OLED vs QLED
We take a look at the two hottest TV technologies to discover which is the best
If you’re looking for the best in TV technology it’s hard to look past these two popular choices for the premium TV market and they come down to two options – OLED vs QLED. Like the technologies of old, LCD and Plasma two technologies have emerged to dominate the TV market.
So what are they, and what’s the difference? Read on to discover more!
Samsung are the only major TV supplier that hasn’t jumped onto OLED, and instead created their own technology which they call QLED. This stands for Quantum-dot Light-Emitting Diode which, whilst similar to OLED differs in that its pixels can emit their own light, thanks primarily to quantum dots. The benefit of this is that in theory, they can give off much more brightness than OLED TVs can.
However, they still use tech that is very similar to LCD/LED TVs in that they have light which is passed from a backlight through them.
Samsung have been quite clever in their explanation of this tech and it’s not quite the next generational leap they promise, while it absolutely improves colour and vibrancy over current LCD TVs there’s definitely room to improve.
It’s worth noting however that the next-gen of QLEDs will be capable of emitting their own light, this could be the game changer QLED fans have been waiting for.
Samsung are currently looking at a number of solutions to their TV offerings, with a focus on 8k TVs along with MicroLED, another option to consider when buying your future TV!
OLED, or Organic Light-Emitting Diode is the tech favoured by LG, Sony, Panasonic and Philips. It’s major advantage in the TV tech war is it’s ability to emit light on a pixel-by-pixel bases. Why is this an advantage? It allows a white or coloured pixel to appear next to a completely black of different colour without any impact on the display. Traditional or cheaper TV tech such as LCD has to rely on a backlight to generate light which passes through a layer of pixels and despite many companies trying, no one has managed to overcome the issue of backlight bleed from brighter pixels.
Another benefit of OLED is that its panels are generally lighter and much thinner than your typical LCD TV, as well as this the viewing angles tend to be much wider.
This tech doesn’t come cheap though, and they are still quite expensive to produce but prices are coming down. LG are currently the only producer of OLED panels, selling it to other manufacturers who then add their own tech such as processing, and ways to clean up and upscale lower res and poor quality pictures.
If you’re considering OLED but only want a smaller TV, 42” and below you sadly will need to choose another option. Currently OLEDs only come in larger sizes with Sony and LG offering 48” models as their entry options.
OLED does have it’s drawbacks though, particularly in one area – image retention or burn-in. As was possible with the Plasma TVs of old, this can happen with an OLED although the TV manufacturers are keen to point out that they have minimised risk in this area. The early LG models definitely suffered from this and was documented on places such as AV Forums but it would appear the newer generations are much less susceptible to this problem. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting, particularly if you intend on long gaming sessions where you could have part of the screen UI onscreen for long periods of time.
So is it really OLED vs QLED? Not particularly. Whilst I don’t like to sit on the fence, it really comes down to personal preference when choosing between the two premium TV technologies. Both are capable of absolutely incredible results, and I would advise anyone to go and see them in-store to help make a decision.
It’s worth noting that every OLED isn’t the same. LG, Sony, Phillips and Panasonic all put their own processing power to work when they release an OLED TV and this can result in more vibrant colours, better motion handling or a sharper picture. This is why it’s worth checking them out in person before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
Samsung are keeping their top QLED tech for their 8k range so keep in mind that if you want the best you’re going to be paying a premium for it.
For more information on TVs, what’s good and what’s hot take a look at our TV guides.
Looking for more opinion? Check out this great OLED vs QLED guide from the guys at Trusted Reviews for more info: