Article last updated on: Jun 21, 2021

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 when compared to the latest high-end mini-LED backlit LCDs, the contrast of OLEDs is superior.
  • 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 is now shipping the world's first rollable TV, the 65" 65RX.

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

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

As of 2021, the only company that produces produces OLED TV panels is LG Display - making panels ranging from 48-inch to 88-inch. These OLEDs offer the best image quality of all TVs on the market today. LGD is offering its OLED panels to many companies, including LG Electronics, Sony, Vizio and Panasonic.

LG 2019 ThinQ AI OLED TV ad



There are dozens of models available today, ranging from entry-level OLED TVs to high-end rollable, bendable and even transparent ones. Click here for the latest OLED TVs on the market.

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 used in Apple's latest iPhones and Watches).

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.

Further reading

The latest OLED TV news:

LG Display shows how it sees the future of shopping powered by OLEDs

LG Display is showcasing how OLED technology can change the shopping malls of the future. At LG's Science Park in Seoul's Magok district, the company build a show room with some nice OLED demonstrations.

First up are the glass doors to the show room, which have four 55-inch transparent OLEDs embedded in them. The next demonstration is the Smart Stall, which embed OLED electronic shelf labels and large-area OLED TV panels.

LG Display sees increasing demand for large-sized OLED TVs

LG Display says that demand for large-sized OLED TVs is increasing. In 2019, sales of 77" or higher OLED TVs were just 6.3% of LG's total OLED TV panel sales. The portion of large-sized TVs jumped to 17.8% in the first half of 2021.

LG Electronics OLED TV sales by size (2019-2022E)

LG added new panel sizes to its OLED TV lineup, and consumers are buying these new displays as well. Sales of OLED TVs sized 40-50 inch was just 3.6% of LG's total OLED panel sales in 2020, and this increased to 8.3% in the first half of 2021. LG expect both these trends to continue next year as well.

Xiaomi reports high demand for its new OLED TVs

A couple of weeks ago Xiaomi started shipping its latest OLED TV, the Mi TV 6 OLED last month in China, for 5,699 Yuan (around $880). According to the company, it is enjoying very high demand for its new TV.

Xiaomi Mi TV 6 OLED photo

Xiaomi says that it has sold over 10,000 OLED TVs in 15 days - which is a new industry record. The company estimates that in these two weeks its share of the China OLED TV market is about 50%.

LG Electronics postpones launch of 42-inch OLED TVs to 2022

According to a report from Korea, LG Electronics decided to launch its 42-inch OLED TV in 2022. The company first planned to launch it in the second half of 2021. The TV/monitor will target gamers, with support advanced video processing at 120Hz and a 4K resolution.

LG C1 OLED TV photo

The reports says that LG decided to do this due to marketing considerations - while LG Display still plans to start production of the 42-inch panels before the end of the year.

DSCC: the AMOLED material market to grow to $1.4 billion in 2021, $2.18 billion in 2025

DSCC updated its AMOLED material market forecast, saying that the market will reach $1.4 billion in 2021 (up 32% from 2020), and grow at a 16% CAGR from 2019 ($927 million) to 2025, to reach $2.18 billion by 2025.

AMOLED material revenues  forecast (2019-2025, DSCC)

DSCC takes a look into the material cost for LG Display's WOLED TV panels. LGD will likely manage to implement incremental improvements in material utilization and price, which will enable the company to almost halve the material cost of its TV panels- from $88.14 per sqm in 2019 to $47.19 per sqm by 2025.

LG Display reports a positive Q2 2021 on increased OLED panel sales

LG Display posted its financial results for Q2 2021, with revenues up 31% from 2020 to $6 billion and a profit of around $370 million. This was the company's best quarter in terms of revenues - as it enjoyed high OLED TV and pOLED sales, an increase in LCD panel price and good performance in displays for IT products.

LG Electronics 2021 OLED TV lineup

LG Display says it shipped over 3.5 million OLED TV panels in the first half of 2021, and it is on track to sell 8 million panels within the year. LGD aims to increase its capacity and produce 10 million OLED TV panels in 2022 and 11 million in 2023.

Omdia sees 8.3 million OLED TVs produced in 2021, a 86% increase from 2020

Omdia says that according to its estimates, LG Display will produce 8.3 million OLED TVs in 2021, a 86% increase from 2020 (4.5 million units). The company increased its estimates slightly (previously Omdia said that in 2021 LGD will produce 8.1 million panels).

LG Electronics 2021 OLED TV lineup

LG Display's own target for 2021 is 8 million units. Demand for premium TVs is on the increase, and LG Display increased its production capacity, mostly at its Guangzhou line. LG Display's production of 48-inch and 42-inch panels may also decrease its average panel size which may increase total unit shipments.

LG starts shipping the 83-inch OLED C1, for $5,999 in the US

In 2021, LG Display started shipping a new 83-inch 4K OLED TV panel, and LG Electronics is now shipping the 83-inch OLED C1 in the US and Korea. The 83-inch C1 is now shipping $5,999. The 48-inch C1 model costs $1,399.

LG C1 OLED TV photo

The 2021 C1 OLED TV range features LG's 4th generation a9 AI processor, the company's latest webOS v6 and supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos. For gamers, the TVs offer HDMI 2.1, G-SYNC, FreSync, VRR and ALLM.

Cambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDsCambridge Isotope Laboratories - Deutreated Reagents and High-Purity Gases for OLEDs