OLED televisions are a technology that is exploding in popularity at the moment. Current predictions have the number of OLED shipments at 1.5 million, with that number to grow to 10 million by 2023.
So what is driving that massive swing in demand? Traditionally OLED televisions have priced themselves out of the market, with LCD displays being a far more affordable option for most Australians. However, the price in OLED displays has now reached the point where they are affordable enough to fit into the budgets of people looking for a superior viewing experience.
There are 5 areas where OLEDs, as technology, completely outperforms what LCD displays can achieve, and these come together to result in panels that offer better visual fidelity for regular television viewing, home cinema, and gaming.
1) OLEDs have (far) better contrast
This is especially true for black display. Because the pixels within an OLED are self-emitting, and therefore each of them are able to be switched completely off, it is possible for an OLED panel to display a true, pure black. Combined with a rich colour gamut, which good OLED panels will offer, the contrast ratios - the single most important factor when it comes to image quality - are exceptional. LCD displays, which cannot turn pixels off unless the screen itself is switched off, can only manufacture black through artificial use of colour, and this in turn hurts the panel’s ability to display a deep, rich contrast.
2) OLEDs have better, sharper, cleaner picture quality
Each pixel within an OLED display can be controlled individually, meaning that when you start moving into high resolutions (such as the 4K panels that are standard for OLED technology now), there is a sharper, crisper image displayed. This is such a key feature of the technology that it is the name itself - OLED refers to “Organic Light Emitting Diode”. It is a native advantage that all panels that use the technology have over all LCD displays.
3) OLEDs work on wider viewing angles
This makes them much easier to build a lounge room around. People can comfortably watch the television on multiple sofas and chairs in the living room, and will be able to enjoy the screen all at the same time.
4) OLEDs offer better response time in displaying an image
An OLED panel has a response rate of less than one millisecond, which is important in keeping blurring down on screen. As a result, fast action sequences in movies are displayed more crisply. This is also an important feature when it comes to gaming. When you are playing a game that features fast action, any lag between the buttons you are pressing on the controller and the response appearing on-screen can ruin the overall experience of the game. Gamers have traditionally struggled to find LCD screens that can meet their needs because lag is an inevitable consequence of the base technology, but OLEDs are far better fit for this purpose.
5) OLED panels are thinner and lighter in design
Thin and light TVs are easier to move around the home and set up. Aesthetically they also look more stylish in the living room. Even more importantly, they also help people save money. Because OLED displays do not require conventional LED LCD backlighting, they require less power to run than an equivalently-sized LCD panel. With power costs being a major concern for many Australians households, this is a major advantage of the technology.
Depending on the panel that you get, OLED TVs can also offer additional features to enhance the experience yet further. Panasonic’s recent 4K Ultra HD OLED, for example, has both Hollywood Tuning, which adjusts TV settings in order to replicate the visual experience as designed by film directors for the cinema itself, as well as a 4K gaming mode - all the more critical now, as the quality of gaming reaches that of cinema.
The downside to OLED, if you could call it that, is that it costs more than an LCD TV; you won’t be able to walk into your local electronics and walk out with a TV and change with $1000. But OLED is more about quality and the cinematic experience, and for film or gaming enthusiasts that do care about picture quality, what is important is that OLED TVs have reached a price point that is reasonable, and provide pinnacle quality that even the best LCD screens cannot achieve. That is why OLEDs can be expected to become the default choice for home entertainment over the next decade.