In recent years, TV manufacturers have come up with a variety of options, which makes it hard to figure out the right one for your unique needs. Some options that have been popular recently are QLED, OLED, and UHD.
The best option is going to depend on your needs. If you’re aiming for superior picture quality, OLED is the way to go, but if you’re looking for something that is more budget-friendly, it’s a good idea to choose QLED. Most OLED and QLED TVs come in UHD to enhance the viewing experience.
Also read: Projector Vs. Oled TVs (6 Key Differences)
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the features, pros, and cons of QLED, OLED, and UHD TVs. You’ll be able to see what each of the options brings to the table, which will allow you to pick the right one for your unique viewing needs and optimize your viewing experience.
What Is QLED?
QLED TVs use metallic quantum dot filters to enhance the quality of the images that you see. The name stands for quantum dot light-emitting diode. This technology is mostly utilized by Samsung, but it is sometimes used by other brands, such as Sharp, TCL, and Hisense.
The name might be somewhat misleading, though. These TVs are not QLED in the narrow sense of the word, as a true quantum light-emitting diode should emit its own light, as the name suggests.
The diodes in QLED TVs don’t emit their own light. They use an LCD backlight, much like any other LED/LCD TV on the market. So, the name is there for the purpose of branding, and it may not be the most accurate description of the technology.
This doesn’t mean that the QLED branding is just a marketing tactic. The quantum dot filter utilized by QLED TVs greatly increases the contrast and color on the screen. This further boosts the capabilities of HDR and 4K compared to non-QLED LEDs and LCDs.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of QLED so you can see if it’s the right choice for you.
Also read: Is it Worth Buying a QLED TV?
The Pros of QLED
QLED displays have a few significant advantages that might sway you towards getting a QLED TV.
- Energy efficiency
- High contrast
- High peak brightness
- Competent color accuracy
- Thin and light panels
When compared to OLED displays, QLED displays have a longer lifespan. They are more water-resistant, and the materials it’s made of will not degrade as quickly.
The color-specific materials in OLED displays have differing rates of degradation. For example, the blue materials degrade much faster than everything else, which is going to cause imbalances.
QLED displays also waste and use less energy than typical LCD/LED displays. They can use 20 percent less power than their traditional counterparts, and they create up to a 30% increase in the visible light spectrum.
This quality means that they can provide a much clearer and brighter picture while using less energy.
Compared to regular LCD displays, QLED displays can create much deeper blacks due to their ability to control how much light each individual diode will emit. However, they still don’t perfectly match OLED displays, which reign supreme when it comes to contrast.
High Peak Brightness
LCDs generally boast higher brightness compared to OLEDs, especially when it comes to outdoor viewing or watching something under a direct light. QLEDs greatly improve this capability and provide even more brightness, thus gaining an even greater edge over OLEDs.
Thin and Light Panels
The application of quantum dot technology means that it’s possible to create panels that are very light and thin without sacrificing screen size. Manufacturers can also produce QLED TVs in a greater range of sizes than OLED TVs, which makes it easier to pick one that suits your needs.
The Cons of QLED
QLEDs also possess a few downsides, especially compared to OLEDs. They mostly share the typical problems of LCD displays.
- Slower response time
- Lower contrast ratio
- Poorer viewing angle
- Lower purity and dynamic range
Slower Response Time
Compared to OLED, QLED has a slower response time, which is a common drawback of LCD screens. This makes it an unsuitable choice for professional gaming and similar activities that require a high frame rate. However, the slower response time is not too much and is barely noticeable.
Lower Contrast Ratio
Even though QLED has a better contrast ratio than typical LCDs, it still isn’t up to par with OLED. This is due to the backlighting, which tends to wash out darker colors, effectively preventing black from being truly black. OLED TVs are therefore preferred by people who are big on contrast ratio and picture clarity.
Poorer Viewing Angle
With all LCDs, you have to sit directly in front of the screen to get the best image. If you move around, the quality of the picture is going to change. The same goes for QLED, and this is another instance where OLED takes the cake.
What Is OLED?
OLED is short for organic light-emitting diode. This technology relies on using diodes that emit their own light and require no backlight. The “organic” part of the name refers to the carbon film that sits in the panel behind the glass screen.
In other words, the lack of a backlight means that each individual pixel produces light for itself. This also means that when a pixel is not used, it can be turned off, which greatly improves the contrast ratio.
If a pixel is turned off, that means that the black color is truly black, and not just black relative to the other pixels.
The utilization of this technology has allowed for great control of contrast and colors, which has made OLED a very popular choice. Let’s take a look at the most notable pros and cons of OLED so you can see if it’s the right choice for you.
The Pros of OLED
OLED displays boast a few significant advantages, especially compared to their QLED counterparts. These advantages are:
- Infinite contrast ratio
- Great energy efficiency
- Wide viewing angles
- Super thin TVs
- Amazing response time
Infinite Contrast Ratio
Since OLED displays rely on individual light-emitting pixels, which can be turned off when they’re not needed, they can display perfect black since the black parts of the TV are practically turned off. This makes the contrast ratio practically infinite since the black levels for OLED displays are zero nits.
Great Energy Efficiency
Since there’s no backlight in an OLED TV, it uses less energy than an LED TV.
The fact that certain pixels are turned off when they have to show black means that they’re using no energy in those moments, which further increases the energy efficiency. Of course, the power usage will vary – the brighter the picture, the more energy is spent.
Wide Viewing Angles
This might be the coolest feature of OLED TVs. Wherever you sit or stand, the quality of what you’re watching will not change.
There will be very little to no degradation in color and brightness, even if you’re sitting or lying at a very odd angle. This might be one of the biggest advantages it holds over QLED TVs.
Super Thin TVs
OLEDs tend to be even thinner than QLEDs, due to their lack of a backlight. This allows them to take up even less space and be practically paper-thin. They are usually 2.5–3 millimeters thick and are ideal for both large and small living areas.
Super slim TVs are becoming increasingly popular due to their cutting-edge design that perfectly suits contemporary interior decor.
Amazing Response Time
Since individual pixels are turned on and off, OLED TVs are capable of producing insane response times.
In simple terms, they can switch between different colors in almost no time at all. Their average pixel response time is 0.2ms, which is impressive compared to the 3.5ms for QLEDs and typical LCDs.
This makes OLED the superior choice for professional gaming, especially when it comes to really fast-paced video games.
The Cons of OLED
OLED TVs may seem like the perfect option when their advantages are taken into account. However, we need to take a look at the cons as well, and there are a few which you need to acknowledge if you’re on the lookout for an OLED.
- Lower brightness
Burn-in, or in other words, image retention, happens when you display the same image continuously for a very long time.
This causes the pixels that display the image to degrade faster than the others, which can leave images burnt into the screen and, therefore, permanently displayed in the background.
This can happen with TV channel logos and similar images that have to be displayed continuously. So, if you’re using an OLED TV, you have to be careful not to look at the same thing for a long period of time.
Some TV manufacturers are working on mitigating this problem with screensaver features, a screen shift option, and logo luminance adjustment. Therefore, it’s likely that you’re going to avoid this problem unless you really go ham on your OLED.
The burn-in problem further compromises the durability of an OLED TV. If there’s a burn-in, your viewing enjoyment will probably be ruined, and you might be tempted to buy a new TV, which is also not particularly budget-friendly.
If you have to leave your TV on for extended periods, then you should probably opt for something else. If you know that you can take good care of the TV and you won’t leave it on for extended periods of time very often, then it can be a safe choice for you.
Compared to QLED TVs, OLED TVs are lagging far behind in terms of brightness.
While OLEDs produce about 600–800 nits, QLEDS easily produce twice as much, which is particularly favorable for someone who watches TV in a very bright room. If you’re one of those people, then you might want to steer clear of OLED TVs.
The thing that might deter many buyers from getting an OLED is the price. OLED TVs tend to be way more costly than QLED TVs, and they’re quite often out of reach of many buyers.
If you’re looking for an option that won’t strain your budget as much, then picking a good QLED might be the best option for you.
What Is UHD?
UHD stands for ultra-high definition, and it’s an upgrade of HD, that is, high definition. It is frequently referred to as 4K and allows even the tiniest details, such as strands of hair, to stand out.
Unlike the previous two items that we discussed, UHD is not a display type. Rather, it just refers to the resolution a display can produce. If a TV is UHD, it means that its resolution is 3,840 by 2,160, which is why it’s often referred to as 4K since 3,840 is almost 4,000.
A TV can be a QLED or OLED and UHD at the same time. In fact, most high-end TVs nowadays, including QLED and OLED ones, are going to be 4K at the same time.
UHD is always going to be much better than HD, and it is preferable, provided you can afford a UHD TV. The price is the biggest drawback, as UHD is more expensive than HD. There is also a lack of content for UHD since not too many shows and films are filmed in 4K, even though this is slowly changing.
QLED vs. OLED vs. UHD- Which Is Best?
There is no ‘best’ option between QLED and OLED TVs as they all come with their unique pros and cons. QLED TVs, for instance, have high peak brightness and contrast, while OLED TVs stand out for their infinite contrast. Most modern QLED and OLED come with UHD resolution for improved quality.
Overall, QLED will provide you with more durability, as it’s not prone to burn-ins and water damage, and it also allows for greater brightness. If you’re looking for durability and a lower price, it might be the right choice.
OLED creates a better image quality with unmatched contrast, but at a hefty price and less durability, as it can suffer from burn-ins and water damage more easily.
If the price is not a problem for you, and you’re looking for the clearest possible picture, then OLED is most likely the right choice for you.