In recent years, QLED TVs have been mostly associated with the Korean company Samsung. These days, though, other companies like Vizio and TCL have taken and run with this newfound technology.
So is QLED really that much of a leap forward in TV picture quality? Well, there really isn’t a simple answer. It all depends on what kind and how much of ambient lighting is in the room and whether you use it for movie watching or gaming. It will likely come down to personal preference.
In short, a QLED TV is just an LCD TV with quantum dots, which are microscopic particles that when hit by light, emit a certain different colored light. The source of this light is the LED backlight, and that light must pass through more layers, such as the LCD layer, to produce the images on the screen.
In improving QLED TVs, Samsung has created a new refined aluminum compound that can make the quantum dots more efficient, and the natural ability to produce more accurate colors. This technology replaces the red, green and blue color filters that many older TVs used.
QLED technology is great in generating incredibly bright light. Most of Samsung’s QLED TVs can produce anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 nits of brightness, hence the brilliant whites. Just for comparison, only 1,000 nits are needed to produce HDR images.
As for picture quality, some comparison tests have OLED TVs consistently beating out QLED TVs, while others have opined that if the room is dark enough, QLED TVs will always have the edge because of their outstanding screen brightness. The brightness factor alone can be great to ward off any glare and reflections as well. OLED TVs, which don’t use a backlight and have self-lighting pixels, have often been applauded for their superior contrast and off-angle, judder-free viewing.
Keep in mind that it also seems that OLED TVs, especially those manufactured by LG, are quite a bit more expensive than their QLED counterparts. LG’s 77-inch B9 OLED goes for about $4,200, while Samsung’s 75-inch Q70 can be had for about $1,700.
There is no question that QLED technology will continue to be used in the future. With Samsung and other players continuing their efforts in building upon this technology, it’s hard to say what these QLED TVs will look like in five to 10 years. Perhaps they will one day overtake their OLED rivals, or they may just settle into coexistence, with each possessing a healthy market share.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV.