What to Consider Before Buying a LED TV
In the world of televisions, LED backlighting has long been the industry leader. Every year, manufacturers introduce new LED TV models with a range of features.
While OLED TV sets may have a slight edge in terms of picture quality in low light environments, LED TVs have a few notable advantages of their own.
These advantages include their ability to reach higher levels of brightness and their resistance to permanent burn-in. LED TVs may also be referred to as LCD TVs, as both technologies are used in their construction.
LED technology is used for the backlighting while LCD technology creates the various colors and shades on the screen.
It is common to see the two terms used interchangeably, as all LCD televisions currently on the market feature LED backlighting.
Types of LED TVs
There are several different types of LED TVs on the market, including:
- Standard LED-backlit LCD TVs: These are the most common type of LED TVs and use an LCD panel and a backlight made up of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to create the images on the screen.
- QLED TVs: These TV sets use an LCD panel and a backlight made up of quantum dot LEDs, which allow for improved color accuracy and a higher color volume (the range of colors that a display can produce).
- Mini-LED TVs: These television sets use an LCD panel and a backlight made up of a larger number of smaller LED lights, which allows for improved control of the backlight and a higher level of contrast ratio.
- OLED TVs: These TVs use an array of organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied, allowing for a high contrast ratio and excellent color accuracy, especially in dark environments.
There are also other types of LED TVs, such as edge-lit LED TVs and direct-lit LED televisions, which use different configurations of LED lights to illuminate the LCD panel. Overall, there are many different types of LED TV sets available on the market, each with their own unique features.
Comparing LED TVs
Let's get an overview of key differences between these TVs and their respective technologies.
LED-backlit LCD vs. OLED
LED-backlit LCD (also known as LED TV) and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) are two different technologies used in television displays.
LED-backlit LCD TVs use a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel to create the images on the screen. The LCD panel is illuminated by a backlight, which is usually made up of an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). This helps to provide consistent illumination across the screen, which allows for a wide viewing angle and good picture quality in well-lit rooms.
Another thing to mention is the fact that the backlight can also cause some limitations, like reduced contrast ratio and limited color accuracy in dark environments.
OLED televisions, on the other hand, use an array of organic compounds that emit light when an electric current is applied. Each pixel in an OLED display is a light-emitting diode, which means that the display can turn individual pixels on or off to create a wide range of colors and shades. This allows OLED TVs to have a very high contrast ratio and excellent color accuracy, especially in dark environments.
OLED TVs can be more expensive to manufacture and are more prone to burn-in, a permanent discoloration of the screen caused by displaying static images for extended periods of time.
Overall, LED-backlit LCD TVs tend to be less expensive and have a brighter screen, while OLED TV sets offer a better picture quality in dark rooms and a wider viewing angle. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget.
LED-backlit LCD vs. QLED TVs
In addition to LED-backlit LCD TVs, there are also televisions that use a technology called QLED (quantum dot LED). Like LED-backlit LCD TVs, QLED TV sets use an LCD panel and a backlight to create the images on the screen. However, the backlight in a QLED TV is made up of tiny semiconductor nanocrystals called quantum dots. These quantum dots are able to produce a wider range of colors and shades than traditional LED backlights, which allows for improved color accuracy and a higher color volume (the range of colors that a display can produce).
QLED televisions also tend to have a higher peak brightness than LED-backlit LCD TVs, which can improve the overall viewing experience in well-lit rooms. However, QLED TVs may not offer the same level of contrast ratio as OLED TVs, and they can also be more expensive to manufacture.
Overall, QLED TV sets offer an improvement in color accuracy and brightness over traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs, but they may not offer the same level of picture quality as OLED TVs in terms of contrast ratio and viewing angle. As with any technology, it is important to consider your personal preferences and budget when deciding which type of TV is right for you.
LED-backlit LCD vs. Mini-LED
The Mini-LED is a newer technology that is used in some television sets and monitors. It is similar to traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs in that it uses an LCD panel and a backlight to create the images on the screen. The backlight in a mini-LED TV is made up of a larger number of smaller LED lights, which allows for improved control of the backlight and a higher level of contrast ratio.
Mini-LED TVs are able to achieve a higher level of contrast ratio than traditional LED-backlit LCD televisions because the smaller LED lights can be turned on and off more precisely. This allows the TV to produce deeper blacks and more accurate colors, especially in darker environments. Mini-LED TVs also tend to have a higher peak brightness than traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs, which can improve the overall viewing experience in well-lit rooms.
However, mini-LED TV sets can be more expensive to manufacture than traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs, and they may not offer the same level of picture quality as OLED television sets in terms of viewing angle and color accuracy.
How to Test LED TVs Picture Quality
Here are some tips to test LED TVs picture quality:
- Use a high-quality source: The quality of the source material can have a big impact on the overall picture quality. Make sure to use high-resolution video sources, like 4K content or a Blu-ray disc, to get the best picture quality possible.
- Adjust the picture settings: Different TV sets have different picture settings, like brightness, contrast, and color saturation. Make sure to adjust these settings to get the best picture quality for your specific TV and viewing environment.
- Check for motion blur: Motion blur can be a problem with some TVs, especially when watching fast-paced content or sports. To test for motion blur, look for objects with high contrast moving across the screen. If the object appears to be blurry or smeared, it may be an issue with motion blur.
- Check for color accuracy: Color accuracy is important for ensuring that the picture looks natural and lifelike. To test for color accuracy, look for content that has a wide range of colors, such as nature documentaries or movies with vibrant costumes. If the colors look washed out or overly saturated, it may be an issue with color accuracy.
- Check for viewing angle: The viewing angle is the maximum angle at which you can still see a good picture quality on the television. To test for viewing angle, sit at various positions around the TV and make sure that the picture quality is consistent from all angles.
- Check for screen uniformity: Screen uniformity refers to the consistency of the picture across the entire screen. To test for screen uniformity, look for content with a solid color fill, such as a blue sky or a green field. If you see any unevenness or variations in color across the screen, it may be an issue with screen uniformity.
Overall, it is important to test a TV's picture quality in a variety of different situations to get a sense of its overall performance.
Best LED TVs That You Can Buy Today
1. Samsung QN90B QLED
The Samsung QN90B QLED is my top pick for the best LED TV. It offers excellent picture quality and a wide range of gaming features. The TV set uses a Mini LED backlight with a large number of dimming zones, which helps to improve the local dimming feature for better performance in dark rooms. The television set is also very bright, making it well-suited for use in brightly-lit rooms. Overall, the Samsung QN90B QLED is a standout TV with an LED panel.
This TV is a great choice for a wide seating arrangement because of its 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, which allows for consistent image quality when viewed from different angles. It also comes equipped with a Tizen smart interface that is user-friendly and has a wide range of apps available for download.
It's also ideal for gaming, as it supports 4K at 120Hz for the latest generation of consoles and has a variable refresh rate to minimize tearing.
2. LG OLED evo Gallery Edition G2 Series
The G2 has excellent black levels, which contribute to its impressive contrast despite its peak brightness of around 700 nits. While you can increase the overall brightness of the TV, it can wash out the image, similar to what happens on older LED/LCD TVs.
This OLED TV set also has excellent screen uniformity and wide viewing angles, with no glare or distortion even when viewed from the side. Additionally, there are no backlighting issues such as bleed or blooming with self-emitting OLED displays.
The G2 TV offers excellent image quality, with deep blacks and overall excellent picture. Its remote, user interface, and image processing are all highly rated.
Quantum-dot RGB OLED panels have raised the bar for TV picture quality, and the G2 may not be able to keep up with these more advanced technologies.
That said, if you're interested in switching to OLED (which is generally considered superior to LED-backlit LCD), LG's less expensive options allow you to make the switch at a lower price point.
3. Hisense U8H QLED Series
The Hisense U8H is a mid-range 4K television set that was released in 2022. It is the second highest model in Hisense's ULED lineup for that year, above the U7H and below the U9H. It is available in three sizes ranging from 55" to 75", and all three sizes offer similar performance.
This television set has been upgraded from the Hisense U8G with a new Mini LED backlight with up to 528 dimming zones and a slightly redesigned exterior. The TV features the user-friendly Google TV 11 interface, which is an updated version of Android TV found on the 2021 Hisense lineup.
The U8H is also an excellent TV for movie viewing in a dark room due to its high contrast ratio and effective local dimming feature. It displays HDR content with impressive brightness and a wide color gamut, making movies look exceptionally realistic and lifelike.
It's also a good choice for watching shows or sports in a bright room, but its narrow viewing angle means it may not be the best option for a wide seating arrangement as the image quality may suffer when viewed from the side. The U8H is excellent for gaming, with features such as HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, FreeSync support, low input lag, and fast response time.
What About ULED TVs?
ULED, or Ultra LED, is a marketing term used by Hisense to describe its line of LCD televisions that use a proprietary backlighting technology that the company claims offers improved picture quality compared to traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs.
ULED TV sets are equipped with full-array local dimming, which means that the TV has a large number of LEDs arranged behind the screen that can be individually dimmed to improve contrast and produce deeper blacks.
They also often feature high dynamic range (HDR) support, wide color gamut, and high peak brightness, which are all factors that contribute to improved image quality.
ULED television sets are generally considered to be a step up from traditional LED-backlit LCD TVs in terms of picture quality, but they may not offer the same level of performance as OLED TV sets, which are known for their superior black levels and wide viewing angles.
Are Mini-LED TVs The Same With QLED TVs?
No, Mini-LED and QLED television sets use two different types of technologies.
What About Mini-LED vs QLED TVs?
Mini-LED TV sets use a type of LED backlighting that uses smaller LED chips than traditional LED televisions. This allows for a higher level of control over the backlighting, which can result in better picture quality and improved contrast. Mini-LED TVs can also be thinner and lighter than traditional LED TV sets due to the smaller size of the LED chips.
QLED televisions, on the other hand, use a different type of display technology that is based on quantum dots. Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor particles that can produce a wide range of colors when excited by light. QLED TV sets use these quantum dots to produce a more vibrant and accurate picture than traditional LED TVs. They also tend to have a wider color gamut and a higher contrast ratio than other types of TVs.
So while both Mini-LED and QLED TVs offer improved picture quality compared to traditional LED TV sets, they use different technologies to achieve it.
What Do You Think About LED TVs?
OLED is widely considered the premier TV technology due to its perfect blacks, exceptional contrast, and wide viewing angles.
QLED, which combines LED (or Mini LED) backlighting with ultra-vibrant Quantum Dots, is a strong competitor, known for its high brightness and vibrant colors.
Standard LCD televisions, often marketed as LED TVs due to their LED backlights, vary in quality, but careful shopping can lead to a good value for the price.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ionel Anton