OLED TV – why you should be excited

Eye popping picture with absolute blacks, pencil-thin and energy efficient - there´s not much we don´t love about OLED TV

13 Feb 2014


The perfect accompaniment to the upcoming summer of sport - OLED TVs are as thin as an iPhone, stupendously sharp and increasingly living-room friendly.


Tech site Cnet says they're "thinner, lighter, more efficient, and better-performing than any current television technology."

They were originally only affordable to footballers, celebrities and the filthy rich, but now OLED TVs are becoming a bit more living-room friendly in price.

And if you're planning on buying a new TV for the summer of sport, sets such as the recently-reduced 55-inch LG EA 9800 are definitely worth a look.

But if you're going to the missus with such a request, you'll need to know your onions.

Here's the rub on why OLED is great.

Its picture is better than anything you've ever seen

Picture -quality2

The O in OLED stands for organic, giving you an organic light-emitting diode TV. OLED sets create light by exposing cells on their panel to electricity. This means they don't need a backlight, and that each individual pixel can be completely shut off.

With the power to completely shut off individual pixels, you get vibrant, lifelike colours and absolute blacks. This means you'll get an infinite contrast ratio - and that's not just bluster, that's fact.

Geoffrey Morrison at tech site Cnet said: "Deep blacks that disappear in a dark room, whites that pop off the screen. It will be more realistic, with a better appearance of depth (even with 2D) than anything you've seen."

Those football pitches, beaches and Brazilian flags will be so eye-popping you'll almost feel as though you're there. Another sport to favour bright colours and blue skies is Formula 1. The new season gets under way in March with the Melbourne Grand Prix, and with OLED those colourful cars, shiny suits and glamorous global locations will fizz and pop before your eyes.

They virtually eliminate motion blur - great for footie and F1

Football is a fast-paced game, with the action never standing still as the ball is pinged around like a pinball and lobbed from one end of the pitch to the other. For this, OLED is perfect. Response times relate to how fast a pixel changes colour, and OLED offers the fastest of any TV technology.

This means motion blur will be effectively non-existent.

When it comes to fast-paced sports, Formula 1 puts football in the slow lane. But as the F1 season launches Down Under with cars whizzing around the track at upwards of 200mph, you'll be sure of a blur-free viewing experience, helping you enjoy the race in total clarity.

They're super thin - as thin as a pencil (or an iPhone)


Because there's no backlight, OLED TVs can be thin - and we mean really thin. We mean pencil thin - we mean iPhone thin. LG's EA 9800 curved OLED TV measures just 4.3mm.

Cnet said this is "exceedingly thin and light compared with plasma and LED LCD TVs".

With the TV weighing just 17g you know it'll be nice and safe on the wall too - even when you and your mates get a bit boisterous as England book their place in the semi-finals (ahem, yeah right).

They look really, really cool


If you've invested time and money in making your living room look cool - all minimalist design, hip artworks and contemporary furniture, why spoil it with a bulky looking TV?

As well as being super slim, the LG EA 9800 features a unique curved screen that'll have your mates suffering serious TV envy. The screen goes right to the edge of the set, with a bezel-free design that does away with chunky plastic framing.

When you also consider the elegant transparent crystal stand and clear speakers, this TV wouldn't look out of place in the hippest of architect-designed homes you see on TV's Grand Designs.  

OLED TVs are so well designed LG is even launching a model this year called Gallery, which doubles as an actual artwork. The Gallery OLED is mounted on what looks like an ultra-thin canvas, and when not in use the screen displays works of art - showcasing the stupendous picture quality of OLED.

They have a curved screen, baby

A curved screen isn't a feature on all OLED TVs, but it's so cool we just had to mention it. The LG EA 9800 has a curved screen, but why should you care? As well as looking good, it also gives you a better viewing experience. The idea is it makes watching TV more immersive, wherever you're sat.

LG says "the screen has been curved to naturally fit our vision range" and provides "equal distance from all parts of the screen to the eyes" with the degree of curvature "based on careful and scientific calculations".

They use less power than other TVs

If you're getting nowhere with the super sharp picture, pencil thinness or elegant design, perhaps you can impress your better half with the news it could save on your energy bills? OLED TVs use less electricity. That's right, because there's no backlight an OLED set uses less electricity than a regular HD TV.

John Mitchell, our Category Manager for Vision, said "Currys PC World is excited about OLED as it is the future for TVs (the same way it has been the future of smartphones and tablets). We recommend the LG and are currently offering a 5-year guarantee and free delivery and installation."

Eye-popping pictures, slick design and cheaper prices... OLED: should you get one? We think so, yes.