4K Vs. OLED – An Objective View of the Latest Display Technologies

View attachment 3508 Television buyers are lost in the jungle of technological acronyms woven around them by the industry – 4K, OLED, UHD, and the list goes on…
Consumer electronics manufacturers have been touting these technology buzzwords to their buyers for years now. Every year at the major technology trade shows and exhibitions, the consumers are served up with a smorgasbord of latest tech and gadgets.

Which Gadget? The Dilemma of Every Technology Enthusiast
The continuous advent of new technology and product innovation in consumer electronics is an exciting rollercoaster ride, but with the excitement comes the difficult task of judging which gadget offers the most bang for your buck.

Relevant and Accurate Information is a Consumer Right
Making decisions about what type of gadget is the best and fits the need is a confusing process for the buyer. He needs more information than just the long list of features presented to them by the manufacturers.
Some manufacturers do focus on guiding the consumers about new technologies and keeping them informed of developments in the industry. Such efforts help the buyer make a well-informed decision and encourages brand loyalty.

Understanding 4K Technology
The “resolution” of your display is the number of distinct pixels measured across each dimension. That’s why you see numbers such as 1024×768, 1920×1080p (1080p in HDTV). 4K describes the resolution of your television, projector, or any other display device. Think of it as an improved version of HDTV.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) defines 4K UHDTV as a device with a display capability of at least 8 million active pixels.
Your High Definition TV (HDTV) has the capability to display 2.07 megapixels per frame and a maximum resolution of 1920×1080p. 4K amps this up four times, so a 4K display will show you 4096x2160 pixels. This is often dubbed as Ultra HD (UHD) by manufacturers.

Understanding OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)
A departure from crystalline LCD and LED, OLED displays are the new kid on the block; this technology is significantly different from the traditional LCD, Plasma and HD devices. The display is made up of a thin film of organic compounds, which are sensitive to the flow of electrons and respond by lighting up. On each side of this film are electrodes which control the electronic flow.
The resulting devices are thinner and lighter, more energy-efficient, and provide immensely better viewing quality.

4K vs. OLED – A Detailed Look
OLEDs offer the following advantages:

1) Effective viewing angles
2) No motion delay
3) Improved brightness due to light emissive properties of the organic compounds
4) Pixel colors appear correctly – deeper blacks and brighter whites
5) This technology can be scaled up without loss of quality (we might see 9’ displays in the near future)
6) Energy efficient throughout their lives
7) Flexible devices; non-breakable

You might think that these advantages make OLED the holy grail of display technology, but a few of the cons can’t be ignored.

Useful Lifetime - The organic compounds producing the color blue have a shorter lifespan than the others, so over time the colors become unbalanced. 8 hours of viewing everyday means the display will last about 5 years.

Huge Manufacturing Costs - The costs should decrease over time, but currently, it is a significant investment. Many people opt for 4K displays.
OLED is the better visual technology by far, but when it comes to devices that are available to the market, it would be better to choose a 4K display until the price and longevity issues of the OLED are resolved by the manufacturers.

OLED displays will become cheaper in the future and large size displays will be commonly available, but for now, you might be better off opting for 4K UHDs.