- Author Kashfia Kabir
- Published April 9, 2014
How to buy an OLED TV
Few new TV technologies have been as exciting as OLED – but where do you start when if you want to buy one? By reading this, of course…
So you’ve decided to buy an OLED TV. It’s the latest display technology in the TV industry and promises to surpass the picture quality of LED and plasma screens combined. Of course you’re tempted…
It’s the pixels that make OLED displays so special. They create their own light and colour – which means OLEDs can display incredibly inky deep blacks (deeper than plasma) alongside brighter, more detailed colours and strong contrast. And with no need for backlighting like on LED screens, there’s no danger of any light bleeding into unwanted areas. OLED screens can be super-slim and bendy, too. Sounds like the best of both worlds, right?
But before you rush out and buy the first shiny OLED TV that you set your eyes on, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
Bigger is almost always better
First things first: what screen size are you after? You might start off tentatively small, but remember: OLED screens are hyper-slim and have even thinner bezels, meaning you might find that a 50in screen may not seem as decadently huge as it once did.
A bigger screen will require a longer viewing distance from your sofa, too – you’ll need to sit around 2m away from a 50in TV, for example. But you might not need to be that strict, because…
Curved screens bring the action closer
Thanks to super-thin and flexible panels, curved screens are all the rage when it comes to OLED TVs. This isn’t just a gimmick: the gentle curve creates a wraparound effect much like an IMAX screen, which offers a tantalisingly immersive experience.
And unlike flat screens, a curved screen places everything on the screen the same distance from the viewer – which means you can sit closer to an OLED set and enjoy the brightest, most vivid and most detailed picture from all angles.
With stronger contrast comes better viewing angles. OLED’s curved screens further benefit from the panel’s ability to display deep blacks alongside bright colours, which stay strong and vivid even when viewed from the side. The self-lighting pixels offer more detailed and richer colour reproduction as well, so you can sit as off-axis as you want without the blacks or colours ever fading away.
How to tweak dazzling demo displays
Ever wondered why the TVs on display in stores look so eye-catching? That’s because they’re tuned to their brightest, most dynamic setting to attract customers.
Once you pick a TV to demo, don’t be afraid to tweak the settings to get the most natural and realistic-looking picture. Start with setting the picture mode to standard, turn off any motion processing or picture enhancing settings, and then play around with the brightness, contrast and colour levels until you find the right balance. Look to blue skies and skin tones to gauge how natural a screen looks.
Also, use a live-action film or TV show rather than a CGI-heavy or animated clip when adjusting the picture. OLED screens don’t have any backlight adjustment, but they might have black level enhancers – be wary of setting this too high as it might compromise subtle detail.
The connections on a TV are as important as the picture quality. Check your new TV has the essentials before buying: HDMI inputs to connect your sources; a Freeview HD tuner for standard and Full HD broadcast channels; and an Ethernet port (or built-in Wi-Fi) for connecting to your home network.
Other things to look out for are multiple USB ports for playing media files and recording programmes to an external hard drive. If you have a satellite dish, see if a satellite tuner is included. Also, a digital optical output comes in handy if you’re using a soundbar to boost the TV’s sound.
Smart TV features
For any avid TV and movie fan, catch-up TV and streaming services are a must. Have a Netflix or Amazon Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm) account? Need BBC iPlayer to catch up with all episodes of MasterChef? OLED TVs aren’t just technologically advanced when it comes to picture performance; they’re smart, too. Have a flick through the TV’s smart features to make sure it has all the media services and content you need.
The LG 55EA980W – the world’s first curved OLED television – is on-sale now and available to buy from Currys/PC World, John Lewis, Harrods, Richer Sounds and other leading stockists. For more information, please visit www.lg.com/uk/oled-tvs.