What exactly does OLED display mean? And how is it different from LED displays? Is one better than the other?

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What exactly does OLED display mean? And how is it different from LED displays? Is one better than the other?

In: Technology
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The O stands for organic, which doesn’t mean much by itself. The main difference is that with OLED, it’s the tiny points that make up the picture all are like little lamps. So if the TV is displaying a picture, only the little lamps that are involved in showing something will be lit. The rest stays turned off and thereby properly black.

For (current) LED TVs the glowing points that you are seeing are like litte colourful windows and you need a bright light behind them to see them „glow“. The consequence is that on the one hand you can have very powerful lamps behind those coloured windows, which gives you a very bright picture, while on the other hand even the darkened windows will let through some light and they might look dark grey instead of completely black.

PS: this is how I would explain it to a five(!) year old. If you want buying advice and specs, I would try another sub…..not many 5 year olds to out buying OLED TVs.

OLED should^TM be a display in which each subpixel is a separate organic light emitting diode and nothing else, unlike LED displays which use light emitting diodes as a backlight for two layers of polarized liquid crystal and one or more fluorescent or phosphorescent layers which give subpixels their colours.

An OLED display can completely turn off each individual subpixel simply by cutting power giving infinite contrast ratio and lower power consumption when browsing reddit in night mode, LCD displays can at best cut power to zones of the backlight if everything in that zone is black and even then will often have some light leak from adjacent zones.

Edit: to really ELI5 it, OLED screens are a bunch of tiny lamps that make a picture, while LED backlit LCDs use shadows to make the picture.