How Works An OLED TV? The Easy Guide

How Works An OLED TV? The Easy Guide

If you’re an OLED fan but you don’t know too much about them, you’re in the perfect place. Today it’s time to find out how works an OLED TV – the beginner’s guide.

You don’t always need to know the mechanism that lies behind what you see. That’s the case of furniture, clothes and maybe even some appliances.

But in this case, knowing some basic stuff about how works an OLED TV could actually help you choose the best one on the market. So don’t skip the following lines , as they can save you a few hundreds. 😉


How It Looks Inside

In order to understand the mechanism that OLEDS are based on, you have to know a bit about their structure. Don’t worry, there won’t be too much theory. 🙂

The difference between OLEDs and other TVs are 2-3 layers of organic conductor, which are actually made of carbon. These organic layers have a very unique feature – they can create light once they receive electricity.

There are also 2 electrodes, an anode and a cathode, that are important for the electricity supply of the organic layers. The anode is always transparent, while the cathode may or may not be so, depending on the type of OLED.

And the last thing I have to mention here is the presence of a substrate, which is also essential for the good working of the OLED. This substrate can be made of glass or transparent plastic, again depending on the type of OLED.

How Works An OLED TV? The Easy Guide

Backlight distribution in a typical LED TV


No Backlight Means No Extra Space

If you look inside regular LCD TVs (which are 90% of the ones we have at home) , you can notice that the biggest part of the width is taken by the backlight. You can see how that backlight looks like in the instructions manual.

As that backlight is essential for the picture building-up, it is a must in regular TVs. That despite being the part that takes the most space.

On the other hand, it’s absolutely useless in an OLED TV, as the pixels create the image themselves.

So that’s the reason why OLED TVs are so thin – they don’t need any light source inside; each pixel placed on the organic layer can transform the electricity into light alone. And those little lights put together form the image we see on the screen.

So no backlight means much smaller dimensions and a much modern aspect. 


No Backlight Also Means Less Consumption

In case you didn’t know, the backlight of a TV is its biggest energy consumer of all components. If it doesn’t exist, this means your TV will consume less power and you will pay significantly less when it comes to electricity.

However, the modern features of OLED TVs kind of compensate the things, as they consume a bit more than in case of a regular LCD. But even so, at the end of the day, things are still in the favor of OLEDs when it comes to the total energy consumed.

So the fact that OLEDs have pixels as a light source can also come as a help, even a minor one.


Conclusions To Remember

OLED TVs’ working mechanism may not be the easiest to understand, but it’s definitely among the simplest ones in technology. And if you understood these basic things mentioned above, I think you pretty much understood these TVs’ way of working.

So let’s make a little recap:

  • OLEDs’ particularity is the organic layers that create light once they receive electric current
  • These layers contain pixels that transform that energy into light. This means that pixels can turn themselves off (resulting the darkest black), or on (leading to a very pure shade of white)
  • The backlight or the external source of light is absolutely useless in OLEDS
  • Therefore, their dimensions (especially width) are much tinier than in any other TVs
  • One last advantage is the reduced energy consumption, thanks to the same absent backlight

So that’s basically the mechanism OLED TVs use.

If you need more details, specialized sites would probably come more in handy than this one, but as long as you only need to know about OLEDs in large, what you read is enough. 


You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Lezlie Jugan says:

    I’m planning to buy a new TV soon and you convinced me to get an OLED. I think it’s much better value for the money

  2. Christina says:

    Hi Dan, really informative post. Are there any OLEDs that have a backlight? I mean, that backlight could help them get brighter, something like LEDs.

    Could they keep this structure and create the picture by OLED technology, and still have a backlight just for getting brighter? Do you understand what I’m asking?

    • Dan says:

      Hey Christina, I totally understand what you’re saying. It’ s a really interesting approach, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

      But let me explain you why there isn’t and probably there won’t be any OLED made like this.

      One of the things OLED producing companies are most proud of is the slimness of these TV. That can only be achieved without a backlight. Adding a backlight would make them much more unattractive.

      Now, when it comes to brightness, this isn’t such an important thing in picture. Contrast and black levels are the essential, and once these 2 things are very good, they manage to compensate the lower brightness in any kind of room. That was number 1.

      Number 2, LED TVs are capable of getting much brighter, but most people keep brightness to medium. It’s not necessary using it, so why keep it to high when it looks perfect on medium? A TV that is too bright looks bad, do you agree? So it’s not so important for a TV to be very bright, because you will most likely not need that huge brightness.

      I hope things are a bit clearer right now. But congratulations, your way of seeing these things is really good. 😉

  3. Jay M says:

    Nice explanation of OLED TVs’ mechanism, they do seem more modern. So do you think this internal structure is what makes them better than LEDs?

    • Dan says:

      Not necessarily, Jay.

      In fact, it’s hard to choose a clear winner between OLED and LED TVs because there are lots of people who still prefer the last ones. I admit I’m a fan of OLEDs, but they still haven’t reached their peak. And you can see this after their price, which is still huge for many people.

      Anyway, I debated this subject thoroughly here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *