HDTV came and went. 4K is now here, but it’s not enough. As good as all that has come before has been, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is better. Because on a technical level, this film of organic compound providing an emissive electroluminescent layer can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display (LED) while still allowing for large screen sizes of high resolution. Plus it’s carbon so it’s green. And since the LG 4K 65″ and 77″ models have debuted at the Video & Audio Center in SoCal, OLED is now in your face – literally. So if you wanted to point the info-gun and shoot out some bullet points, here’s what you’d find out. Let’s start with buying early in the year.
33 Million Pixels
On an OLED 4K screen, the pixels that make up what you see are each made of four sub-pixels. That’s roughly 33 million (!) pixels working together to produce a highly detailed image. Comparing that with the roughly 2 million found in a HDTV seems pretty puny.
How Thin Can You Be?
OLED generates its own illumination and so there’s only the single layer on the display. This allows for a very thin and flat panel, even more so than what was considered “normal” before. Plus with the display going from end-to-end, there no need for a bezel. All this makes OLED Jack Sprat while HDTV’s the Fat Lady from the Circus.
No Light Leaks: Because there’s no backlight, that means there’s no light leaking out from the edges to affect the picture quality. Add to that the fact that an OLED screen’s illumination is even from edge to edge. This also eliminates the “washed out” color that is seen when viewing the screen from an angle, rather than dead on. Try that with an LCD TV the next time you’re forced off the couch while the game’s on and have to watch from the side.
To Infinity And Beyond – For Contrast
Forget 10,000:1 or even a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. OLED doesn’t follow those rules because, unlike an LCD screen, the level of contrast can be scaled to whatever is needed — it is, for practical purposes, infinite. If that doesn’t blast HDTV out of the water, it’s only because the person watching is keeping his eyes closed.
Black Is The New Black
Unlike an LCD screen, the pixels on an OLED screen can be turned “on” or “off” absolutely. That means that blacks are exactly the same as when the TV is turned off — black is black. And we all know that the better the blacks, the better the picture is going to be. This sends Plasma screens packing. They may have been the undisputed leaders of displaying blacks when compared to an LCD screen (despite everyone turning their backs on them), but now they’re outdated — go ahead and toss that old 42” in the dumpster and listen for the crackling.