LCD versus OLED

Dodgexander

Moderator
Which is better;
An OLED or a LCD?

Often there are many questions in this section of the forum such as:
Which is better, Samsung Q90R or LG C9?
Which is better LG B9 or Sony XG9505?
Should I buy a larger, lower range LCD TV or a smaller more expensive OLED/LCD?


The answer isn't always the same for everyone, so I will list the pro's and cons here. To compare OLEDs see: 2018-2019 OLED Comparison

Pros
  • Per pixel delivery of SDR and HDR brings more gains in all areas. You will see the biggest boost of picture quality overall compared to an LCD, especially if you are not using HDR a lot.
  • No motion blur.
  • The best viewing angles
  • Screen uniformity is a lot cleaner.
Cons
  • OLED Burn In Risk
  • ABL and reduced brightness with HDR, most notable with Sony OLEDs.
  • 65" and especially 77" carry a large premium compared to LCDs.
Pros
  • High peak brightness means for more impact with HDR. Less compression has to happen with high nits sources which is most important for games.
  • More impressive in bright rooms or using HDR during the day.
  • In the case of Samsung models, great gaming features such as motion interpolation without the addition of input lag.
  • More competitive pricing at larger sizes than OLEDs.
Cons
  • Narrower viewing angles. although this is improved with the high end LCD TVs using wide viewing angle filters.
  • Potential haloing and blooming in dark viewing environments.
  • Screen uniformity tends to be better, but not perfect.
  • Not that much better at displaying SDR content than much cheaper LCDs.
Pros
  • Better than an OLED in a bright room because of no ABL. Marginally brighter with HDR overall.
  • A good balance between a TV which is decent with HDR, but without breaking the bank.
  • In the case of Samsung models, great gaming features such as motion interpolation without the addition of input lag.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Potential haloing and blooming in dark viewing environments.
  • Screen uniformity tends to be on the poor side, but better than lower range LCD TVs.
  • Not that much better at displaying SDR content than much cheaper LCDs.
Pros
  • Steady brightness in a bright room, no ABL like OLEDs.
  • A lot cheaper and better value if someone doesn't use much HDR and can't buy OLED.
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angles on the best performing models with contrast and blacks.
  • Narow(ish) viewing angles on IPS panels. Still not as wide as OLED.
  • A lot worse screen uniformity in dark viewing, especially with IPS panels
  • Depending on which model you go for, smart TV and picture processing can be poorer on lower tier models

Please let me know if there is anything I can add!
 
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Livemo

Active Member
Both offer different types of picture. Subjective which is best. Overall oleds are, but there's definitely a market for high end lcds
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Both offer different types of picture. Subjective which is best. Overall oleds are, but there's definitely a market for high end lcds
Tell this to Philips and Panasonic that stopped making high end LCD TVs in 2016.

There may be people who prefer LCD TVs, but they are in the minority.
 

Livemo

Active Member
Tell this to Philips and Panasonic that stopped making high end LCD TVs in 2016.

There may be people who prefer LCD TVs, but they are in the minority.
Because manufacturer lcd is higher with less profits. But the rise is up, as we continue to see with tcl hisense samsung ect, and technology like miniled is certainly on the up. Not to mention lg has a 4000nit prototype. Certainly not the minority, lots of people on group forums are keen on further developments.
 

anantind

Active Member
Maybe add something about the potential for dirty screen effect (DSE) on LCDs? OLEDS are typically almost perfectly clean, except for some vertical banding in near black scenes.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Maybe add something about the potential for dirty screen effect (DSE) on LCDs? OLEDS are typically almost perfectly clean, except for some vertical banding in near black scenes.
thanks for the feedback, I have added more detail to the OP!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator

JustTheFacts

Active Member
Vincent Teoh says a Pro of the CX is "superb HDR performance."

"The CX’s pixel-level light control delivers a refined, impactful HDR presentation. Its full-screen brightness is no match for the high-nit LCDs from Samsung and Sony, but the panel’s incredible contrast level more than makes up for this. Provided, that is, the ambient lighting isn't too bright – like most OLED TVs, the LG thrives in darker living rooms."

David Katzmaier of CNET says when comparing the TCL 8 series to the CX
"HDR and 4K video: The 4K Blu-ray of Parasite looked spectacular on all three high-end TVs, as expected, but the OLEDs had the advantage. The TCL beat them in brightness and highlight pop, however. In Chapter 3 when Kim Ki-woo rounds a corner of the house (13:13), the sun measured twice as bright -- 1028 nits vs. 540 on both OLED TVs -- and the difference was obvious to my eye.

Despite the extra brightness, however, the overall contrast and richness of the OLEDs' image made the LCD look relatively flat by comparison in many scenes. In the criteria at 30:51, for example, there was just a bit more pop and color in the food and the flower wrappings. And despite its excellent local dimming the TCL still betrayed some brighter spots in dark areas, for example the shadows in the back of the car at 30:14.

Looking at the gorgeous nature footage from the Spears and Munsil HDR benchmark, the TCL's higher brightness paid more dividends than the cinematic Parasite. In my side-by-side lineup the LCD's brighter skies, snow and other daylit scenes were more powerful, especially when most of the screen was very bright -- the desert sand, and plants at 5:20 was a good example. The OLEDs didn't look dim by any means but the TCL was better in those bright scenes. In more mixed and darker scenes, on the other hand, the OLEDs superior contrast again won out.

Keeping with the nature theme, I switched my Apple TV back to 4K HDR mode and checked out the amazing-looking Our Planet: Coastal Seas on Netflix. From the brilliant colors of the reef to the dark recesses behind the swarms of sharks I saw the same themes: an overall edge to the OLED TVs despite the TCL's brighter image. Netflix's nature documentary didn't show as much HDR punch and detail as the reference disc in general, and for that reason the TCL's brilliance didn't make as much of an impact. In some bright scenes like the splashing seals (20:34), highlights like the waves actually measured slightly brighter on the CX OLED, but in others like the sun through the kelp (21:03) the TCL was visibly brighter and measured as such (1440 versus 660 nits)."

Rtings.com gives a 8.7 out of 10 for HDR performance of the CX. On their scorecard only 14 to 16 percent of the HDR score is given to brightness. Local dimming and contrast make up a bigger chunk of the overall score.

There is so much more to HDR than just brightness. The contrast and how the processor controls the mid range and higher brightness also have a big impact. If the processor also brightens the mid range brightness along with the higher end brightness you can lose some of the picture quality decreasing the HDR impact,
*
Is it true that there are only a few scenes in a movie where you are going to need this max brightness of a high end LED and that 98% of the scenes in a movie the OLED has plenty enough brightness?

For the 2 percent of the scenes where you need more brightness the OLED may still be better HDR imagery to the eye when you factor in the contrast and the processor of the CX.
 
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