Is QLED or OLED the way forward as of 2018?

With Samsung having launched the first 8K televisions aimed at consumers, we are somewhat concerned about whether QLED or OLED is the technology of the future. 

QLED and OLED are two different display technologies that have been at it for years, but as of late 2018 there is no clear winner. Samsung lately launched its first – and the world’s first – consumer-facing 8K TVs, the Q900R series, which includes three different in the sizes 65, 75 and 85 inches.

According to reports, Samsung’s true 8K resolution demos are incredibly sharp and at the same time offered an awesome dynamic range thanks to their incredibly high brightness.

Due to the almost total lack of usable content in true 8K resolution on the market, it is also important how an 8K QLED handles a lower-res picture. In demos, Samsung is said to have demonstrated an impressive scaling technique to get virtually all lower-resolution content (from 2160p down to low-resolution SD) look good on its 8K panels. According to Samsung, such good scaling is possible through machine learning, and using a large database of existing content.

HDMI 2.1 standard underway

Also upcoming is the HDMI 2.1 standard, which among other things has been developed to deliver 8K signals over a single cable, something that is not yet available on the market. Samsung specs say that one input port on the Q900R model will support 8K at 30 fps, but it is unclear at this time if it is a full-featured HDMI 2.1 connection. In the worst case, 8K QLED buyers will have to rely on 8K content from the device’s integrated apps.

Extreme level of brightness

8K is obviously the big selling point for the new Q900R range, there’s another details that shouldn’t be overlooked, namely that Samsung’s new 8K QLED models will reach a brightness of up to 4,000 nits, effectively quadrupling what today’s OLED models are capable of, and yet another selling point for Samsung’s new QLED devices.

OLED, on the other hand, always has a technical advantage when it comes to reproducing blacks, and the resulting infinite contrast, but other factors are also important. One factor not related to image quality is cost, with the new QLEDs being far more expensive than current OLED models so far, but eventually this might even out considerably.