If you are in the market for a new television but don’t immerse yourself in the world of constantly-evolving technology, you might be left wondering what kind of TV display is right for you. When searching for a new TV online or in-store, you’ll probably find prominent descriptors such as QLED, OLED, UHD, and 4K—but what do these terms really mean and what differences do they make in a TV display? Let’s briefly go over the definitions and differences so you can be more informed when you make your purchase.
QLED stands for “Quantum-dot Light-Emitting Diode” or “Quantum-dot LED” TV. QLED TVs function similarly to regular LED displays, except they use a technology called “quantum dots” in order to boost the color and brightness of the media. Quantum dots are tiny particles that emit bright colored light when hit by a backlight—which, in this case, is an LED backlight. In short, QLED technology can deliver better, brighter, and more saturated displays over standard TVs. There are other factors at play when it comes to the LED backlighting system and overall picture quality, but those are additional details for another day.
While OLED is just one letter different from QLED, there’s actually a sizable difference between the two technologies. OLED stands for “Organic Light-Emitting Diode,” which means each individual dot emits its own light—eliminating the need for a backlight. Since each dot produces its own light, each dot can put out a different amount of brightness depending on the media being played. This technology results in brighter whites and deeper blacks, better viewing angles, and a better overall picture.
Many brands like Samsung, Apple, and Google have implemented OLED displays into their flagship smartphones, so you may already be familiar with the technology without realizing it. However, while OLED screens consistently produce the best picture, OLED TVs are typically the most expensive.
UHD & 4K
Unlike OLED and QLED, UHD is not a type of TV, but instead a way to describe the TV’s resolution. UHD stands for “Ultra High-Definition,” which means the TV can display media in 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), the step above full HD (1920 x 1080), and two steps above regular HD (1280 x 720). In simple terms, UHD means you are getting much more detail from your TV screen than you would from a full HD TV.
Additionally, nearly all modern QLED and OLED TVs on the market today have a UHD display, but not all TVs with UHD displays use QLED or OLED technology.
The Bottom Line:
TV technology is changing rapidly, and staying up-to-date with the newest terminology can be a difficult task. When making a decision on which TV to buy, we hope this brief introduction to QLED, OLED, and UHD TVs will help you make an informed decision within your ideal price range.