Few technologies have had growing pains quite as pronounced as the OLED TV. While some units from manufacturers like LG look absolutely stunning, it isn’t a bed of roses. There will always be edge cases and absolutely out-there tales for most tech. However, today’s cavalcade of horrors isn’t just a one-time occurrence. Join us, and read on about why some users are saying don’t buy an OLED TV. Some of the reasons are fairly obvious, and others will make your jaw drop.
The Horror Stories: What Goes Wrong With an OLED TV
Should you reconsider buying an OLED TV? You may want to after reading these horrific tales.
There is an ever-present concern about burn-in with an OLED display. What is burn-in? If you’re old enough, you likely remember the early days of flatscreen TVs. If you went to a restaurant that played the same news station over and over, day in and day out, you’d likely see the news ticker burned into the screen.
OLED displays have been prone to this, just like any other new technology. However, you have to remember that OLED TVs were highly expensive at the time of their introduction. Imagine a month of use ruining the panel of your $7000 television. That’s enough to make anyone say don’t buy an OLED TV, honestly.
The OLED forum on Reddit is filled with horrible stories of users with their then-new OLED TVs being completely trashed after just a month or two of regular use. Quora user John Doe noted that burning in an OLED in a few months is a guarantee if you are watching TV or gaming at the TV’s native aspect ratio. You could argue that users shouldn’t be watching or playing things with static elements, but that’s beside the point. You shouldn’t have to govern your usage based on what might happen to your TV.
The Worry of Direct Sunlight
Very few users are going to be watching television in direct sunlight. However, every home and office has windows. The risk of sunlight spoiling your expensive OLED TV is very real. In fact, you can find numerous users with those same complaints. It starts innocently enough, someone buys a brand-new TV for their living room area.
Then they leave the blinds open while they’re at work, and the display slowly starts to die. We’re talking about a matter of years of wear and tear on the panel being induced in months. If that isn’t enough to avoid an OLED TV, who knows what is? One Redditor, TheBSisReal indicated that direct sunlight hitting the TV caused a type of burn-in, as they could see the shape of their windows in darker scenes — and it was not a reflection.
Newer TVs don’t run this risk, but you might happen on a steal during the Black Friday sales for an older model. Those affected owners probably wish they heeded this advice and avoided an OLED panel before it was too late.
Let’s be clear, any TV can have banding. The early generation of OLED TVs was keenly susceptible to banding. Banding is when you have distinctly different areas of the TV where colors can greatly differ. This was an issue all too prevalent on early OLED TVs, which is astonishing given their overall price.
You can read stories all over the web of users wondering why their television, one that prides itself on color reproduction, mind you, isn’t displaying colors the same way on different portions of the screen. This problem has been mostly nipped in the bud with newer televisions, but it is a strong point to keep in mind.
Those old OLED TVs can still be found on store shelves, as retailers seek to clear their inventory. It is a literal horror story waiting to happen when you drop over $1000 on a TV and banding makes its presence known.
Customer Service Woes
So, would you like to know why so many users say don’t buy an OLED TV? Think about the customer service department of any piece of hardware you purchase. You’d likely think that since you, a paying customer, are calling up to get things fixed it should go swimmingly.
Instead, many users have come across rude and unhelpful customer service, especially with a manufacturer like LG. When you consider LG is at the forefront of the OLED display craze, you’d think their customer service would be to the task. However, many users have noted unhelpful service from LG among other manufacturers. Redditor BoulderCAST detailed his frustrating months-long attempt to get an OLED panel replacement that was still under warranty.
Many users have also noted their best bet was relying on retailers like Best Buy and Amazon to honor return policies. When you’re spending this much money on a TV, it should work out of the box, no questions asked. In the event that something goes wrong, you should be able to get it addressed without a headache.
Early Model Horrors
Early adopters always get the short end of the stick. You essentially pay to test drive a new technology. The early years of OLED were enough to scare anyone off the technology. Yes, it might be better for overall latency, but that isn’t to say you should rush right out and get one now. The various strengths of the OLED display technology also have led to their own horror stories.
The superb refresh rate and responsiveness were known to produce stuttering jittery videos. This is an issue still plaguing current model OLED TVs, especially with lower framerate video. Most users aren’t going to have the luxury of all their favorite media being the latest and greatest on offer from a streaming service.
As such, the early model woes of OLED TVs directly impacted users who enjoy older TV shows and movies. While most users would have a normal viewing experience, they were left with the risk of burn-in and jittery video playback. All said this is a horrible combo to have to contend with under the best of circumstances.
Choosing the Right TV: Avoid Your Own Horror Stories
How do you avoid a scenario like the ones mentioned above? You take the time to research what you’re going to purchase. There are a few different considerations to keep you from being one of the many users saying don’t buy an OLED TV.
Yes, OLED TVs look great. However, you’ve plenty of options on the market these days. QLED TVs from the likes of Samsung are fantastic and come quite close to the picture clarity of an OLED. You also have the rise of microLED TVs, which are still very much in their infancy.
You want a television with the support for the video you want. It doesn’t need to be a fringe case, nor should you plan your usage around the limitations of a TV. There are plenty of LED, QLED, and other display technologies that can handle watching the news without the risk of the ticker tape being burned into the panel for the display’s lifespan.
The overall size of your display is going to just depend on your needs. You’ll want something that fits your space without being overbearing. Space isn’t the most essential consideration to keep in mind, but it will be key for figuring out how to plan your space. There isn’t a sweet spot for displays, aside from considering your viewing angles, viewing distance, and so forth.
The brand reputation is absolutely crucial when it comes to shopping for a television. Sure, you might have a great time with a no-name store brand television like the series of ONN TVs that are sold at Walmart. You want to make sure you’re buying a reputable and trustworthy brand. Brands like LG have gotten their fair share of lashing during this article.
However, LG, Samsung, TCL, Hisense, and others are all fairly reputable brands for TVs. At the time of writing, you can be somewhat assured that you’re getting a dependable TV from one of these brands. Whether or not it is going to be an OLED TV is entirely up to your preferences.
The modern smart TV is filled to the brim with features. You’ll want to consider what sort of HDR support is important, audio codecs, and so on. Distilling down every single feature found on a modern TV is an exhaustive list that is frankly going to waste your time. You can read up on the spec sheets and features for your chosen TV at the manufacturer’s website.
It is highly recommended to research what your favorite media is using so you’re making an informed purchase before settling on a TV.
So, are you among the many saying don’t buy an OLED TV? There is plenty to appreciate about a display technology like OLED. However, as a display technology, you might find it lacking compared to some of the more stable and mature platforms available on TVs today.
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