OLED v Q-LED v NanoCell 8K TV; which is better?
By Adrian Back 11.07.2019
Let’s get techy, and take a look at the technology behind 8K TV. Which one should you invest in? Find out here.
With advances in technology coming thick and fast, it can be hard to keep up, especially when it comes to the TV industry. Despite people only just beginning to get their heads around the idea of 4K TVs, it seems the 8K revolution has already arrived.
This year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and at IFA Berlin, 8K TVs dominated the show floors and made headlines around the world. The reality of having one of these incredible televisions in your living room appears to be upon us.
There is no doubt that 8K TVs will change the way that content is consumed, much in the way that 4K was a huge technological leap. First introduced to the world in 2013, it took five years until the benefits of 4K televisions were fully realised and sales began to spike.
While it will likely take some time for 8K TVs to become a regular feature in homes around the world as well, there has been an undeniable impact with the first models. The numbers are staggering, with the 7,680 by 4,320 pixels that make up 8K resulting in images that are composed of 33 million pixels. Even up close, the detail is remarkable. So how exactly does an 8K TV work? And which one should you be buying if you can’t wait to get your hands on the latest technology? Find out below.
OLED v Q-LED – understanding the difference
It can be all too easy to become lost in the lexicon of TV acronyms, but thankfully there is a straightforward way to understand the difference between OLED and Q-LED technology. And even better, you don’t have to be a technology buff to grasp the distinctions.
First of all, here is the what the initials actually stand for – Q-LED stands for Quantum Light Emitting Diode, while OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. That one letter and one-word difference may appear subtle but it is actually huge in terms of what each form of technology is capable of.
OLED has no back light and can therefore create perfect blacks and incredible contrast. But it can also be clearly viewed from any angle, housed in the thinnest TVs imaginable and even used in a curved television.
Alternatively, a Q-LED 8K TV uses LCD technology with a quantum dot film over the top. Rather than being a new form of technology, it is simply an extension of LCD.
OLED leading the way
While 8K TVs are some way from becoming truly mainstream, there are some products already on the market. However, many of these currently employ LCD, which has been commonplace for so many years.
LCD TVs that use quantum dot film, like Samsung Q-LED TVs, still employ a backlight. This means that the screens can not be as thin as OLED TVs, which have become the dominant technology in the premium marketplace.
This is largely attributed to the self-emissive diodes used in OLED. They emit their own light rather than requiring a backlight, leading to incredibly crisp colours. They also switch off completely when not needed, creating a truer black and a rich contrast, as well as incredibly quick refresh rates ideal for movies and gaming.
LG has announced the release of its first OLED 8K TV, which will offer the very highest picture quality. This means that 33 million pixels will have incredibly deep blacks and realistic colours, and will be housed in a display that measures just millimeters in depth.
When it comes to introducing new technology there is a need to ensure that every aspect has been carefully considered. LG’s foray into OLED took years of research and development to get to where it is today – which is at the forefront of the OLED movement.
LG not only provides Sony, Panasonic and Loewe with OLED panels but also creates its own ground-breaking OLED TVs – such as its range of 4K televisions and the incredible LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W9 which is less than 6mm in thickness and weighs just 12kg.
These outstanding breakthroughs have taken years to develop and have only been released to the public once thorough testing has taken place. After all, you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression.
NanoCell 8K TV: Your LCD option
LG’s NanoCell TV range will also include the release of an 8K TV, and it’s no wonder – this NanoCell technology was aptly designed for such precise picture quality. Rather than using a colour sheet over LCD, which Q-LED technology currently does, NanoCell TVs use approximately 1nm sized nanoparticles integrated into the panel. These nanoparticles filter dull colours and enhance colour purity, creating a stunning picture.
This is hugely important when it comes to 8K technology, because each sub-pixel will be able to individually adjust to the brightness of the image. Meanwhile, a Q-LED 8K TV will only be able to turn off bundles of sub-pixels to represent an average brightness, creating grid patterns on your TV like those below.
Don’t forget 4K – it’s still a great option!
It may have taken a few years, but there is now a well established 4K pipeline of content. A number of films and television shows being shot in 4K has risen, while TV companies and video streaming services are broadcasting at this resolution.
With high-quality content being produced by those in the film and television industry, the best way to experience them is through the range of LG’s 4K OLED TVs. These ensure that you view the movie or show as the director intended, whether it involves thrilling action sequences or chilling scenes in dark hues.
The technology within LG OLED TVs not only produce higher frame rates for 4K video and more precise backlighting control, but the variable refresh rates are ideal for gaming and may even give you the edge when it comes to a competitive game of Fortnite.
The 8K revolution is coming
There is no question that in the years to come, 8K content will become the norm. Already there are plans in Asia for TV broadcasters to launch 8K networks, with China and South Korea hoping to have them in place for 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.
Some film production companies have also planned ahead, with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 shot in 8K. This goes to show that companies are already planning for the future and within the next three years there will be a great deal of 8K content for everyone to enjoy.
But to truly appreciate a format that is four times the resolution of 4K, it is worth waiting to purchase the right 8K TV. LG 8K OLED TVs are available from July in Korea, with more markets to follow this year, so the wait won’t be too long.