Cookies at Which? We use cookies to help improve our sites. If you continue, we'll assume that you're happy to accept our cookies. Find out more about cookies

TV screen technology explained

What is OLED TV?

By Ben Stockton

Article 4 of 5

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens are said to be the best of the best. We've tested leading OLED sets but, with prices high, is OLED really worth your money?

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

OLED TVs can give you dazzling, bright pictures with smooth motion, deep blacks and vibrant colours, while also being slimmer than even LED-backlit LCD TVs.

Many of the leading TV brands are developing OLED sets, including LG, Panasonic and Sony, and prices will drop as OLED TVs reach the mass market. Newly launched OLED TVs cost upwards of £2,000 but, over the course of the year, they can drop to around £1,500.

Samsung seems steadfast in its belief that its quantum dot technology will give the best possible picture quality, as it’s now the only major TV manufacturer without an OLED TV. See our What is QLED TV? guide to find out how these two technologies compare.

What’s so special about OLED TV?

OLED TVs have individual organic cells behind the screen, which produce their own light source - unlike standard LED-backlit TVs. This has a number of advantages for picture quality and design:

  • Deep blacks: OLED sets are able to turn individual LEDs off when displaying black, rather than simply directing light away from that part of the screen, as LCD displays do, which means they can achieve very deep blacks.
  • Smooth motion: Motion looks good on OLED TVs, with hardly any blurring, even on fast-moving action.
  • Super-thin screen: With no need for a backlight, OLED screens can be even thinner than most smartphones. In 2017, LG unveiled the OLED W – a huge 65-inch set that is half the thickness of an iPhone 7.
  • Viewing angle: The viewing angle on OLED sets is outstanding. Even when you’re watching from a wide angle, the picture tends to remain rock solid, with accurate colours and good contrast.
  • Energy use: Even though OLED TVs were initially thought to use less power than similar-sized LED-backlit LCD sets, our data suggests they use about the same.

Are OLED TVs the best?

We’ve been testing OLED TVs since 2015 and continue to test more and more. Only logged-in Which? members can see the results of our testing. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

OLED TVs on test

LG 55EG920V

LG 55EG920V
Today's best price £1,748.99
Which? score %
Reviewed Nov 2015
Picture quality:
Member exclusive
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
Screen size:
55
Resolution type:
4K ultra HD
HDR:
No

This OLED TV, launched in 2015, would have once set you back £3,500, but has now almost halved in price.  But can it deliver the vibrant colours and deep blacks OLED promises?

LG OLED55C6V

LG OLED55C6V
Today's best price £1,699.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Nov 2016
Picture quality:
Member exclusive
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
Screen size:
55
Resolution type:
4K ultra HD
HDR:
Yes

2016 brought High Dynamic Range to LG’s OLED sets which should, in theory at least, bring even better contrast. But can the LG OLED55C6V live up to expectations?

LG OLED55B6V

LG OLED55B6V
Today's best price £1,399.00
Which? score %
Reviewed Dec 2016
Picture quality:
Member exclusive
Sound quality:
Member exclusive
Ease of use:
Member exclusive
Screen size:
55
Resolution type:
Ultra-HD
HDR:
Yes

Another of LG’s 2016 OLED TVs, this set has all the latest TV technology: 4K, High Dynamic Range, LG’s smart TV platform and more. But can all this come together to give you great picture and sound quality?

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our TV reviews

Should I buy an OLED TV?

You’ll pay a premium for this screen technology, and you’re certainly not guaranteed a Best Buy – be sure to check our reviews before you buy. But with Panasonic and Sony launching similarly priced OLED sets as LG in 2017, this OLED arms race could see quality rise and prices drop over the coming years.

SHARE THIS PAGE