What is the difference between a standard LED Vs OLED?

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I see everyone talk about OLED like it’s the best thing ever and it’s been a thing for years yet it’s not a standard in the industry. Like for example an original PS Vita had a OLED screen then they removed it for the 2nd version of the PS Vita.

Even the Nintendo Switch which came out years after the PS Vita didn’t have an OLED and just a few years ago now it does.

Why isn’t it the standard if it’s so good?

In: Engineering

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because it costs more money to have self-emissive displays than to have a backlit display on a device.

You may be willing to pay for the better screen, but that doesn’t mean that Mom and Dad want to do so for their children.

Anonymous 0 Comments

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diodes.

It’s different from standard LED panels in that standard LED panels have an array of white lights and then a film over it where the film can only let certain lights through to create color. So if it blocks red and blue, only green light comes through. But it can’t block light completely, so if you have say a single pixel white star on what is supposed to be black space background, the area around the star will be a little gray because the LED for that section is turned on. They can change the color but they can’t completely change the amount of light in a given area.

OLED has very flat LEDs that control the color as well as the light for each individual pixel. So that white star can have a perfect black next to it. It’s also better in the sense it’s more energy efficient especially when most of the screen is black because you don’t have to light up a whole section, only the specific areas you want lit up.

As to why OLED isn’t the standard, it comes down to two reasons. Cost and reliability.

Cost is pretty straightforward. OLED screens are more expensive than standard LED backlit screens.

In terms of reliability. There are actually two different types of OLED one that only works for small screens like your phone or a Nintendo switch and one that works for bigger screens like TVs. The type that works for bigger screens suffers from something called burn in, which is basically when an image stays on a screen too long it leaves a little bit of that image burned onto the screen for a while, if it’s there too long this can even become permanent. For this reason standard led backlit screens are often better for things where images can be left on the screen a long time and can also be better for gaming because there is less ghosting.

Anonymous 0 Comments

LED tech is lit by light behind the pixels, usually in zones. The small number of light patches behind the screen light it as necessary. They’re cheap to make, sturdy, and can generate effective images while being easy to scale at different resolutions.

OLED can get higher brightness and contrast because of individual pixel illumination, as a light in each pixel is turned on or off to various degrees. This can create higher contrast images with more brightness, and with less energy use, but it’s much more expensive and with many, many more points of failure. It’s the standard for phones already.

Price and inconsistency are the main issues. If you’re looking for a 4k display, a 200 led that’ll last ten years vs a 2000 OLED that’ll last 2 is a no brainer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

LED works by having an LED backlight that illuminates the pixels. Real cheap/old sets only have 1 backlight, so the brightness accuracy is terrible. Better/newer LED tvs have “zones” so more precise control.

OLED has basically has an individual light for each pixel.

mLED is aiming to be the same thing as OLED in that regard (singular LED per pixel), but current LED tech isn’t small enough for this unless you want only a 720p 65” tv.

The benefit of mLED over OLED is greater brightness (which also yields wider color gamuts for HDR).

Anonymous 0 Comments

The light source for LED is a backlight the size of the whole display (we’ll ignore dimming zones for this explanation). Each pixel is like a little door. The pixel is “on” when the door is open, letting light through, and “off” when the door is closed. But if you’ve ever stayed in a dark room with the door closed but hallway lights on, you’d noticed that there’s a little bit of light leaking through the edges of the door. Same thing here, so even when the pixels are off, they’re never truly dark.

In an OLED, each pixel is its own light source, like a tiny little light bulb. So when it’s off, it’s completely dark. So OLED has superior “black levels” and contrast. But millions of tiny little light bulbs are more expensive to make than one giant light bulb with millions of little tiny doors.

Anonymous 0 Comments

LCD is the type of screen where each pixel is a trio of filters (red, green, blue) in front of a white backlight. The filters allow just the desired colors to shine through at exactly the right intensity. The backlight can be fluorescent or LED. So when you haven “LED” TV or monitor, they’re saying it’s an LCD screen with an LED backlight.

OLED is a newer type of screen with no backlight. Each pixel’s red, green, and blue component is a separate LED which emits that color of light itself, instead of filtering white light coming in from behind it.

As for why it’s not “the standard”, OLED is newer, more costly, and less mature technology. LCD with fluorescent or LED backlight has had a long head-start to become cheap and reliable. OLED is catching up, but it will take time.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve played a basic switch and an OLED switch. The OLED is brighter and crisper, the blacks are deeper. It’s a very noticeable difference. Certain parts of my games POPPED where they didn’t use to. The original LED is perfectly serviceable, but it would be hard for me to go back.

It’s more expensive of course, but you get what you pay for.

Anonymous 0 Comments

LED has little lights behind a screen. There’s some number of lights from something like 12 up to several thousand depending on the type/model of TV.

With LED screens, the screen which creates the image is a layer in front of the lights. It has millions of tiny crystals which twist when voltage is applied to them, which changes how much light they let through. This is how the image is made – each pixel is made of a red, a green and a blue “sub-pixel”, and those sub-pixels have the crystals twisted by different amounts which each allows a different amount of light through, which determines the colour and brightness you see.

With LED screens, it’s important to note that the crystals can’t *completely* block light, so if you have a “black” screen, some light is still getting through. Some models of screen have “local dimming” or “array dimming” or they might call it something else, where they can actually dim or turn off the LED light behind as well…. but depending on how many lights there are behind the screen, you can sometimes see this as a darker or brighter “block” rather than only affecting the pixels that really need it. It might be particularly noticeable where you have e.g. a mostly black screen with a few bright objects on it. The more LEDs and “dimming zones” a screen has, the better and less blocky the “local dimming” effect will be. Manufacturers are coming out with “mini-LED” and “micro-LED” TVs which have hundreds, up to millions of tiny LEDs to try to achieve similar or better performance than OLEDs.

OLEDs are a different technology. Each sub-pixel is actually it’s own little light. There’s no screen selectively blocking the light, between the bulb and your eyes, each sub pixel just varies its brightness directly. OLEDs can be completely off, so you get a “true” black, on the pixel level. This means you can get really great contrast on images, so things really “pop”. Supposedly they might not be able to get quite as bright at peak brightness as LED, and there are also some issues with image burn-in – where if the same images are displayed for a long time, an after-image “ghost” stays on the screen, perhaps permanently.