48-inch LG OLED TV turned into a 4K Gaming Monitor

Late last year, you must have plopped a giant 48-inch OLED television on your desk, searching for the one screen to supervise them all.

It must have been fantastic, with fantastic color, inky blacks, G-Sync, and FreeSync Premium on a 120Hz panel — but not exactly suitable for the perfect PC screen. So now, LG is tailoring its television a bit more for desk use with the new LG UltraGear 48GQ900.

Chief among them: the stand. At the same time, the LG C1 48 and LG CX 48 televisions featured an extensive broad base.

As a result, it discourages any attempt at desktop cable management. It blocks the rest of your desk from view, and the new UltraGear monitor delivers a more traditional V-shaped foot that lifts the full screen off the table.

A two-port USB 3.0  built-in hub, an easily-accessible 3.5mm four-pole headset jack if you don’t desire to rely on its built-in 20W stereo speakers and remote control that might make sense for dedicated gaming use.

It’s got a big honking dial and straightforward buttons to change audio outputs, mute, power,  video inputs, and a toggle for LG’s Game Mode. (The TVs had a TV remote and no nub beneath to navigate menus.)

The Korean company’s Chinese product page also indicates you’ll be able to summon an on-screen crosshair and FPS counter, which are table stakes for high-end gaming monitors nowadays. You can even overdrive the screen to 138Hz, though we are not immediately sure why you’d like to.

What the company’s press release doesn’t say, unfortunately, is whether LG has created its automatic brightness limiter algorithms any less aggressive, which is the thing that held these giant OLED screens from being excellent do-everything PC monitors in the past. As a result, while I found the LG C1 48 perfect for PC gaming, it was a pain to maintain the screen continuously dimming while trying to scroll documents and websites.

The limiters save your OLED screen from burn-in, but they’re a little overzealous, and other companies that have built gaming monitors around LG’s OLED screens haven’t figured out a way to deal with that. LG has improved it significantly. However, the new smaller 42-inch LG C2 still has the distracting brightness limiter issue. We asked LG about it, and we’ll let you know what we hear.

The other big question is price: one of the reasons to pick an LG OLED TV over a gigantic gaming monitor is because you can sometimes find them around, or just a couple hundred north of, the $1,000 mark. So it’d be a harder sell if LG is charging a premium for the monitor version.

The new LG 48GQ900 “will be available starting this month in Japan with key markets in North America, Europe and Asia to follow,” according to the company. In the company’s press release, you can also read about a pair of new 32-inch monitors, one with DisplayHDR 1000 and the other with a 240Hz refresh rate.

What is an OLED?

An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or LED) is also known as organic electroluminescent (organic EL) diode. It is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compounds. It emits light in response to an electric current. This organic layer is situated between two electrodes; typically, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, and portable systems such as smartphones and handheld game consoles. A significant area of research is the development of white OLED devices for use in solid-state lighting applications.

There are two prominent families of OLED: those based on small molecules and those employing polymers. Adding mobile ions to an OLED creates a light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) which has a slightly different mode of operation.

As a result, an OLED display can be driven with a passive-matrix (PMOLED) or active-matrix (AMOLED) control scheme. In the PMOLED plan, each row (and line) in the display is controlled sequentially, one by one. In contrast, AMOLED control uses a thin-film transistor (TFT) backplane to directly access and switch each pixel on or off, allowing for higher resolution and larger display sizes.

OLED is fundamentally different from LED, based on a p-n diode structure. In LEDs, doping is used to create p- and n- regions by changing the conductivity of the host semiconductor. OLEDs do not employ a p-n structure.

Instead, OLED doping is used to increase radiative efficiency by directly modifying the quantum-mechanical optical recombination rate. Doping is additionally used to determine the wavelength of photon emission.

An OLED display works without a backlight because it emits visible light. Thus, it can display deep black levels and be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LCD). In low ambient light conditions (such as a dark room), an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD, whether the LCD uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps or an LED backlight.

OLED displays are made in the same way as LCDs. Still, after TFT (for active matrix displays), addressable grid (for passive matrix displays), or indium-tin-oxide (ITO) segment (for segment displays) formation, the show is coated with hole injection, transport, and blocking layers, as well with electroluminescent material after the first two layers, after which ITO or metal may be applied again as a cathode and later the entire stack of materials is encapsulated. The TFT layer, addressable grid, or ITO segments serve as or are connected to the anode, which may be made of ITO or metal.

OLEDs can be made flexible and transparent, with transparent displays used in smartphones with optical fingerprint scanners and flexible displays used in foldable smartphones.