Is everyone enjoying the age of screens? Everything has a screen and every screen is different technology. Is it Touch, OLED, Retina, IPS? Do you know what it all means? Which is best?
Let’s take a look at the leading standards for your TV. You are on your own for your bazillion other gadgets 😉
Let’s start with OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode). OLED is best described as a light emitting paint. Manufacturers paint the light emitting colors of Red, Green and Blue onto a TV screen. Tiny electrical connections feed power to the little dots of colour. When a dot is powered-up it emits coloured light. Varying the amount of voltage to each collection of coloured dots varies the brightness and allows for mixing of the three primary colours to display the whole rainbow.
The pigments are ‘ORGANIC’ but only in the chemical definition. They aren’t alive and aren’t particularly full of nutrition.
The strength of OLED technology is that it can be completely powered down to create true black. The result is a more precise colour gamut. Also, because it is a coating, the screens can be as flexible as the material onto which it is applied. OLED is the technology you may have seen in flexible, foldable or rollable screen demonstrations.
The weakness of OLED is that it cannot achieve the blinding brightness of quantum dot.
QLED, also known as quantum dot, is a totally different approach. QLED screens are advanced LCD screens with special layer of quantum dots that glow in one of the primary colours when energised by light. They are still lit from behind like traditional LED/LCD screens, but QLED uses the dots to refine the light into a more precise colour palette.
The strength of a QLED screen is being able to go far brighter than a traditional LCD or a new OLED panel. This is how QLED achieves the huge colour gamut.
The weakness of QLED is that, like a traditional LED/LCD screen, they can’t produce a true black. There is always a bit of the backlight bleeding through.
HDR is a new industry colour standard referring to screens that can reproduce a wider colour gamut for a more precise picture. Even some high quality LED/LCD screens are capable of HDR.
Choosing a HDR capable screen could make a more noticeable improvement to picture quality than quadrupling the pixel count with 4K/UHD. Unless we are viewing a 65inch or larger TV, most people don’t sit close enough to their screens to see pixels. (Bigger TV = bigger pixels. All screens of the same resolution use the same number of pixels to cover the surface. 720P<1080P<4K/UHD)
So what’s better? This is actually easy; even if you still don’t understand the differences. The answer lies in your room.
Is your room generally bright with a good amount of windows? The extra brightness of QLED is for you. Make sure to get a screen with HDR for the best picture quality.
Is your room generally dimmer, like a basement or a home theatre room, with light control like heavy curtains? You need OLED for those beautiful rich blacks without the blinding brightness of QLED. Once again HDR is always a good choice for the better colour dynamics.
So there you have it: Always HDR. Pick OLED screens in a dark room or QLED in a bright room.