If you’ve been looking into getting a new TV in the past couple of years, we wouldn’t be surprised if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to keep an eye out for. There are just so many acronyms and technologies, that it’s almost impossible to decide if you aren’t well versed in them. And, the following are just the panel types – don’t get us started on other technologies like backlight, dimming zones, HDR, etc. That being said, today’s most common dilemma is the ULED vs QLED one. OLED panels are better than both ULED and QLED but are usually (unjustifiably) expensive. Let’s take a look at all of your options, and see what’s best for you.
We’ll kick the ULED vs QLED technologies dilemma off by discussing ULED TVs. If you’ve tried finding information on them, you’ll notice that it’s scarce. The reason for this is that ULED panels use a proprietary technology by a certain manufacturer, and are available on only that manufacturer’s TV models.
ULED is not a single technology, but rather a set of about 20 different patents that cover motion rate, local dimming, and wide color gamut. The difference with QLED, which uses Quantum Dot technology for a better experience, is that ULED panels are regular LED ones, but with a few proprietary adjustments to enhance the viewing experience and a better picture. Some models make use of Quantum Dot technology in the ULED lineup, but they’re not exactly on par with a good QLED panel.
In terms of color, you do get a wider color palette, and everything looks brighter and more detailed compared to a regular LED panel picture. There are multiple local dimming zones for better contrast and much better reproduction of dark colors and shadows. The resolution available is 4K (3840x2160), which is very high quality.
Unfortunately, motion rate is where things get tricky. ULED panels use backlight scanning to artificially introduce frames where there aren’t any. This way, the TV tricks you into thinking that you’re looking at 120 frames when there are only 60, thanks to additional frames inserted between two real frames of the content you’re watching. While this will do the trick for some people, as they’ll get a smoother experience with no halo effect in certain situations, it’s far from the optimal solution.
What you should be looking at instead of ULED, is a QLED TV. So, what is QLED TV, and what’s the difference between that and LED or ULED? The first thing you should know is that QLED is a type of LCD panel which allows you to get picture quality similar to high-end OLED TVs at a more reasonable price. The name stands for “quantum dot light-emitting diode”, and these panels use a metallic quantum dot filter between the backlight and the panel itself. This significantly improves both colors and contrast, resulting in a much better viewing experience overall.
This filter is a film made up of tiny, crystal, semiconductor particles that manufacturers can control very precisely in terms of color output. This film replaces the “old” RGB filters that older colored TV models used, and they’re both a lot brighter and more efficient. Also, they’re more effective at light pass-through, which results in more accurate picture colors and a wider color gamut.
Aside from the significantly better colors when compared to LED (and ULED) technologies, another difference is viewing angles, especially when we’re talking about off-axis viewing. To add to this, the technology allows for incredibly bright panels with consistent performance across any brightness level. The result? Arguably the best experience when it comes to HDR content.
A thing to keep in mind is that QLED panels aren’t a significant leap in the world of TVs, and they aren’t a completely new technology. They’re an improvement of conventional LED panels, which is why you can get a QLED TV that’s going to give you an excellent viewing experience at a very reasonable price (and a fraction of high-end OLED TV prices).
Overall, QLED models are probably going to be the best pick for most users looking to get a TV that offers a lot but is more affordable. Of course, if you want to go all out, we can now take a look at OLED.
The most important thing to note when discussing OLED vs QLED is the fact that OLED is a completely new technology that offers things you can’t get with traditional (or improved) LED panels. LED panels need a backlight for the pixels to be able to produce light, but with OLED, which stands for “organic light-emitting diode”, you have pixels that emit their own light.
The main advantage of OLED is the fact that if there’s a very dark or black part of the screen, the pixels just turn off. In this case, black is black – it’s not gray, and there’s zero light in that part of the screen. This is why the contrast with OLED panels is quite incredible.
To add to this, OLED panels can still get a lot brighter than regular LED. The contrast and sufficient brightness allow them to deliver an excellent HDR experience. The uniformity is also excellent, and so are the viewing angles – even off-axis. And, for a living room TV, this is an underestimated feature.
There are two problems with OLED. The first (and most obvious one) is the price – these panels are oftentimes very expensive, putting them out of reach for many users. And, this is true even if you don’t get every feature in the book. The second one is burn-in, which is when a part of the image that’s on the screen shows up permanently on the TV. This happens when you display a static image (or a static part of an image) for too long.
QUHD TVs are TCL’s high-end models, and the name indicates a combination of a quantum dot LCD panel, edge-lit LEDs for excellent local dimming, a 4K resolution, and HDR. As far as QUHD vs QLED goes, QUHD TVs are a high-end QLED TV made by TCL – and they pack an excellent feature set.
Which one is right for you?
With so many to choose from, we wouldn’t blame you if you found it difficult to pick the right panel type. One thing we do recommend is that unless you’re limited with your budget, avoid regular LED and even ULED panels. They aren’t particularly good at anything, and you can get a lot better for a bit more money.
We are, of course, talking about QLED, which gets you a top-notch viewing experience, at a price that’s much closer to regular LED panels than OLED ones. The technology doesn’t make any compromises – it just improves on LED so much that it’s an instant buy for many, and the difference with LED is quite obvious.
Now, you could spend a lot of money and get an OLED TV. But, not only are you spending a lot, but you also might get issues such as burn-in, and the brightness won’t be the best. Trust us – QLED is where it’s at, and something like the TCL C715 is a great choice for most users.