Full Array LED vs OLED: 5 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.
- In the debate between full array LED vs OLED: When it comes to thickness, OLEDs are thinner than full array LED.
- 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.
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
|Full Array LED
|Full Array Light Emitting Diode
|Organic Light Emitting Diode
|Low (under $500)
|Relatively High ($1000 and up)
|Better in Brighter Areas
|Better in Darker Conditions
|55-inch to 98-inch
|48-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.
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.
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: A Complete History
- Delivers deep blacks with high brightness with a truly life-like picture
- Excellent for PlayStation 5 gaming thanks to input lag as low as 8.5ms
- Google TV includes over 700,000 movies and TVs
- Get hundreds of free streaming movies with BRAVIA CORE
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.
|Less expensive than OLED
|Gives a great picture in well-lit environments
|Lower contrast ratio
|Improves the viewing quality of HDR content
|Poor nighttime, darkened viewing
|Local dimming through “zone” technology gives a much better contrast ratio
|Not as good for “dark” games
OLED: A More Theatre-Like Experience
- Great contrast, deep blacks, and over a billion colors
- 8 million self-lit OLED pixels
- Alpha 9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K, exclusive to LG, intuitively adapts to what you're watching
- LG Game Optimizer mode
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.
|Great for a larger, darkened room
|Can have a shorter lifespan than an LED TV
|Pixel dimming makes lighting much more precise
|Susceptible to moisture-associated damage and screen burn-in
|Noticeably thinner due to the absence of an LED light panel
|More 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.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Proxima Studio/Shutterstock.com.