Are OLED TVs worth the extra money? Do they really make that much of a difference? If you’re thinking about buying an OLED TV, but you’re not sure if you can justify spending that kind of money, this article is for you.
You’ve probably already heard that OLED TVs are the best on the market. When you ask “why are OLED TVs worth the extra money?”, you’re hit with a list of specifications, features, and technology that makes your head spin, leaving you even more confused.
I decided to break down the best reasons for buying an OLED TV into simple terms, so you can easily decide if it’s right for you.
Are OLED TVs Worth the Extra Money?
OLED TVs are worth the extra money because the colors are incredibly accurate, the panels are thinner, the viewing angles better, and the blacks are extremely deep. If you want the best value TV on the market, an OLED TV is the right choice.
Having said that, OLED TVs do have some downsides. The main downsides to OLED TVs are they’re expensive, not very bright, and are prone to “burn-in”.
I’ll talk more about those downsides later on.
Recommended OLED TVs:
There are lots of OLED TVs out there, but here are a few of the best ones on Amazon:
1 – LG OLED C1 2021
2 – OLED CX 2020
3 – LG OLED C9 2019
Unavailable? Take a look at Best Buy’s C1 OLED TVs
In some cases, you can order a TV and pick it up from a Best Buy store.
What is OLED? How Does OLED Work?
The OLED technology is fascinating and there are so many individual components that make it work.
The simplified version is each pixel on an OLED TV can be an individual light source, there’s no backlight. The pixels only turn on when there’s an image on the screen.
If there’s a black image on the screen, it will look like the TV is turned off completely because technically it is. You won’t see that faint grey glow that is common on other types of TVs.
OLED TVs are also known for their deep blacks, and the reason for that is because the pixels simply don’t turn on in black areas of a scene.
The result is extremely rich and detailed scenes that are almost 3D because of the deep rich colors and deep blacks (especially at 4K!).
The deep blacks also make other colors appear more detailed, so the contrast ratio is amazing on OLED panels.
You can read more about it on the OLED Wikipedia page.
There are three main benefits to OLED TV…
1 – Deep Blacks, Greater Color Accuracy
Let’s face it. If you want a TV that offers the best image quality, OLED is the answer. The picture depth is incredible.
Here’s a comment from a Redditor:
The image quality is shockingly accurate. It beats any other display type by miles. The colors are more vibrant, the blacks are deep, and the lighting is shockingly accurate.
If you never experienced an OLED display before, I suggest visiting an electronics store and checking out their display models. It’s hard to put into words.
2 -Thinner Panels, Better Viewing Angles
Since OLED TVs don’t use a backlight, they’re a lot thinner and lighter than the usual LCD TVs.
The technology is really interesting and new devices are starting to include flexible OLED displays.
Since each pixel creates a light, the viewing angles are great too. You can see the quality from almost every angle. Very cool.
3 – Better Response Time for Gamers
Another benefit of OLED TVs that is often overlooked is the response time.
Most gamers don’t use a TV for competitive games because TVs have crazy high response times which is very noticeable in some games.
OLED TVs use different hardware technology that allows for gaming-monitor-level response times. For example, the average response time on OLED TVs is 2 milliseconds. That’s crazy!
Speaking of gaming on an OLED TV, most games that output 4K with HDR look incredible on OLED TVs.
But it’s not all perfect. There are some downsides you need to know about.
1 – Price
Let’s face it, OLED TVs are not the cheapest on the market. In fact, a good OLED TV, particularly one of the 2021 models, can cost upwards of $2,000!
Granted you can often find payment plans for them, but it’s still a lot of cash to sink into a TV.
The good news is the price of OLED displays is slowly going down. Usually, older OLED TV models are a bit cheaper too, and the image quality is about the same.
For example, the LG OLED C8 is a bit cheaper, but it’s harder to find in stores because it’s a 2018 model.
If you can’t imagine dropping that much money on an OLED TV, maybe it’s best to skip on it for now.
However, people I asked who bought one of the latest models only have good things to say about it. And it’s future-proof too!
You won’t have to buy another TV for a long time! It’s up to you.
2 – Screen Burn-in
One of the most common downsides to OLED panels is an issue called screen burn-in. You have probably already heard about it. It looks like an image is burned into the screen.
This comment on Reddit summarizes the issue pretty well:
OLED TVs can encounter burn-in but it takes longer than you think. There lots of factors that contribute to burn-in, such as brightness level, amount of static images on the screen, the colors of the static images, and several others.
In most cases, it takes about 5,000 hours of constant TV usage to notice burn-in. It also highly depends on the media on the screen. Red colors tend to burn in the fastest, and then green and blue.
Finally, there’s a phenomenon called image retention that most people confuse with burn-in, but it’s not the same. Image retention is a temporary issue, and it fades over time, while burn-in is permanent.
Generally, with varied usage, you won’t ever run into burn-in on your OLED TV.
3 – Dim Screens
Since OLED TVs do not have a backlight, they’re not very bright. In most cases, a dim TV is not much of a problem because you usually darken the room to watch movies anyway.
In dark rooms, OLED TVs absolutely kill it, but in bright rooms, they’re a little dim. Other LCD TVs will look brighter in daylight.
It’s best to consider the lighting in your environment before you buy an OLED TV.
Some people say 4K movies at night with an OLED TV look better than watching a movie in a cinema.
4 – Needs 4K Media to Shine
It’s not really a downside but you should know about it. To make the most of your OLED TV, it needs 4K media.
The problem is most TV cable channels don’t output 4K, most of them only output 480P or 1080P. Apps like Netflix have 4K but you need the Netflix Ultra HD subscription. Netflix UHD only works on supported devices, like the Ultra HD Chromecast or a similar streaming stick.
YouTube can output 4K too, but the quality is usually not as good as other sources because of YouTube’s compression issues.
4K Blu-rays are another good example. I suggest watching a 4K movie on your new OLED and switching the OLED to “Cinema” mode.
The visual quality and details will blow you away.
Long story short, make sure you’re media is 4K before you start watching on your OLED TV, otherwise, it won’t look that special.
Is an OLED TV Right for You?
It really boils down to whether or not you can afford one. OLED TVs are worth the extra money if you can afford them. But I wouldn’t break the bank to buy one.
If you need a new TV but don’t have much cash, I suggest looking for an older OLED TV model.
You’ll get the same benefits and you’ll save some money, although some smart features might be lacking when compared to the newer models.
If you want to take a closer look at some models, here are my three favorites:
What do You Think?
Do you have an OLED TV? Would you like to contribute some thoughts for people who are thinking about buying one? Leave a comment below?