Whether it is about watching the movies, news, or favorite sports, TV is the forefront of our entertainment units. With the increased sales of TVs around the world, innovations have been made to cater growing demand of consumers for more features and better picture and sound quality. Among those, OLED TV has become a recent phenomenon which has taken the world by surprise. It offers exceptional image quality but comes at a very high price.
But what makes them different from standard LCD TV which is in most of the home? How does it differ from others when it comes to the better appearance of images? What makes them so expensive? Well, the answers to these questions will be provided by us in this interesting article crafted just to satisfy your even increasing queries.
OLED means Organic Light Emitting Diode. In this, each pixel present in the OLED display is formed of a substance which glows whenever there is a jab of electricity applied to it. Just like a heating element present in our toasters, but it gives better resolution with lesser heat. This phenomenon is termed as electroluminescence. It comes from “electro” meaning electricity, “lumin” for light and then “escence” which basically means “essence.”
Well, where is the “organic” part of this substance? With these specific materials which are used to make OLED display are organic compounds which essentially means that they contain carbon and other ingredients. Each color is formed with a different organic compound which we will discuss later.
The effect is explained as that each OLED pixel present on the screen creates a light which depends on the amount of electric current that is sent to it. More the current, more the light. This function is behind the impressive image quality of OLED TV.
It’s marketing often talks about “infinite” contrast rations, which may seem to be hyperbole. Only in rare case, such claims are true otherwise these claims aren’t true in most cases. Since OLED can create a perfectly black image, that is no light since there won’t be any current flowing, it’s contrast ratio which is expressed by brightest white divided by the darkest black produced, which makes it technically infinite. Contrast ratio remains to be the most crucial aspect of picture quality among the TVs.
OLED vs. LCD
OLED is the only available technology which can create darkest blacks and extremely whites on per pixel basis. However, LCD can’t do that, and even the old plasma TV can’t deliver such results.
The main reason is that the liquid crystal which makes LCD only blocks the subsequent light which is created by its backlight. Even in the case of best LCD present in the market, it can’t block the entire light which makes it impossible to create darkest blacks.
In most LCDs, the complete backlight works as a single unit, dimming the complete screen. Local dimming LED LCDs are also quite better but in the case of OLED TVs, “dimming” operates on per pixel basis. So, while the best dimming LCDs may provide 6 to 300 dimming zones present on the screen, a 4K OLED TV has over 8 million dimming zones.
However, OLED doesn’t come with extreme light output compared to best LCD TVs of this generation, but it is quite bright and comes with better blacks along with better contrast ratio, and it can even dim and brighten the screen based on per pixel. That is why the OLED provides the best experience for TV shows and movies.
At present, LG makes all the OLED TVs which are present in the market. In order to create the image, most TVs utilize red, green and blue which are mixed together to obtain all the colors of the spectrum. In LCD, colored light is created by use of RGB filters while plasmas use RGB phosphors.
OLED from LG only utilizes two colors, a sandwich of yellow and blue OLED. Using different color filters, the yellow and blue light is then filtered to obtain greed, blue and red. In order to make more brightness, there exists a clear “white” element too. Let’s look at the image below:
The yellow OLED obtains yellow, which is red and green light. With the combination of blue (1), it creates “white” light (2). With the use of color filters (3), the required sub-pixel color is created (4).
This works since LG is the only company which has been able to market large-screen OLED successfully in any numbers. It is also because it is more cost-effective to make.
The clear disadvantage is the light output and color accuracy which aren’t any issues. They may not be the brighter than the brightest LCDs; they are still bright enough.
LG has improved the efficiency and color gamut by replacing the materials along with structure, but rest of the information is currently confidential.
The most asked question about OLED is that how long will they last? The blue OLED material has shorter life span than others. However, LG has found the solution as they pair the blue OLED with yellow which provides longer life span and the TV doesn’t die out at faster blue rate as we thought
According to LG representative, the secured lifespan of OLED is more than 50,000 hours which is quite staggering and more than conventional TVs. IF you watch 6 hours of TV daily, this means you can use OLED for 22 years.
In almost all present TV technology, the power supply dies way before the panel. Not to forget that TV bought today can’t be connected to anything in 22 years.
Advantages of OLED TV
It has many advantages of LED-lit LCD TVs. First is the design, since OLEDs are lighter as well as thinner than LCDs owing to lack of requirement of a separate backlight. To quote an example, LG displayed an OLED with 0.97 mm thin in 2015 which is quite lower and the recent “Wallpaper” TV, the OLED65W7 measures mere 257 mm. It is quite flexible too.
But the most important advantage is the picture quality. Since each pixel can be easily turned off separately, OLED can deliver absolute black with stronger contrast ratio, which is a god send for AC purists. You can see striking contrast along with depth time and time again on any OLED TV like five-star LG OLED55B7V.
Since OLED pixels only emit their color and light, when it comes to viewing angles, they are quite wide than compared to LCDs: color, as well as contrast, retain their intensity from way far as 90 degrees of center.
These characteristics provide best picture quality at all angle and make OLED an ideal choice for a family to watch and enjoy TV shows and movies together. It provides a great experience with its better contrast and depth.
Disadvantages of OLED TV
When it comes to the disadvantages of OLED, the cost of it remains to be the primary point of contention. OLED TVs are way too expensive to buy, which makes them out of reach of customers from lower to the middle-income bracket.
At its initial stage, OLED production had a very low yield rate which meant that for each OLED fit for sale, a larger number of them are consigned to the scrapheap. This has resulted in the technology to be too expensive to be produced, and that is among the top most reasons that we don’t see OLED under 55 inches.
However, prices of OLED has come down in past few years owing to increment in LG Display’s yield for 4K OLED panels. Now OLEDs are available at under £2500.
Most of the OLEDs are targeted to wealthy customers and pitched in the market to raise the curiosity of this class only. Since price remains to be a key factor, the sales of OLED among lower income class has been dismal. This also reflects in the lesser number of OLEDs sold which in turns make it tough to reduce the prices since there is no demand for bulk production.
Another major problem with OLED is related with a pesky blue pixel. The organic substance which is used to obtain blue light deteriorates way quicker than those of red and green which results in a shorter life span of TV and over time, it also affects the color balance of the TV. However, during our test, we haven’t experienced any such issues. This means that OLED is still a good proposition for those who can afford it and changes the TV at regular interval. Over the years, the recent OLEDs are getting way better and also cheaper to be bought by other customers instead of wealthy ones only.
The Future of OLED
Like any other technology, we will be able to see larger and cheaper OLEDs from LG within a short-term. But it should be a point of worry for almost all fan of picture quality that only one company is producing these TVs which means there is no competition whatsoever. This means that the prices will come down at a lower rate.
Since Samsung have conceded to LG, companies like Sony and Panasonic and their attempts are either nowhere to be found or they are restricted only to Europe like Philips. Currently, no Chinese manufacturer is making any serious leap in this field which means that there won’t be any competition against LG in the present mass market in the recent time to come. LG, however, has expanded the number of models along with sizes and price points, which is good news for customers as they can now choose as per their requirements. This strategy will be quite fruitful for LG since they will be able to reach out to a larger market potential of OLED TV market.
One of the most interesting technology in current LCD domain is quantum dots. These are microscopic particles which glow in a certain color when they are supplied with energy. Many of the new TVs which are present in the market have the photoluminescent version, which has dots that glow in a specific color when they are hit with light, in general, the LED backlight. These help LED LCDs to provide a deeper color which is needed to the Wide Color Gamut aspect related to Hugh Dynamic Range or HDR.
When it comes to the future, electroluminescent version of this technology will have No LED backlight and will only have quantum dots. These direct-view quantum dots also called as QLED will provide all the characteristics and features along with advantages of OLED at way lower prices. This is the area where Samsung has been working on for some time since they weren’t able to get OLED to work for larger screen sizes.
Quantum dots corresponding to photoluminescent version don’t care much about the type of light incident on them. You can also have OLED material which creates one color of light while quantum dots create other color replacing color filters. This is something that we may witness in the future.
LG is also currently developing more flexible OLED screens which will certainly make its position in OLED market way too strong.
At present, there exists ultra-thin “Wallpaper” W7 range OLED which can just stick to your war with the use of magnets but wobbles too.
LG has made great strides in this technology with creating an OLED panel which is not only transparent but can also be rolled. This 77-inch screen can easily be rolled up into a tube with just 8 cm in diameter and is currently 40% transparent.
LG has also unveiled the same kind of technology at much bigger scale for the advertising screens. It has doubled its production of both OLED as well as flexible OLED panels simultaneously by increasing its investment which may result in the decrease of prices of these OLED TVs.
OLED TVs are quite expensive but the drop in prices within few years has been quite dramatic. This may have leveled off, but in return, they have become better with higher brightness along with wider color gamut. We have reviewed many OLED TV models over a span of time, and we found great looking images which were consistent. We would surely like to see cheaper OLED TV so that most of us can enjoy its great picture quality and depth. With this, we all can enjoy our favorite movies and sports events with immense pleasure.
So, what do you think about our review? Let us know your take on it and leave your comment in the section below. We would like to know your thoughts and would like to improve our reviews.