What’s the Difference between an LCD, OLED and QLED TV?

The acronyms are coming!

We’re past the days of plasma versus LCD screens, but now there are new battles brewing. Today’s TVs come in three main varieties: LED, OLED, and QLED. These come in at dramatically different price points, and offer very different picture qualities. Here’s what that all means, and how to decide between them.

Deepest Blacks

With a special processor, this unit can upscale pictures to a higher resolution on the fly. LG

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OLED is typically the most expensive, fanciest display panel you can get these days. It stands for “organic light-emitting diode,” but what you really need to know is that OLED is a totally different type of technology from either LED or QLED. The biggest benefit with OLED is in its deep, perfect blacks (rather than the dark grey other TVs show) and the high level of contrast in its colors. You’ll notice a difference with OLED; everything is just way more vibrant. It’s ideal for gaming, sports or for anyone who just wants the best.

All-in-One Functionality

There’s no need to buy another streaming box to pair with this one, since the software is already built in. TCL

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Regular LED TVs are sort of the base model of televisions. They work by shining an LED backlight through an array of pixels. There’s nothing inherently wrong with LED LCD screens, as they’re sometimes called; they come in a wide variety of sizes, from all brands, and can span the price and quality spectrum. If you’re on a budget, this is probably where you’ll find yourself.

Multiple Sizes Available

This set has an “ambient mode,” which turns your television into a frame for high-resolution digital art. Samsung Electronics

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QLED—the “q” stands for “quantum”—is specifically a Samsung product, though other makers have adopted it. It’s quite similar to LED, though it adds a new layer in between the pixels and the LED light. One benefit to QLED is that it’s available in more sizes than OLED; another is that it’s typically brighter.