OLED vs. LCD TV

Eggtastic

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 9, 2009
751
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NJ
I know this isn't mac related but considering we love technology I would assume a good amount of you might have some serious home theater set ups (or not, but still figured I'd ask).

I have a 47" LG 1080p that works perfectly since 2012. I recently bought a small house and its the only TV I have and plan to have as it is just me (no need for one in the bedroom, etc.). Being the only TV in the house I feel I can splurge a bit but I don't want to pass the $2g mark.

Now that I have more space, I am looking to upgrade and go with a 65" set. I was eyeing up the Samsung QLED line since last black friday but never jumped on any deals. However I am back in the market and now torn between Samsung QLED vs. LG OLED. I've done tons of research but wanted your input if you had any.

Basically I know OLED appears to be better in every way except for brightness and possible burn in (which won't be a problem since I don't watch tv / play video games for hours on end - 2-3 at most). I found a few good deals on slick deals / google express for last years LG OLED C8 65" that fall between 1,699 - 1,899 depending on the day / deal. Sounds great, its just being impatient and waiting to ship which some say might take 2 weeks because of some shipping companies. I am comfortable with no more than $2g so it seems like a no brainer.

Samsung QLED is a fancy marketing term as its still LCD but a very high end LCD. Still, in store they look damn good and based off reviews they are still great for most. Bonus here is price and if bought through best buy I get $100 gift card if bought with an xbox one x (upgrading from original Xbox one for the 4k ability). Also Xbox One X is on sale for $100 off so even better bonus.

As some of you take your mac / pc / mobile purchases with extra caution, I was wondering if you take the same route with TV's and your opinion of a higher end LCD TV vs. OLED.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2009
1,996
1,547
Lincoln, UK
I took a long time deciding on a 4K set, but last year bought a Panasonic OLED. The only regret is I got a 2017 model and the 2018 has a much better anti-reflective coating. However, you appear to be in USA, a market Panasonic have pulled out of. So LG seems a good option.
 

Infinite Vortex

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2015
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465
Depends on what you're watching, when you're watching it and under what conditions. If you're after "optimal" there's no one TV that's best at everything so you're best to think first about what's most important to you as there's a lot at play in choose a top end TV. For instance, all the OLED panels are in fact made by LG however they behave differently from each manufacturer. Panasonic weights cinema higher, LG punchy and vibrant colour and Sony somewhere in the middle.

While the QLEDs are still an LCD panel they've closed the gap on OLED's black levels considerably. While they still don't get the inky blacks they get extremely near (or at least the top end does)… flip side the QLEDs can get more than twice as bright which gives more latitude for HDR as well as significantly better daytime/bright environment viewing. The 2019 Q80R/Q85R/Q90R also come with a spectacular anti-reflective panel and great off axis viewing. Then there's the value of the One Connect box. The QLEDs don't come with Dolby Vision so if Blu-ray HDR is important to you then I'd probably lean toward an OLED that does.

Each TV will also have a different OS on it so there also that to consider.

Generally speaking if you're a daytime/bright environment viewer and/or you're into sports/gaming (where response time is all important) and/or you're after a clean wall mount with a near invisible single cable then I would lean toward QLED. If you're an evening/cinema viewer or can better control your environment making peak brightness less important and inky blacks are more important then the OLEDs are probably for you. While the OLEDs are predominantly and significantly thinner they all still have quite a sizeable base to them so wall mounting isn't as flush as the QLED no-gap mounting. Also consider the base, if you're using it, as I need to fit quite a sizeable sounder underneath it. The LG OLEDs can be quite low to what they're placed on.

So yeah, pick the TV that has strengths to what you're looking for in a TV as each have their weaknesses in certain areas.
 
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Ruggy

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2017
247
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LG and the Samsung both produce amazing TVs these days and you are going to be happy with either, the difference between them being slight.
If you are right in front of it they will probably look pretty much the same and differences in store will depend more on the signal, local lighting and what the settings are so it’s really hard to choose but both will be much better than your 2012 TV, I know from experience.
It’s more than likely that if you fiddle with setings a bit, you can get them looking exactly the same.
But there are big differences between models within each camp too.

I haven’t seen any differences in reliabilty. Samsung supply panels to loads of people like Sony. LG developed their panels in partnership with Philips (Panasonic use their own). They are about the same for reliability and they are good.

You may find more differences in the remotes and how easy they are to set up and use, so go back to the store and get to play with remotes and get into the menus and see which you like best.
If it’s really difficult to navigate around or confusing, then that’s a big negative point.
You may also see a difference in how quickly channels load or how well the apps for things like Prime and Netflix work. The difference between 2 seconds and 5 seconds can become very irritating but will vary between models too.

Also think about where it’s going to go and what you are going to connect to it. Which side are the leads or inputs on. Make sure it can reach the socket or you don't have to move a set top box. Do you need Wifi? Probably.
I wouldn't worry too much about smart TV functions though. They have a habit of not updating much and in a couple of years they will start to bug and stop working. Better to have something really good and basic and buy an Apple TV or Fire stick or something which does update regularly.
Step to the side as ar as you can and see how the picture looks. Some degrade really quickly but if you are always right in front that won’t matter of course.
Don’t forget sound either. Probably best to play with the sound to see if you can get it how you like but which has best sound quality? Is it loud enough? Do you use headphones or input to a sound bar or something?
Sound is sometimes a huge difference between models.
Finally, get to check out some sport or something fast moving because some sets have a decided lag or a kind of jerky motion that can be really annoying. Turn off all the interpolation of smoothing and see if it makes a difference to be sure.

It’s just the difference between the two that you are judging and if the difference is very small then it’s more difficult to decide but also, less important when you think about it. But in the end, you will be happy with either make.
 
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HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
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I haven’t seen any differences in reliabilty.
Consumer reports reliability ratings based on thousands of subscriber reports has Sony at the top in terms of reliability:

8/10

LG & Samsung are lower:

6/10

Their top rated sets, in order, are 3 from Sony, 3 from LG followed by Samsung.

Don’t forget sound either.
Best to avoid sound from the television itself if you can. Dedicated sound equipment (best a 5.1 or higher receiver/speaker combo) will always give superior results.
 

McScooby

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2005
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The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
Consumer reports reliability ratings based on thousands of subscriber reports has Sony at the top in terms of reliability:

8/10

LG & Samsung are lower:

6/10

Their top rated sets, in order, are 3 from Sony, 3 from LG followed by Samsung.



Best to avoid sound from the television itself if you can. Dedicated sound equipment (best a 5.1 or higher receiver/speaker combo) will always give superior results.
Not sure about the rest, but I believe as part of the T&C's when setting up a Sony, in order to even use basic tv functions, you have to give permission for them to lift every program/file watched, details of every device connected, how long it was used for, when it was switched off and so on, certainly means I won't be buying a Sony, that & and android tv's are starting to serve up ads on their screensavers, what & who's the product?:eek:
 

MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
813
501
I considered both the LG OLED55C8 and Samsung QLED 55" Q9. I watched so many YouTube reviews and consulted several local Hi-Fi experts, before finally deciding on the LG. My reasons below:

- Image quality (the general consensus seems to be that the LG has the better picture, under the right circumstances).
- Viewing angles
- Price (more on this below)

The last sales person I met was rather honest and upfront. He's a genuine guy who I've come to trust in the past. A true enthusiast, not driven by commission (or so I'd like to think). His words - "Samsung is old tech, perfected. LG is the future. Other than brightness and the risk of burn-in, the LG is the better TV."

He later made a very good point - even in a perfectly bright shop-floor under heavy fluorescent lighting, the LG appeared very, very bright. While it can't match the Samsung, he said the new LG:s have gotten so good it's usually not a problem.

However, the LG is of course not perfect. It has it's drawbacks. Personally I don't play video games for hours on end and I don't use my TV as an extended display. However, the TV was to be located in the centre of our living room and kitchen area, so viewing angles were of great importance. I also preferred the design with that paper-thin back.

I think the Samsung has the upper hand with the One-connect box, however. In our case we didn't plan to wall-mount the TV, so it wasn't a deciding factor.

What ultimately swayed me towards the LG was price. You would have thought the LG would be the more expensive one, packed with new tech. At the time of purchase, it was actually $500 less than the Samsung, which made it a no-brainer.

Getting the TV home, all I can say is WOW. I've had it for a month now and it's been great.

- Image quality is just as impressive as in store. I don't have any 4K material right now, but the black levels can be experienced regardless of source. Just watching regular Netflix (standard HD material) is very impressive. It brought new life to old video games. Forza 6 and Battlefield 1 on Xbox One S looks great.

- Brightness hasn't been an issue.
- LG webOS is really good.

The only one criticism I do have is cable management. All the ports are on one side, which isn't optimal. However, this isn't a big problem for us.

I would have picked the LG once again, regardless of price, but I'm sure you would be just as happy with the Samsung. If you are someone who risks burn-in (Watch a lot of sports? Play games for hours? Use your TV as extended display?) and need the best brightness levels - the Samsung might even be the better option for you.
 
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InquiringMac

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2013
77
5
Dear experts::)

What TV (45" - 65", bright environment viewing), if any, would you recommend for a double duty: Blu-ray Dolby Vision, HDR10 movies, sports/gaming (hence low response time is required), AND a quality computer monitor to work in tandem with a MM 2018?;)
What video input would provide the best quality pic/sound, in your opinion, please?;)
 
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LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
369
119
Illinois
When I first saw the LG OLED several years ago, I was totally blown away by the picture range, from black to white and color spectrum. I bought a 65C7 off Drop, at $2100 about a year and a half ago and absolutely love it. When one of my friend's saw it, he had to go and get one. I like the Samsung, and it has been my second choice two times running. Before I bought the LG, my primary TV was a 60 Pioneer plasma. I will say try to get the largest TV you can afford, you won't regret it.

I do think that what you get depends on what you do with the TV. My setup is a Pioneer SC-LX701, which is Dolby ATMOS enabled. I have Klipsch surround sound speakers, with JBL's as my primary stereo speakers (they are over 30 years old, but pair well with the Klipsch). I have also tied in a Blu-ray, my Mac Pro 5,1, AppleTV, and PlayStation 3. I have no complaints about the either the sound from the LG, or the picture, and they all work together reasonably well (I've been lazy and haven't optimized the set-up, so I still have to switch off the Pioneer when I'm watching broadcast, but that may be necessary anyway).

The best part of my set-up was when I was in my old house (I'm currently renting), where I had an addition that had all the wiring and speaker mounts built-in, and was basically designed as home theatre. It did have windows and doors, so I can say that the LG performs well enough during the day, so a brighter picture is not an issue. Watching movies, which is what I really like, particularly ones that make a good use of the possibilities of surround sound is in some ways better than a movie theatre, the sound is actually cleaner and crisper, but unfortunately, you can't beat an IMAX screen, hence, my view get the largest screen you can afford.