HDR, HDMI 2.1, 4K, and 8K, and Dolby Atmos are just a few of the tech acronyms you’ll encounter if you’re shopping for a new television set. There are a lot of terms and acronyms that you’ll need to know before making a decision, but two of the most essential ones are QLED and OLED. Even though they sound alike, there’s a big difference in how they effect your viewing experience.
We’ll examine the origins, differences, and strengths of the many competing display technologies (and not so well). We’ll also let you know which one we think will be the most popular. There are a few drawbacks you should be aware of before you buy an OLED TV.
Check out the top QLED TV bargains and the best OLED TV sales currently available once you’ve decided which TV technology is appropriate for you.
What is QLED?
Light-emitting diodes known as QLEDs are referred to as quantum light emitting diodes (QLED). QLED TVs use quantum dots, which are small nanoparticles, to enhance its brightness and color. As soon as Samsung started selling its QLED TVs in 2014, the technology was licensed to other manufacturers, which is why you’ll also find Vizio, Hisense, TCL, and many smaller companies selling QLED TVs as well.
In spite of the fact that QLED TVs use quantum dots, they still use LEDs to produce light in the same way. With the help of a backlight consisting of hundreds (or even thousands) of LEDs that sits behind a typical LCD display. LED (and QLED) get their names from these LEDs.
In 2019, LG and Samsung are locked in a battle over the usage of the name “QLED” as a marketing ploy. LG claims that Samsung’s so-called QLED TVs aren’t actually QLED TVs in a complaint to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) of South Korea. So why does Samsung utilize a quantum-dot film over an LED backlight while LG claims a real QLED TV would use quantum-dot LEDs that emit their own light?
All of LG’s ad campaigns slamming Samsung’s QLED TVs had made Samsung upset, so the Korean company complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Finaly, the FTC agreed with Samsung, but only after the company agreed to make it explicit in future ads that its QLED TVs employ a backlight. The finer points of the matter.
With the help of the LCD panel and color filters, the picture you see is created by letting just the proper amount of light and color escape and reach your eyes, resulting in the image you see. However, the method relies on dimming the LED backlights and utilizing shutters to block the remaining light to produce precise on-screen blacks, and it doesn’t always succeed in producing accurate blacks on the screen. You may find out more about it below.
What is OLED?
Organic Light-Emitting Diodes are known as OLEDs. A surprise in this name is that there is no reference to an LED backlight in the term “Light Emitting-Diode.” Instead, it refers to the fact that every single individual pixel in an OLED set is also a teeny, tiny LED light — but one that is incredibly thin and can produce both light and color in a single element. Because each OLED pixel produces its own light, OLED TVs do not require a backlight. Impress your buddies by using the following business jargon to describe these types of exhibits: Self-emissive or emitted.
This architecture has a number of advantages, but the best-known benefit of OLED TVs is the exceptionally deep black level that can be obtained. For dark scenes, OLED TVs simply switch off the pixel instead of dimming the brightness like QLED and LED TVs do. As soon as the pixel is switched off, it is as dark as the TV is when the power is turned off.
Since there is no separate backlight or LCD grid in an OLED panel, it is much easier to make it flexible, which is why the OLED pioneer LG has invented many OLED TVs that roll up (or down).
LG Display is the only manufacturer of OLED TV panels. Those panels are sold to its sister firm, LG Electronics, which utilizes them to create some of the best flat-panel TVs on the market today. As a result, you’ll see LG Display’s OLED panels on televisions made by other manufacturers as well, including Sony, Vizio, Philips, and Panasonic. You’ll notice a difference in picture quality amongst OLED TVs even if the panels themselves are nearly identical. This is due to the proprietary image processing that Sony, LG, and others use.
What is mini-LED?
In your research on new TVs, you may come across some brands that claim to use “mini-LED” technology. The LED backlighting used in QLED and LED TVs has been improved, so it may sound like a competitor to QLED and OLED. When compared to conventional LEDs, mini-LEDs are incredibly small in terms of size. A QLED TV that could previously only hold a few hundred LEDs can now hold hundreds of thousands of mini-LEDs thanks to this development. What is the end result? Non-OLED displays have never attained dark depths as close to OLED as this new technology allows.
TCL began offering the 8-Series QLED TVs, the first ever to use a mini-LED backlighting method, at the end of 2019. Mini-LEDs will be commonplace by 2022. These TVs are also available from Samsung (under the “Neo QLED” moniker) as well as LG (under the “QNED”) and Sony, which claims that its backlight control technology makes its mini-LED TVs better than all others.
QLED vs. OLED
The two types of OLED and QLED TVs are not interchangeable, despite their similar sounding names. For television displays, they’re two competing technologies. Manufacturers like Samsung, TCL, and Vizio have all adopted QLED as an improved version of LCD. Enhancing contrast and color beyond what we had previously come to anticipate from LCDs, the quantum filter is added.
Individual pixels in OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels generate light. Using this technique, you can get what are known as “true blacks” by turning off parts of the screen altogether. There are numerous OLED displays used in smartphones and monitors; nevertheless, the 65-inch TV screen is the best place to see them in their full glory. Dark sequences in a program or movie have a striking contrast to the rest of the show or movie.
Even though it can’t match OLED in terms of black depth, the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV is an excellent example of what the technology can offer. Compared to Samsung’s previous best, this is the brightest TV we’ve ever seen, both in anecdotal viewing and in lab tests. Neo QLED outperformed the standard Samsung QLED, whereas OLED evo fell short of the standard LG OLED in terms of quality and performance. That’s exactly how QLED earned this year’s award.
OLED vs QLED: the case for organic LED
Thinner and lighter (2.57mm)
It has self-emitting pixel
The more convincing blacks are
Refreshing faster (0.001ms)
The available display sizes are as follows: 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″, and 88″.
Slightly dim light (up to 1,000nits)
The OLED vs. QLED debate may be summarized in one sentence: OLED is a brand-new innovation, whereas QLED is a refinement of LCD.
A carbon-based film is sandwiched between two conductors in an OLED, which when powered by an electric current creates its own light.
Since the pixels are the ones that generate the light, they are turned off totally when the screen needs to be black. That means no LCD backlight, incredibly realistic blacks, so-called ‘infinite’ contrast, lightning-quick refresh rates, and a muted brightness ideal for movies – if faint by LED standards – that is great for watching movies. The first moment you see an OLED TV, you’ll feel like you’ve watched something truly remarkable.
Due to its smaller manufacturing scale than LED, OLED TVs have only been available in a few sizes for the previous few years, but LG has now extended into 48-inch OLEDs, with 83-inch and 42-inch panels planned for 2021.
Even though they haven’t been implemented universally yet, new light sensors installed in Panasonic and LG TVs are enhancing the performance of OLEDs in bright conditions.
QLED vs OLED: the case for quantum dots
Pros and Cons of QLED
Whites that are snow-white
Brighter than the sun (up to 2,000 nits)
Not as slender as I thought (25.4mm)
Blacks are less convincing.
It isn’t that QLED is a new TV technology, but rather a rebranding. QLED, which stands for Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode, is the new name for Samsung’s premium TVs, which were previously known as SUHD.
Because of LG’s new QNED lineup and the OLED sounding name, it’s easy to get the terms mixed up. Who gives a damn about the meanings of these names?
In spite of this, QLED is distinct from OLED in that it is not self-emitting and still requires a backlight. Using a quantum dot color filter in front of the LCD backlight improves contrast and color vibrancy, according to Samsung’s marketing arm. Since technically they should be known as QLCD-LEDs, we can’t really complain about the name it has now.
So, in reality, it’s not a new display technology at all, but rather a tweak to LCD TV technology. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s stunning – it’s actually quite nice.
A MiniLED backlight has been implemented in Samsung’s ‘Neo QLED’ QLED line as of 2021, which increases the amount of LEDs utilized for more precise brightness control, as well as extending viewing angles and increasing potential brightness while also minimizing blooming.
QLED vs. OLED: Which technology is better?
With this knowledge, let’s see how QLED and OLED stack up against each other in the most important categories: brightness, contrast, and color accuracy. There are many key performance elements to consider when purchasing a new television. These include the brightness, the contrast, the viewing angles, and other major performance considerations like response time and lifespan.
Black levels and contrast
Contrast is the difference in brightness between the darkest and lightest parts of an image. It is not necessary to make the bright areas of a TV as bright to get acceptable levels of contrast if the TV can give a fully black dark area. So, when it comes to black levels, OLED reigns supreme since it can go entirely black when necessary.
Since LED backlight dimming and blocking is difficult to achieve with QLED TVs (oops), these displays must use QLED dimming and blocking instead. It can cause a phenomenon known as “light bleed,” in which the light spills over into the purported black area of the screen.
Is it noticeable, or is it just a fluke? Definitely. The letterbox bars at the top and bottom of the screen may appear slightly illuminated if you’re watching a movie with a wider than 16:9 aspect ratio when two characters are rushing through a parking lot at night in an intense action movie.
Mini-LED backlights, as previously mentioned, are one manner in which QLED TV manufacturers are attempting to remedy this condition. However, we aren’t ready to label it an OLED killer just yet.
OLED has the upper hand for the time being. In the absence of electricity, a pixel does not emit any light and hence remains completely dark.
OLED is the winner.
When it comes to brightness, QLED TVs offer a significant advantage. These LED backlights can be made unbearably bright since they don’t rely on individual pixels to generate their own light. Quantum dots’ ability to utilize that light by producing brighter hues in the color spectrum without losing saturation means that even in the brightest surroundings, the display will be readily visible.
On a brightness level, OLED panels cannot compete. Pixels on their screens just can’t generate as much light. This isn’t a problem in a gloomy space. Because OLED can reach the same contrast with less brightness, dark-room viewing will be less of a hazard, we’d say that it’s preferable. However, QLED TVs are easier to see in well-lit areas or where a lot of natural light comes in via windows. This is especially true if you’re watching HDR material on them.
The brightness of OLED panels has increased over the years, but they still can’t compete with QLED TVs in terms of contrast.
QLED is the winner.
Samsung believes that the usage of quantum dots in QLED TVs has given it an edge in terms of color accuracy, color brightness, and color volume.
To be clear, we have yet to see better-saturated colors at high brightness settings give an actual advantage in regular viewing situations, so we’ll call this a draw for the time being. To proclaim QLED a winner, we’ll need to see concrete evidence.
In this case, the draw was the victor.
Response time, input lag, and refresh rate
It is the amount of time it takes for one state to transition into another. Images are sharper when the response time is faster, particularly in fast motion sequences. Despite the fact that the human eye may not be able to detect a difference in response time above a certain threshold, we know through standardized measurements that OLED TVs are far faster than QLED TVs.
This may sound like a wonderful thing until you understand that OLED has a response time of 0.1 milliseconds. No contest, that’s for sure.
To put it another way, when you push a button on your gaming controller, you’ll see the outcome of that action on the screen immediately. Gaming is the only use case where input lag is relevant, as it has no influence on passive content viewing.
Even more so, your TV’s picture processing power determines how much input latency you’ll feel, not whatever display technology you’re using. If you use the TV’s Game Mode, which achieves the same result as turning off all extra video processing, you can have very reduced input lag on both QLED and OLED TVs.
Similarly, the refresh rate is a factor that will be of greater importance to gamers than to non-gamers. This is the number of times per second that the TV refreshes its display. Depending on the type of media you’re watching, your TV show, movie, or video game may have a frame rate.
You won’t notice an issue if these two rates are close multiples of one other, such as a frame rate of 30 fps and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. Furthermore, this isn’t a problem when watching ordinary TV because the frame rates are always the same.
When playing on a computer or a console, however, certain games will alter their frame rate between scenes. TVs use the VRR (variable refresh rate) capability to maintain a consistent visual appearance. This allows your TV to adjust its native refresh rate to keep up with the frame rate changes. When playing games that require VRR on a TV that doesn’t support VRR, there may be undesired side effects like screen tearing.
Both OLED and QLED TVs include VRR versions. Samsung, Sony, and LG are the current manufacturers of VRR TVs. It’s important to have VRR compatibility for PC gamers who wish to play on the large screen.
This category belongs to OLED because of its advantage in reaction time and refresh rate.
OLED is the winner.
The ideal viewing angle for QLED panels is dead center, and as you move from side to side or up and down, the picture quality degrades in terms of brightness, color, and contrast. Despite TV manufacturers’ greatest efforts to address the problem, the intensity varies from model to model.
Even at extreme viewing angles of 84 degrees, OLED screens do not suffer from brightness deterioration. Anti-reflective coatings have improved the viewing angle of some QLED TVs, but OLED still has the upper hand. OLED TVs are the greatest option if you frequently host family screenings of your favorite movies and want to ensure that no one has a lousy seat in the house.
OLED is the winner.
LEDs have gone a long way. OLED screens had a maximum size of 55 inches when the technology was in its infancy. Screens as large as 97 inches are now conceivable, but they come at a high cost: an 88-inch model costs $30,000, making it beyond of reach for most people. At higher sizes, QLED technology is more straightforward and less expensive to manufacture. Samsung’s 85-inch QN800A 8K Neo QLED TV costs about $6,500, whereas its 98-inch counterpart costs $15,000 for the average household.
QLED is the winner.
How to choose the right TV for your home
LG estimates that it would take 54 years of continuous use to dim its OLED TVs to 50% brightness. OLED TVs have just been on the market since 2013, therefore it’s too soon to tell if that’s the case. However, even though QLED is a more recent innovation, its backlighting source, the LED, has a long and successful history. That is the sole reason QLED is the winner of this category.
QLED is the current winner (at least for the time being).
Image retention is a problem with both QLED and OLED televisions. If portion of a picture remains on the screen after the original has faded away, this is what happens. As a general rule, it appears in the form of a shadow, if at all.
As a result of long periods of time spent viewing the same visual element, picture retention can occur. A similar phenomenon has been observed in video games that use the same UI elements repeatedly during the course of a session.
When you transition to a different type of material that doesn’t feature the troublesome on-screen features, image retention often fades away.
OLED TVs are also subject to “burn-in,” a more permanent kind of picture retention, because of their self-emissive nature. This is known as “burn-in,” and it occurs when one or more OLED pixels permanently decrease in brightness. In order to correct this, all of the pixels must be lowered to their original state, but that’s not a very good option.
A QLED TV is your best bet if you want to avoid burn-in completely.
As the world’s largest producer of OLED TVs, LG has acknowledged in its user manuals the possibility of image retention but claims that under typical viewing conditions this should not occur.
In other words, what is considered “normal” viewing? For starters, it appears that watching the same station on your TV for 10 hours a day for two months in a row is not normal. In the bottom-right corner of the screen, one of our readers noticed a burn-in shadow of part of the MSNBC peacock logo and part of the “Live” graphic when viewing MSNBC on his LG C8 OLED TV.
Is this reason enough to keep you from purchasing an OLED TV? No, there isn’t. Nonetheless, if you’re planning to use your new TV for commercial purposes, or if you plan to play the same video game for months at a time, you should be aware of this.
A QLED TV is your best bet if you want to avoid burn-in completely.
QLED is the winner.
OLED panels don’t require a super-bright backlight, as you’ve learned by now. OLED TVs are more energy-efficient since they don’t use backlights, which use a lot of power. QLED TVs, on the other hand, produce more heat.
OLED is the winner.
During today’s viewing era, it is possible to watch television for long periods of time without taking a break. A common cause of eye fatigue is the excessive generation of blue light. For LCD-based sets, the blue light is more vivid than anything else, even in situations that don’t involve a lot of the shade. If you let your irritated eyes get out of hand, you could experience sleep deprivation, which can lead to a slew of health issues. Some OLED panel manufacturers, including LG, are now aiming for Ocular Guard certification for their displays in order to combat this issue.
As originally advertised as “Eye Comfort Display,” TÜV Rheinland’s Ocular Guard certification checks a wide range of TV panel components to see if they are too harsh on the eyes.
According to theory, OLED TVs should be more comfortable for the eyes than QLED or any other LCD-based screen because OLED produces substantially less blue light than QLED TVs with LED backlighting. OLED is the way to go if you don’t want to spend money on new glasses but yet want the safest viewing experience possible without having to switch to OLED.
OLED is the winner.
Since OLED TVs have gone down in price, and since we’re talking about all-premium here, equivalent QLED TVs cost approximately the same, QLED TVs have lost their edge in this area (or more, depending on the size). The number of OLED TVs on the market is expected to reach a record high in 2022, and as is customary, as production increases, so do the prices.
Keep in mind that, unlike OLED TV, there is a wide variety of picture quality with QLED TVs because there are considerably more variables in their design, picture processing, and build. Only the most expensive QLED TVs can compete with OLED in terms of image quality.
For now, QLED is the clear victor due to its lower cost per inch of screen size, but that gap is closing rapidly.
QLED is the winner.
QLED vs. OLED: The verdict
As impressive as both of these technologies are, for the time being, we’re going to go with OLED. It’s the greatest picture quality you can get because it performs better in the areas that most people notice while viewing television and movies.
It’s easy to see that on paper, QLED is the better option because of its higher brightness and longer life expectancy as well as its larger screens, lower cost, and lack of burn-in risk. On the other hand, OLED boasts a wider viewing angle, deeper black levels, uses less electricity, is better for gaming, and may even be healthier for you. However, since none is better than the other, there is no right or wrong answer. QLED is the best all-around option, but OLED technology shines when it comes to adjusting the ambient light in your space.
One more thing: QD-OLED
The distinctions between QLED and OLED have been discussed, but there’s still one more option to consider: QD-OLED.
QD-OLED, as the name implies, is a cross between OLED and QLED technologies that employs OLED material as its light source — and so retains all of OLED’s advantages — but replaces the color filter of a standard OLED TV with quantum dots. An astonishingly vivid display of brilliant colors and deep darkness is produced as a result. Is this something you’re curious about? We’ve put together a comprehensive how-to guide to help you get up to speed quickly.
One manufacturer hopes to launch a QD-OLED TV (Sony’s A95K) in 2022, but the technology is still in its infancy. In terms of pricing and availability, we don’t yet know, but we expect it to be significantly more expensive and difficult to obtain than OLED TVs. If you’ve got the cash to burn, it might be well worth it; our first look at QD-OLED in action at CES 2022 was breath-taking.
Which is better OLED or QLED or 4K?
OLED TVs typically have faster response times than QLED TVs. To put it another way, OLED cells can change color and luminosity immediately rather than having to wait for a backlight to shine through layers of screens like on a QLED panel.
Is QLED worth the extra money?
It’s worth investing in a QLED TV if you watch a lot of streaming content. If you’re looking for a TV with a brighter screen, the quantum dot layer adds more life to the picture than a typical LCD would. For the most value for your money, choose models Q70T and higher.
Is QLED good for eyes?
Keeping your eyes from getting tired when watching TV is a huge concern…. In order to attain a brightness level ranging from HDR 1500 to HDR 2000, the QLED TV makes use of HDR, or High-Dynamic Range. Because it is identical to what we see in the real world, this brightness setting puts no pressure on the eyes.