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We’ve seen them before with small sizes and high prices but this year OLED TVs are set to make a big splash. Several reasonably priced large screen HDTVs using the technology are poised to hit shelves this year from several major manufacturers. Let's take a closer look at this exciting display technology and run down why it's getting so much attention.
To start with, we’ve got to differentiate between OLED and the LED displays that are already commonplace. They may sound similar, but there's a big difference. The ‘O’, which stands for ‘organic’ makes all the difference.
LED screens require back-lighting but in an OLED display each organic cell emits its own light so we no longer need any back-light. This means screens can be much more thin and light weight. For example, LG has a 55” OLED TV on its way that is only 4mm thick! That's about the thickness of three stacked credit cards. Whats more, the lack of back-lighting means your OLED can be nearly borderless with the picture extending almost right to the edge.
This technology isn’t just going to effect the size and shape of screens though. The responsiveness is also much quicker than your "run of the mill" LED TV - over a thousand times quicker. That means you’ll always get super sharp detail, even with fast motion video.
The OLED system also means better contrast control. Since each cell is its own light source, we can achieve localized dimming and extreme contrast ratios with deep blacks and vibrant whites at the same time. We can now have true black pixels.
Try taking any other TV in a dark room. See the screen when the picture is supposed to be black? It doesn’t look quite black, does it? More like dark grey. It still glows a little. If you had an OLED screen you wouldn’t see anything. Just blackness. This may sound like a little thing but it really does make a lot of difference. It means everything looks the best it can with all the sharpness and depth it deserves.
Really OLED technology is poised to improve every aspect of new TVs: size, weight, form factor, contrast, colour and even speed. It's worth paying attention to!
Chances are, once you see one of the new OLED TVs in action you won’t be able to look at your old HDTV the same way again.