With the introduction of 4K ULTRA HD technology back in 2004, not much has changed in advanced TV tech since then. Surely, the 4K tech evolved during the last decade, but in terms of innovation, nothing new was introduced to the market. Until recently.
A new technology called OLED was introduced in 2012, which took screen and picture technology to a whole new level. Extremely lightweight and as thin as just a few millimeters, OLED TVs deliver even greater viewing experience than LCD or plasma, while at the same time being eco-friendly.
What is OLED?
OLED, or Organic Light-Emitting Diode – is an organic carbon based film that sits between two conductors, which produces light whenever electricity passes through it. The main difference from LED and LCD TVs is that OLED produces its own light with the help of the diodes, while LED and LCD cells need a backlight, an external source of lighting to produce picture and brightness.
OLED technology offers even better picture quality, faster response times and reduced power consumption compared to the LCD TV sets that we have now. Although the technology is really great and promising, for nearly four years OLED TVs were unable to hit the market due to the very high production cost and price. During the last two years however, companies like Samsung and LG have really been on top of their game, making OLED more affordable and reachable for consumers.
Samsung vs. LG Screens
Samsung and LG are currently the top two manufacturers of OLED TVs in the world, with LG leading the race for now. The two companies took different approaches to the new technology. It’s a known fact that you only need three colors to create an image on a TV – red, green and blue (or often called RGB) – and Samsung is using the all three original pixels in their TVs.
LG on the other hand, uses a forth color in addition to traditional RGB. By adding a white pixel and a color filter, LG combines all the pixels together like a sandwich and uses the filter to create colors and pictures. This is called 4-color based WRBG technology. While both companies claim that their methods result in a better picture quality, it’s still unclear which one is best.
A lot of people dislike the idea of color filters in OLED, favoring Samsung’s side of things, but the thing is that white color helps increase pixel life span and cut manufacturing costs, while the quality of the image seems to stay the same to the human eye compared with RBG OLED. Lower costs essentially means cheaper TVs and as long as there are no quality differences, it could be the best way to go.
Advantages of OLED
OLED is expected to make a breakthrough for home cinemas and gamers alike. It is around 1000 times faster than a standard LCD screen with a backlight panel and even superior to plasma TVs. Because each pixel generates light on its own, black color is much deeper than in case of LCDs (sometimes called pitch black).
Also, each pixel can be dimmed individually in any preferred localization, which means that OLED TVs practically create infinite contrast. Contrast is the first and most important element in the human eye that judges the picture: the more contrast, the more impressive the picture quality is.
Direct TV channel packages will be able to offer even greater entertainment experience for consumers. Sports, movies and favorite TV shows will be available in the best quality when OLED becomes affordable to the mass market, and even create a solid competition to cinemas.
All of this being said, companies need a bit more time to fully expand and make the technology available to the mass market, since as of now TVs cost around $2500, which is a good cut from £7,000 priced 55 inch Samsung S9 in 2013, but still a bit too much for an average consumer. None the less OLED could just be the next big thing in TV technology and make our dreams come true: cost-efficient, extremely light and thin plus the highest possible picture quality all in one TV set.