OLED TV Basics and Product Picks

LG OLED65GP 4K Ultra HD TV. Image provided by Amazon.com

LCD TVs are definitely the most common TV available for consumers these days, and, with the demise of Plasma, most think that LCD (LED/LCD) TVs are the only type left. However, that is actually not the case as another type of TV is available that actually has some benefits over LCD - OLED.


OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED is an outgrowth of LCD technology that uses organic compounds to create images, without the need for extra backlighting.

As a result, OLED technology allows for very thin display screens that are much thinner than traditional LCD and Plasma screens.

OLED is similar to LCD in that OLED can be laid out in very thin layers, enabling thin TV frame design and energy efficient power consumption. Also, just like LCD, OLED is subject to dead pixel defects.

OLED is similar to Plasma in that the pixels are self-emitting. Also, just like Plasma, deep black levels can be produced. However, like Plasma, OLED is subject to burn-in.

Also, as it stands now, OLED displays have a shorter lifespan than LCD or Plasma displays, with the blue part of the color spectrum at most risk. Also, getting down to the nitty-gritty, large screen OLED TVs are higher in cost in comparison to LCD or Plasma TVs.

On the other hand, OLED TVs display the best screen images seen so far. Color is outstanding and, since the pixels can be individually turned on and off, OLED is the only TV technology that has the capability of displaying absolute black.

  Also, since OLED TV panels can be made so thin, they can also be made to bend - resulting in the appearance of curved screen TVs (Note: Some LCD TVs have been made with curved screens as well).

OLED TV Tech - LG vs Samsung

OLED technology can be implemented in several ways for TVs, but currently, there are two that being used.

LG's variation on OLED technology is referred as WRGB, which combines white OLED self-emitting subpixels with Red, Green, and Blue color filters. On the other hand, ​Samsung employs Red, Green, and Blue sub-pixels with no added color filters. LG's approach is intended to limit the effect of premature Blue color degradation that I mentioned previously.

It is interesting to point out that, as of 2015, Samsung has dropped out of the OLED TV market, leaving LG as the only maker of OLED TVs for the U.S. and some other markets.

More Info

For a further explanation on how OLED technology is incorporated into TVs, read my article: TV Technologies De-Mystified.

In addition, for more technical information on OLED technology, check out How OLEDs Work

Also Known As: Organic Light Emitting Diode, Organic Electro-Luminescence

Examples of OLED TV Product Offerings

As of 2016, LG is the only maker of OLED TVs for U.S. consumer market. Here are two excellent examples of LG OLED TVs, one in flat-screen and the other curved with 3D:

LG OLED55B6P (55-inches, 4K, HDR, Flat Screen)

LG OLED55C6P (55-inches, 4K, HDR, 3D, Curved Screen)

Disclosure: The E-commerce link(s) included this article is independent of the editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page.