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What is an OLED TV?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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An OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV is a television set that is based on an entirely new display technology. Among its many benefits are increased clarity and durability over other types of television display technologies currently on the market such as plasma and LCDs. The OLED TV first became available for mass market purchase in 2008 and is projected to gain market share well into future years.

There are a number of benefits listed for an OLED TV. They have a very high contrast ratio, as high as 1 million to one. This produces very vibrant, natural colors. Also, because no backlight is needed the set is very energy efficient, requiring perhaps 40 percent of the power of a plasma set. In addition, it has higher refresh rates than an LCD television, meaning that motion blur is not an issue.

In some ways, an OLED TV may combine the very best of the two main flat screen TV technologies currently on the market. It has the vibrant picture of the LCD with the natural colors and refresh rates of the plasma. However, the OLED TVs that will be coming out are even much thinner and lighter than anything currently on the market.

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One of the limiting factors of the OLED TV is its size. While larger sizes are beginning to be manufactured, most on the market do not exceed 12 inches (30 cm). While there have been some OLED TV models that have been made in larger sizes, most of those are prototypes that have mainly been seen at electronics convention shows.

Another limiting factor for the OLED TV technology is the price of those models currently on the market. Even the 12-inch (30 cm) model still costs nearly $2,000 US Dollars (USD). This price is expected to rapidly decrease as the technology becomes more prevalent. As with any emerging technology, the most expensive models are those which first hit the market.

Some electronics enthusiasts have made some very big promises concerning OLED TV technology. For example, some predict the hardware will be so thin and flexible that the entire television set can be rolled up and transported to another location. While this has yet to be realized, the lack of a backlight means flexible materials may be able to be used in an OLED TV. However, the televisions are extremely thin. Some are only 1.1 inches (3 mm) thin.

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