Many people are thinking of buying a new television. And that for a few is a reason for joy and emotion, since we know what we want and for how much we want it. But for the vast majority of buyers this moment is a headache. And blame it on the brands.
The best TVs advertise an alphanumeric soup of extras like HDR, 120Hz or HDMI 2.1, and many other TV models include all those features and more, making it hard to tell one from the other. Here you have the best guide to differentiate all types of TV.
But if we were to highlight The most important and used acronyms within the audiovisual sector would be: QLED and OLED. They look almost the same, but are fundamentally different even if only a letter separates them. And one technology is better than the other, by the way.
In recent years, Samsung has baptized its televisions as QLED. But they’re not the only ones, as TCL also makes QLED TVs, including the excellent 6 series, and Amazon even has its own Fire TV Omni QLED TV. That is, Samsung started, but now many brands use it.
On the other side of the fence are OLED TVs. In recent years, LG has dominated the OLED market, and its lineup of OLED TVs for 2023 is broader than ever.. The 2022 LG C2 is still one of the best OLED TVs on the market and its price is very competitive.
QLED vs. OLED: Acronyms are very important. Let’s start with a quick breakdown:
- OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diode”.
- QLED stands for “Quantum Dot LED TV”.
- OLED is a fundamentally different technology from LCDthe main type of television.
- The QLED is a variation of LED LCDwhich adds a quantum dot film to the LCD “sandwich”.
- OLED is emissivethat is, the pixels emit their own light.
- The QLED, like the LCD, is transmissive in its current form and relies on an LED backlight.
A QLED TV is nothing more than an LCD TV with quantum dots
Most importantly, QLED is closer to the old LCD than it is to OLED. Being honest and without naming in the middle, a QLED screen is an IPS technology LED screen with added brightness control… and little else.
Quantum dots are microscopic molecules that, when struck by light, emit their own light of a different color.. In QLED TVs, the dots are contained in a film and the light that falls on them comes from an LED backlight.
That light then travels through other layers within the TV, including a liquid crystal (LCD) layer, to create the image. Light from the LED source is transmitted through the layers to the screen surface, which is why we say it is transmissive.
Samsung has been using quantum dots to augment its LCD TVs since 2015 and debuted the QLED TV brand in 2017.. Samsung says that those quantum dots have evolved over time and that the color and light output have improved, for example.
An OLED TV is not an LCD TV
LCD is the dominant technology in televisions and monitors and has been for decades. It’s cheaper than OLED, especially in large sizes, and many panel manufacturers can make it without having to have advanced factories.
OLED is different in that it does not use an LED backlight to produce light.. Light is produced by millions of OLED sub-pixels. The pixels themselves (tiny dots that make up the image) emit light, which is why it’s called emissive display technology.
This difference leads to all sorts of picture quality effects, some of which favor LCD (and QLED) displays, but most favor OLED. It is true that LCD panels have more brightness, but the brightness of OLED is better despite having less intensity.
Apart from the US brands mentioned, Panasonic, Philips, Grundig and others sell OLED TVs in Europe. All OLED TVs in the world, including American ones, use panels made by LG Displaya company that leads OLED research and development.
But that is about to change. Samsung and Sony will soon introduce the first OLED TVs made by Samsung Display. They promise to improve color and brightness compared to current OLED TVs because they use quantum dots, just like their QLED TVs.
Called QD-OLED or QD Display, they’re bound to be quite expensive at first, even more than standard OLED TVs, but prices will come down over time, as they always do. What is true is that the OLED can change with this Samsung breakthrough… if LG doesn’t get ahead of them.