In the world of technology and electronics, things are changing so fast these days that it’s hard for even the most serious techie to keep up with the new corporate buzzwords. Or, in our case, the “buzz acronyms.” LED, OLED, QLED, UHD, and the list goes on.

In this article we will break down two of these terms in detail – Full Array LED vs OLED – to make your TV buying decision a little less confusing. We’ll cover how they stack up and what the best use scenarios are for both, in words that leave out the solid-state physics jargon to let you know which model is right for you.

Full Array LED vs OLED: Side by Side Comparison

FeatureFull Array LEDOLED
MeaningFull Array Light Emitting DiodeOrganic Light Emitting Diode
PriceLow (under $500)Relatively High ($1000 and up)
Room LightingBetter in Brighter AreasBetter in Darker Conditions
Picture QualityGoodGreat
Contrast RatioGoodAlmost Perfect
Off-Axis ViewingNot GoodRelatively Better
Size Range55-inch to 98-inch48-inch to 88-inch

Full Array LED vs OLED: What’s the Difference?

At first glance, you might see the LED in both names and wonder where the difference lies. Well, there are significant differences, as we will see, and it pays to know what they are when choosing between the two.

Price

From a consumer standpoint, it starts with price. Full Array LED models come in under $500, whereas even a small OLED is going to start at around $1200. So, the first thing to consider is what you’re willing to spend to get the perfect home entertainment system for your unique needs.

Lighting

From the technological standpoint, it all comes down to lighting. With any LED TV, the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is backlit by LEDs. Standard LED TVs have a panel of bulbs, but not many compared to the more expensive versions.

Next, come the side-lit displays that have more LEDs but, as the name suggests, they are positioned around the sides of the screen and shine light toward the middle. The full array LED has a complete panel of hundreds of smaller bulbs covering the entire back of the LCD panel. It can be turned on or off in zones as needed.

With OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) TVs, each pixel produces its own light and there is no need for backlighting. This is known as pixel level dimming and is much more precise than a standard LED. This OLED technology gives a greater contrast ratio, meaning that the darkest darks are darker, and the brightest whites are brighter. This also makes for a thinner TV overall due to the lack of a wall of lights behind the screen.

Full Array LED vs OLED: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • The end result depends on video processing, which takes place before the signal ever reaches your TV panel.
  • If you have a smaller viewing space that leaves you facing the screen directly, a full array LED will give you a great picture with brilliant colors.
  • As far as durability goes, both LED and OLED will give you thousands of hours of entertainment.
  • When it comes to thickness, full array LED TVs are thin, and OLEDs are even thinner.
  • With manufacturers continually improving on their weaknesses, the performance gap between these two technologies has closed significantly.
  • Full array LED TVs costs start at around a third of those of an OLED.
  • If your viewing area has a lot of big windows giving ample natural daytime light, then definitely consider the full array LED option.
  • If your viewing area is darker or if the lights can be controlled, mimicking an actual movie theatre, then the OLED option is the way to go; if you can afford it.

Full Array LED: A Complete History

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  • FULL ARRAY LED CONTRAST – Precisely controlled backlighting delivers deep black, high peak brightness and is further enhanced by XR Contrast Booster 10 for real-life depth and detail.
  • INTELLIGENT TV PROCESSING – The Cognitive Processor XR understands how humans see to deliver intense contrast with deep blacks, high peak brightness, and natural colors.
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Let’s take a look at some of the advances in LED technology to see what LEDs are, and how we got to the full array LED screens that we’re talking about here.

LED, or Light Emitting Diodes, are an electrical component that uses the current flowing through semiconductor materials to produce light. The earliest LEDs were invented in 1907 by engineer H.J. Round. His first attempts created LEDs that were on the IR (infrared spectrum) and could only produce red light. By 1962, advances in LED technology by engineer Nick Holonyak and others brought LED technology to the production phase.

Although the first true LED flat panel TV was introduced in 1977, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the real breakthroughs in the LED field were realized, with the improvements in white LEDs and the reduction in costs that made them commercially viable for production.

ProsCons
Less expensive than OLEDViewing angle
Gives a great picture in well-lit environmentsLower contrast ratio
Improves the viewing quality of HDR contentPoor nighttime, darkened viewing
Local dimming through “zone” technology gives a much better contrast ratioNot as good for “dark” games

OLED: A More Theatre-Like Experience

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LG 65-Inch Class OLED evo C2 Series Alexa built-in 4K Smart TV, 120Hz Refresh Rate, AI-Powered 4K, Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos, WiSA Ready, Cloud Gaming (OLED65C2PUA, 2022)
  • VOICE CONTROL: Use your voice to control your TV and connected devices with built-in support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay, HomeKit, and many more
  • OLED EVO: Our self-lit OLED pixels create beautiful picture quality with infinite contrast, perfect black and over a billion colors, now even brighter
  • A9 GEN5 AI PROCESSOR 4K: Make the impossible possible with our latest a9 Gen5 AI Processor 4K, engineered exclusively for LG OLED to automatically adjust your settings to improve picture and sound qualities based on whatever you’re watching
  • HOME CINEMA: Get in the action the way directors intended with Filmmaker Mode—and enhance every moment with Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos for the ultimate home theater experience
  • ULTIMATE GAMING: Be at the top of your game with NVIDIA G-SYNC, FreeSync Premium and VRR to experience real-time action—plus, the LG Game Optimizer and 4 HDMI 2.1 ports to get you (and keep you) in the action

If you’re going for a truly at-home movie theatre experience, then OLED is the way to go. Turn down the lights, invite all your friends if you have the right seating capacity, and bring the old movie house feel to your own entertainment arena.

OLED is the best technology available right now. It can turn your entertainment space into a real night at the movies with your friends and family.

ProsCons
Great for a larger, darkened roomCan have a shorter lifespan than an LED TV
Pixel dimming makes lighting much more preciseSusceptible to moisture-associated damage and screen burn-in
Noticeably thinner due to the absence of an LED light panelMore expensive than LED TVs

Full Array LED vs OLED: Which One Is Better?

If it’s within your budget, OLED is the superior choice. But before you decide which TV or monitor to buy, do a complete analysis of your entertainment space. Lighting, seating, viewing angle, and ability to control lighting should all be taken into consideration. With the help of this article, you should be well on your way to understanding the benefits and drawbacks of these two types of technologies and which one is the right choice for you.

In a nutshell, think of the price, the brightness of the viewing area, and the angle of viewing. Then you will be sure to find the model that is perfect for your unique home entertainment needs. Whether it’s a moderately priced full array LED for a bright sunlit room, or a more expensive OLED for a darker viewing environment, the choice is up to you. One thing to note, though, is that OLED prices will likely come down as technology advances, and further refinements in LED tech have already moved it closer to the quality of various OLED models.

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Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Full Array LED vs OLED: Which One Is Best? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is full array LED better than OLED?

The short answer is no. But keep in mind that there are situations in which a full array LED TV would be a better fit for the consumer. OLEDs are more expensive and do not do as well in very bright spaces.

Is OLED worth the price difference over full array LED?

If you’re going for a truly theatre-like viewing experience, then OLED is definitely worth the extra cash; if your wallet can handle it.

Which type of TV will last longer, full array LED or OLED?

All manufacturers boast that their TVs will give the buyer around 100,000 hours of normal use. In general, both types are reliable and have about the same lifespan.

Which display type is best for gamers, full array LED or OLED?

Definitely OLED. With faster response times and often much faster refresh rates, when it comes to full array LED vs OLED, the latter is the clear winner for gaming.

What is the price difference between full array LED and OLED?

This is where the two technologies differ quite a bit. Buyers can get a full array LED TV for under $500, whereas a basic OLED is going to be around $1000. Keep in mind that with advances in LED technology, the price is more than likely going to come down in the near future.

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  • Wikipedia Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode
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