Starting from CRT TVs to MicroLED TVs, there has been a drastic revolution in display technology over the years. Currently, there is a craze for OLED and QLED display technologies among 4K and 8k UHD TVs.
The prices of OLED and QLED TVs have become affordable with time, and hence, brands are promoting them to the masses.
Before you get brainwashed by sales assistants and misleading advertisements, you should learn about OLED and QLED display technologies.
Both technologies have their pros and cons, and they differ on various technical parameters. Here is a complete guide on OLED and QLED to purchase the best TV for your entertainment space.
What is QLED?
QLED is an abbreviation of Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode. QLED is more like a normal LED TV, where nanoparticles called quantum dots are supercharged. Quantum dots are responsible for more brightness and better colour.
Quantum dots are tiny particles of the semiconductor, and they are photoluminescent. When the backlight of the TV is passed through the quantum dots, they emit bright light and vibrant colour. In a regular LED TV, only white light is used as the backlight, generating an RGB spectrum instead of a full spectrum.
On the contrary, QLED uses blue LED instead of white LED as its backlight. Along with that, a layer of red and green quantum dots creates the full spectrum of white light, and hence, it can generate billions of colours. This display technology was introduced in the market by Sony back in 2013.
- Offers greater brightness.
- Emits a brighter white layer.
- Ensures vibrant colours.
- Available in different sizes.
- Not susceptible to burn-in issues.
- Has a longer lifespan.
- Relatively less expensive.
- Relatively less contrast level.
- The viewing angle is slightly narrow.
- The display panel is relatively thicker.
- Response time is slightly slow.
- It Consumes more power for the backlight.
What is OLED?
OLED is an abbreviation of Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED does not need a backlight as every pixel is an LED light. They can produce light and colour on their own, and hence, they are referred to as organic LEDs.
A bright white pixel and a dark black pixel are placed next to one another, which takes care of the light bleeding issue in a normal LED TV. Besides, you can create a super black layer that produces better contrast which is why the visuals are more vibrant. Only LG manufactures OLED panels and sells them to other TV brands.
- Offers a better contrast level.
- Creates a super dark black layer.
- Makes the picture crisp.
- Ensures no colour bleeding.
- Offers a wide viewing angle.
- Relatively lighter and thinner.
- Ensures super-fast response time.
- Relatively less brightness.
- Relatively less colour volume.
- Available in large sizes only.
- Susceptible to burn-in issues.
- Susceptible to image retention issues.
QLED vs OLED – The Key Differences
Now that you know QLED and OLED, let us take a deep look at the differences between the display technologies on important parameters.
The picture quality depends on the TV model you are purchasing. There are high-end as well as low-end QLED and even OLED TVs available. Naturally, the high-end ones have better picture quality in both categories.
Among the high-end TVs, OLED TVs edge past the QLED TV. It is because factors like better contrast make the picture appears crisper. Technically speaking, you get better picture quality when individual pixels are managed as in OLED instead of using a backlight for output as in QLED.
Black Levels & Contrast
Contrast is the difference between an image’simage’s dark and bright spots. If a display panel has better black levels, the display’sdisplay’s brightness automatically enhances.
Regarding black levels and contrast, OLED is the clear winner. Thanks to its self-emissive pixels, they can go black any time they want and as per the required level.
On the contrary, QLED panels must dim the backlight and block the incoming light to get the proper contrast and black levels. That is why they can never achieve the level of perfection as OLED. It leads to light bleeding issues, which you will notice when there is an action scene in the dark.
We have already stated that QLED offers a greater brightness than OLED TVs. It is simply because QLED uses a dedicated backlight that is incredibly bright. It would be best to have brightness when watching your TV in bright surroundings.
OLED panels have good enough brightness but are not comparable to QLED. It is because the individual pixels collectively cannot reproduce the brightness of the backlight.
Quantum dots have been a game-changer in the TV industry in terms of colour volume as well as colour accuracy. The better the colour accuracy, the more lifelike the scene looks.
Not just colour volume, colour brightness is better in QLED panels. It means you can get a wider range of saturated colours even when the brightness level is high.
In comparison, OLED has slightly less colour volume, and its performance at extreme brightness could be better than QLED in terms of saturated colours. But it is just a little behind QLED but QLED edges past OLED.
Response Time and Refresh Rate
Response time is when a pixel changes from one state to another. Response time is an important parameter because the faster the response time, the crisper will be the visuals during fast-moving scenes.
OLED panels have a faster response time than QLED panels, making them more suitable for action movies and video games. To be more precise, OLED’sOLED’s response time is around 0.1 milliseconds, while that of QLED is 2 to 8 milliseconds.
The refresh rate is known as the number of times the screen changes the scenes in a second. It is also important if there is a fast-moving scene, such as in action movies and video games.
A low refresh rate can cause lag and a bad viewing experience. Some TVs offer variable refresh rates (VRR) for games that change the frame rate from one scene to another.
OLED was the first to offer a variable refresh rate though QLED offers the same now. Regarding response time, OLED has the upper hand though the refresh rate is equal in both cases.
Casual viewers may need help understanding the differences due to low response time or refresh rate, but action movie lovers and gamers will notice them instantly.
The greater the viewing angle, the better the TV is for the users. If a TV has a greater viewing angle, you can watch the TV from the sides as well without distortion in colour and brightness.
QLED TVs have a narrow viewing angle. The best viewing angle for QLED TVs is the dead centre. The farther you move the centre of the QLED TV, the brightness and colour start to diminish. The diminished brightness and colour vary from one QLED model to another, but it is inevitable.
On the contrary, OLED TVs have a broad viewing angle. OLED TVs offer around an 85-degree viewing angle. Therefore, viewing the TV from the side will not notice a significant decrease in brightness and colour. Therefore, if you want to watch TV with your friends and family sitting around and across the TV, OLED TVs are a better choice.
Previously, large OLED TVs used to be around 55 inches only. There was no variant beyond 55 inches. However, things have changed over time, and now you can purchase OLED TVs up to 97 inches.
On the contrary, QLED TVs always have a wide range of sizes for the users to purchase as per their requirements. If you add up the price to size, large OLED TVs are more expensive. But due to the availability of a wide range in size, QLED is a clear winner though OLED is just a little behind.
Since LG is the sole manufacturer of OLED panels, the company claims that OLED panels can last over 50 years with 4-5 hours of daily usage. It remains to be proven because the OLED panels were introduced in 2013.
On the contrary, QLED panels need LEDs for backlighting, and we know the proven record of LEDs in terms of long life span. They can last for decades, depending on the regular usage and the quality of the LEDs used for backlighting.
We have already stated that OLED panels do not require a backlight as they are self-emissive. The generation of backlight consumes a lot of power. Therefore, OLED is more energy-efficient than QLED as QLED is based on the backlight. OLED panels generate less heat than QLED panels.
Even since the inception of OLED and QLED TVs, their prices have decreased significantly. While QLED TVs are available in different sizes, OLED TVs generally come in large sizes. The prices of these TVs depend on several factors like design, processing power, smart features and others.
In comparison, QLED TVs are cheaper and more affordable than OLED TVs. However, top-notch QLED TVs have almost the same price as top-notch OLED TVs. But if you are looking for a relatively affordable TV, QLED TVs should be your preference.
The main question is which display technology is the best among the two. Both QLED and OLED display technologies have their fair share of benefits and disadvantages. In most of the important parameters, OLED is the clear winner.
If you are looking for a large TV for your room, OLED TV should be your first preference. However, if you are restricted in terms of budget and want a smaller TV, you can opt for QLED TV.