It can be hard to determine which technology is best for you when it comes to LED vs OLED. In this blog post, we will explore some of the pros and cons of LED vs OLED, especially around the topic of glare, so that you can make an informed decision about which technology is best for you.
Do OLED TVs Have Glare?
Most OLED TVs from LG or Sony have a glossy screen finish which means they will have some glare if an intense light is placed behind them. If a bright light source, such as a window or studio lights, is placed directly opposite the television, then that will affect how you experience the picture during dark scenes.
The OLED technology per se does not avoid glare. Instead, it’s the positioning of the TV in the home, as well as your seating arrangement, which dictates if you will have a glary display from your new OLED television.
Do LED TVs Have Glare?
The type of screen used will determine if a LED TV has glare. In general, it is possible to have a screen with essental no or little glare if the appropriate anti-glare technology is used. The anti-glare coating on the screen is also something of a mystery, as it’s not very common for high-range LCD televisions to have such a thing. Because an anti-glare film would dull color vibrancy and contrast, it’s rare to even for higher range LCD televisions to have one.
I found that some lower-end LCD models, such as Full HD but not UHD (4K), can have some matte screen surface comprising an outer ‘polarising layer’ coarsened using mechanical and sometimes additional chemical processing.
Which Gives Less Glare LED or OLED?
Both types of display technology have their differences; however, when it comes to being affected by glare, both will have some degree of glare from a stronger source of light. OLED technology will have more contrast in dark areas and adjust the brightness to a level that minimizes glare. LED also can adjust light more quickly than OLED, which makes it effective at reducing glare from a strong source of light.
As mentioned before, you will find TVs and monitors at the lower end of the range in the market with a matte screen. They may provide less glare than TVs at the higher end with glossy and semi-glossy screens.
Both technologies offer their respective advantages and disadvantages regarding how they handle glare. Ultimately, what you choose will come down to your personal preferences and budget (OLEDs are more expensive to produce).
What causes your TV’s screen to reflect light?
TVs these days have two big choices: glossy and matte or semi-glossy screen, with the latter being a mix of matte and glossy. Glossy screens have a mirror-like finish, which means they reflect any light source in a room, such as windows, lamps, overhead lights and even your reflection. In a very dark room, the light from a window may overpower the screen’s ability to produce deep black levels because of this reflective property.
Matte or semi-glossy screens have more of a textured finish that disperses reflected light energy across the screen instead of bouncing it right back at you, which results in less apparent reflections and tends to wash out colors and contrast a bit.
Matte screens are more common in desktop monitors and LCD TVs, not in OLED models.
What can you do to reduce glare?
1 – Turn off lights, but beware of eye strain
This option is the simplest thing to do when it comes to screen reflections, although this will make your room darker, which means more eye fatigue for most people. Especially with HDR technology that comes with OLED models, which enhances contrast, you can quickly tire your eyes out if you dim the lights. The only alternative may be to leave the lights on, which will impact your viewing experience owing to glare. Alternatively, consider any of the options listed below.
2 – Place a light behind the TV
Also known as using a bias light, this is a good solution for multiple reasons. It will keep your room bright enough, which means less eye strain and better picture quality. Two, it will make the colors on screen more vibrant without impacting how deep blacks are. Three, it reduces eyestrain by providing an additional light source that your eyes can focus on besides the TV itself.
3 – Adjust OLED Pixel Brightness
This option should be available on most OLED TVs through a picture menu or even the on-screen display settings. Increasing the TV’s brightness setting won’t impact picture quality, but it will make black areas brighter and reduce reflection from bright objects. However, use it only when necessary because increasing the brightness level also affects the colors, which is not ideal for most scenes you watch on your TV.
4 – Move Lamps Around
Unless the affecting lamp causing the glare problem is a ceiling lamp, you can always move it around and see if that makes a difference. If it is a ceiling lamp, then you’re out of luck unless the layout of your room allows for moving the TV instead. You can tilt the TV slightly to one side, even in this case, until the reflection is minimized.
5 – Use A Blackout Curtain
I own an LG OLED, which is in a bright room. I do have translucent curtains around the windows. The light is still coming in but not direct sunlight. But still, the OLED screen reflects the lights from the curtain if it is bright outside.
I also have blackouts behind the curtains, which I close tight when I want to watch something during the day but the sun is shining. This solution works well for me because the glare problem is far more bothersome in the light of day than it is with my living room lights.
Can you recommend some TVs with good Glare Handling?
The guys at RTINGS.com tested several OLED models against glare and achieved exciting results.
Glare is an issue you will need to adapt to rather than avoid altogether. The types of screens used in OLEDs nowadays can’t offer the exact glare handling as matte or semi-glossy LCDs.
VIZIO OLED TV tested in the study showed exciting results in reducing glare, while Samsung’s TU7000 also produced exciting results.