What is OLED?

Image of an OLED monitor featuring a video game character in armour on the display.
Credit: ASUS

Image of an OLED monitor featuring a video game character in armour on the display.
Credit: ASUS

In the world of televisions and monitors, there is a display technology that has been causing quite a stir - OLED. Even if you're not a tech-savvy individual, you may have heard of OLED and wondered what all the hype is about.

Well, let's break it down for you. OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode, and it has been making waves in 2023, ranking among some of the best TVs and monitors available in 2023.

Join us as we explore the world of OLED and explain its benefits, how it works, and how it compares to other popular options like LED, QLED, and Mini LED.

What is OLED good for?

When it comes to picture quality, OLED truly shines. Each pixel in an OLED display is capable of emitting its own light, which allows for precise control over brightness and contrast. This means that the best OLED gaming monitors and TVs can produce stunning images with exceptional clarity, vivid colours, and incredible detail.

Whether you're watching your favourite movies or playing video games, OLED technology ensures that you'll be treated to a visually captivating experience.

One of the standout features of OLED is its ability to deliver vibrant and true-to-life colours. With its wide colour gamut, OLED displays can reproduce a vast range of hues, resulting in images that are rich, vivid, and highly accurate. From the vibrant reds and blues of an action-packed scene to the subtle shades and gradients of a sunset, OLED brings video to life in a way that's visually striking.

In addition to stunning picture quality, OLED displays offer deep blacks that are truly impressive. Unlike other display technologies that rely on backlighting, each pixel in an OLED panel can turn off completely, resulting in true black levels. This creates a remarkable contrast between dark and bright areas of the screen, enhancing the overall visual experience and adding depth to the images.

Image of a large flatscreen Samsung TV featuring OLED in white text on the display in front of a green backdrop.
expand image
Credit: Samsung

Another advantage of OLED is its wide viewing angle. Traditional LCD displays tend to lose colour accuracy and contrast when viewed from off-centre angles, but OLED panels maintain consistent image quality regardless of your viewing position. So, whether you're sitting right in front of the screen or watching from the side, everyone can enjoy the same stunning visuals.

Furthermore, OLED displays boast an excellent response time, which is especially beneficial for gaming or fast-paced content. With a fast response time, OLED can effectively eliminate motion blur, ensuring that fast-moving objects and scenes appear smooth and crisp. This makes OLED a fantastic choice for gamers who want to enjoy their favourite titles with minimal motion blur and lag.

How does OLED work?

To understand how OLED works, let's break it down into simple terms. Each OLED pixel consists of organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is passed through them. Unlike LCD displays that require a backlight, OLED pixels emit their own light, which means they can individually turn on and off.

Image of a large flatscreen LG TV in a dark room featuring multicoloured streaks on the display.
expand image
Credit: LG
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!

The key component of an OLED pixel is the organic material that emits light. When an electric current is applied to this material, it produces light. The intensity and colour of the light emitted depend on the voltage applied. By varying the voltage to different pixels, OLED displays can create a wide range of colours and brightness levels.

OLED displays consist of millions of these pixels arranged in a grid-like pattern. Each pixel works independently, allowing for precise control over brightness and colour. This level of control enables OLED displays to produce deep blacks, vibrant colours, and exceptional contrast.

OLED vs. LED, QLED, and Mini LED

Now that we've covered the basics of OLED, let's compare it to other popular display technologies such as LED, QLED, and Mini LED.

A black OLED monitor with a space scene on the display sat on a desk with a keyboard, headset, controller. and mouse.
expand image
Credit: BenQ

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) displays are commonly found in many TVs and monitors today. LED technology utilises a backlighting system where the light is emitted from LEDs positioned behind the screen. While LED displays offer decent picture quality and are generally more affordable, they often struggle to achieve the same level of deep blacks and contrast that OLED displays can deliver. Additionally, LED displays may have limitations in colour accuracy and viewing angles.

QLED (Quantum Dot LED) is a technology that combines LED backlighting with a layer of quantum dots. Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor particles that can produce vibrant colours when exposed to light. QLED displays can achieve a wider colour range compared to traditional LED displays, resulting in a more vivid and lifelike image. However, when it comes to contrast and black levels, OLED still maintains an edge.

Mini LED is a relatively new technology that improves upon traditional LED displays by utilising a greater number of smaller LEDs for backlighting. This allows for more precise control over local dimming, resulting in better contrast and black levels. While Mini LED displays offer improvements in these areas, they still rely on a backlighting system, which means they cannot match the true blacks and pixel-level control of OLED displays.

OLED displays excel in several areas, including picture quality, colour vibrancy, deep blacks, wide viewing angles, and fast response times. While LED, QLED, and Mini LED technologies have their own advantages, OLED's ability to deliver drastically improved picture sets it apart.

A large flatscreen Samsung TV sat on a white stand in front of a large window.
expand image
Credit: Samsung

It's worth noting that the Nintendo Switch OLED model utilises an OLED display, bringing enhancements to the picture quality and motion blur compared to the original Nintendo Switch. This upgrade allows for a more immersive gaming experience with improved visuals and smoother gameplay.

As technology continues to evolve and with companies such as Samsung, Sony and LG leading the charge, OLED displays are becoming more accessible, and cheaper and are poised to revolutionise the way we experience visuals in TVs and monitors.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!