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Updated January 25, 2023

In the ever-confusing search for the best TVs, a typical matchup that you’ll come across is OLED vs LED LCD displays. Both display technologies offer a wide range of options, which is why it’s essential to be informed in knowing the difference in the viewing experience. And if you’re in the market for a TV, it’ll also be important to know the debate surrounding OLED TVs vs LED TVs as well as QLED TVs vs LED TVs.


  • OLED provides the best black images on the market.
  • LED LCD offers a higher brightness level because of its powerful backlight.
  • While OLED is known to have a superior image, it costs significantly more than any other TV option.

Differences Between OLED vs LCD

The main variance between these options is the light sources. OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diode,” meaning that every individual pixel produces its light. When it’s not being used, it turns completely off. because of this, OLED has deeper blacks but also the possibility of image retention if a static image is on screen for too long as the LED light can “burn in” the image on the screen. However, a LED-backlit panel type will generally have a level of brightness higher than OLED TVs. Additionally, if you are concerned about being energy efficient, LED models will have less power consumption of these display types.

On the other hand, the LED LCD uses an LED backlight that filters through a liquid crystal display (LCD) to emit light. To sum it up, OLED displays use each pixel for light, while LED LCD uses a backlight. Additionally, you can read about our comparison of LED vs LCD TVs as well as rear projection TVs vs LCD TVs to see their differences and see if any of these technologies is right for you.

Insider Tip

TV Brightness is measured in nits. One nit is equal to the night of one candle per square meter.

So which one comes out on top? Of course, it always depends on your budget and what you plan to use it for, but below, we investigate a few of the most important areas to see how they stack up. When understanding different TV displays, something to keep in mind when selecting is the differences between an Outdoor TV and an Indoor TV.

Bright Colors & Black Levels

LED-backlit LCD TVs are known for their high brightness level and edge out the OLED TV in this regard. Brightness is essential for viewing when any ambient light or bright glares are present. So if you’re looking for a TV for a room with a lot of light, it’s important to keep this in mind.

However, when it comes to producing deep blacks, the OLED TV is the best on the market. Because of the OLED TV screen technology, the pixel is entirely off when it isn’t being used. With the pixels completely off, it means true blacks instead of a backlight that remains.

Contrast Ratio and Resolution

The average contrast ratio for a LED LCD screen is 1000:1. This ratio means that the white lights are 1000 times as bright as the blacks. This ratio might seem like a crazy number, but the ratio for the average OLED TV is much higher and gives off a more dynamic range.


The top OLED TVs are currently the Caddilacs of the TV market, so you’ll be emptying the money clip if you decide to go with the best. On the other side, LED LCD comes at various prices, from affordable to luxury. Along with excellent picture quality, vibrant colors, and perfect blacks, it also has a faster response time. So naturally, the QLED TV will be the pricier option. In addition, QLED uses a film with quantum dots to further illuminate the backlight with more color volume and a wider range of colors.


OLED TVs are susceptible to what’s called “burn-in,” where a static image remains faintly on screen even though the image switches. To avoid burn-in, you can make sure not to keep the TV paused for too long and by reducing brightness settings.


Why are OLED TVs so pricey?

As manufacturers continue to research OLED TC technology, prices are decreasing. However, the answer is that the organic materials for OLED TVs are far more expensive than for LED LCD displays.

What Is a QLED TV?

A QLED TV is a next-generation step of LCD panel technology. It uses the traditional LED LCD paneling structure but adds a film between the backlight and panel with quantum dots. These dots enhance the colors, producing an improved image.

How do LCD displays work?

The structure of an LCD display starts with a backlight, which is the source of light that goes through a polarization filter. Then it goes through a liquid crystal filter (hence LCD).

STAT: OLED TV shipments were projected to rise by 80% year-over-year in 2021. (source)

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