UHD vs OLED: Four Must-Know Facts
- UHD is a marketing term that was created by the Consumer Electronics Association, CEA, on October 17, 2012. It was meant to help consumers differentiate between the different screen resolutions offered at the time.
- UHD requires a minimum of 3,840 x 2,160 resolutions at a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio.
- OLED was created as a technology in 1987 by Kodak for use in digital cameras.
- The first OLED TV was released by Sony in 2004.
What is UHD?
UHD stands for Ultra-High Definition. It’s something of a marketing term meant to make it easier for consumers to narrow down TV options. It denotes that the TV has a higher resolution than HD TV types, higher frame rates, and more realistic colors.
UHD is a common marker on modern TV types. In fact, UHD has become synonymous with 4K resolutions (3,840 x 2,160 pixels). It is important, however, to note that UHD doesn’t mean only 4k. 4k, 5k, and 8k resolutions can all be considered ultra-high definition. Some manufacturers have added to the confusion behind what UHD is by creating lineups like Crystal UHD which is an LCD, or liquid-crystal display panel.
The term UHD was created by the Consumer Electronics Association to help consumers. It does not refer to a specific type of technology. However, the CEA did create a rigid definition to help consumers pick out their next TV. UHD means the TV is at a minimum 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) and a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio.
What is OLED?
OLED is a TV-type acronym that stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes. Unlike UHD, OLED is a type of panel used to create images and lighting. These panels can be found in smartphones, TVs, laptops, tablets, and monitors already. It provides excellent color contrast and darker blacks by using an electric current to switch individual diodes on and off. That means a true black pixel on the screen is simply off which creates a true black.
Aside from the excellent image quality and color contrast, OLED enables another functional feature that allows laptops, smartphones, TVs, and tablets to be even thinner. These panels do not require any backlighting. The extra space is often taken out of the design all together to allow for the slimmest devices on the market like the ZenBook Flip S laptops from Asus.
UHD vs OLED: Are They Comparable?
All OLED screens are UHD, but not all UHD screens are OLED. In a sense, they can be compared if the goal is to figure out which UHD TV type to purchase for your own home.
Here are some of the different types of UHD screens:
You’ll likely notice that OLED is among the type of UHD screens. That’s because UHD has become a catch-all term for resolutions higher than HD (720p or 1080p). That means any screen with a resolution of 2K or higher is a UHD screen.
In that sense, they are not directly comparable as UHD is a descriptor and OLED is a type of panel technology. As 8K resolutions are becoming more and more abundant, UHD as a term may be replaced as a marketing term to help denote the 400% increase in resolution.
For ease of comparison, UHD will be defined as 4K resolutions or higher with a 16:9 or wider aspect ratio as the Consumer Electronics Association defined in 2012. Using this definition, we can see that OLED and UHD have a lot of similarities such as 4K resolutions and widescreen aspect ratios. However, OLED screens with 4K resolution will have a higher color contrast and wider viewing angles than UHDs in the same category.
UHD vs OLED: Side-by-Side Comparison
|What it is:||Marketing term meant to denote screen resolution||Back panel technology used in screens|
|Primary use:||Signal resolution quality to consumers||Creates high color contrast and high-resolution images for devices that require a screen|
|Conceived:||October 17, 2022||1987|
|Initial release:||October 17, 2022||2004|
|Technical committee:||Consumer Electronics Association||Eastman Kodak Company|
|Influential developers:||Consumer Electronics Association||Sony, LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Panasonic|
|Technology influenced:||screen panels, display devices||TVs, smartphones, laptops, tablets, monitors|
It’s important to note that when comparing the pros and cons or the similarities/differences UHD does not signify a specific type of technology. That means in some cases, UHD screens and OLED screens will have incredibly similar aspects.
|Higher than HD resolutions||Does not denote a type of technology|
|Common across the market||Can be used to refer to OLED and QLED as well as LCD or LED panels|
|Provides consumers reassurance of product quality||Thicker overall screen design than OLED|
|Cheaper price than OLED screens|
|High-quality color and contrast||Higher price than competing technology|
|Use of true blacks|
|No backlight panel allowing thinner devices|
|Comes in resolutions up to 8K|
|Great viewing angles|
|Fast response times at 0.1 milliseconds|
|Thinner overall product|
Similarities and Differences
- Both are descriptions of screen technology used in TVs.
- Both are offered in resolutions higher than HD.
- Both are commonly found in the consumer electronics marketplace
- OLED screens can be considered UHD.
- Both offer 16:9 or wider aspect ratios.
- Both come in 4K resolutions or higher.
- OLED has better color contrast and true blacks.
- UHD can refer to OLED, QLED, LCD, or LED screens.
- UHD denotes a resolution while OLED is a type of technology.
- UHD was created as a marketing term which means as resolutions continue to increase, it may be retired for a newer term to avoid consumer confusion.
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