New year, new tech. QD-OLED TVs are having a moment in 2023. Here’s a complete guide to QD-OLED TVs: what they are, how they’re different and whether they’re worth it.
Luke Hopewell is a gadget veteran of over 10 years. He’s reviewed over 100 TVs in his time, and been to the magic factory where they’re all made. He’s lost more remotes than he’s found, and if you ask him nicely, he’ll tell you how tech companies get tech writers to review TVs… Got a question for the author? Send me an email!
What does QD-OLED mean?
The QD in QD-OLED stands for Quantum Dot. OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It’s a TV technology that is both vibrant and rich in contrast.
QD-OLED is basically the combination of two great TV technologies. You get the vibrance of Quantum Dot technology with the energy efficiency and black performance of OLED.
What is Quantum Dot or QLED TV?
Quantum Dot is a layer that’s inserted into a TV that’s designed to improve its colour accuracy and performance.
In traditional displays, such as LCDs, the colours are produced using a colour filter that absorbs certain wavelengths of light and reflects others.
This can result in some loss of colour accuracy and intensity, as well as reduced efficiency.
Quantum dot technology, on the other hand, produces colours directly without the need for a colour filter. This allows the display to produce a much wider range of colours (known as the colour gamut) with greater accuracy and intensity.
This can significantly improve the overall viewing experience, as the colours on the display will be more true to life and more vibrant.
In addition to improving colour accuracy and intensity, quantum dot technology can also improve the energy efficiency of a display.
Because the quantum dots are able to produce light directly, they can significantly reduce the amount of power needed to produce the same level of brightness as a traditional display.
This can help to reduce the overall energy consumption of the display, which can be especially beneficial for large-screen TVs that are used for long periods of time.
Because QLED panels are also cheaper to manufacture, you can get a great deal on an awesome TV.
Is QLED any good?
The QLED TVs I have reviewed and gone eyes-on with over the years have definitely been more impressive than traditional LED TVs.
Since its popularisation by Samsung years ago, QLED has come a long way.
However, traditional QLED models still produce an image that is backlit. This means that some ‘halo’ effects can be present.
This includes a grey-ish ring around the edge of the screen and brighter areas around characters or ongoing action as the lights look to illuminate the subject.
That’s why I typically prefer OLED.
What is OLED? How is OLED different to QLED?
The main difference between OLED and QLED TVs is the way they produce light.
OLED TVs use organic materials that emit light when a current is applied to them.
And as we know, QLED TVs use quantum dots in combination with a backlight to produce light.
Each pixel in an OLED display is made up of a layer of organic material sandwiched between two electrodes.
When a current is applied to the electrodes, it causes the organic material to emit light.
Because each pixel is self-illuminating, OLED TVs are able to produce deep blacks and high contrast ratios, as well as wide viewing angles.
From the TVs I have reviewed, that’s why I prefer OLED. The blacks are deeper, the colours are more vibrant and there’s no annoying ‘halo’ effect getting in the way.
QD-OLED jams the two technologies together to get a great result. It’s a super exciting development for 2023.
How is QD-OLED different to OLED?
Previously, OLED and Quantum Dot technology had been oceans apart. Until now.
Quantum Dots were employed to give traditional LED TVs a leg-up against the OLED competition. It was meant to take the fight to OLED without the hefty price tag.
Now, Quantum Dots have been combined into OLED devices for an incredible experience.
QD-OLEDs still produce the deep blacks that OLED is known for, but now you get no halo effect, and the peak brightness of the panels are higher. On top of all that, the colours are more vivid than ever.
QD-OLED is the new apex TV.
Who makes QD-OLEDs right now?
In 2023, we should see more brands start to make their first QD-OLED displays.
Are QD-OLED TVs worth it?
Here’s the catch.
Very few brands currently make QD-OLEDs. The ones that do are selling them for a huge price tag.
It’s always great to have the latest and shiniest tech. But unless you absolutely must have the
In my experience, after reviewing TVs for over a decade, you’d struggle to get an objectively bad TV for your money from the big brands these days.
Whether it’s QLED, OLED or QNED, you’re going to get a pretty stunning panel.
QD-OLED is exciting, but like we saw with OLED when it was first introduced, the price tag is up there.
But as with all things home entertainment, I’ve noticed that prices fall precipitously year-on-year. If QD-OLED is on your wish list, it might be smart to wait a year or two.
If you’re looking for a new TV, read our complete guide on how to pick the best TV for your space.
Luke Hopewell is the editor and co-founder of Redaktör. He's previously been the Editor of Gizmodo, Founding Editor of Business Insider Australia, Editorial Lead for Twitter Australia and more.