Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by Markeyus Franks
The world of television is ever-changing, and with each consecutive year, we see newer and finer variants of displays entering the market. The latest technology that has taken the TV market’s interest is the OLED TV. OLED stands for organic light emitting diode, and can produce crisp images with deep colors. OLED TVs have numerous benefits like a wide viewing angle and good contrast, but this comes at a much higher cost, and a shorter lifespan too!
Even though OLED TVs are arguably better in performance, countless non-OLED technologies can deliver an exceptional viewing experience. Technologies such as LCD, LED, QLED and Mini-LED have been around for years, and have proven to be durable and efficient. If you have a huge budget and want nothing less than the best technology then you can go the OLED route. But if you want to save some money, and can settle for second best, keep reading the article and find out about all the options you have! In this article we will discuss and review the best non OLED TVs currently on the market.
Different Types of TVs
Manufacturers use different types of technologies to produce digital images. Each display, based on how recent the technology is and how difficult it is to produce has a different price range. But you do not necessarily have to spend top-dollar to have a good TV experience. Below are the different display technologies that TVs offer, ranging from the oldest to the newest technology;
LCD boomed in popularity as soon as it was released. Before the flat-screened and sleek LED designs were introduced, bulky and inefficient CRT TVs were the main offering. The LCD technology provided a much more vibrant and crisp display, consuming significantly less power. The LCD operates by passing electricity through a layer of liquid crystals. The crystals change direction based on the electrical signal, changing the color of light passing through them. Compared to an OLED display, an LCD is thicker and heavier and also has a narrower viewing angle. But at the same time, there is a huge difference in the overall price, making the LCD worth considering.
LED is the most common display technology today. LED displays also use liquid crystals to produce different colors on the display, but unlike LCDs, the backlight panel consist of LED units that can be turned off individually. This allows the LED display to produce deeper blacks and an overall larger spectrum of colors. Even though the backlight panel is different, the viewing angle is still narrow, and the local dimming feature of the LEDs has caused a new problem. LEDs can cause artifacts and haloing in the display, which is permanent damage.
As the name suggests, mini-LED panels have essentially the same technology as LED TVs. The difference in the mini-LED panels is that they use an overall smaller size of LEDs. Smaller LEDs allow much more precise control over the backlight and overall pixel-per-inch ratio of the display. This allows for better contrast, and much better resolution compared to traditional LED displays. Mini-LED displays are also relatively new in the market and are a bit on the pricey side. But considering the price point, they are some of the best displays offered in TVs, smartphones and computer monitors today.
QLED is the first technology to use a new way to change the color of light. Instead of turning crystals, the QLED uses a layer of very fine quantum dots between the display and the backlight these dots can convert blue light into any color needed for the display. The quantum dots allow the QLED display to produce a much larger color spectrum than previous technologies. These displays are still affordable compared to the OLED and offer a much wider viewing angle and contrast ratio compared to the LCD, LED and mini-LED.
The OLED technology is becoming increasingly popular with time. Unlike any previous technology, the OLED emits light through each pixel and does not require a separate backlight panel. The OLED technology is known to have the deepest colors and highest contrast of all the technologies till now. The main drawback of OLED lies in its durability. As the technology is fairly new, there is still more work needed in the longevity and ruggedness of the technology. Given all these factors, it is also the most expensive display technology in the market today.
OLED vs. QLED – Advantages and Disadvantages
OLED panels, as discussed above are the latest development in display technology for phones, TVs and monitors. Unlike all previous displays, the OLED does not require a separate backlight panel, and this serves numerous benefits. The first is that OLED display panels are significantly lighter than other display technologies, and as each pixel can be turned off independently, it can produce perfect blacks. OLEDs offer the widest viewing angle of any display technology and usually have very high refresh rates too. This fast response is great for video gaming and watching intense action movies.
But as briefly discussed above, the OLED technology has significant drawbacks too, the biggest being the steep price range. OLEDs are more difficult to produce than any other display type, making OLED TVs the most expensive option. The second issue is the lifespan. Despite the exorbitant pricing, OLED displays are the least durable and most prone to damage. The third biggest problem with OLEDs is burn-ins. If left displaying the same image for a long time, OLEDs can burn in the image, and become discolored. You will see a shadow of the displayed image permanently embossed in the display, especially in bright whites.
QLED displays are amongst the most vibrant and popular display technologies in TVs today. QLED stands for quantum dot light emitting diode. As discussed above, quantum dots are tiny particles that can convert blue light into other lights in the visible spectrum. This technology offers a more diverse range of colors compared to traditional LED TVs that use liquid crystal. QLEDs offer a very bright display that is perfect for highly-lit rooms. The color accuracy and depth in the QLED are impressive, making it a good option for casual TV watching. Furthermore, QLED displays have a wide viewing angle only second to the OLED display.
The QLED display is cheaper than an OLED display, that is because it falls behind on the display quality offered by OLEDs. The QLED panel also requires backlights, making it impossible to display perfect blacks. The backlit display also affects the contrast of the picture, giving it a lower contrast range than the OLED. The QLED is the perfect middle ground for display quality and price as it is better than traditional LED TVs and is cheaper than an OLED display.
How Has Mini-LED Gained So Much Popularity?
The mini-LED panel is very similar to a traditional LED display, but because of the size of LEDs used in the backlight, mini-LED TVs have a much more vibrant overall display, and plenty of advantages over typical LED TVs. Below are some of the reasons why Mini-LED TVs are becoming more popular by the day;
Better Display Quality
As the panel consists of more LED units per inch in the backlight, the mini-LED panel offers a better brightness and contrast ratio than traditional LED displays. The mini-LEDs offer better control over the image accuracy and simultaneously reduce the thickness of the display panel.
The thinner panel is better in quality, lighter and easier to fit in tighter spaces. This allows manufacturers to design sleeker and better-looking TVs, and allow the displays to be used in hand-held and other mobile devices.
LED units can deteriorate over time if run extensively. The heat produced by each unit contributes to its deterioration, so with mini-LEDs, the total heat produced by each unit will be reduced as well. This results in a longer lifespan of the display, as degradation due to heat is reduced greatly.
Mini-LED TVs are already cheaper than OLED displays and offer decent picture quality as well. They are already much better value for money compared to OLEDs, but they are getting more affordable with time. With each development in display technology, TVs are becoming cheaper and easier to manufacture, and older technologies are getting more affordable. As the mini-LED panels are getting cheaper by the day, they are getting more and more popular.
How to Choose the Right TV?
Be it the best OLED or best non OLED TV, every set will have a set of features and performance parameters that may differ from other options in your price range. Choosing the right TV can boil down to several factors, and here are the ones you should consider;
The screen size of your TV set will be decided by two main factors. The first is the size of your room, and the second is how far you plan to sit from the TV. If you plan to sit close, then you will be okay with a smaller TV, but if the viewing distance is large, then you might need to get a larger display.
Display resolution determines how crisp and sharp the image on your display appears. A higher resolution means there will be more pixels per inch, improving the overall display quality. Older TV sets came with 720 or 1080p HD resolution, but most newer TVs come with 4k and 8k resolution. The higher the resolution the costlier the TV will be.
While a higher refresh rate is one of the most recent offerings in TVs, having a better refresh rate can greatly improve your viewing experience. The refresh rate determines the number of times the picture on your TV will be refreshed/changed per second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your videos will feel. Older TVs came with a 30Hz refresh rate, but newer models come with 60 or 120Hz, and the difference is noticeable.
HDR stands for high dynamic range, and TVs that support HDR have a much better contrast range and color depth. Watching movies or shows on a TV with HDR will give you much brighter images and more vibrant colors.
Smart TVs have been around for several years, and while they were expensive in the beginning, they have become very affordable in recent years. Smart TVs can connect to the internet and give you access to countless streaming applications, enhancing your TV experience way beyond cable TV and stored content. If you want these features, then you should consider getting a Smart TV instead of a regular one.
Brand and After-Sale Services
If you are focused primarily on the viewing experience then these will play a vital role. Try to get a TV that is from a reputed brand instead of an ill-reputed brand even if it is higher in cost. A good brand will have better-designed hardware, and even if it has a problem, the after-sale service will be more effective. You may get better warranty coverage and better solutions to your problems.
Best-Non OLED TVs
You can easily get confused with the countless TV options when you go to buy a TV. So, to save you the trouble of sifting through racks and analyzing the features of several TVs, here are some of the best non-LED TVs you can buy today;
Samsung QLED TV QN90B
The QN90B is one of Samsung’s premium TV offerings, it gives you a 4k display, 144Hz refresh rate and Quantum dots over a mini-LED technology, providing superb picture quality. It comes with Samsung’s Neo Quantum processor and is offered in sizes ranging from 43 to 85 inches. It comes with the Tizen OS offering numerous apps and games. You can even control smart home devices and receive video calls with a compatible webcam. It is a great all-rounder, and performs great whether you are watching a movie or playing games.
Hisense U8K (Mini LED)
The Hisense U8k is rated as one of the most colourful TVs in its price range. Even in a room full of bright lights, the colors of the Hisense U8k do not lose their saturation. This TV has a local dimming feature that allows users to have deep blacks without affecting the overall brightness of the screen. While there is very slight input lag, the TV is still amongst the best. It is perfect for movie watching, but gamers should consider other TVs as well.
TCL R655 Mini LED TV
The TCL Roku 6 Series is a great mid-range TV for medium and large-sized rooms. It deals effectively with excessive light in rooms and easily overcomes glare, making it a great option for daytime viewing. It is also great for watching movies in the dark with its local dimming and exceptional contrast ratio. It has a low input lag and quick response rate making it one of the best options for gaming. Coupled with variable refresh rate options, the TV easily earns its place in the best ones you can buy.
Just like the first one on the list, the Sony Bravia X95k is an all-rounder; perfect for bright and dark rooms, and good with gaming consoles. The TV has one of the best local dimming offered in non-OLED TVs, and despite its high brightness, there is minimal blooming. The HDR content streaming is exceptionally vibrant and accurate. It offers the latest HDMI 2.1, variable refresh rate and exceptional reflection handling. This makes the Sony Bravia X95k one of the best options for you.
LG QNED Mini LED
The LG QNED works great in most viewing environments, allowing users to enjoy sports, movies and TV shows despite the brightest or darkest room. The LG QNED mini-LED TV performs great while gaming as it has minimal input lag and a very wide viewing angle. It can handle low and high-res content with ease, and it is the perfect TV for a movie-watching or gaming party.
TV technology is changing and evolving everyday and we are lucky to be living in such a world where technology knows no boundaries. Whether it’s LCDs, LED, Qled, or OLED TV, we should take a second to sit back and really admire the dramatic changes over the last 20 years. Television sets have come a long way and are still dropping jaws yearly with increased features and picture quality. It’s safe to say that OLED TVs are leading the pack in as far as features and picture quality go, but there are some drawbacks to this incredible technology. As stated before, many OLED TVs are too expensive and are not as bright as non OLED TVs. Hopefully this article will help give you a better understanding of the different type of TVs currently available and help you purchase the right non OLED TV so you can get back to watching your favorite shows.