Article last updated on: Jan 18, 2019

What is an OLED TV?

OLED TVs use a display technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) that enables displays that are brighter, more efficient, thinner, flexible and with higher contrast and faster refresh rates than either LCD. Simply put, OLED TVs deliver the best picture quality ever!

LG EG9600 photo

OLED TV technology

Each pixel in an OLED TV emits light on its own (in fact each pixel is made from 3 different OLEDs, red, green and blue). OLEDs are truly emissive devices with a simple design which gives them many advantages over current LCD technology:

  • Much higher contrast: in OLEDs we have true blacks as when a pixel is off it does not emit any light. In LCDs, the backlighting is always on and so true blacks are impossible to achieve. Even with high-end local dimming, the contrast of LCDs is simply no match for OLEDs.
  • Higher refresh rates: OLEDs can switch on and off much faster than LCDs.
  • Better power consumption: OLEDs only consume light on lit pixels - as opposed to LCDs who always need to use the backlighting. The power consumption of OLEDs depends on the image shown, but in most cases OLEDs will be more efficient than LCDS.
  • Flexibility: the simple design of OLEDs enables next-generation flexible, bendable, foldable and even rollable displays. LG's amazing 65" rollable TV unveiled in 2019 would be very difficult to create (if not impossible!) using an LCD panel.

Click here for a more in-depth comparison between LCDs and OLEDs.

OLED TVs on the market - what can you buy today?

As of 2019, the only company that produces produces OLED TV panels is LG Display - making 55" to 88" OLEDs that offer the best image quality possible today. LGD is offering its OLED panels to many companies, including LG Electronics, Sony, Panasonic and many other companies.

LG 2019 ThinQ AI OLED TV ad



LG's 2019 OLED TV line includes:

These TVs are not shipping yet, but LG will probably release them by March 2019. In the meantime you can still buy the LG's 2018 OLED TV lineup which includes the flagship Wallpaper OLEDW8 the high-end OLED-on-glass OLEDG8 and OLEDE8, the basic OLEDC8 and the entry level OLEDB8.

The most popular model seems to be the OLEDC8 which costs $8,999 for the 77" model, $3,199 for the 65" model and $2,299 for the 55" model (note: affiliate links to Amazon.com).

LG OLEDE9 photo

While LG Display is the only company that produces OLED TV panels, LG Electronics is not the only company that makes OLED TVs.

Sony's OLED TVs, based on the company's Android OS platform, are also very popular. Sony currently offers the high-end AF9 and AF8. Sony started shipping the AF8 TVs in April 2018 and - the 55" model currently costs $2,300 while the 65" one costs $3,000 (note: affiliate links to Amazon). In early 2019 Sony launched its new 2019 OLED TVs -

  • The Master-Series A9G with its "consumer reference-quality image" (panel sizes 55, 65 and 77 inch)
  • The A8G - which also offers high quality images and Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio

Other companies that produce OLED TVs include Panasonic, Grundig, Philips, Metz, Loewe, Skyworth, Changhong, Haier, Konka and more.

Reviews of OLED TVs are terrific, and most experts and consumers agree that these OLED TVs are the best TVs ever produced - with virtually perfect image quality and beautiful form factors.

In August 2013, Samsung launched an OLED TV as well, the KN55S9C, that used Samsung's own OLED TV panels. Samsung stopped producing and marketing the S9C OLED TVs soon afterwards and is currently focused on quantum-dot enhanced LCDs. The company's next generation OLED TVs, however, will be based on the company's unique QD-OLED technology - but perhaps Micro-LED will be Samsung's future TV display technology of choice).

Direct Emission vs WRGB

The most straightforward OLED architecture uses 3 color OLED sub-pixels (Red, Green and Blue) to create each 'pixel'. This is referred to as a direct emission OLED, and is the design used in mobile OLED displays (for example those in Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Apple's iPhone X.

For its OLED TVs, however, LG Display is using a different architecture, called WRGB (or WOLED-CF) which uses four white OLED subpixels (each created by using both blue and yellow OLED emitters) with color filters on top (RBG and W). The WRGB technology (developed by Kodak and now owned by LG Display) was found to be easier to scale-up for large-area OLED production, although it suffers from lower efficiency and more complicated design.

Rollable and transparent OLED televisions

Like we said before, OLEDs can be made flexible, or transparent. Flexible OLEDs have been in production for a long time, and in 2019 LG will release the world's first rollable TV, its 65" Signature OLED TV R!

LG Signature OLED TV R photo

Both LG and Samsung also demonstrated large 55" transparent and mirror OLED prototypes, and LGD already demonstrated 77" rollable and transparent OLED panels, which it plans to commercialize by 2020. While the market demand for transparent OLEDs is not certain, this is an exciting technology that hopefully will reach the market in the future!

Samsung Display 55'' transparent OLED photo

Further reading

The Latest OLED TV news:

Hisense's new ULED XD technology uses dual LCD panels to achieve high contrast

China-based Hisense announced a new technology that the company says will enable its LCDs to compete with OLEDs in high contrast. The so-called ULED XD panels use two LCDs panels, on on top of the other. The inner LCD is a monochrome (geyscale) FHD LCD that is used to block the light on low brightness images, and on top of it is the usual 4K full-color LCD.

Hisense ULED XD prototype display (CES 2019)

This is basically a way to achieve a high number of 'local dimming' zones for an LCD display (over 2 million such zones, in fact). The TV itself is very bright (over 2,900 nits) and reportedly offers a great image quality and an almost perfect contrast. HiSense it will release its first ULED XD TVs later this year in China. Apparently SkyWorth is also demonstrating a similar technology at CES.

Graphene for Displays and Lighting Market Report

Sony announces its 2019 OLED TV range, with two TVs, the A9G and A8G

Sony announced its 2019 TV range, with two new OLED TVs. First up is the Master-Series A9G, that offers "consumer reference-quality image" and features Sony's X1 Ultimate Picture Processor, Pixel Contrast Booster and an automated calibration mode (including a dedicated mode for Netflix).

The A9G will be available in 55", 65" and 77". The Android TV features Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio - which means that the TV stand doubles as a high end speaker.

LG launches its first rollable TV, the 65" OLED TV R

As was reported last month, LG Electronics announced its first rollable TV (and the world's first rollable OLED devices), the 65" Signature OLED TV R. LG's new TV can roll up into its base, and has three viewing options - full view, line view and zero view. In Line View, there are six different modes, in which the TV can show the weather, the time, a home dashboard and more.

LG's OLED TV R, like the rest of LG's 2019 OLED range, is based on the company's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor the enables LG's ThinQ AI to offer new display algorithms and Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. The TV also features HDMI 2.1, high frame rate (HFR) support, enhanced audio return channel (eARC), variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low latency mode (ALLM). LG's flagship OLED also feature Dolby Atmos for immersive entertainment.

Samsung unveils new Micro-LED TV prototypes at CES 2019

CES is only starting tomorrow, but companies are already unveiling some of the new products and prototypes. Samsung is showing two new Micro-LED TV prototypes, a 75" consumer TV and a large 219" professional signage display.

Samsung did not reveal any details or commercialization plans for its new 75" MicroLED-TV. The company is reportedly close to release a hybrid QD-OLED TV in 2019, but it would seem that Samsung hopes that Micro-LED panels will be the company's next-gen flagship TV technology.

LG announces its 2019 OLED TV lineup

Update: LG also announces a 65" rollable OLED TV, the Signature OLED TV R

LG Electronics announced its OLED TV lineup for 2019. LG's new OLED TVs will be powered by the company's 2nd-gen Alpha 9 intelligent processor and will offer its ThinQ AI. LG says that the new OLEDs will offer better image quality and sound quality based on the new AI capabilities and new algorithms. All the new TVs will also offer new implementation of Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant.

LG 2019 ThinQ AI OLED TV ad

The top of the range will be the Z9 OLED TV based on LGD's latest large 8K 88" OLED panel. There's a new wallpaper model, the OLED W9, the midrange OLED E9 and the new OLED C9 which is LG's entry level OLED TV model.

LG Display to unveil new transparent, automotive, 8k and CSO OLEDs at CES 2019

LG Display announced the OLED displays it will demonstrate at CES 2019, starting on Tuesday January 8th. We already know that LG Electronics will launch a 88" 8K OLED TV (the OLED Z9) but now LGD says it will demonstrate a 88" Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) panel - which has a sound system built into the panel (which acts as the membrane).

LGD 65'' 8K OLED panel (CES 2019)

LGD will also unveil a 65" 8K OLED - which you can see in the image above.

LG to start shipping its 8K 88" OLED Z9 TV in 2019

According to reports, LG Electronics is set to launch its 8K 88" OLED TV in 2019, and the company will unveil its flagship OLED TV in CES 2019. The 88" TV model number will be OLEDZ9, and like all of LG's 2019 OLED TVs (or at least the high-end ones) it will be based on the company's new Alpha 9 Gen-2 processor and will support HDMI 2.1 and VRR.

LG 88'' 8K OLED TV at IFA 2018

According to our information, LG Electronics will also demonstrate its rollable TV at CES (and maybe launch it as a product too) and may also bring its first foldable smartphone to the show as well.

Samsung patents a horizontal rollable OLED TV design

LG Display has already demonstrated rollable OLED TVs (and according to reports it aims to release the first such TV to the market in 2019) - but Samsung has been left behind as its current LCD-QLED TV technology choice does not enable rollable TVs.

Samsung horizontal-rollable OLED TV patent image

LGD's prototype rollable TV (unveiled in 2018) rolls vertically, inside a single case at the bottom. According to a new patent recently awarded in the US (USPTO #10,162,387) Samsung has a different design in mind - a TV that rolls horizontally, as you can see in the image above.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters