Television has seen a tremendous improvement in technology over its lifetime. Starting with the Cathode ray Tube (CRT) television, we graduated to Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), and then to Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Today, you have new advanced concepts like Organic LED (OLED), and Quantum dot LED (QLED) that are ruling TV technology 🙂
This has brought television viewing to a very advanced level nobody had imagined before. This article attempts to throw light on the QLED technology patented by Samsung Inc and reviews some of the best Samsung QLED, LED TVs on offer today.
A brief background
Before going into the details of QLED and its comparison with OLED, let us briefly discuss the basic functionality of the LED/LCD monitors. In the traditional LCD TVs you have a display panel and a backlighting option to make the pictures visible. This is because LCDs do not produce light on their own. They produce images when you pass electricity through them. You need a specific source of light to highlight the images.
You had the CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) to light up the LCD screens in the initial stages of its invention. However, they have their limitations thereby bringing the LEDs into the picture. LED is more efficient than the CFLs. Hence, what you see nowadays as LED TV is nothing but an LCD monitor with LED backlighting.
Table of Contents
- 1 OLED concept: Brief background
- 2 The QLED Concept:
- 3 OLED vs QLED – Which one is better?
- 4 The introduction of QLED:
- 5 Best Samsung 4K Televisions – Q8C
- 6 Best Samsung SMART TV (Full HD) – K6300
- 7 Best Budget Samsung TV – K5100
- 8 Final Words
OLED concept: Brief background
The world is shifting towards an organic mode. We have organic food, organic soaps and shampoos, etc. Hence, it should not be a surprise if we have the concept of organic LED.
Are the OLED TVs simply LED TVs with an organic component included? The answer is partly but not entirely true. This is because OLED displays differ vastly from the LED backlit LCD TVs. The LCD TVs work on transmissive technology whereas the OLED TVs work on an emissive technology.
The difference is that OLEDs are capable of generating and illuminating the images as opposed to the LCD-LED combination. The OLED TVs do not require an external source of illumination. This enables them to produce varying degrees of contrast levels not otherwise possible with the LED backlighting. Hence, the general contention is that OLEDs are infinitely better than the traditional LED-LCD TVs.
The QLED Concept:
QLED is a patented concept of Samsung Inc. Touted as being similar to or even superior than the OLED concept, the QLED TV is still a fundamentally LED backlit LCD television in many ways. This is not to say that the technology is inferior. In fact, the quantum dot technology in use in the QLED concept is a highly advanced one.
OLED vs QLED – Which one is better?
This is a very difficult question to answer. OLED technology is the older one used by a variety of TV and smartphone manufacturers including Samsung whereas QLED is a patented technology at present used only by Samsung Inc.
Quality wise, both are excellent as they provide the deepest range of colors. Both the TV types support High Dynamic Range (HDR) content and have 4K resolution.
A wide range of companies are offering OLED screens on their smartphones. You have the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones displaying this technology. As far as QLED is concerned, they have not yet made their foray into the smaller screen market.
Blacks / Darkness:
OLED technology can produce the best black levels, so critical in any screen technology. The darker the black color, the more accurate is the picture representation. This increases the contrast ratios to very high levels thereby providing for a more appealing picture quality.
OLEDs themselves are the light source and hence, they turn off the corresponding pixels when the picture needs highlighting of black color. Hence, you get the perfect blacks in OLED. As far as QLEDs are concerned, they have to depend on the LED for the lighting source. Therefore, there are chances for some light to spill on to the panels thus creating an extremely good but not-so-perfect black color.
Whites / Brightness:
As far as brightness levels are concerned, there is no technology at present to beat the QLED. This is because the LED lights can burn at exceptional bright levels. In addition, you have the quantum dot particles capable of glowing with impressive vibrancy. In comparison, the OLED screens can still create outstanding contrast levels but not at exactly the same level as the QLEDs.
Coming to the colors aspect, both the OLEDs and the QLEDs produce an exotic and dynamic range of colors. OLEDs have the benefit of the deeper blacks and color saturation levels whereas the QLEDs depend on the quantum dot technology for their color deliverance. There is little to separate the two. Hence, we have a tie as far as color aspect is concerned.
After looking at the colors aspect, we shall look at the screen sizes. When you speak of screen sizes, you should be including the smartphone screen sizes as well. Under such circumstances, the OLED technology should win hands down because of their documented use in smartphones.
In addition to their adaptability to the small sizes, the OLED technology is compatible with TV screens as large as 77 inches. In contrast the QLED technology can go up to even 100 inches or more but we do not have the devices to test them. Similarly, there are no QLED smartphone screens either. This technology is still in its nascent stage but it has the potential to rule the TV industry.
The introduction of QLED:
As explained earlier, Samsung has introduced this technology in its upgraded TVs at the Consumers Electronics Show (CES) 2017. Quantum computing is a rapidly expanding field in technology today.
The QLED TVs introduced by Samsung have the capacity to display perfect life-like colors even while displaying the brightest scenes. Normally, the colors get washed away when your TV displays extremely bright scenes.
Samsung TVs have some of the most efficient color displaying technologies such as Active Crystal Color and PurColor as they were introduced in the Series 7 and Series 6 TVs respectively in the past. This QLED technology competes directly with Sony’s Triluminous Display and LG’s OLED technologies. Thus, we can say that this is Samsung’s flagship TV technology.
We shall now look at some other unique aspects of Samsung TVs.
The hardware systems of all TVs are similar in almost all respects. Therefore, what is it that differentiates one TV brand from the other?
It is the software that drives the picture quality by adding the missing colors, increasing the vibrancy, improving the luster, specifying the details, and incorporating the right textures to the picture. This smart processor is known as the picture engine.
The latest Samsung TVs come equipped with HyperReal engine thereby propelling Samsung to rank among the leaders in the industry. You have competitors like Sony’s X Reality pro, Panasonic’s Fine Remaster engine, and LG’s Triple XD engine. Statistics show that Sony and Samsung are the leaders in this group in terms of general picture quality.
High Dynamic Range
The days of high definition televisions have become a thing of the past now. You have the latest technology known in industry circles as High Dynamic Range (HDR).
What is this HDR concept?
As the name suggests, it brings a more dynamic contrast and thereby better brightness to the picture. When you have a dynamic contrast, you have sharp colors as well. This entails that the whites become brighter and the blacks become darker. This is the main concept of HDR. This increases the range of colors thereby spacing out the colors evenly resulting in imparting a natural tone. Hence, you see clear detailing of the images that would otherwise have been lost in the traditional TVs.
The latest Samsung TVs come equipped with Q4K HDR Elite technology. It renders the TV capable of delivering excellent contrast. Hence, it makes viewing TV easy in a brightly lit room during the day as well. The HDR Elite technology ensures the optimum expansion of colors thereby providing peak brightness wherever essential. This enables you to view the subtle variations in color that would have otherwise not been possible in standard televisions.
Samsung has got some of the most advanced range of HDR TVs. We shall see them later on during the course of our TV reviews in this article.
Smart Hub OS
The Samsung TVs were using the Tizen OS as late as 2015. Realizing the need for a better package, Samsung switched over to the Smart Hub OS. This operating system makes the Samsung TV a miniature entertainment hub.
You have easy access to cloud gaming, one of the favorite pastimes of the younger generation. Watching HDR movies and music shows is now easy using the Smart Hub OS.
One of the most interesting features of the Smart Hub OS is that it allows you to have a universal remote to operate all your Samsung devices. Powered by an optical cable, the invisible connection technology ensures that you are able to operate hidden devices as well.
The simple controls and the user-friendly features make this OS one of the most popular ones in the industry. At the time of its introduction, there was a problem with the Voice Command facility. It has been overhauled in 2017 whereby it empowers you to not only search for apps but also change settings. Operating calibrating settings, otherwise a technical job is also very easy with the use of voice commands.
In comparison with its competitors, Smart Hub OS is better than the Android OS in Sony and the Firefox OS in Panasonic TVs. It competes on an equal level with the WebOS in LG.
Clear Motion Rate – An Explanation
When you venture to purchase a Samsung TV, you will hear the words, ‘Clear Motion Rate’ very often. What is the Clear Motion Rate and what does it signify?
It is nothing but the normal refresh rate you often hear while describing other TVs. Samsung has given it the nomenclature, Clear Motion Rate (CMR).
The frequency with which the TV switches the image on the screen is known as the refresh rate. In the case of the traditional televisions, the refresh rate is 60 Hz. It entails that the TV refreshes the frame 60 times in a second.
According to Samsung, the Clear Motion Rate is double the refresh rate.
This concept comes to the fore while watching fast paced events like sports events and action thriller movies. The higher CMR in the latest Samsung TVs makes it exciting to watch such fast-paced events.
Curved TVs – A unique Samsung Product
The curved TVs are the prerogative of Samsung alone today in India. No other TV manufacturer sells curved TVs in India. There are certain advantages of the curved TVs.
One is that it gives the appearance that you are at the epicenter of the action. This gives you’re a wider angle to view the TV. While making the viewing more uniform, it enhances the depth factor as well. Normally, you do not experience such exemplary depth in the traditional TVs.
You get a totally immersive experience of sharpness, contrast, and depth. However, there is a drawback as well in the sense that the TV becomes vulnerable to onscreen reflection of any incident lighting. Otherwise, this is an exciting concept.
Compatible with Indian conditions:
Samsung understands Indian conditions very well. Voltage fluctuations, power surges, and humidity are three major concerns for every TV manufacturer in India. Samsung has found a way out as they have included a unique Triple Protection facility especially for the Indian market. This can help in the durability of the television set and enhances its lifeline.
Other points to consider
Samsung is a reputed name in the TV manufacturing industry but the price range of the TVs on offer is on the higher side. In spite of this issue, people trust Samsung because of the quality they provide. People are ready to pay the price for quality output.
Secondly, Samsung maintains a low input lag even in the HDR mode thereby making gaming activities easier. Samsung technology enables the scaling up of DVD content and other broadcast content up to 4K levels. Hence, you do not feel the resolution mismatch. This fact enhances your viewing experience.
You should be aware of a couple of drawbacks as well. One is the extensive use of plastic parts and secondly, the quality of audio output. Some other brands of TVs are distinctly better in this particular aspect.
In spite of these shortcomings, Samsung is one of the leaders in the manufacture of 4K TVs in India. We shall now look at certain select Samsung models.
Best Samsung 4K Televisions – Q8C
This TV is available in three variants, 55-inches, 65-inches, and 75-inches. We shall look at the common characteristics.
- Innovative Curved screen – Enabling realistic viewing, you can observe true color from wherever you sit.
- QLED technology – Quantum dot technology ensures best quality pictures. You get to view the perfect color with over a billion shades.
- One Connect Remote – Control other connected Samsung devices with a single remote
- Excellent contrast – The 4K HDR Elite offers optimum color expansion and highlights the brightest of whites and the darkest of blacks beautifully.
- Incredible CMR – The CMR of 240 makes watching sports and other action a dream.
- Invisible Connection Optical wire – Discard the messy look of wires all around the place.
- Smart Hub Option – Accessing the internet for your favorite apps, sports, and other content is easy with the Smart Hub OS. You do not need manual programming for connecting your other Samsung devices.
- You have an advanced Q9F version of the same model as well with almost similar features.
Best Samsung SMART TV (Full HD) – K6300
You have this model in three variants again, 40-inches, 49-inches, and 55-inches. Let us glance at the common features of this full HD TV.
- Full HD – Provides a breathtaking experience
- Auto Depth Enhancer – Applying various levels of contrast to different areas of the screen, you get the feeling of amazing depth. In this way you experience immersive TV viewing.
- Curved TV – You get a wide angled approach while viewing images on this curved TV.
- Step up picture quality – This feature enables analyzing the content and upgrading it to full HD quality even if the original video source is less than Full HD.
- Smart TV – Smart Hub OS allows you access to Live TV, games, movie content, etc over internet.
- Enhanced Contrast – The Micro Dimming Pro feature is capable of producing purer whites and deeper blacks thereby delivering amazing clarity.
- Enhanced Colors – The Wide Color Enhancer feature improves image quality a great extent.
- Sharing content – The Samsung Smart View app on your Samsung mobile allows you to share pictures, videos, and music with your TV.
- Quad Core Processor – The Quad core processor can enhance the speed of your smart TV thereby enabling you to run your apps easily.
- CMR 60 – The motion rate of 60 allows for immersive viewing with flicker free video content.
- Built-in wireless LAN – Connect to the internet without using wires / cables.
- USB and HDMI connections – Using ConnectShare you can connect your USB to the TV and have a great time.
- This TV supports HDMI inputs as well thereby allowing you to watch content from multiple devices.
Best Budget Samsung TV – K5100
You have four variants in this range, 32-inches, 40-inches, 43-inches, and 49-inches. We shall look at the attractive features of these TVs.
Note: We have written a separate post for 32 inch Samsung TVs.
- Blend with available space – This TV gives you the freedom to decorate the way to want them to. The Joiiii model is truly one of the most adaptable models to the Indian drawing room.
- Excellent tailored design – This TV has a smooth external design that enables it to blend with the surrounding furniture beautifully. The TV can hold its own among the other furniture in the room and merge with them as well.
- Adjustable legs – Adjustable legs allow you to tilt the TV towards you in case to wish to lie down and watch the TV. Interchanging the front and back legs is easy. In the normal course, the front legs are longer than the back ones. Reversing them will tilt the TV towards you.
- Easy to adjust controls – The name Joiiii brings joy to the entire family. It adapts to the needs of every person in the house. One switch and the TV can produce clearer pictures for the seniors in the house thereby enhancing their experience.
- You have other features like ConnectShare (HDD and USB), full flat screen, etc. Of course, you do not get curved TV in this model. Accessing internet is not possible as it was in the other models we discussed earlier. This is a Budget model and hence very popular among the Indian population.
Samsung has a great reputation of being one of the leading manufacturers of televisions and other electronic appliances. People have great faith in this name, Samsung. Hence, they prefer to go for it even when they see some unknown model offering better facilities. They prefer to rely on the solid Samsung performance rather than invest their money in some other model.
The QLED technology on offer is the latest one from Samsung. At present, no one else offers this technology. This could well be the future of the television technology in India. It is truly one of the most reliable ones at the same time.