OLED TVs have taken the market by storm. Presented as the technology that will replace LED and now-defunct plasma screens, these new 4K UHD TVs offer even more amazing features and certainly seem to be the future of image display.
Do OLED TVs have what it takes to meet the soaring expectations of display technology enthusiasts? It would seem so!
History of OLED display technology
OLED display technology has been used in cell phones and very small TV screens for the Asian market since 2008, but it took several years of costly research and development to be able to apply the technology on a larger scale. 55” OLED TVs didn’t reach the North American market until 2014.
How OLED screens work
An example of an OLED TV: The Sony A90J Bravia XR Master Series
OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It’s a display technology that uses diodes that emit light when powered by an electric current, meaning that each pixel generates its own light.
When a diode isn’t receiving a current, its light is completely extinguished, giving OLED TVs the ability to display black perfectly. No backlight is needed for OLED displays, meaning that the screens can be made slimmer and lighter.
A 4K OLED display is made up of thousands of diodes. The back of the display is covered in a thin-film transistor that carries the electrical current to the diodes.
Like LED TVs, each pixel on an OLED TV has sub-pixels in order to faithfully recreate colours. However, since OLED TVs have no backlight, they require white sub-pixels to display the colour.
OLED is generally synonymous with ultra-high definition (UHD), 4K and HDR
An example of an OLED 4K UHD TV: The Bravia XR A80J
The OLED TV models currently on the market are equipped with 4K UHD technology. A few 1080p HD models were produced in 2014, but OLED TVs have been exclusively UHD since 2015.
OLED TVs are HDR (High Dynamic Range) certified, meaning that they are able to display an astonishing range of colours, from darkest black to dazzling white.
Some manufacturers have started working on 8K OLED prototypes, but it will still be some time before they hit shelves.
For more information about the advantages of 4K UHD technology, sources of 4K content and connectivity options, check out our guide to choosing a 4K television.
Advantages of OLED TVs
Perfect blacks and rich colours
As mentioned above, the pixels in OLED TVs generate their own light, meaning that when a pixel is turned off, the resulting black is absolute. With LED technology, on the other hand, there will always be some residual light in the blacks no matter how well the pixels are blocked, because the backlight is always on.
The OLED screen’s ability to display true blacks results in much more nuance and detail in the darker colours. OLED TVs have a much higher contrast ratio than LED models.
OLED TVs are also HDR (High Dynamic Range) certified. Dynamic range means the range of colours a screen can produce, from darkest to brightest. HDR images are said to have a dynamic range 64 times greater than standard images.
Wider viewing angle
OLED TVs have a much wider viewing angle than LED models (where the viewer must be centrally placed in front of the screen for optimal image quality). With OLED TVs, viewers can sit at much more extreme angles without compromising brightness and colour rendering.
The light produced by OLED diodes is more diffuse, so the image quality remains the same regardless of whether you are viewing the screen from off to one side, higher up or lower down.
OLED pixels have a much quicker response time than those on LED TVs when it comes to switching colour and brightness&mdashit takes approximately 0.1 millisecond for OLED versus 1 to 5 milliseconds for LED. This is because no moving parts are needed to cover the diodes on OLED screens, resulting in motion that is clearer, less blurry and doesn’t lag.
OLED TVs render the fast-moving images in sports and action movies more naturally. The lack of moving parts eliminates jerkiness and motion blur. OLED screens provide more natural motion and detailed images.
Less energy consumption
Another advantage of self-illuminating pixels is that OLED TVs consume less energy, because they turn off when displaying black rather than simply being covered.
LED TVs, on the other hand, have powerful backlighting that is always on and consuming energy, not to mention the moving parts that are required to cover the backlights and create black. OLED TVs have fewer components that require an electrical current.
Since OLED technology doesn’t require as many layers, TVs can be made even slimmer than before. Even large TVs can be made as thin as a smartphone.
OLED TVs are also considerably lighter than LED models. However, being slimmer and lighter means that they need to be handled with care. We strongly recommend having a second person when moving them or even just taking them out of the box.
A slight disadvantage of OLED TVs
Although OLED display technology is almost flawless, it does have a slight disadvantage. OLED screens are made of carbon diodes, which can experience burn-in when a fixed image is displayed for too long (e.g. a TV station logo or the black bars at the top and bottom of a 2.35 widescreen film).
The phenomenon also occurred with plasma TVs, which were discontinued in 2014. Unfortunately, while plasma image retention could sometimes be corrected, burn-in on OLED screens is generally permanent and cannot be removed. There’s no need to worry, however&mdashburn-in on OLED TVs is quite rare with typical use.
Since OLED technology is still new, it’s too early to accurately determine the lifespan of this type of TV. However, the manufacturers state that OLED TVs have a life expectancy of over 50,000 hours.
How to set up an OLED TV
Flat-screen TVs can be placed on a stand with the feet included in the box. This option is easy to set up and ideal for situations where the TV can’t be wall-mounted.
Otherwise, you can install your TV on the wall by using a wall mount, which must be purchased separately. There are a variety of wall mounts available in stores. Thin fixed mounts are best for a stylish, discreet aesthetic. Some models can also be tilted downwards, which is useful for TVs that are placed high on the wall. Finally, there are wall mounts with one or two articulated arms that allow you to move the TV away from the wall and turn it left and right.
Some high-end models made from stronger, thinner materials offer weight control to keep the TV perfectly level, covers to hide the cables and tilting options. Regardless of the type of wall mount you want, make sure to get a size that is compatible with your TV.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TV SIZE
|Recommended distance||HD TV||4K UHD TV|
|Up to 2 meters||Up to 40"||Up to 50"|
|From 2 to 3 meters||From 40" to 55"||From 55" to 65"|
|3 meters and up||55" and up||65" and up|
OLED TV FAQ
Are there small OLED TVs?
The smallest OLED TV currently available is 48”, but it’s safe to assume that companies will expand their range to include smaller models as OLED technology becomes more mainstream.
The Sony A9S OLED TV is available in 48” format
Will my HD content be compatible with a 4K OLED TV?
Yes, 4K UHD OLED TVs can display all HD and standard content. However, it’s important to note that some 4K models only offer HDMI ports. That means that analog sources such as VHS and DVD players and old video game consoles will not be able to connect without an adapter.
In order to choose the right flat-screen for your needs, it’s important to make sure that your other audio and video devices can connect to it without too much difficulty.
Can I connect a pair of headphones to my OLED TV?
Few models will have a headphone jack for wired headphones, but all TVs are equipped with an optical digital audio output you can use to connect a wireless TV headset.
Example of a wireless TV headset: Sennheiser RS 175 ()
Are all OLED models smart TVs?
Like most of the TVs being produced today, the OLED TVs available on the market are “smart”, meaning that they can connect to the internet to provide access to a wide range of content and apps.
Take a look at our article about smart TVs to find out more!
Do you install OLED TVs?
Yes. In addition to selling top-quality electronics, Fillion also has teams of experts who can help install your devices and bring your projects to life. We offer personalized services to meet your needs. Contact us to find out more about our flexible schedules and rates.
Need more help choosing an OLED TV?
Choosing the right OLED TV requires familiarity with the technology and a frank assessment of your needs.
If you want help choosing an OLED TV or need personalized advice on other electronic equipment, feel free to contact us or come see us in store. Our consultants will be happy to listen to your needs and recommend the equipment that best suits your situation.