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The Case Against OLED

luft262

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The Case Against OLED

First of all, let's just get out of the way that OLED is better quality than LED or QLED. The problem with OLED isn't with quality, but with price. I would like to look at some examples of potential TV buyers and see where OLED makes sense and where does consumer logic break down.

Example Buyer #1: The Super Rich Guy/Gal

In this example the buyer could afford any TV they want, but most of the buyers in this category would probably have a dedicated theater room. As far as I can tell the largest OLED TV you can possibly buy is 97" and it's $25,000. At that price you'd be much better off getting a projection system for your home theater room and using an acoustically transparent screen etc. I could see where a super rich person might buy an OLED TV for a bedroom or for their super expensive condo or apartment, but that's it.

Example Buyer #2: The Upper-Middle Class Person

In this example the buyer probably has a large enough living room to accommodate up to a 100" TV, but does not have a dedicated theater room. Unfortunately, an OLED above 77" would be out of the question for this buyer due to the $25,000 price tag. Going down to 77" they can get an OLED for about $2,000. However, if you go to QLED you can get an 85" TV for under 1K and a very highly rated QLED for about $2,000.

Example Buyer #3: A Strapped-For-Cash Enthusiast

This buyer would want the best quality TV they can afford and it's hard to believe that OLED could fit that bill unless they really don't care about screed size or they have a small living room, which, admittedly, could be the case for some. Going from OLED to QLED is going to give them a significantly larger screen and more and better features (such as gaming features, connections, Smart functionality, etc.) for the price.

***Tertiary Considerations: Non-enthusiasts, such as friends, girlfriends/wives, in-laws, neighbors, etc. are much more likely to be impressed by a larger TV than a smaller one regardless of panel quality. People tend to want to hang out and watch the game or the movie at the person's house with the largest living room and the largest TV, so potential for more interactions and usage.

The Buyer's Dilemma/Potential Mistake

I feel like a lot of people are in this position where they buy 55" or 65" OLED where they could have afforded a 75" or 85" QLED instead. They get lured in by the panel quality and forget about size. They let perceived sophistication obstruct their better judgement. One of my good friends has a 65" OLED in a living room that is smaller and attached to the kitchen/dining room area. It looks great and is about the correct size for that area, but if he had a larger living room there is no way I would want to watch a 65" OLED over an 85" LED TV.

IMHO it makes sense to get the biggest and best TV your room size can handle. Size being more important than panel quality, at least within reasonable quality standards.

Thoughts?

Edit: The price for an 83" OLED is only $4,000. I didn't see that as I had a radio button selected for 85" and since OLED TVs generally come in 77" and 83" instead of 75 and 85 I didn't see the 83" TV option. That being said, a top-tier 85" QLED TV with the latest features and connections is still $1,300 than the cheapest 83" OLED TV. That makes is 33% more expensive, 2" smaller, and with potentially fewer features.

My opinion in summary: OLED TVs are better picture quality than the competition, but at a higher price. If price is no option or the room is small enough I think OLED makes sense. For my tastes (and my large living room) QLED is a better balance of cost to performance allowing me to get the biggest TV possible.

OLED: Better Contrast
QLED: Lager Screen and Better Features For The Cost, Brighter Screen For Brighter Rooms And Fewer Reflections
 
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AudioStudies

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I am firmly in the OLED camp. I would rather have a TV that is a bit smaller with pristine picture quality than one a bit larger of lesser quality. Panel quality is more important than size in my view (pun?). I am lucky enough that cost isn't a factor for me, but price is an important consideration for those who need to consider such.
 

TulseLuper

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most of the buyers in this category would probably have a dedicated theater room
Not necessarily, maybe they live in a city and don’t feel the need for a large enough home to accommodate this.

Going down to 77" they can get an OLED for about $2,000. However, if you go to QLED you can get an 85" TV for under 1K and a very highly rated QLED for about $2,000.
Over a reasonable amount of time to own a TV like this, the cost difference here is not significant.

I have no skin in the game, I just don’t think the logic works here. I spent extra money to get the LG model that had a better looking stand.
 
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luft262

luft262

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Not necessarily, maybe they live in a city and don’t feel the need for a large enough home to accommodate this.


Over a reasonable amount of time to own a TV like this, the cost difference here is not significant.

I have no skin in the game, I just don’t think the logic works here. I spent extra money to get the LG model that had a better looking stand.
I agree with what you're saying up to 77". An 85" OLED is $25,000 so the step up in price is very significant. For rooms that can accommodate a TV larger than 77" OLED becomes irrational for any buyer who isn't swimming in money.
 

AudioStudies

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A very high quality screen, and high quality audio, can take you to a lot of places and venues. Classical music concerts, aerial views of mountain regions, etc. etc. I know it is not the same as going to such venues, but over the long term cost of OLED and high end audio, you get a lot closer to the real thing for a fraction of the cost. I know people who spend a lot on travel but would scoff at the idea of high quality entertainment in the home. Go figure. Travel cost add up year after year whereas an OLED will likely last at least 10 years.
 

DVDdoug

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At that price you'd be much better off getting a projection system for your home theater room and using an acoustically transparent screen etc.
The problem is you can't project black so you need a dark room. OK for an actual dedicated theater but most people want to watch more casually sometimes.


...I like a bigger screen (I have 72" plasma) but I'm more picky about sound than picture.
 

waynel

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I agree with what you're saying up to 77". An 85" OLED is $25,000 so the step up in price is very significant. For rooms that can accommodate a TV larger than 77" OLED becomes irrational for any buyer who isn't swimming in money.
83" OLED is $4,000 and totally worth it.
 

Marc v E

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You may not be aware that in Europe a 65 inch tv is considered big. And a 55 inch average.

Not sure why but anecdotes are plenty. Most revolve around spouces not wanting such a big imposing screen in their house. Quite a few woman I know had or still have a mini tv and think a 32 inch tv is big.

Another point you may need to take into account is that many Europeans have smaller houses because it's more densely populated. Still a good portion earn well, making a 55 or 65 inch oled a good compromise among videophiles ( if there even is such a thing).
 
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luft262

luft262

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83" OLED is $4,000 and totally worth it.
Wow! That's amazing. I was on best buys site. Amazing there could be such a difference. Oh, you know why. They have a radio button for 85" and it probably removes the 83" tvs. A simple mistake. At that price it's much more competitive, but still about $1,300 more than a very high end QLED so depending on you budget it's still debatable.
 

DonH56

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I looked at a few sets before deciding upon an OLED model for our media room. The picture is better, and at the time (several years ago) the price difference was not large for comparable features (mainly 4K resolution and full HDR support, not just "compatible"). The biggest drawback to me is that OLEDs are subject to burn-in, similar to the old CRT and plasma sets.
 

julian_hughes

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These different display technologies and sizes all sound the same to me.
 

MoreWatts

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Everyone has to evaluate their use scenario, and I recently went through this decision process, in the USA. I wanted a 75 inch TV, but it was going into a bright living room, and I also use it with a PC. This eliminated OLED immediately, with dark room requirements and burn-in issues. I went with a Vizio P75 model, which was evaluated as good in bright rooms, and has fast response for PC/gamer use, and has full HDR specs (an issue with Samsung?) Only $1300 (plus tax), delivered, unboxed and set on the stand. LED Televisions this size are as cheap as $700, although these are only suitable for darker rooms, as they don't get very bright.

I am amazed that this large slab of glass is almost completely non-reflective, as I hate watching TV through glare. "Back in the day," I thought the first LED TVs were nicer than plasma because they got rid of the glare (matte screens), and have been thoroughly dismayed as screens got larger and more reflective. I know that the very bright HDR spec is supposed to overcome glare issues in general, but I still see an issue when seated off-axis. I don't care how much sharper the picture is purported to be, if I have to peer through a window to see it. I know I am an outlier on this issue.

OLED televisions currently have specs which make them more suitable for dedicated home theaters, or darker rooms in general. Not your use? Don't dismay, plenty of old school LEDs are available that work great in other situations.
 

Willem

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We still enjoy a 2009 Panasonic 42 inch plasma TV, and will not replace it before it dies. We like the image quality, and I worry that its replacement may have to be more than just a bit larger. I like the image quality of the plasma screen, so I would opt for Oled for its eventual replacement. Other than that, I think the importance of audio quality is often underestimated. We are not avid vieuwers, so the TV is connected to the stereo audio system in our large living room (ADI-2, Quad 606-2, Quad 2805, plus equalized subs).
 

Rednaxela

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The biggest drawback to me is that OLEDs are subject to burn-in, similar to the old CRT and plasma sets.
Been looking at Sony Mini LED TVs because of this, but those are quite a bit more expensive sadly.
 

dualazmak

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We still enjoy a 2009 Panasonic 42 inch plasma TV, and will not replace it before it dies. We like the image quality, and I worry that its replacement may have to be more than just a bit larger. I like the image quality of the plasma screen, so I would opt for Oled for its eventual replacement. Other than that, I think the importance of audio quality is often underestimated. We are not avid vieuwers, so the TV is connected to the stereo audio system in our large living room (ADI-2, Quad 606-2, Quad 2805, plus equalized subs).

I am exactly on the same way as you are!

In March 2021, I finally replaced my rather old (and discontinued) Panasonic 50-inch plasma TV (still keeping it in one bedroom upstairs) with new Panasonic TH-55HZ1800 55-inch OLED 4K TV, very much satisfied. You would please refer to my post here (OLED 55-inch TV as PC monitor in audio system) and here (OLED 55-inch TV for photo slideshow).
 

Sokel

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I think this thread came just about the right time.
The room is about 80m2 and the use is a lot of static material,maybe a movie once in a while but lots of nice concerts and operas.
Room can be as dark as it needs but I prefer light :)
Let's say up to 5K euro but less wouldn't hurt,is something secondary to me.
Don't need technical,I'll take your word for it.
(my friends insist on projector with huge screen but I'm not into that,I prefer real cinema,it's the feeling of going out,so...)
 

Prana Ferox

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I'm not sure where in your examples the buyer falls who's primarily looking to get the OLED as a computer monitor. At that point even the 42" is irritatingly large.

I did recently pick up an OLED laptop and am interested to see how it works out, my AMOLED tablet has been great.
 

dualazmak

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I'm not sure where in your examples the buyer falls who's primarily looking to get the OLED as a computer monitor. At that point even the 42" is irritatingly large.

Agree; in our dining-living room, I use 55-inch OLED TV as PC monitor only for photo slideshow enjoyment and occasional audio-visual video/live entertainments.

For my usual PC (workstation) work in my office upstairs, I use two of 27-inch nice EIZO PC monitor (IPS LCD anti-glare), dual EIZO FlexScan EV2750 (so 5120 x 1440 pixel desktop), as shared here.
 
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bboris77

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I was a huge plasma and CRT fan before those two technologies became obsolete. For me, motion resolution is equally as important as the actual resolution since we do not watch stills on our TVs. I was extremely disappointed when Plasma died in mid 2010s and left us with truly mediocre LED TVs.

At this point in time, there is not one technology that does it all well. I currently have an OLED 4k TV, an IPS 165Hz 4k monitor and a 1080p plasma TV.

I used the OLED for gaming until it started developing dead pixels on all the edges of the display, with the top being the worst. I am assuming this is heat-related, with the rising heat eventually leading to the seal on the edges of the display being less then ideal and then moisture seeping into the panel and killing the OLED pixels. When the TV was new, it had 2-3 dead subpixels and 1 dead pixel. Now, there are at least 20-30 subpixels and pixels and a couple of them are next to each other (clusters). All this happened after the original warranty expired. It is worth keeping in mind that I returned a couple of brand new panels which had clusters of dead pixels until I settled on the one with only a few dead subpixels and 1 dead pixel. This was the CX series. As a result, it has been relegated to bedroom TV duties as those dead pixels are now visible from a regular viewing position and they annoy me too much.

In terms of the still picture quality, nothing approaches the OLED. In motion, things get weird because there is a lot of judder when watching less than 120fps content, especially movies at 24p. You have to use all kinds of weird interpolation tricks to eliminate that, but it is not great. Where OLED truly excels is displaying 120fps content at 120hz. It is amazing.

The burn-in is an issue with OLED in my experience only if you are using it as a computer display or if you watch CNN 24/7. For gaming and movie watching, it has been solved. There is still the nervosa factor though.

Another con to OLEDs is fairly mediocre uniformity when it comes to medium dark backgrounds. For example, panning shots during night scenes, or dark scenes with fog will expose this dirty screen effect. The issue does not exist on brighter backgrounds, when watching sports, for example.

IPS LCD is still my choice when it comes to computer monitor and gaming use because the motion at 120Hz is equal to OLED, there is absolutely zero chance of burn-in or image retention, and there is almost zero chance of developing large clusters of dead pixels with time. Sure, black levels are mediocre, but colours are fantastic, and with a bit of bias lighting, it does not bother me at all.

My main TV is still my almost 10 year old Samsung F8500, the pinnacle of plasma 1080p technology. Better motion resolution than any technology save for CRT, fantastic contrast almost rivalling OLED and very little chance of developing dead pixels over time. Fantastic screen uniformity. A minor chance of burn in, similar to CRTs, but not an issue unless used as a computer monitor.
 

Koeitje

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I watch movies in low-light/darkness so any LCD looks liked absolute ass.
 
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