LED vs OLED TV – 7 Differences You Had No Idea About
OLED TV have gained a lot of popularity in the last years, thanks to their great picture skills. However, the huge price still keeps away most buyers, who prefer to go for the older but cheaper LEDs. But does this thing make one better than the other?
Well, it’s time to make a comparison between LED vs OLED TV. Which of them is more worth buying today? And also, besides the picture quality, which are the main differences between them?
Here’s a direct comparison between these 2 TV types.
1. Contrast – WINNER: OLED
As it’s probably the most important picture parameter, contrast is obviously much better in OLED TVs.
There are enough LED TVs with very high contrast rates, that lead to an amazing final picture. However, most OLED TVs have what is called “an infinite contrast rate”, meaning that thanks to their technology, they manage to produce an exceptional picture, almost identical to reality.
Therefore, when it comes to contrast, things are clearly in favor of OLEDs. Their amazing picture is actually thanks to this contrast feature, that is much better developed in OLEDs than it any other TV.
2. Brightness – WINNER: LED
Unlike popular belief, OLED TVs don’t shine when it comes to brightness. Some models have an auto-limiting feature for brightness, that prevents them from getting any brighter for several reasons.
On the other hand, the peak in brightness is always reached by LED TVs. And even if this thing is not a big plus itself, it is used by some producers in order to attract customers.
So why doesn’t this brightness itself mean much? Well, what’s the point of a very bright image if the contrast isn’t as high? The final picture will have a very strong effect, but it won’t excel in detail.
However, things aren’t that bad. Even though LED TVs are capable of reaching very high levels of brightness, most keep this setting to average. You are free to change it whenever you want, but don’t do it unless your TV has a very high contrast rate as well. Otherwise, you will probably switch it back to average immediately. 😉
3. Slimness – WINNER: Let’s say OLED
Here I can’t give you a very clear verdict, considering that it depends very much of every model.
However, generally speaking, OLED TVs tend to have a much thinner design, thanks to their ability to work without a backlight source. If you know a few things about a TV’s structure, you probably know that the backlight tends to take most of the space in a TV’s construction.
Well, as OLEDs have no backlight, it’s obvious they afford to be thinner.
On the other hand, there are enough LED models with a surprisingly thin design. And this despite having a backlight behind the screen.
So it’s quite hard to generalize, but basically, all OLED TVs are slimmer than average. And not absolutely all LED TVs have a very thin design, though you can find enough.
4. Local dimming – WINNER: None
Surprisingly or not, OLED TVs don’t have a local dimming feature thanks to their construction.
The pixels from every OLED create the picture alone, by turning on and off. Obviously, whenever they turn off, they do it completely. Therefore, the levels of black created by these pixels will be the darkest possible. And it’s exactly the same with the white shades, every time the pixels turn on.
Consequently, there’s no need of a local dimming feature, that would only brighten the lighter parts and increase the darker ones at the meantime. The pixels do this alone.
On the other hand, local dimming is a necessity in every LED TV, that isn’t able to increase the shade of its colors alone. Therefore, it’s hard to draw a conclusion about local dimming in these types of TVs. While OLEDs don’t need it, for LEDs it is a must.
5. Viewing angles – WINNER: OLED
Viewing angles are known to be LED TVs’ number 1 problem, and that’s because most use VA panels.
It’s hard to find a LED TV with decent viewing angles, and even if you do manage to find it, it will probably deliver a much lower picture in terms of quality. LG is known for its preference to use IPS panels in budget and mid-range TVs, and that’s basically the reason why these TVs aren’t too popular. Their image quality suffers from this.
On the other hand, OLED TVs have no problem delivering great images even at 60° from the center. Even if the colors may not be as accurate as when watching frontally, the contrast will remain exceptional. So the user experience will be quite good even at this distance.
6. Sound – WINNER: Let’s say OLED
That’s another chapter where I can’t pick a certain winner, mostly because the sound doesn’t have much to do with the type of TV. I would rather say that it has more to do with a TV’s qualities and superiority levels, therefore it’s quite obvious that more expensive TVs will also shine when it comes to sound.
And in this case, the more expensive TVs are definitely OLEDs.
However, you can’t always generalize. You can find a few LED TVs with decent audio systems, though they’re not too frequent. On the other hand, most OLEDs have an over-average sound system, mostly because of their higher quality. Take a look at Sony’s A1E line and you will see what I’m talking about.
7. Price – WINNER: LED
Though they can’t reach the level of OLEDs when it comes to quality, LED TVs are still more popular among every kind of buyers. The reason is their lower price and the fact that you can find all types of LED TVs – budget, mid-range and expensive as well.
However, you can find any OLED for less than $2000 and that is actually a minimum price. And for now, most of us don’t afford paying such a high amount just for the sake of having a TV whose image looks almost real.
So when it comes to price, LED TVs are a detached winner.
In Conclusion, LED or OLED?
If your budget can afford it, definitely go for an OLED because they are better from almost every point of view. The brightness can be neglected, as it’s not directly responsible with the picture quality.
However, if you don’t have enough money to buy a good OLED TV, there are plenty of LEDs that could make jealous any quality TV owner. They may not create such an amazing picture as OLEDs, but there are enough models that deliver gorgeous images, thanks to their high contrast and black levels rates.
So it’s all up to how much you’re willing to pay for a TV, because both types can make a great choice. There are enough models for all tastes, and budgets as well. 😉