OLED vs LED vs LCD: which is the best TV technology?
Feb 07, †Ј Older LCD TVs used cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) to provide lighting, whereas LED LCD TVs used an array of smaller, more efficient light . Jul 07, †Ј LED vs. LCD: which is better? Samsung seemingly came out of nowhere with its "LED TV" range. Yet, despite the name, the technology is more familiar than you'd think.
Can you tell them apart? We wouldn't blame you for feeling unsure: the TV market is packed with seemingly impenetrable acronyms and bizarre naming conventions.
Knowing your LCD from your elbow isn't as straightforward as any of us would like. But if you're buying a new TV and want to know the important distinctions between OLED and LCD-LED sets Ч each with their own trade-off between price and picture quality Ч we have the guide for you, which lays out what each technology is and why it matters.
But the difference in panels and processors can have huge consequences for the picture quality which, at the end of the day, is the most important aspect of a television.
These technologies certainly make a difference, but they're hardly the be-all and end-all. We'll explain everything you need to know below. Pros: The slimmest TV tech 2. So smooth, fluid, colourful and contrasty are the images that it's really hard to go back to your old LCD or plasma TV. As well as being slim, in an OLED display each pixel self-illuminates, so you can control images at an individual pixel level.
In an OLED panel, organic films are placed between semiconductors, then supplied with an electrical current, which effectively means that each and every pixel can be switched on and off individually. This process simultaneously uses less power to create more brightness, and makes total black possible. So any video that features both darkness and extreme brightness, such as a star-filled night sky, looks realistic.
With unlimited contrast, it means the whitest whites and the darkest blacks Ч and everything in between. Expect eye-popping color, and, crucially, lightning-fast response times. OLED panel manufacturing is also more environmentally friendly than traditional panels.
So, if you want to save the planet and have a better picture quality, you may want an OLED set. LCD liquid crystal display and LED light-emitting diode TVs are often thought of as competing concepts, but they actually refer to identical display technology. In an LCD TV, liquid crystals rotate polarized light, effectively acting as a light valve that illuminates all pixels simultaneously.
The result is a uniform brightness, and relatively low contrast images. The latter is more common, largely because the resulting TV is flatter. There are a few drawbacks, namely that both techniques still get their light from an external source that increases the components and size of the finished TV. That said, images are usually very bright, and very colorful, and you can buy an LED TV in virtually any size you want. They're great value. So far, QLED has had only modest success, but that could change.
If the black level performance and motion blur issues can be improved, Samsung could be on to something. Most TV brands sell whatever TV technology is popular. Other brands use them on license and try and add their own secret sauce to give their particular models the edge. What you decide to buy largely comes what is cti route point to price. Future innovations could turn that advice on its head, but for how to fix error 1723 when uninstalling java, if you have money to burn and want the best, go for an OLED Ч no question.
Want a brighter panel? Go for a QLED. If price is more of a concern and you don't need the blackest blacks around, then an LED-backlit LCD TV could well be the one you want Ч they might not have quite the same level of contrast, but depending on the manufacturer's technology they could come very close. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. See more Television news. Most Popular Most Shared.
LED TVs are more energy-efficient as these models use light emitting diodes (LED) for backlighting. These TVs consume less power as compared to cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), which most LCD TVs use. This results in a power savings of up to 30%. Jan 26, †Ј LED-backlit LCD TVs provide the current sweet-spot for TV technology, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Mar 13, †Ј Once you realise that 'LED TVs' are actually LCD TVs with better PR, you realise that LCD is by a huge margin the dominant TV technology in terms of sales - and it has been for well over a decade. Created (along with plasma) to replace the huge CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions of old, LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs have a panel of liquid crystals through which light from a backlight is shone.
Like most big purchases, the best TV is the best TV that will fit your room and budget. An OLED television will give you the best picture quality but it's expensive and might not be available in the size you want. That's where this list comes in.
My focus is on finding the best picture quality for the money. In my comparisons I look at things like contrast ratio , local dimming , color and uniformity , gaming input lag and refresh rate , as well as the number of HDMI ports and how well the television supports your streaming app or apps of choice, like Netflix , Hulu and Disney Plus.
Here are my recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind:. Read more: Do this to your TV now: 9 crucial settings to improve the picture. No TV I've ever tested offers this much picture quality for this little cash. The TCL 6-Series has even better image quality than its predecessor, thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It's also a solid choice for gamers with a new THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast.
As if that's not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite. I don't expect it to be replaced until at least the fall, and it might stick around the entire year. An inch version will be released "in the coming months.
What's that you say? You just want the best inch TV and can afford whatever you want? Here you go. It beat the picture of the LG CX above, barely, and offers a slimmer, more wall-friendly design.
If you can afford it, this is the TV to get. Read the LG G1 series review. Currently available for hundreds less than the G1 above, and with picture quality that's almost as good, the CX from is a better choice overall for people who want a really nice TV but don't have money to burn.
The G1 was slightly brighter in my measurements and has slightly better video processing, but it was really hard to tell the difference. The only real advantage to the G1 is that slim styling, but the CX is pretty slim itself.
I haven't reviewed it yet. It adds a new inch size, some minor new features and improved processing but I expect image quality to be largely the same as the CX.
If you can't afford the 6-Series, this Vizio is a very good runner-up. Read our Vizio M7-Series Quantum review. If you value Sony's brand XH is an excellent choice, with image quality on par with the TCL 6-Series and a price that's not that much more expensive.
And its suite of connections is actually better than the TCL's. Sony added a massive inch size and touts improved "cognitive" processing, but as with LG I'd be surprised to see a big improvement in image quality, and the XH will likely remain less expensive than the X90J for the first half of This TCL 4-Series can't beat any of the models above on image quality -- its 4K resolution and HDR compatibility don't do anything to help the picture -- but it's perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price.
Sizes: , , , , inch. The price shown below is for the inch size. My advice, if you have a choice between the two, is to simply get the least expensive one. Its sleek design stands out compared to the other TVs on this list -- although the ultra-thin LG CX OLED is even sleeker -- and it also offers excellent image quality, next-gen gaming connectivity and a great smart TV system.
The TVs above are superior values but if you want a Samsung anyway, this is my recommendation. Read our Samsung Q80T series review. For sizes smaller than 55 inches, and for people who value smarts over image quality, these non-4K Roku TVs make the most sense. The picture is "good enough" and the built-in smarts are superb -- just enough to watch the final season of "The Office" or "Friends" content. And the price is perfect for a kids' room or secondary room where you don't need a massive screen.
The newest version of the 3-Series has a "" model number and is available in some sizes now, but TCL says image quality is the same as the reviewed here. My advice, once again, is to simply get the least expensive one. I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with any one of the TVs above, but a new set can be a big investment, so maybe you're looking for a bit more information.
Here's a quick and dirty list. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. David Katzmaier. April 23, a. Jump to details. Here are my recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind: Unless noted otherwise, all of the prices you'll see are for inch models.
Looking for a specific screen size? If you're worried that new TVs announced at CES will have some great feature or picture quality enhancement you'll miss out on if you buy a TV now, relax. TVs are generally a mature technology and our advice is that if you need a new TV now, you should get one. Most of the TVs below came out in The new models just started becoming available but I haven't reviewed any yet. Where applicable I've included a " outlook" section with everything I know so far about these TVs' replacements.
This list is updated periodically. Best TV for the money. TCL 6-Series. Sizes: , , inch. Best TV, money no object. Note that as of April 22 the G1 is out of stock at most major merchants and at LG.
Best high-end TV for the money. Sizes: , , , inch. Second-best TV for the money. Vizio M-Series Quantum. Best value with next-gen connectivity. Best budget TV. TCL 4-Series. Best design in a non-OLED. Samsung Q80T series. Best smaller budget smart TV. TCL 3-Series. Discuss: Best TV for
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