LED or OLED TV: aspects of choice and modern models

Until recently, a liquid crystal LED display seemed to us the height of perfection – bright colors, high image quality, small thickness of devices, huge screen diagonals … But now manufacturers have offered us a new technology – OLED. Are LED screens becoming a thing of the past and replaced by something fundamentally better? We will try to understand this issue and compare the two types of displays, describe their strengths and weaknesses.

The evolution of TVs: from LED to OLED

Let’s look at what both abbreviations mean and what is the fundamental difference between LED and OLED.

LED-TVs are a type of LCD panels equipped with LED backlight instead of the outdated lamp. LEDs located either at the edges of the panel (Edge LED) or directly behind the crystals (Direct LED) illuminate the liquid crystal matrix. The matrix adjusts the level of light that leaks through, creating an image on the screen.
OLED TVs are based on organic light emitting diodes connected to a screen matrix.  In practice, this makes it possible to create the thinnest displays and get deep blacks.

Image quality

As we have already figured out, OLED displays, due to their principle of operation, are able to convey black color much better than LED. The OLED matrix also has high contrast, but slightly loses in image brightness.

Pixel response time

In the first LCD TVs, the picture often had a loop when playing dynamic scenes: the pixels did not have time to react and change the brightness to the desired one. Now this effect is minimal, especially in top LED TV models, but still, even they have not yet reached the speed of OLED. LEDs in OLED displays instantly change the level of brightness to the one you need, eliminating the possibility of “blurring” the image when playing dynamic scenes.

Viewing angle

Do you want to watch TV with a large group so that the image can be seen from any part of the room? OLED is more suitable for this – the display quality remains stable even at large viewing angles. However, it is worth noting that the best LED models also do a good job of this task, albeit somewhat inferior to new technologies.

Diagonal

We will still give the championship in this parameter to liquid crystal LED displays – for their versatility and the ability to choose a device for a room of any size. Judge for yourself: in electronics stores you can buy LED models with a diagonal from 19 to 86 inches, and OLED – from 55 to 77 inches[1]. Thus, the latter are not suitable for halls of a huge area or for a small room, but LED TVs can be chosen in full accordance with the size of the room.

Panel thickness and weight

Here, the undisputed leader is TVs made using OLED technology: it is this technology that allows you to create the thinnest and lightest panels. Available for sale are models with a thickness of less than 4 mm without a stand (for example, LG OLED65WX9LA[2]). LED devices, although not much, are thicker [3].

Similarly, with the mass of devices: with a diagonal of 65 inches, models with organic LEDs have less weight.

Electricity consumption

LED models have an advantage, although the difference is small and largely depends on the specific model[4].

Life time

It should be noted that this parameter has nothing to do with either the warranty period or the reliability of the system as a whole. For TV screens, the service life indicator means the time after which the screen will “burn out”, that is, it will lose half of the initial value of the brightness of the colors.

When OLED models appeared on the market, many experts spoke about the extremely low service life of blue LEDs used in displays – only 15,000 hours [5]. The screen, therefore, is designed for approximately 30 thousand hours (the blue color does not work all the time). For comparison, LED panels have a claimed service life of approximately 50-100 thousand hours.

Now some manufacturers have abandoned the use of RGB LEDs in favor of white ones. This made it possible to increase the life span of OLED displays up to 100,000 hours[6].

Thus, in this parameter, the indicators of both types of panels are identical and depend on the specific manufacturer and model class.

This is interesting

According to research, the average amount of time people spend watching TV is about 3 hours and 40 minutes per day[7]. It turns out that even a display designed for 30 thousand hours of operation will last more than 8.5 thousand days, or about 23.5 years! So is it worth worrying about the durability of the screen if, with normal home use, the rest of the hardware will become obsolete and wear out much faster?

Price

If we consider the overall price range, rumors about the fabulous cost of models with organic LEDs are a bit exaggerated. So, according to Yandex. Market, OLED TVs can be purchased at prices ranging from 72.9 thousand (LG OLED55B8P) to 7.19 million rubles (LG OLED65RX9LA)[8]. An LCD panel of the same dimensions will cost the buyer much less.

A high-quality 55-inch LCD model with 4K resolution, Smarts, Wi-Fi and a wide viewing angle can be purchased for 55-70 thousand rubles, while even the simplest OLED displays will cost a little more.

So is it worth comparing LED and OLED TVs: the pros and cons of technology
It can be said that OLED TVs have an advantage in most parameters and are only partially inferior to LCD panels. But after all, many indicators can hardly be called key: for example, thickness and weight are not important for all users, and not always in favor of smaller values. For home placement, the difference between 5mm and 5cm of TV thickness is often uncritical, and the low weight, for example, will make it easier for pets and children to tip the unit. In terms of key parameters, each type has a couple of really serious advantages.