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:

Samsung close to signing an official WOLED supply agreement with LG, first TVs to appear in July

Samsung Electronics has been in talks with LG Display over the supply of WOLED TV panels for a long time (we first reported on this in April 2021) but the agreement was delayed, with the two parties not agreeing on price and other issues.

A new report from Korea suggests that Samsung and LGD have finally reached an agreement over panel prices (Samsung will pay the same as LG Electronics), and it is estimated that an official agreement will be reached soon. Samsung plans to unveil its first WOLED TV in July 2022.

Samsung Display officially launches its QD-OLED panels at CES 2022

We already know that Samsung Display is starting to produce QD-OLED panels, and the first products have already been announced: Sony's A95K QD-OLED TV and Dell's and Samsung's 34" QD-OLED monitors.

It is great to see Samsung Display officially announce its QD-OLED panel lineup at CES 2022. The company is indeed producing three kinds of panels, 55" and 65" 4K panels for TVs and wide 34" panels for monitors. SDC says it will start mass producing the panels "in the first half of 2022".

Sony launches its 2022 OLED TV range, including the world's first QD-OLED TV, the A95K

Sony announced its 2022 TV lineup, which includes three new OLED TV series, including the A95K, which is the world's first QD-OLED TV ever announced.

Sony A95K photo

The Sony A95K Master XR TV will feature 55" or 65" 4K 120Hz QD-OLED panels (produced by SDC), Sony's XR cognitive processor, Acoustic Surface Audio, XR Triluminos Max and Google TV OS. It features HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision.

Samsung is set to launch QD-OLED TVs, CES awards them with its innovation award

Yesterday we reported that Samsung did not include QD-OLED TVs in its official CES display PR, but now it turns out that the company did bring its QD-OLED TVs at CES - as the event organizers awarded the 65" QD-Display TV with its Best of Innovation' 2022 award.

The CES text reveals that Samsung's TVs will support 144Hz refresh rate, four HDMI 2.1 inputs and Samsung's 2022 Neo Quantum Processor. We did not see the actual TV yet, and Samsung did not reveal any launch plans yet.

Samsung will not show OLED TVs at CES 2022, did not reach an agreement with LGD over WOLED panel supply yet

According to reports from Korea, Samsung Electronics will not show any OLED TVs at CES 2022. We hoped that the company will unveil the first QD-OLED TVs during the show, and also perhaps WOLED TVs that use panels produced by LGD.

Samsung 2022 MicroLED TV photo

Samsung's 2022 MicroLED TV

According to reports from Korea, LG and Samsung did not reach an agreement on WOLED panel prices, even though LGD agreed to offer its WOLED panels to Samsung at a lower cost than it sells these to LG Electronics.

LG Display's OLED EX technology improves the brightness, lifetime, size and image quality of its OLED TV panels, to be adopted in all WOLED panels by Q2 2022

LG Display unveiled its latest OLED TV technology, branded as OLED EX. LG says that these WOLED panels combine new deuterium compounds and personalized algorithms to improve the image quality and increase brightness by up to 30%. EX is an acronym of Evolution and eXperience.

LG Display OLED EX Technology photo

LG Display says that it has "successfully converted the hydrogen elements present in organic light emitting elements into stable deuterium". LGD extracts the deuterium compounds from water, and after stabilization, the compounds allow the OLED devices to be brighter - and also last longer.

Reports suggest Samsung's agreement with LGD over OLED TV panel supply is imminent

Back in April 2021 we reported that Samsung Electronics is in talks with LG Display regarding the supply of OLED TV panels. Back then it was estimated that Samsung will release its first OLED TVs before the end of 2021.

This did not happen, but recent reports from Korea suggest that the two companies will likely sign a supply agreement soon. Samsung aims to order around 1.5 million OLED TV panels in 2022 from LGD. This will enable the company to ship around 2 million OLED TVs in 2022 (as it hopes to buy 500,000 QD-OLED panels from SDC).

LG Display shows new concept applications with curved OLED TVs

LG Display will be demonstrating two new "lifestyle" applications for its OLED TVs at CES 2022. Both these concept project use flexible OLED TV screens.

LG Display Media Chair (CES 2022)

First one is the Media Chair, which is a modern relaxation device that combines a comfortable recliner with a 55" curved (1,500R) OLED TV and LG's Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) technology.

LG supports the Smithsonian's FUTURES exhibition with OLED technologies

In celebration of the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, America's oldest national museum is holding a new exhibition, called FUTURES, which aims to present a hopeful future with four concepts: Futures that Unite, Futures that Inspire, Futures that Work, and Futures Past.

Transaprent OLEDs by LGD at the FUTURES exhibition, The Smithsonian

LG Display is supporting this exhibition with several OLED panels. There will be 55-inch FHD transparent OLED displays, a 83-inch OLED that will show a documentary series called Futures We Dream, and a couple of 48-inch OLED panels that demonstrate the delicate value of life on Earth.

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