Televisions have come a long way and the next generation is here. Last week, LG invited a small group to their Silicon Valley lab in Santa Clara, CA to see a live demonstration of their new LG OLED TV. I wasn’t able to make it so Frans attended as my eyes and ears 🙂 What is an OLED and how is it different than an LCD or LED screen?
LCD Vs OLED
The main different has to do with light. LCD televisions require a backlight at all times. So, even when you have an area that is supposed to be black (like the horizontal bars for widescreen), it ultimately ends up just being a darker area instead of a true black since there’s still light shining behind it.
You’ll also notice that sometimes there’s a ring of light shining around the edges of the screen. That’s called leakage and results in a lower quality picture when viewed from a different angle. Again, that’s caused by the backlight and is worse on curved screens. LED televisions suffer from the same issues as it also uses a constant backlight.
OLED technology solves all of this by eliminating that backlight and replacing it with individual bulbs. Each of these bulbs create their own light. For true blacks and infinite contrast, certain bulbs can simply be turned off. With less “stuff”, a thinner screen can be achieved. It’s also super fast with a response time of 0.001 milliseconds (not really sure how fast that is but current LCDs are at 5ms).
LG OLED TV Features – Width, Speed, Contrast, Viewing Angle
Of course, it’s much easier to see the difference in person. LG showed us a side-by-side comparison of a standard LCD television and one of their new OLED screens. The difference in width is VERY obvious.
You also get a better view at wider angle (160° vs the 100° at half the brightness that an LCD offers).
One thing that works extremely well for these new LG OLED televisions is the acquisition of the WebOS user interface, which means the onscreen menus and such. These televisions have simple yet intuitive menus that can be moved around according to personal preference. Another feature that most will appreciate is that you can rename the numerous HDMI ports in the menu. No more questions like: Which port was the Blu-ray player? Was it HDMI 1 or HDMI 2? What about the XBox?
At this time, the options are slim with only the LG Electronics 55-in 3D OLED TV available for purchase. More screen sizes and 4K versions will be coming though. I’m pretty excited about this new technology but we’ll probably wait until it’s a little less “new” and a little more affordable.
Impressed by the LG 55-in OLED or will you wait to see the 4K OLED?
Frans (in my place) attended a media preview event with LG. All opinions are my/his own.