With televisions improving year after year, we’re starting to see all sorts of abbreviations. While it feels like we’ve just started to understand what LED means, now we’re having to contend with many types of screens that all claim to have the best display. So how do you know which one to choose?
When comparing ULED vs OLED, two of the more prominent types, we start to understand why the task is so tricky. While mostly a marketing tactic, ULEDs function like an advanced LCD television. On the other hand, OLEDs change the way our device works altogether. They’re entirely different, so you’ll want to read on for all the details you should know.
ULED vs. OLED: Side-by-Side Comparison
These two types of screens have vastly different technologies and specs. Check out the chart below for how they break down.
|Light Source||LED backlight with local dimming zones||Individual pixels|
|Brightness||Highest in the industry||Average to sub-optimal|
|Contrast Ratio||Better than most LED/LCD televisions||Best in the industry (has an infinite contrast ratio)|
|Lifespan||Around 100,000 hours||Around 40,000 hours|
|Burn-in||Highly unlikely||Unlikely but possible in some conditions|
|Screen Size||55 to 75 inches||42 to 65 inches|
|Price||$500 – $1,500||$1,000 – $4,000|
ULED vs. OLED: What’s the Difference?
- 4K ULED display
- Quantum dot wide color gamut for accurate colors
- Comes with Fire TV built-in
- Features Dolby Vision HDR
Before you consider buying a ULED television, it’s important to know that they aren’t revolutionary devices. The abbreviation, which stands for “Ultra Light-Emitting Diodes,” is essentially a marketing tactic that Hisense uses to differentiate its televisions. At their core, however, they’re simply LED/LCD screens with advanced display technology.
ULED televisions feature an LED backlight that illuminates the liquid crystal display in front of it. Using a display of pixels that provide the color, the LED backlight brightens them up to give you the image you see on your television.
ULEDs take this concept even further, using what’s called full-array local dimming to enhance the contrast. Hisense also uses 4K resolution and motion smoothing to present a highly capable television.
On the other hand, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) devices feature an entirely new illumination technology. Instead of using backlights for illumination, OLEDs use self-lighting pixels that individually illuminate their own colors. This drastically reduces the weight of the television while also providing the greatest contrast in the industry.
Hisense’s ULED displays advance on the most common technology found in modern televisions. Instead of using a single LED backlight, their devices feature local dimming to light the screen in zones. Ranging from 32 to 360 zones in most of their televisions, certain areas of the screen can illuminate brighter than others, creating darker blacks and more vibrant colors.
Because these televisions have powerful backlights, the images are some of the brightest on the market. However, they’re susceptible to light blooming, a term that refers to bright light leaking into dim areas of the screen.
OLED television technology fixes this with its ability to turn on and off each individual pixel. When only the pixels that need to be black can turn off, there’s no need to have a light behind them. This is also the key to OLED’s “infinite contrast.”
Where black pixels in ULEDs still have light behind them, black pixels on OLED are simply turned off, creating a true black on the screen. These true blacks, combined with truly bright whites, result in a color range that no other television can reach.
The downside to having each pixel light up, however, is that they can only produce so much illumination. While OLEDs offer some of the most vibrant colors on the market, they don’t get nearly as bright as ULEDs. So unless you’re watching television in a dark room, these advanced devices might not be ideal.
- 8 million self-lit OLED pixels deliver deep blacks and bright colors
- Alpha 9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K automatically adjusts your content to 4K
- Supports Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos
- Game Optimizer mode with NVIDIA G-SYNC, FreeSync Premium, and VRR
As mentioned above, Hisense uses the ULED abbreviation as a marketing tactic to sell its LED/LCD televisions. As such, this is the only company that manufactures them. However, you can still find high-quality LED televisions with similar features from other companies.
On the other hand, OLEDs are not exclusive to one company. Where they’re limited, however, is in their technology. Because the concept is difficult to implement (and thus, highly expensive), most television manufacturers have opted to focus on traditional styles. This leaves LG as the primary developer of OLED screens.
Size and Price
Depending on your needs, you can find ULED televisions on Hisense’s website, ranging from 50 to 75 inches. They come in three different series, which determine the number of local dimming zones. For the basic model ULED, you can expect to spend less than $400. This ranges up to $1,800, which includes over 500 local dimming zones and quantum dot technology.
The price and size are where OLEDs still need improvement. Due to their advanced tech and limited manufacturing, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one of these televisions for less than $1,000.
That’s for a standard 55-inch screen, which is about as large as they get for the time being. Anything bigger will easily cost $2,000 to $3,000 or more. For example, Sony’s 65-inch OLED runs for $3,999.99 (but you can find it now for 25% off the regular price).
ULED vs. OLED: 5 Must-Know Facts
- ULEDs aren’t revolutionary; instead, the abbreviation is a marketing tactic that Hisense uses to sell its televisions.
- ULEDs use similar technology as typical LED/LCDs, but with updated local dimming zones and motion smoothing.
- OLEDs have individual pixels that illuminate to reduce light blooms and increase color contrast.
- ULED televisions are much brighter than OLEDs and have twice the lifespan.
- OLED technology is still being developed, which correlates with their incredibly high price.
ULED vs. OLED: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?
When you have to decide between ULED vs OLED for your next television, you won’t go wrong with either one. Although the abbreviation is simply a marketing tactic that Hisense uses to make its products stand out, ULEDs still make fantastic screens.
These devices are some of the brightest and most vibrant on the market, and you can buy them without actually breaking your budget. However, ULEDs simply can’t touch OLED in terms of color contrast.
With each individual pixel having its own illumination, you get crispness that you won’t find anywhere else. And without the backlight, these television are the lightest on the market. You’ll just have to prepare for investment, as these devices are still in the development stage. As LG perfects them, we can expect the price to start dropping to a comparable number.
ULED vs. OLED: Further Reading
If you’re having a tough time deciding between ULED and OLED, that’s okay; both televisions feature the latest in display technology and you won’t go wrong with either one. For more of the most advanced gadgets to consider buying this holiday season, check out the articles below.
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