We are now into the 4K era and it’s time to put in a simple and understandable way for a TV guide. Surely those of you who went through the process of looking for what TV to buy to plug in and enjoy your PS4 Pro or Xbox One X got you a headache! LED, OLED or QLED? HDR 10 or Dolby Vision? Flat or Curved? But even if you did end up somewhere, gamers should also be aware of some additional features before purchasing, such as Input lag, Peak Brightness and Colour gamut. Don’t panic though, in very simple words we will explain everything below. This overview is planned from our technician – episkevi tileoraseon – as an oasis in the huge desert of details concerning Televisions.
LED – OLED – QLED
Don’t confuse all of these acronyms. There are only two types of screens. LEDs and OLEDs.
- LED televisions are essentially LCD panels that use backlighting from LED lamps and to distinguish them from the older LCDs (which used CCFL lamps) they were simply called LEDs.
- QLED is now a marketing trick for Samsung to differentiate its premium models from simple LEDs. Q is a derivative of quantum dot technology. A company patent that only gets its own on TVs, and we’ll talk about that below.
LED and OLED panels
Both LED panels and OLEDs are made up of layers of light filtering and colour combinations that compose the effect that results in our display. But LED panels, unlike OLEDs, cannot produce their own lighting. So the light they need comes from the Back Light Unit. That is, a unit that lies behind their filtering layers of light and colour of the LED panel and generates the light. It consists of LED lamps as well as extra layers of light reflection. The difference is that OLEDs do not need the Back Light Unit (and extra reflective layers) because the panel produces its own light.
In LEDs the lamps, depending on where they are, illuminate a particular area of pixels on the screen. OLEDs, thanks to their organic composition, can be extremely small and thin. So, they illuminate a stand-alone pixel. The non-illuminated pixels remain completely deactivated, providing incomparable absolute black. This results in higher contrast, richer colour and thus a more realistic and dazzling image.
Even with the most advanced dimming technology that minimizes light in areas where it is not needed, LEDs can by no means reach the absolute black of an OLED. Certainly our LED lighting is a big advantage over OLEDs, but while it impresses with bright and coloured shots, it glows when the shot is dark and light objects appear because of the ‘light bleed’ effect. That is, when light is scattered around the object as a “halo” or cloud. This is not the case with OLEDs because it only illuminates the specific pixels in which the object is displayed, not the region.
However, despite the advantages, OLEDs do not reach the level of LED lighting. To put it in numbers, LEDs reach 2,000 nits, while OLEDs reach 800 nits.
Where should i set up my TV?
However, it plays an important role in where you set up your TV. If the room is bright, the LED will look better. Unlike in a dark room, OLED will impress you the most. But among us, you have no illusions. If you look closely at an LED and an OLED, the latter will impress you the most. I think the overall quality of an OLED despite its specific drawback overcomes even the most premium LED models. If you experience the OLED experience it’s hard to turn around.
What is QLED technology?
So, in order to compensate for this inequality and to offer more economical offers than the expensive OLEDs, the companies have patented a number of patents. One such is quantum dot technology, or QLED. Samsung has developed and invested a lot of money on this technology in order to promote it and sell it to other companies, starting with an alliance with Chinese TCL and Hisense. Unknown to us but with growing popularity in the American market as they come in very economical for those offering prices. LG, which until recently was the sole player in the OLED category, dropped its prohibitive prices for the average consumer, offering the market cheaper models while “converting” other players such as Sony and Panasonic into adopting their technology. in their own Premium models.
What does QLED mean?
At the heart of QLED are LCD panels (like LEDs) that use a quantum dots filter. A material namely nanotechnology (tiny particles) that diffuses light better and more intensely. It is not, however, an autoclave like OLED. It uses the Backlight Unit to give light, but instead of white LEDs, it has blue. The radius of blue light, is much thinner thus significantly reducing the phenomenon of light bleed.
The resulting advantages have an impact on Colour Space and Brightness. The colour gets more precision, shine, palette enlargement and better saturation, coming very close to OLED levels. Although the difference is quite obvious compared to a simple LED, it will take a very experienced eye to spot the difference with an OLED. OLED continues to outperform, but due to its very low preference, one could easily say that the two technologies in this area are tie.
OLED could very easily be the undisputed winner in this battle if we exclude its value, but as far as gamers are concerned, it has a major downside to losing the game from the locker room. This is none other than Image Retention or Screen Burn-In.
Burn-in is about the temporary or permanent capture of static images on the screen after a lot of use. For example the life bar in a game that stays in the same spot or the map or table showing the score in a sports game or the speed converter in a racing game. This is because pixels stay active continuously without changing the “burning” point. In more light cases (image retention) the footprint is not permanent and can go away if you switch to a channel without static images and leave it playing for a couple of hours before closing it.
What TV should i buy?
Clearly, if one uses television for movie viewing or is a casual gamer, he will not have an irreversible problem. I would say that he is not worth the risk of buing that kind of TV. At least not in this time period when OLED technology is in its infancy. Surely no LED can achieve the overall picture quality of an OLED even those with … anabolic (QLED, Nano Cells etc). However, all premium LED models are close to it and will certainly not leave anyone complaining. The result of the superior brightness of the LEDs combined with the HDR is equally capable of unique viewing experiences.
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