Television technology continues to improve at a startling rate, with NanoCell and UHD television tech being at the front of many people’s minds. But, with so many features packed into each type of TV, how can we know which is better?
Before we can talk about which screen is better, we need to go over what NanoCell actually is. TV and electronics company, LG, is the exclusive maker of NanoCell televisions, as NanoCell is LG’s own proprietary technology. No other company can offer this tech.
The actual technology itself is a ‘NanoCell’ filter layered over top of a TV’s screen panel. Particles in this filter have a diameter of around one nanometer––hence the name. The purpose of NanoCell is to filter out unwanted wavelengths of light, and the result is better color depth and richness.
You’d think that UHD is a similarly amazing technology, seeing as how so many people compare LG’s NanoCell and UHD televisions. But, UHD is actually just a screen format. It’s a standard for resolution and aspect ratio, nothing more.
UHD televisions all have a 4k (3840 x 2160p) resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9. Since UHD is only a screen format, you can have an LG TV that is both NanoCell and UHD.
Even though UHD isn’t really in the same category of technology as NanoCell, there is still a comparison to be made. The real question here is whether it’s worth it to get NanoCell–-which can be more expensive–-or if it’s better to buy a different kind of UHD TV.
So, without further ado, let’s compare NanoCell with the UHD alternatives.
NanoCell vs. UHD Television: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|Resolution||4k (3840 x 2160p)||4k (3840 x 2160p)|
|Screen Panel Type||IPS (LCD)||Variable. Includes LED, OLED, and IPS LCD|
|Contrast Ratio||Around 1700:1||Variable. Up to 1M:1 with OLED UHD|
|Color Reproduction||Full, no color withering (over 90% DCI-P3)||Variable. Over 90% DCI-P3 with OLED UHD|
|Color Gamut||Very wide||Variable. Can be very wide with OLED UHD|
|Viewing Angles (degrees)||178/178+||Variable. Up to 84/84+ with OLED UHD|
|Response Time||Around 13 ms||Variable|
|Price Range||$500 – $4,000||$300 – $5,000, with the highest prices for OLED UHD|
NanoCell vs. UHD Television: What’s the Difference?
After that basic summary, there are some clear advantages to LG’s NanoCell televisions. With the wide variety of UHD televisions out there, we’ll need to look at more specs and features in order to know what’s worth the purchase.
NanoCell’s filter technology will always give NanoCell TV incredible color depth and reproduction. There are plenty of other advantages to LG’s NanoCell TVs, though, because they use IPS LCD panels.
This type of panel is known for having great visuals. In addition to depth and accurate reproduction, NanoCell TVs also have a wide color gamut. The color gamut refers to how many different colors a display has access to, so the wider the gamut, the more colors your television can accurately produce.
IPS displays are also infamous for their incredibly wide viewing angles. With a range of 178/178+ degrees, you can sit to the side of the screen without worrying about your viewing experience being distorted.
This feature works well for multitasking when you might want to sit at a table or desk nearby. It’s even better for viewing parties––no more fighting over the best seat spots!
The downside to IPS (and thereby NanoCell) televisions is that they have lower response times and refresh rates than many other types of panel technologies. VA and TN LCDs, as well as OLED, are all likely to have better rates than a NanoCell (IPS) television.
NanoCell is a cheaper option than OLED TVs, which reign supreme over most other TV types for having the most features and best specs. But, there are also plenty of UHD televisions that cost less than NanoCell. LG’s NanoCell TVs are usually around $700 to $2,500, so they aren’t exactly a budget option.
Overall, NanoCell is very much a premium technology. Although IPS panels have drawbacks, the NanoCell filters and high-quality hardware mean that those drawbacks barely exist.
UHD and OLED
As mentioned before, UHD is just a screen format. It stands for ultra high definition––a category above quad high definition (QHD), full high definition (FHD), and regular high definition (HD).
LG offers a huge catalog of different UHD TVs on its website. All NanoCell TVs use a 4k resolution, so you can actually find every last one of them in the UHD catalog. No UHD television will have better resolution than NanoCell televisions for that reason!
Aside from NanoCell, the type of UHD television that stands out the most is OLED. Just like NanoCell, OLED is a premium technology that offers viewers beautiful color reproduction and a wide gamut. It even has forgiving viewing angles, as do IPS displays.
Neither OLED nor IPS/NanoCell has an advantage when it comes to color reproduction and the like. But, OLED isn’t plagued by the same slowness in response and refresh rate that IPS panels are.
OLED has another key improvement: contrast ratio. The contrast ratio is the difference between how bright the display can show whites and how dark the display can show blacks. Many televisions actually show black as something more like dark gray, which can make certain scenes less impactful.
The contrast ratio matters the most in dark environments, like during an at-home movie night with the lights turned off. It has a huge impact on the ‘richness’ of color and visuals no matter the environment, though.
Although NanoCell technology makes up for a lot of the drawbacks of IPS panels, it still has a significantly lower contrast ratio than OLED TVs. While OLED can have a ratio of up to 1 million: 1, most NanoCell TVs will hover around 1700: 1.
Clearly, UHD televisions have a lot to offer aside from NanoCell technology.
NanoCell vs. UHD Television: 5 Must-Know Facts
- NanoCell televisions are all UHD since they use a 4k resolution.
- Ultra high definition (UHD) simply refers to the aspect ratio (16:9) and resolution (3840 x 2160p) specs.
- NanoCell technology filters out unwanted light particles in order to create cleaner, richer colors.
- All NanoCell TVs use IPS panels, which are a kind of LCD panel that offers wide viewing angles and amazing color reproduction.
- NanoCell is slightly cheaper than OLED, but it doesn’t have as impressive of a contrast ratio.
NanoCell vs. UHD Television: Which Should You Get?
Which LG television you should get depends entirely on what you want out of your viewing experience––that, and how much you can afford!
UHD televisions include an incredible variety of televisions. If budget is your priority, it’s probably going to be better for you to set down the idea of a NanoCell TV. Instead, you can just focus on getting a cheaper UHD television with your must-have features.
If you’ve always enjoyed IPS panels in your computer monitors, televisions, and other displays, then there’s no reason to end the streak. NanoCell technology retains every single benefit of an IPS television while minimizing some of the drawbacks.
Plus, a premium NanoCell TV will be using very high-quality IPS technology. Some of the IPS panels’ shortcomings, like refresh rates and response times, are going to be minimized as the cost of the TV goes up. It’s unlikely that you’ll be bothered by them unless you’re a professional console gamer.
On the other hand, OLED is still better overall if you can afford it. Although NanoCell IPS television sets are going to be able to match OLED for color reproduction, richness, and gamut, they can’t compete with OLED contrast ratios. Get an OLED UHD if the contrast ratio––or simply buying the best possible option––is your priority.
Another thing to consider is that LG might eventually license out their NanoCell technology. LG is already licensing out some proprietary tech, like WebOS (an operating system for televisions). You could wait until a company you like more has access to NanoCell and purchase your dream TV then.
Either way, it’s safe to say that both NanoCell and other UHD televisions are worth the purchase.