Flicker - Oled vs Led vs Plasma

N1ck

Active Member
I have a 42” Panasonic TX-P42V10B plasma which provides me with an excellent picture but I am one of the few who can get eye strain from the flickering.

In my bid to replace it I am looking for a TV that I’m hoping will prove to be less of a strain. My understanding has always been that both OLED and LED use PWM but with LED using it at a much faster rate it results in less eye strain when compared to OLED.

I have since learnt that the Sony A80j OLED doesn’t have PWM. Does this mean that flicker is no more? How does something like the Sony A80j compare to the old Panasonics for flicker, or even against the latest LEDs such as the X90j?
 

tvdavid

Well-known Member
yes LG CX defo far less flicker than my Sony Xh95 but I think this is due to the light sensor being on but defo notice much less dimming on my CX. so the a80 or x90
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Go arrange a demo of the potential models of TV you are considering.
Somewhere decent like Richer Sounds will set up in their demo room so you can assess flicker (or lack of).
 

N1ck

Active Member
Demos are a little artificial for me. I watch for 10 minutes and make assessments on first impressions. The issue with flickering takes its toll over a few hours, leading to over a period of days, etc.

For example, I can’t see my Plasma flicker unless I really look hard and on very white parts of the screen but the overall effect is noticeable to the strain I feel.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
In Plasma and CRTs each frame fades to black so you get a flicker matching your refresh rate.

LCDs and OLEDs are persistent displays that don't have this inherent behaviour so there's no flicker from that (although the effect does improve motion perception, so some screens give you the option to mimic it).

There are a couple of potential things that can cause flicker from LCD and OLED displays. Using PWM for brightness control is one of them.

To make your LEDs put out less light can either put less power through them, or flash them on and off very quickly. The latter method is known as PWM and is more power efficient.

The frequency they're turned off can vary a lot between models, with some implementations being not far above frame rate and others being many times that.

Most PWM implementations are a higher frequency flicker than your Plasma's refresh rate though, so there's a good chance you won't see it. I know in the CRT monitor days most people stopped seeing it around 60-70hz.

As PWM is used for backlight control the behaviour does vary based on brightness.
 

N1ck

Active Member
But I don’t believe the Sony A80j OLED has PWM so does that mean it will be flicker free?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
But I don’t believe the Sony A80j OLED has PWM so does that mean it will be flicker free?
Maybe.

PWM backlight control on almost all TVs operate at a sufficiently high frequency to be flicker free for most people, even those that had issues with 50/60hz refresh rate flicker.

A display that doesn't use that method backlight control still won't be entirely constant at these sorts of timescales (a couple of milliseconds) and some people do seem to have issues with such displays, but it does seem to be the cause of the problems some people have.

Also, bear in mind that PWM control (and similar methods) is widely used in all sorts of lighting, so it's entirely possible that your room lighting will have a slower, more pronounced flicker than your TV.

Some phones do have a high frame rate camera for slowmo shots which is a good way to check how things behave. You could perhaps ask friends or family members to let you watch their TV for a while to see if they cause a problem.
 

N1ck

Active Member
I just used the slow motion on my plasma. I was shocked at the crazy disco flashing effect going on. I’ll have to go around some shops and see how different screen look.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
I did the camera slo mo thing on my Panny OLED and I see the flicker but not on my mothers 4 year old Sony 1080p set, weird. But even though I also suffer to some extent with eye strain watching newer LED TV's , I actually get more headaches watching her Sony than I do my Panny OLED.
Also I dont remember getting any problems when I used to watch my old Plasma 37px70.
One major difference between my mother's Sony and my new OLED is that her set is setup very bright and my OLED is setup with less light output as I use in a darkish room. If I invoke the IFC -intelligent frame creation on my Panny OLED I instantly get a headache, so leave it turned off.
 

N1ck

Active Member
So you get headaches when there is no flicker but with the flicker you don’t? That is very strange, and doesn’t make sense to me. I was already to go to Currys today with phone in hand, maybe it’s not that simple.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
So you get headaches when there is no flicker but with the flicker you don’t? That is very strange, and doesn’t make sense to me. I was already to go to Currys today with phone in hand, maybe it’s not that simple.
Might just be that the my mothers Sony TV isvet very bright, whereas I set my Panny HZ2000 at quite low brightness. I have the IFC turned off and dont have any issues with eyes strain now.
 

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