QLED vs OLED
QLED vs OLED: So, you are looking to get a new TV, but the sheer wealth of options available on the market as you slightly overwhelmed. It happens, after all, new technologies seem to be popping up on an almost daily basis.
Of course, they always wrapped up in some indecipherable acronym or other that does not make things any easier. The two most popular types of TVs are OLED and QLED. OLED has been the cool new technology on the block for a while now but what about QLED?
This relatively recent display technology is gaining more attraction nowadays. Leading many prospective buyers to ask the question
Which is better OLED or QLED?
To answer that we compare and contrast these two technologies side-by-side to unravel which one would be better for you. Before we get down to the specifics, we have to look at some of the basics. Starting with the names of these technologies.
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. It is a display technology that does not utilize any form of LED backlight. Instead, every pixel serves as its light source and lights up independently.
QLED stands for quantum light-emitting diode, and it is a type of LED-backlit LCD that uses so-called quantum dots to enhance the brightness and colour vibrancy of the image.
As cold as this may sound, and everything looks way more relaxed, then it starts with a quantum. It is much like any other LCD with an LED backlight. It just has better colour reproduction.
In essence, OLED is a wholly unique display technology, whereas QLED is just a type of LCD technology with more delicate colours. So, if you know how OLED stacks up against LCD, then you are pretty much covered.
The only difference you need to account for is the enhanced colour reproduction of QLED, and that is pretty much. So do not worry as we are about to compare OLED and QLED categorically to give you a comprehensive rundown.
We just wanted to give a heads up to the folk who are already plenty knowledgeable about LCD technology and just were not aware that QLED is a type of LCD instead of being its own unique thing.
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Comparison between QLED and OLED
The first thing we want to discuss when comparing these technologies is,
Brightness and contrast
How they handle the intensity and contrast the difference is here are quite noticeable as they stem from the very methods these technologies used to light up the screen. As we have said, QLED does not utilize any type of LED backlight with each pixel instead, acting as its light source. It is just incredible as far as contrast is concerned.
Since each pixel can turn off independently. OLED is notable for being able to produce pure black no matter how right display technology is a handling contrast. If it is incapable of producing pure black, it is simply no match for OLED but as far as brightness is concerned. OLED is mediocre for all of the same reasons.
The lack of an LED backlight does wonders for contrast, but it dramatically reduces the overall brightness of the screen. So, QLED takes the cake in that regard. Now, which of these two aspects is more important.
It comes down to individual preferences. The unmatched contrast of OLED is truly a sight to behold, but if you only watch TV in a brightly lit room, you will undoubtedly appreciate the brightness that QLED TVs offer. On the other hand, if you are looking to make a home cinema, especially one that exposed to about as much sunlight as the average movie theatre, OLED is the way to go.
Colour accuracy is another point that generally goes in OLED favour. Still, given that the whole shtick of QLED is that it has dramatically improved colour accuracy over other LCDs this is kind of a moot point.
QLED displays can reach the same heights as OLED in this regard or at the very least they come very close to it but notice how we have used the verb can contact. It is not a guarantee and should be approached on a case by case basis.
On the whole OLED TVs are decidedly more expensive than QLED ones, and you should not expect a $500 device to compete with something that costs twice as much or more.
Nevertheless, we are impressed that QLED has managed to bridge the gap between OLED and LCD in this regard. So, we are going to score this round as a tie neither technology is necessarily better than the other.
We have to take a look at how these two technologies handle viewing angles. We have all used LCDs. We all know how funky the image can get when viewed from an odd perspective. The colours get distorted, and the image loses all contrast and all clarity.
It is something that no display is immune to, but different technologies allow for varying degrees of viewing angles, even within the LCD panel family. Different panels offer different viewing experiences.
All we can say is that OLED provides a much better experience than QLED don’t expect perfection. TVs are, after all, meant to watch from the front. Nonetheless, OLED TV’s can be viewed from a much wider angle while keeping the image in check.
Take a look at the performance you can expect from each of these technologies. This aspect is a non-issue for people who use their TV’s solely for streaming or cable television. But it is paramount to gamers who want the smoothest gaming experience possible. To evaluate how QLED stacks up against OLED in terms of performance, we have to split production into three different categories and look at all of them separately.
- Pixel response times
- Input lag
- Refresh rates
Pixel response times
The pixel response time tells us in milliseconds how quickly a pixel can change from white to black. Although, sometimes manufacturers showcase the time needed to change from one shade to another shade to make the device appear more impressive than it is. The lower the response time is, the better as this helps eliminate motion blur, which can be a real pain when gaming.
The response times of QLED TV’s generally range between two and eight milliseconds. It may sound good although two is significantly better than eight; even then, it is paltry compared to the response times of OLED displays that can go as low as 0.1 milliseconds. So, in terms of pixel response times, OLED wins by a landslide.
Thankfully though the playing field is much more even when it comes to input lag a spec that is arguably even more important for gaming, input lag indicates the delay that occurs between your input and the result of that input being visible on the screen.
It’s easy to imagine how high input lag can make games quite literally unplayable especially ones where timing and precision are essential. If the press of a button takes half a second to register as an on-screen action, then you’re not playing a game.
At best, you’re testing both your luck and your patience. Luckily input lag isn’t tied to the display technology itself. Instead, the main culprit behind jarring input lag is usually the TVs onboard image processing.
If the TV is making use of its processor in any way shape or form, it’s bound to increase the delay you see between your input and its impact. It is why we recommend TVs that feature a game mode for a smooth experience as they disable all of the extra features that may cause input lag.
And lastly, as far as the performance is concerned, we have the refresh rate. The refresh rate expressed in Hertz and is used to determine how many times the image of the display will refresh each second. It effectively puts a hard cap on your frame rate as you won’t be able to game in 120 FPS if your screen only has a 60 Hertz refresh rate.
At the moment QLED and OLED TV’s are mostly on power when it comes to refreshing rates—featuring both 60 and 120 Hertz models. However, you may have easily seen specific TV’s marketed as having a much higher frame rate than this while browsing around.
When TV manufacturers boast of TV models that have a refresh rate equal to or higher than 120 Hertz they’re lying. Some TV’s do have a native refresh rate of 120 Hertz but not all of them, and they certainly don’t go higher than this. So how is it the TV manufacturers kings so blatantly lie? The answer is simple for most users; this isn’t a lie; it’s what they call effective refresh rates.
These TV’s use various technologies such as LG’s right motion or Sony’s motion flow to imitate. A high refresh rate with the help of different image processing technologies like frame interpolation. What this means is that you’ll genuinely feel like you have a high refresh rate TV when watching movies and TV shows?
The image will be much smoother even though the native refresh rate of the TV is likely just 60 Hertz, but this is the last thing you want to use while gaming as these image processing techniques all relies on the TV’s onboard processor. And we want the built-in processor to be idle while gaming else the input lag will skyrocket.
So, if the promise of high refresh rate gaming on next-gen consoles is tempting you to get a TV with excellent performance, make sure you get one that natively supports a 120 Hertz.
It’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s the only way to experience high FPS gaming consoles provided that Sony and Microsoft can keep their promises, of course. This rant on performance ran a bit longer than the others, but it was unavoidable given how crucial it is for gaming on a TV.
All in all, OLED displays have the upper hand here but only slightly. If you can find a QLED TV with a response time somewhere between 2 and 5 milliseconds it should be ok. For all of its many upside’s OLED sets off one huge red flag for many people.
Burn-in is what happens when individual pixels on an OLED display get worn down over time. The pixels most prone to suffering from burn-in are the ones to display static image elements for a long time. Think TV channel logos no matter what’s happening on the screen front and centre the logo is always just chilling in the top corner looking the same as it always has.
As we’ve established earlier each pixel in an OLED display serves as its light source. Still, since the pixels responsible for the channel logo don’t get enough dynamic exercise, they get worn down with time and lose their luminosity. In this regard, there are a lot like atrophying muscles. It can lead to certain parts of an OLED display appearing way dimmer than they should be.
Burn-in is the number one horror story that can put off a prospective buyer from purchasing an OLED TV, but it’s not as horrible as it sounds. We, for one, feel obligated to point out that modern OLED TVs are quite durable and employ a plethora of neat features that help prevent this from becoming an issue.
Nevertheless, the threat is real, and it’s something gamers should be even where you’re off due to the nature of health bars pauses and menu screens. QLED, on the other hand, is entirely immune to image burn-in as are all LCDs. However, both OLED and QLED displays can catch image retention.
Image retention shares a lot of similarities to burn-in. So the two get mixed up quite often, but they are two entirely separate issues. Image retention occurs when what we can only describe as a ghost of a static image that has been on for too long linger even after that image is no longer displayed.
To use the TV channel logo as an example again imagine seeing remnants of a logo also after you’ve switched to another channel. In the case of burn-in, that part of the screen would just be dimmer. To put it only the main distinction between the two is this,
The main difference between burn-in and image retention;
Burn-in is permanent and only plagues OLED displays, whereas image retention effects both QLED and OLED displays but are only temporary. We have to give the edge to QLED here. As it is more reliable in the long run. Though burn-in doesn’t set in as quickly as we fear it well.so it’s not like OLED is by any means horrible with regards to longevity.
And finally, we have to consider the price, after all, no matter how good something, maybe if it’s not cost-effective, many people will simply not buy it and rightfully so.
As things stand OLED displays are still prohibitively expensive, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a brand-new OLED display anywhere close to triple-digit territory. It will change with time as the manufacturing process gets refined but for the time being OLED displays aren’t anywhere close to being classified as cost-effective.
On the other hand, QLED display prices are fairly approachable sure you can’t expect a $500. QLED TV to perform on par with an OLED TV that costs more than twice as much but rest assured that difference in quality will not be as significant as the price gap.
In summation, OLED and QLED are two entirely separate display technologies that both come with their pros and cons. QLED offers higher brightness, has excellent colour reproductions, costs less and doesn’t carry the drawback.
That is the ticking time bomb counting down the hours until the imminent burn-in starts to set in. Meanwhile, OLED offers unmatched contrast, superb colour accuracy and better performance but at a ridiculous price that few can afford. Even then it’s not strictly a better pick in all scenarios.
For example, no matter how wealthy you maybe you’ll want a QLED TV in a brightly lit living room so the way we see It. QLED is a better option for most buyers but if you’ve got the money to spare on an OLED TV and the lower brightness won’t bother you most certainly will not regret purchasing one.
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