Best part of Cine Gear LA was visiting Bram at the FSI booth to check out the XMP550. Bram did a great demo demonstrating the flaws of FALD technology versus QLED. The future looks great for Bram and FSI as well as the rest of the creative community awaiting affordable high end reference monitors that will not require a second mortgage on the house to finance. πŸ™‚

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