OLED – LCD or Plasma?

Sound and Vision magazine have run a nice comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of OLED, LCD and Plasma screens. With all 3 types of screen being an option it does make you wonder which you want to purchase with your hard earned cash. CES which has just passed a few weeks ago had a lot of TV’s on display which tends to make the choice even more overwhelming.

OLED (organic light emitting diode) is fairly new to the TV scene. The most noticeable feature with OLED’s is the contrast. This is due to OLED being a self-emitting display technology which requires no back light. Each OLED pixel can be switched on as needed because the tiny cells respond instantly. Also OLED screens happen to be wafer thin too which is an added bonus as well as having a wide viewing angle like the plasma screens. Mix this with HDTV resolutions and the large screen and you are on to a winner. On the downside, screens are not that big yet and the prices are quite high. But with the screens only really appearing over the last year there is no doubt that prices will go down while screen sizes increase.

Plasma screens are next on the list and use an array of tiny cells with ionized gas (plasma). This gas activated each cell’s phosphor which in turn, creates the picture. However, one problem they have is that the blacks do not always appear black due to idle brightness. However, the picture quality is excellent and the screen is able to keep a consistent brightness from corner to corner which LCD’s struggle to do. However, the TV’s can be power hungry and quite heavy too and suffer from image burn in. For the money they are an excellent option.

LCD screens use a matrix of thin-film transistors which apply voltage to liquid crystal filled cells. When electricity hits the cells they untwist allowing light through to create the picture. Each of the pixels has a red, green and blue cell. Picture quality is also good and new advances in technology allow the back light to dim locally creating blacker blacks. However, it still lags behind OLED and Plasma in the contrast area, and also the viewing angle is a lot more narrower. With a nice chunk of cash being invested in LCD’s the prices should drop down while the technology increases. I think LCD has a good future ahead.

In conclusion I am looking forwards to the advancement of the OLED screen due to it’s thin size and high contrast.

Via: SoundandVisionMag


  1. I’m a LCD-er at the moment but I might find I’m tempted to convert to a OLED – once the price comes down a little and the screen gets bigger. *wants it all!*

  2. What is the life time for the OLED display?
    i believe it’s shorter than Plasma & LCD

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