LED or OLED? Which is better? is there a Difference?

LED and OLED are two types of Television technology that are gaining in popularity.  Their size(or lack therof) and their picture make them a welcome addition to any home theater system.  I`m going to discuss the differences between the two technologies here.  If you`re curious about LCD and Plasma comparisons, you can look here.

I firstly have to emphasize that OLED and LED are not the same thing! LED screens are the link between current LCD and the OLED, expected to become mainstream as time progresses. Common to all 3 the picture is shown on a slab made of points, juxtaposed sub-pixels actually, red, green and blue.

You like an LED?

LED Technology

The "LED" stands for "Light Emitting Diode" and describes the process of converting electric energy into light. This is a simple light source that has been used for lighting since the 1960s. The LED TV offers lower energy consumption than other types of televisions. It also offers a better picture, and the ability to offer a clearer picture.  LED Technology is essentially the same as LCD although instead of using a florescent tube as a backlight, LED lights are used, which and create a brighter clearer picture.
Ohhh Nooo!....You like an OLED...yESS?

  OLED Technology

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Organic material? Carbon is the basis of all organic matter. Examples of carbon-based substances include sugar, wood and the majority of plastics.  There are two types of OLEDs small molecule OLED and polymer OLED. Sony uses the small molecule type because it has a longer lifespan.

A Layer of organic material is sandwiched between two conductors (an anode and a cathode), which in turn are sandwiched between a glass top plate (seal) and a glass bottom plate (substrate). When electric Current is applied to the two conductors, a bright, electro-luminescent light is produced directly from the organic material.  


As explained previously, the major difference is the backlight that LED or LCD TVs employ, or lack of the backlight in OLED TVs.  LED TV is actually an LED backlit LCD TV, utilizing LEDs for the perfect backlighting. LCD TVs use the same technology but generally have a florescent tube creating this light.  LED TVS have LED lights creating this light.  OLED TVs, on the other hand, do not need a backlight to operate.

 Functioning without a backlight gives OLED Televisions the ability to display deep black levels and can also be thinner and lighter than established liquid crystal displays. Similarly, in low ambient light conditions such as dark rooms, an OLED screen can achieve a higher contrast ratio than an LCD using either cold cathode fluorescent lamps or the more recently developed LED backlight.

The video is an introduction that shows you the versatility of the technology and some of its possible uses. It will explain how this technology works better than I can.

Which should I buy?

This is a lot of Mumbo Jumbo in my opinion.  Unless they are all the same price you cannot compare them.  Hell, you cant even buy an OLED TV, well unless you want an 11" to install it on your bathroom wall for $3000.  Of course, as I'm sure you'll notice after reading this post, there is no question about it.  The technology just better for several reasons.
  • brighter and more brilliant picture
  • unlimited viewing angle
  • low power consumption
  • economic production
  • fast "response time"
  • more durable than any video options currently available
Here you see a forecast that shows a slow incline in purchases of OLED TVs over the next 5 years.  It also shows that forecasts were wrong four years ago if you ask me. Maybe the trouble in the economy has slowed the whole launch of the OLED TV.  What I would venture to say is during that incline we will also see the price of the product declining giving regular consumers a shot at it.  I think I can make the assumption that slowly decreasing prices is what will create an incline in purchases in this manner.

But come on.  There are much cheaper options available today, so for now?  I would suggest, forget about OLED if you're looking.  When the day comes, if you can afford to purchase an OLED TV you will.  If not, you wont(and you will wait till its affordable).  Unfortunately, you can't buy a 60" OLED TV.  They just don't manufacture them for public use yet.

Here we have a demo video for a 31" LG OLED TV that is scheduled to be on the market for March 2011. 
There is no question about it.  Even looking at it on my plasma, this video in 720p does show that this is absolutely impressive technology.

But, a 31" for $9000? The 15" is already available for $3000 or $4000.  I was thinking about getting one as a belt buckle.