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OLED vs LCD & LED: which TV technology should earn a place in your living room?

By Finserv MARKETS - Oct 1,2018
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OLED vs LED

The increasing hype of OLED TV followed by the rave success of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and high-end Sony TVs has made it quite the ‘superior’ challenger in the battle. But is the hype worthy? Is LCD and LED TV technology is on the verge of getting obsolete? To answer these questions, you have to learn the features, benefits and disadvantages of the OLED and LCD-LED TVs.

LCD and LED – Features, Pros and Cons

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs are the longest running TV technology where the polarised light is rotated by the liquid crystals to illuminate the pixels like light valve simultaneously. The main feature of the LCD TV is the uniform brightness complemented by low contrast offered by the large energy-swigging backlight. Unlike the LCD technology where only one backlight creates illumination with outmoded technology, the LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology uses clustered LED lighting or edge-lit LED lighting.

Pros

  • Available in all sizes
  • Affordable cost

Cons

  • Technology is ageing
  • Contrast is average
  • Viewing angle is narrow
  • Shadow details, uneven brightness and blotches seen in blackout

OLED – Features, Pros and Cons

In terms of fluidity, vibrancy, smoothness and contrast, the OLED TV scores better than the LCD and LED TVs. Rather than using the large backlight, this TV technology uses OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) that emits light on its own; hence, the TVs are flat like wallpaper. With self illuminating pixels, controlling the pixel level for the images is easier, so is switching individual pixel on and off.

Organic films between semiconductors are supplied with electrical current and the pixels utilize minimal power in achieving brightness and even uniform blackness. From extreme black to extreme white and every color in between, you will get realistic eye-catching color and response at lightning speed.

Pros

  • Customizable pixels
  • Zero blurriness and judders
  • Realistic white and blacks
  • Very slim (2.57 mm narrowest)
  • Refresh rate as fast as 0.001 ms

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Muted brightness
  • Durability not guaranteed
  • Only three screen size available -55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch

Side-by-side Comparison With Features

While buying a TV, you need to consider the following features for OLED and LCD-LED televisions –

1. Brightness – LCD/LED is better

While the LCD TV with its backlight offers uniform brightness in all types of indoor lighting, the OLED technology is not much efficient in ensuring full brightness. The light output in real world is definitely better for LCD.

2. Blackness – OLED is better

While LED TVs are better in light output, the OLED is the winner in getting extreme black level. Although some LCD TVs use local dimming to dim parts of screen independently, the OLED is equipped with customizable individual pixels so that you can get uniform and extreme black to lighter blackness simultaneously by turning off or on the individual pixels. The high-end LCDs often experience “blooming” while trying to achieve control per pixel by full-array local dimming.

3. Resolution – Both are winner

While buying a TV, the resolution is what you look for the most and thanks to LED, LCD and OLED Technology, you will get 1080p to 4K resolution in all the three variants. While the older models offer mostly 1080p and 4K, the newer ones offer Ultra HD 4K to make user experience better like never before.

4. Contrast Ratio – OLED is better

Contrast ratio defines the difference between the maximum brightness and maximum darkness of any TV technology. As mentioned earlier, the OLED technology offers the contrast range starting from extreme black to extreme white and of course every type of brightness and darkness in between. OLED display ensures zero blooming in dark displays. Besides, with contrast ratio being high, OLED TVs offer realistic images with better quality.

5. Motion Blur and Refresh Rate – Both are winners

LCD, LED and OLED offer excellent refresh rate to reduce motion blur of certain sectors of the image or the whole when camera is panning. While cheaper LCD technology uses 60 Hz refresh rate, the high-end LCDs use 240 Hz refresh rate for 1080p resolution. The OLEDs with 4k resolution have refresh rate of 120 Hz to reduce “Soap Opera effect” with insertion of black frame.

6. Viewing Angle – OLED is better

Unlike the LED TVs with off-axis problems due to low contrast ratio, the OLEDs offer uniform viewing angle even while you are sitting on the sides

7. Energy Efficiency – LCD-LED is better

As LCDs use backlight for brightness, its energy consumption is less than that of OLEDs where automatic screen brightness draws more power.

8. Screen Size and Price – LCD-LED is better

With various sizes available (20 inches to over 100 inches), the LCD and LED TVs are definitely of lower cost than that of OLEDs which are available in only three sizes. While the picture quality in OLEDs is way better than LED TV, the energy-efficiency and affordability of LCD-LEDs make them popular. If TV technology is considered, all three are same efficient in HDR, Expanded Color Gamut and Lifespan.

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