What is OLED?
2:18

What is OLED?

TVs
OLED, or O, L, E, D, is a television technology that is being used in the best looking tvs we've seen to date. But how does the tech differ from regular tvs, and what do you need to know? OLED televisions produce their images via a different technological process to other kinds of tvs. And we at CNET have been very fond of the result. With the first OLED TV we reviewed producing the best picture quality we've ever seen. But to understand what makes OLED different, you first need to know how pictures are created in an LCD TV, which is the technology in common use today. At the back of LCD TVs there's a backlight which shines light through liquid crystals which acts a bit like shutters, either allowing light through or not, depending on the current that is run through them. Red, green, and blue color filters put over the top make up an individual tiny onscreen pixel Capable of producing any color, contributing to an overall visible picture on the screen. OLED uses that same color combining principle, but the big difference is there's no back light. Instead, light is generated by organic compounds that glow when a current is applied. Some OLED designs, including one favored by LG, use white OLED overlaid with red, green and blue filters but the common trait is that OLED displays don't need a backlight. So, why the better picture? Well, it's because each pixel can be shut off. When there's no current flowing, the pixel appears completely black. This extremely high contrast between light and dark makes for a lovely image and we found beats the picture quality on sets that beats back lights, even though TV makers have found clever ways to dim back lights in LCD TV's to make darker parts of the screen as black as possible. OLED screens can also be made very thin and have wide viewing angles and the tech can also be put to use in bending or transparent displays. All that is yet to go mainstream, however, and there aren't many TV makers using this technology. Plus, it remains very expensive so OLED's commercial future is uncertain, but having been deeply impressed with TVs that use it, we certainly hope we see cheaper sets at a range of prices in years to come. That should be all you need to know for an introduction to OLED. But for much more on TVs and all things tech stay tuned to CNET.

Up Next

Apple WWDC 2022 Preview
wwdc-preview-00-01-51-17-still006

Up Next

Apple WWDC 2022 Preview

F50 Hydrofoils: Racing The World's Most Advanced Sailboats
fd1-2772

F50 Hydrofoils: Racing The World's Most Advanced Sailboats

Why I'm More Excited for a New Apple Watch SE Than the Series 8
yt-apple-watch-se-n-8-v4

Why I'm More Excited for a New Apple Watch SE Than the Series 8

Gene Simmons talks about 50 years of Kiss Mania
gettyimages-1360277643

Gene Simmons talks about 50 years of Kiss Mania

Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Plan
heres-which-iphone-you-should-buy-in-2022-mp4-00-00-07-17-still002

Why Apple Should Launch an iPhone Subscription Plan

2022 iPhone SE Disappoints in Drop Test
yt-iphone-se-drop-test-v3

2022 iPhone SE Disappoints in Drop Test

Disney's Galactic Starcruiser: What It's Really Like Inside the Star Wars Hotel
Disney Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Hotel

Disney's Galactic Starcruiser: What It's Really Like Inside the Star Wars Hotel

Meet Rocki, the robot companion for pets
rockirobot-youtube-00-04-50-14-still007

Meet Rocki, the robot companion for pets

So you want to be... a Disney Imagineer
Stuntronics

So you want to be... a Disney Imagineer

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

How Stationary Batteries Could Help Your Electric Car Move
chargebox-ads-etron-4165x2777

How Stationary Batteries Could Help Your Electric Car Move

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Video Review
surface-go-22

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Video Review

What iOS 16 May Tell Us About the iPhone 14
yt-appleslice-iphone-14cnet

What iOS 16 May Tell Us About the iPhone 14

MacBook Pro M2: Apple's New Chip Put to the Test
p1099021-mov-03-56-58-06-still001

MacBook Pro M2: Apple's New Chip Put to the Test

Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations
1202484230753671-btat6xklmc41i6ujbdbz-height640.png

Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations

Apple Will Have to Add USB-C to iPhones Because of This Legislation
220620-yt-usb-c-explainer-site

Apple Will Have to Add USB-C to iPhones Because of This Legislation

Most Popular All most popular

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Video Review
surface-go-22

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Video Review

SpyraTwo hands-on: The ultimate water gun
spyratwo-2

SpyraTwo hands-on: The ultimate water gun

What's New to Stream for June 2022
netpicks-june-2022thumb

What's New to Stream for June 2022

What iOS 16 May Tell Us About the iPhone 14
yt-appleslice-iphone-14cnet

What iOS 16 May Tell Us About the iPhone 14

MacBook Pro M2: Apple's New Chip Put to the Test
p1099021-mov-03-56-58-06-still001

MacBook Pro M2: Apple's New Chip Put to the Test

Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations
1202484230753671-btat6xklmc41i6ujbdbz-height640.png

Bring a Little Glamp to Your Camping Trip With These Portable Power Stations

Latest Products All latest products

E Ink Tablets: Everything You Need to Know
eink-website

E Ink Tablets: Everything You Need to Know

Moto G 5G Review: A $400 Phone That May Have Everything You Need
clip0001-00-00-25-15-still001

Moto G 5G Review: A $400 Phone That May Have Everything You Need

Hands-On: We Got to Try the Sony Xperia 1 IV and Its Zoom Lens
xperiafinalpicsite

Hands-On: We Got to Try the Sony Xperia 1 IV and Its Zoom Lens

Lenovo Legion 7 Gaming Laptops Combine Great Power With Simple, Slim Designs
lenovolegion-00-00-45-13-still003

Lenovo Legion 7 Gaming Laptops Combine Great Power With Simple, Slim Designs

Exploring Meta Store: Facebook Parent Meta's First Physical Retail Space
metastore

Exploring Meta Store: Facebook Parent Meta's First Physical Retail Space

Lenovo's Torrent of Slim-Series Laptops Has Almost Too Many Options
lenovoslim-00-00-03-10-still001.png

Lenovo's Torrent of Slim-Series Laptops Has Almost Too Many Options

Latest How To All how to videos

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use
googlepay-inhand

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use

Clean Your AirPods and EarPods Without Damaging Them
yt-howto-clean-airpods-v3

Clean Your AirPods and EarPods Without Damaging Them

How to Control Your Computer With Your Feet
yt-learn-guitar-foot-controls-v2

How to Control Your Computer With Your Feet