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Is OLED really worth it? (1 Viewer)

D4A3

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Hi Guys,

I was hoping to get some thoughts and honest onions, we have a 65" LG CX on order but I'm really having second thoughts. Part of me would rather wait to see what next year brings but the main HDMI port on our 2016 Vizio M series stopped working a few months ago and I'm just ready for something new. Plus we're getting a good deal on the CX and I'm not sure I want to wait for next year's TVs to be at a reasonable price.

My main concern is with brightness and ABL. From what I've read the CX can't sustain bright scenes at even half of what my now 5 year old Vizio can do. I already don't think our TV is bright enough so I feel like I will be instantly disappointed with the OLED.

I also use the TV with a PC quite a bit, surfing the web tends to have a lot of white. If the TV dims down every time I open a webpage that is all white that will just drive me nuts. Same is true for games, there's many games that are quite bright and I don't want them to be dim and grey.

Everyone raves about OLED being the best but I've seen quite a few people call out the ABL on these. Is it really a big problem? AIs the TV going to constantly change brightness and bright games will look terrible?

Another concern I have is with the built of these. They are needlessly thin and we have our TV mounted on a down and out mount over a fireplace which gets moved up and down sever times a day. Will the TV be able to take that or is it too flimsy?

I still have a week or two to decide if I'm going to keep the TV before it comes in but I'm already having buyers remorse. The problem is there is just nothing else on the market right now that I feel is worth buying.

I would really appreciate any thoughts you guys may have.
 

Edwin-S

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I think someone who is feeling remorse even before they get the set should just not buy it. If a person is feeling unhappy about the purchase now, I doubt they will feel any better about it when they get it.

If peak brightness is your most important requirement then you might be better off with a QLED or some similar type set.

Personally, I like my OLED set, but I also do not look for maximum brightness. I watch TV mostly in a darkened room. The Whites have never looked grey or dingy to me and the black level is superior to any other tech presently out there. I've also used it in daylight settings and it works okay for me; however, other people's mileage will vary.

Samsung has just announced a new microLED product but the screen size is 110". That alone tells me that it is going to be a long time before microLED is viable in screen sizes that will fit in the average home and at a cost that the average person can afford.
 

D4A3

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I think someone who is feeling remorse even before they get the set should just not buy it. If a person is feeling unhappy about the purchase now, I doubt they will feel any better about it when they get it.

If peak brightness is your most important requirement then you might be better off with a QLED or some similar type set.

Personally, I like my OLED set, but I also do not look for maximum brightness. I watch TV mostly in a darkened room. The Whites have never looked grey or dingy to me and the black level is superior to any other tech presently out there. I've also used it in daylight settings and it works okay for me; however, other people's mileage will vary.

Samsung has just announced a new microLED product but the screen size is 110". That alone tells me that it is going to be a long time before microLED is viable in screen sizes that will fit in the average home and at a cost that the average person can afford.

Well I guess the hope would be that it's so amazing that it will turn my frown upside down.

It's not even peak brightness that is the concern but more the ABL. If the TV is constantly getting dim when there is a large amount of white or bright colors on screen than to me that is a pretty big down side. Perhaps even bigger then not having perfect blacks on a QLED.

Unfortunately there just aren't any QLEDs I want right now. They are all missing a key feature I want, there is no other TV as compelte as the CX. The QLEDS are a bit of a mess this year to be honest.

I seen Samsungs new Micro LED, it is strictly for the filthy rich at $300,000. Better go check those lottery tickets.
 

TheFOMO

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Having seen and reviewed my fair share of 2020 TVs including the LG CX which is my current gaming reference TV (thanks Robert!), you really need to prioritize your use case so that you know what acceptable compromises fall near the bottom of your list while the "deal breaker" features are in your top 2. My Top 2 reasons to buy the LG CX are (1) dark room HDR picture quality and (2) advanced gaming with the latest next gen graphics (Freesync, VRR, Gsync compatible, 4K120, etc). Here are the issues I see with your use case:
(1) Heavy PC usage raises the risk of burn-in because you have persistent icons and text on the Windows OS, and you'll notice temporary image retention which for many people causes lots of paranoia about burn-in. Type A personalities will be haunted by this.
(2) On the other hand, 48" LG CX is easily the best TV for serious PC usage because of the image quality from higher PPI from 2-3 feet away.
(3) There are tricks to You disable ABL in the service menu, but then you have to be even more diligent with burn-in risk.
(4) TVs are not RGB but BGR, which generally means text does not look as clean if you are using this as a true PC monitor. Not an issue for general Windows browsing but for productivity like word processing and spreadsheets? This may be an issue.

On the other hand, your alternate options may not have ABL but then you still have the BGR text issue for PC productivity use. You may want to wait for the impending 43" option from ASUS arriving in Q1 which is designed for PC use while sharing similar HDR performance as its QLED TV counterparts.
 

D4A3

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Having seen and reviewed my fair share of 2020 TVs including the LG CX which is my current gaming reference TV (thanks Robert!), you really need to prioritize your use case so that you know what acceptable compromises fall near the bottom of your list while the "deal breaker" features are in your top 2. My Top 2 reasons to buy the LG CX are (1) dark room HDR picture quality and (2) advanced gaming with the latest next gen graphics (Freesync, VRR, Gsync compatible, 4K120, etc). Here are the issues I see with your use case:
(1) Heavy PC usage raises the risk of burn-in because you have persistent icons and text on the Windows OS, and you'll notice temporary image retention which for many people causes lots of paranoia about burn-in. Type A personalities will be haunted by this.
(2) On the other hand, 48" LG CX is easily the best TV for serious PC usage because of the image quality from higher PPI from 2-3 feet away.
(3) There are tricks to You disable ABL in the service menu, but then you have to be even more diligent with burn-in risk.
(4) TVs are not RGB but BGR, which generally means text does not look as clean if you are using this as a true PC monitor. Not an issue for general Windows browsing but for productivity like word processing and spreadsheets? This may be an issue.

On the other hand, your alternate options may not have ABL but then you still have the BGR text issue for PC productivity use. You may want to wait for the impending 43" option from ASUS arriving in Q1 which is designed for PC use while sharing similar HDR performance as its QLED TV counterparts.

Thank you kindly for your input. This is going to be in the living room, it gets used for everything from PC to just watching TV and movies but it's certainly no dark room. 65" is about the smallest I'm looking to go, I have bad eyes so I really wish I could go bigger but there's no way we could afford a 77" OLED.

Looking at the QLEDs this year there just isn't anything with the same feature set as the CX. The Sony X900H comes close but it has midling PQ that probably won't be any better than my 2016 Vizio M series. Samsung refuses to support Dolby Vision which is a bit of a deal breaker plus their game mode looks terrible. You can't get Vizio in Canada anymore so I couldn't go for something like the Quantum X. All that leaves really is the Hisense and TCL but I don't really trust their reliability.
 

TheFOMO

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Your summary is spot on - this is the quandary for many this year with hopes for better in 2021 when miniLED is adopted by Samsung and LG.
 

D4A3

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Your summary is spot on - this is the quandary for many this year with hopes for better in 2021 when miniLED is adopted by Samsung and LG.

When do new models usually start showing up in the year?
 

JohnRice

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All that leaves really is the Hisense and TCL but I don't really trust their reliability.
Have you looked into the TCL 8 Series? I hear problems with long-term reliability of all TVs these days, even the high end Sony OLEDs, so I figure that's just a fact of life. Best not to spend a fortune on something that won't last.
 

Edwin-S

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Your summary is spot on - this is the quandary for many this year with hopes for better in 2021 when miniLED is adopted by Samsung and LG.

People holding out for an affordable microLED solution will be waiting for a long time yet. The picture on the two OLED sets I have owned has never seemed dim to me; however, I use my set mostly in a darkened room and do not like an overly bright picture. I have found the PQ to be the best possible with the present technologies available.

MicroLED may end OLED's reign but I'm not holding my breath based on Vincent Teoh's observations of that technology; however, my mind may change once I see what he has to say about Samsung's new set. Considering the size of it, I'd still say a lot of his observations from looking at LG's MAGNIT TV still apply to Samsung's new offering.
 

D4A3

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People holding out for an affordable microLED solution will be waiting for a long time yet. The picture on the two OLED sets I have owned has never seemed dim to me; however, I use my set mostly in a darkened room and do not like an overly bright picture. I have found the PQ to be the best possible with the present technologies available.

MicroLED may end OLED's reign but I'm not holding my breath based on Vincent Teoh's observations of that technology; however, my mind may change once I see what he has to say about Samsung's new set. Considering the size of it, I'd still say a lot of his observations from looking at LG's MAGNIT TV still apply to Samsung's new offering.

He was referring to MiniLED, not Micro. MiniLED being a much denser back lighting system with potentially thousands of local dimming zones. The TCL 6 series has this already but it's a rather weak implementation that doesn't show any real benefits over standard LED back lighting, there is a ton of room for improvement though.

As for MicroLED, that's a long way off from being affordable or even likely scalable to normal screen sizes. I believe Samsung's new MicroLED set costs around $300,000.
 

D4A3

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Have you looked into the TCL 8 Series? I hear problems with long-term reliability of all TVs these days, even the high end Sony OLEDs, so I figure that's just a fact of life. Best not to spend a fortune on something that won't last.

Do they have HDMI 2.1? I've seen many articles stating that they were supposed to but on the specs the HDMI version isn't actually shown. My other concern with these is the software, they just don't have very mature software and the processing isn't up to what the bigger brands have. That and there is the constant fear of them spying, recently there was news of spying functions being found in TCL's firmware. Another wrench in this would be that I can't find them for sale anywhere.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Have you looked into the TCL 8 Series? I hear problems with long-term reliability of all TVs these days, even the high end Sony OLEDs, so I figure that's just a fact of life. Best not to spend a fortune on something that won't last.

That’s good advice on both fronts. TCL builds have been more reliable since about 2018 or so, and nothing, simply nothing, is built to last anymore. I think anyone buying a TV today needs to assume that it’s only going to last five years and budget accordingly. Don’t spend on a TV with the idea that it’ll last ten or twenty years. Spend only what you can comfortably afford to replace in five years. If it lasts longer, great, but if it doesn’t, you won’t lose your shirt on it. That’s not specific to TCL but true of all brands. I know more than one person who bought the last model of LG 3D OLED in 2016 expecting to be set for life, only to have the TV start going a couple years later.

I had to reevaluate my own TV buying because as much as I wanted a top of the line LG OLED, it wasn’t in my budget to spend that much for something not guaranteed to last as relatively little time as TVs are today.
 

JohnRice

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Holy smokes Dave. I find it unlikely you will find a TV anywhere at any price that will meet your expectations. I mean that to be constructive.
 

D4A3

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That’s good advice on both fronts. TCL builds have been more reliable since about 2018 or so, and nothing, simply nothing, is built to last anymore. I think anyone buying a TV today needs to assume that it’s only going to last five years and budget accordingly. Don’t spend on a TV with the idea that it’ll last ten or twenty years. Spend only what you can comfortably afford to replace in five years. If it lasts longer, great, but if it doesn’t, you won’t lose your shirt on it. That’s not specific to TCL but true of all brands. I know more than one person who bought the last model of LG 3D OLED in 2016 expecting to be set for life, only to have the TV start going a couple years later.

I had to reevaluate my own TV buying because as much as I wanted a top of the line LG OLED, it wasn’t in my budget to spend that much for something not guaranteed to last as relatively little time as TVs are today.

As a rule we always get the 5 year warranty with electronics these days. I'd say about 75% of the time we end up with either a new unit or our money back. You're right, things aren't built very well these days, I'm not sure it's a good president to let them set though, perhaps we shouldn't be so complacent.

I may have considered the 8 series but it doesn't appear to be available anywhere, at least in Canada.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think the precedent is already set - don’t think you get that genie back in the bottle. Part of the problem is that at some point the industry decided to keep updating standards in a way they never had before. You had standard definition television for over 60 years, and then HD for ten years and then UHD and then who knows what’s next. I don’t personally think it’s necessary to have new formats coming out so often but I guess they’ve decided TVs should be upgraded like cellphones and computers rather than cars.
 

D4A3

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I think the precedent is already set - don’t think you get that genie back in the bottle. Part of the problem is that at some point the industry decided to keep updating standards in a way they never had before. You had standard definition television for over 60 years, and then HD for ten years and then UHD and then who knows what’s next. I don’t personally think it’s necessary to have new formats coming out so often but I guess they’ve decided TVs should be upgraded like cellphones and computers rather than cars.

Even car's aren't what they used to be. I was recently talking with an engineer working for a major vehicle manufacturer and he said cars are designed to last 5-7 years. Nothing lasts anymore and we're just walking wallets.
 

Edwin-S

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He was referring to MiniLED, not Micro. MiniLED being a much denser back lighting system with potentially thousands of local dimming zones. The TCL 6 series has this already but it's a rather weak implementation that doesn't show any real benefits over standard LED back lighting, there is a ton of room for improvement though.

As for MicroLED, that's a long way off from being affordable or even likely scalable to normal screen sizes. I believe Samsung's new MicroLED set costs around $300,000.

I was speaking interns of OLED killers. MiniLED isn't going to be any OLED killer because it is still a backlight, regardless of how dense the matrix is. The only tech, barring some unknown breakthrough, that will be a possible OLED killer is MicroLED, because it is emissive similar to OLED. And it only becomes a possible replacement if the costs of producing the screens can be made much cheaper than OLEDs.
 

Edwin-S

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Packing components closer and closer together has to be creating headaches in mitigating solder migration. Lead was the best substance for controlling solder filament growth, but it is no longer used and what ever compounds they are using to control solder growth may not be as effective as lead, just when the need for that kind of control gets more and more important.
 

D4A3

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I was speaking interns of OLED killers. MiniLED isn't going to be any OLED killer because it is still a backlight, regardless of how dense the matrix is. The only tech, barring some unknown breakthrough, that will be a possible OLED killer is MicroLED, because it is emissive similar to OLED. And it only becomes a possible replacement if the costs of producing the screens can be made much cheaper than OLEDs.

I think you might be surpised, OLED has pretty much reached it's peak until QD OLED, if it doesn't just get skipped. QLED, even now, is capable of black levels that look great in normal use, only really in dark rooms is the difference very noticeable. QLED is capable of much better light output, it has better 24fps motion, generally better gradation. With MiniLED I think the black levels can be brought down to a point where the difference between QLED and OLED will be acceptable to even most OLED guys plus you get all the benefits of QLED with none of the pitfalls of OLED. Plus OLED will never reach true 10 bit color with 4000 nit brightness but MiniLED might.

It may never kill OLED for the OLED purists but I think for most people it certainly has the potential to "kill" OLED. You get a much brighter display, better 24fps motion, better gradation (which will only improve as they get brighter), no ABL, no ASBL, no image retention or burn-in, no limited lifespan on the pixels. To me, it's a no brainer.
 

Worth

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...I may have considered the 8 series but it doesn't appear to be available anywhere, at least in Canada.
The 8 series isn't available in Canada. The 6 series is as good as it gets here.
 

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