Are OLED TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners)

OLED TVs are one of the newest technologies available in TVs today.

They claim to have better image quality, which many tech reviewers have certified as true.

But unfortunately, OLED TVs have a weakness called burn-in, which can cast doubts on their reliability.

So are OLED TVs reliable? 

Here’s What You Need to Know about the Reliability of OLED TVs.

LG, the manufacturer of OLED panels used in different brands, claims that OLED TVs can last up to 100,000 hours of use, or roughly 10 years. But OLED displays are also prone to burn-in.

Do OLED TVs Last As Long As Other Brands?

OLED TVs last as long as other brands, as long as you properly care for your TV. 

But, while OLED TVs provide one of the most vivid images available, they are still prone to burn-in, which users must be aware of.

What is Burn-in?

Burn-in, or image retention, refers to the permanent mark that is left on the screen when a static image or looped video sequence is left onscreen for an extended period.

But you don’t have to worry about burn-in if you regularly rotate content on-screen.

Burn-in can be an issue for OLED TVs used as displays in stores, exhibits, or as electronic billboards. Since the content is still, you can, unfortunately, expect permanent retention of images.

You also should be aware of this risk if you’re using your OLED for gaming, since many games have static interface displays.

Given the burn-in risks, manufacturers of OLED TVs have devised ways to reduce the risk, such as using Screen Shifting, or the movement of screens at intervals, and Logo Luminance, which lowers brightness when it detects static images.

Are OLED TVs Worth Buying?

If you don’t mind the risk of burn-in, then yes OLED TVs are worth buying.

While OLED displays are made by LG, other manufacturers source their OLED panels from LG.

That means you still get that LG quality in OLED TVs made by Vizio and Sony, among other makers.

And because OLED TVs are not exclusive to LG, you get more options to choose from. 

Do People Generally Have Problems With OLED TVs?

People don’t generally have problems with OLED TVs.

Because most consumers use their OLED TVs for watching videos, the risk of burn-in is low, hence the general satisfaction people get from these TVs.

What Are the Most Common Issues With OLED TVs?

The most common issue with OLED TVs is their risk of burn-in. 

While it is an issue, the risk of burn-in can be resolved easily just by rotating the kind of content displayed on the screen.

Manufacturers are also working on solutions that can address this by providing screen altering features to help you put variation in the content on screen when you leave the TV idle.

How Reliable Are The Cable Ports?

The reliability of the cable ports of these TVs depends on the manufacturers.

But for the most part, as long as you are careful when plugging and unplugging devices from the ports of your TV, you won’t have any problems.

How Many Years Should I Expect It To Last?

OLED TVs are expected to last up to 100,000 hours before any degradation begins to kick in.

That’s more than 10 years, if used continuously.

When degradation starts, you can expect the brightness to diminish. But as long as you provide enough care for your OLED TV, you can get more mileage out of it than 10 years.

How Long Is the Warranty On These?

The warranty depends on the manufacturer of the TV.

For instance, LG offers a two-year warranty for their TVs, while Vizio offers a one-year warranty for non-commercial use.

What’s the First Thing that Breaks in an OLED TV?

Unlike regular LED TVs, OLED TVs don’t have backlights, which are the first thing that breaks with LEDs.

While OLED TVs don’t have backlights, it’s the OLED panel that is the most sensitive component in the TV.

As it is, OLED panels are sensitive and hard to manufacture. Due to the fragility of OLED panels, they cost more to produce, hence, the heftier price tag.

But the image quality you get from OLED TVs is topnotch, which is why they are top-sellers in the higher-tier market.

Can You Use OLED TVs for Video Games?

You can use OLED TVs for gaming, but be cautious about how long you pause your game. 

Note that many games have splash and pause screens that are fixed. When you pause your game for a long period or play a game with a static interface for a long time, you may be putting your OLED TV at risk for burn-in.

If you plan to stay away from your game for a prolonged period, it will be better to save and exit the game.

If you would like more information, check out our article Are OLED TVs Good For Gaming? (Explained).

Are OLED TVs better than LED TVs?

OLED TVs have an edge over LED TVs when it comes to the quality of images it produces. 

  • Unlike LED TVs that have backlights illuminating the whole panel at all times, OLED TVs can turn off individual pixels to create deep blacks.
  • Bright colors are also more vivid on OLED TVs, and they have wider viewing angles.
  • You can probably get LED TVs with image quality close to OLEDs if you look on the higher end of the price spectrum.

LED TVs, meanwhile, are cheaper to produce.

  • Thus, they come out cheaper on the market, making them more accessible, price-wise.
  • You also get more size options with LED TVs, as they span from 19 to 88 inches, while OLED TVs are only available in 48, 55, 65, and 77-inch models.
  • LED TVs also don’t have that risk of burn-in, which is the weakest link of OLED TVs.

All things considered, OLED TVs are better when it comes to picture quality, while LED TVs are better when it comes to price and options available.

You can read more about LED TVs in our article How Long Do LED TVs Last? (Explained).

What Are the Best OLED TVs?

If you think OLED TVs are worth it, here are recommendations to consider.

LG CX

The LG CX is a favorite among technology blogs, given the quality of images it produces. It may not be the cheapest, but it is still more affordable than other OLED TVs.

  • Out of the box, the CX has a thought-out design that can match any living room aesthetic.
  • If you are into gaming, the CX features a fast response time and low input lag. It also supports Variable Refresh Rates to mitigate screen tearing in games. The CX also supports 4k and 120 Hz gaming.
  • While it does not get as bright as some would prefer, the CX has a high contrast ratio and an extensive color gamut, which comes in handy when watching HDR content.
  • The CX also handles reflections well, so it can combat excessive brightness. There’s also support for lower resolution and upscales them remarkably.
  • You also get the WebOS smart TV platform on the CX, which is easy to use and comes with a good range of apps.

Sony A8H

The Sony A8H is an OLED TV that shines.

  • First of all, the A8H has less stutter with low frame content, when compared to other OLED TVs. It also supports DTS and Dolby Digital audio.
  • The A8H has excellent black uniformity that removes any blooming surrounding bright objects on the screen. Color accuracy is already spot-on out of the box, so you won’t have to calibrate it after buying.
  • HDR is also excellent, even if it does not get as bright. This performance can be attributed to the extensive color gamut and perfect black levels.
  • For the gamers, the response time is fast, which gives you slick movement and topnotch gradient handling. But the A8H falls flat in its lack of Variable Response Rates.
  • As OLED TVs are prone to burn-in, the A8H features a Pixel Shift and Panel Refresh, which alters static images or content on the screen to prevent burn-in.
  • The A8H comes with the Android TV operating system, which has access to thousands of apps.

Vizio OLED

If you want an OLED TV at a more budget-friendly price, you can consider the Vizio OLED.

  • This TV is Vizio’s entry into the OLED display market and is one of the company’s top-tier products.
  • The Vizio OLED has good color accuracy and a wide color gamut. It performs well when it comes to video games, and works excellently in dim environments.
  • You can also expect top-notch reflection handling on the Vizio OLED. If you watch content with lower resolutions, this TV can upscale content without any problems.
  • On the downside, the Vizio OLED does not get as bright and cannot take away judder.
  • The Variable Refresh Rate is also buggy and needs a firmware update to fix.
  • As LG produces OLED panels, you can expect consistent picture quality across these models.

Five Ways to Care for your OLED TV

Knowing how to care for your OLED TV goes a long way. It means saving yourself from trips to the service center and saving money.

Here are a few tips that won’t cost much but can help extend the life of your OLED TV.

1. Refrain from displaying static images or looping videos

Keeping a static image or looping videos on an OLED screen for a long period of time can cause burn-in.

And given the cost of repairing OLED panels, it will be impractical to have it repaired, and you’ll be better off buying a new TV instead.

Be aware that OLED TVs are not the best TVs to use for exhibits or electronic billboards. Thus, if you need a TV for this purpose, do yourself a favor and avoid using an OLED TV.

2. Turn off the TV when not in use

This holds especially for OLED TVs.

  • First of all, there’s the risk of burn-in.
  • Second, you shouldn’t abuse the hundred thousand hour lifespan that manufacturers claim. It might be shorter if you keep it on for long stretches when not in use.
  • Third, other components degrade over time, especially parts that can heat up.

That is why you need to turn off your TV when not in use. You get to prolong the lifespan and save on electricity consumption.

3. Dust off the TV

Dust can damage the screen and clog the ventilation slots of your TV.

  • To clean your TV, dust off daily with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • You should not use cleaning agents with it, as it can damage the TV.

4. Lower the Brightness

Higher brightness does not mean better image quality.

It means more electricity used and in some cases faster degradation of the display panel.

You don’t need to keep the brightness too high. You should set it based on the lighting conditions of the room.

Remember that OLED TVs perform best in dimly-lit rooms. You should adjust your brightness to the right levels.

5. Keep the TV well-ventilated

TVs, whether OLED or LED, emit heat during use. And it’s a given that excessive temperatures will damage your TV.

That’s why there should be enough space for your TV to circulate air for cooling.

You need two inches of space between the TV and the wall, and at least four inches of space on each side.

For TVs stored in cabinet-type consoles, there should be enough space to circulate air in them. You can also add cooling fans to dissipate heat.

You should also consider wall mounting for better ventilation.

Final Thoughts:

OLED TVs, despite their weaknesses, are reliable.

It’s not at all difficult to circumvent the burn-in risk, as you only need to rotate content frequently to reduce the risks.

If you want to make a long-term investment for your TV, then OLED TVs are a good option.

 

Sources:

What is OLED? Black levels, burn-in, and contrast ratios explained

Rtings.com

 

 

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