Home Theater & Entertainment TV & Displays 116 116 people found this article helpful What Is an OLED TV? What You Need to Know Learn how OLED is used in TVs By Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated January 13, 2020 2020 TV Buying Guide 2020 TV Buying Guide Introduction TV Basics What is a Smart TV? What Are Pixels? HDR Formats Explained HDTV, HDMI, DVI or HDCP Measuring a TV Screen How Room Lighting Affects TVs TV Buying Guide LCD vs LED All About OLED TVs QLED vs OLED Extended Warranties What is a Roku TV? The Best TV For You Best TVs of 2020 Best 4K Ultra HD TVs Best TV Brands Best Cheap TVs Best Smart TVs Best Outdoor TVs Best Gaming TVs Best TVs Under $500 Best Online TV Retailers Best TVs by Brand Best Roku TVs Best Vizio TVs Best TVs at Walmart Best Samsung TVs Best Sony TVs Best Hisense TVs Best TVs by Size Best 40-inch Smart TVs Best 42-inch TVs Best 48-inch TVs Best 60-inch TVs Best 65-Inch 4K TVs Best 75-Inch TVs Best 80-85 inch TVs Best 26-29 inch LED TVs Best 32-39 inch LED TVs Best TV Accessories Best TV Antennas Best TV Stands Best TV Wall Mounts Best Under Cabinet TVs & Mounts Best Surge Protectors Best HDMI Cables Best Blu-Ray Players Best Devices for Streaming TV Tweet Share Email 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. LG OLED TV Lifestyle Image. Image via LG What OLED TV Is OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLED is an outgrowth of LCD technology that uses organic compounds formed into pixels 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 also referred to as Organic Electro-Luminescence. LG Display OLED Versus LCD OLED is similar to LCD in that OLED panels 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. On the other hand, although OLED TVs can display very colorful images and one weakness of OLED versus LCD is light output. By manipulating the backlight system, LCD TVs can be designed to emit over 30% more light than the brightest OLED TVs. This means that LCD TVs perform better in bright room environments, while OLED TVs are more suited for dimly-lit or light-controllable room environments. OLED Versus Plasma 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. OLED Versus LCD and Plasma 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). LG Versus Samsung OLED technology can be implemented in several ways for TVs. In the beginning, there are two that were used. LG's variation on OLED technology is referred to 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 was inherent in Samsung's method. It is interesting to point out that, in 2015, Samsung dropped out of the OLED TV market. On the other hand, although Samsung does not currently make OLED TVs, it has created some confusion in the consumer marketplace with its use of the term "QLED" in labeling of some of its high-end TVs. However, QLED TVs are not OLED TVs. They are actually LED/LCD TVs that place a layer of Quantum Dots (that is where the "Q" comes from), between the LED backlight and LCD layers to enhance color performance. TVs that use quantum dots still require a black or edge light system (unlike OLED TVs) and have both the advantages (bright images) and disadvantages (cannot display absolute black) of LCD TV technology. Samsung is in the process of developing TVs that combine Quantum Dots with OLED, referred to as QD-OLED. If successful, they could counter LG in the OLED TV market. Resolution, 3D, and HDR Just as with LCD TVs, OLED TV technology is resolution agnostic. In other words, the resolution of an LCD or OLED TV depends on the number of pixels laid out on the panel surface. Although all OLED TVs now available support 4K display resolution, some past OLED TV models were made with 1080p native resolution display report. Although TV makers no longer offer the 3D viewing option for U.S. consumers, OLED technology is compatible with 3D, and, up until the 2017 model year, LG has offered 3D OLED TVs that were very well received. If you are a 3D fan, you may still be able to find one used or on clearance. Also, OLED TV technology is HDR compatible — although HDR-enabled OLED TVs cannot display the higher brightness levels that many LCD TVs are capable of — at least for now. The Bottom Line After years of false starts, since 2014, OLED TV has been available to consumers as an alternative to LED/LCD TVs. However, although prices are coming down, OLED TVs in the same screen size and feature set as its LED/LCD TV competition are more expensive, sometimes twice as much. However, if you have the cash and the light-controllable room, OLED TVs provide an excellent TV viewing experience. Also, for those that are still plasma TVs fans, rest assured that OLED is more than a fitting replacement option.