It’s a question that comes up whenever you upgrade to a newer TV – should you buy something that uses IPS displays, or should you pick a device with an OLED screen?
IPS (In-Plane Switching) and OLED (Organic LED) are the two most commonly found types of display tech. Older technologies, such as TN (Twisted Nematic) displays, have disappeared except in the world of PC monitors and budget laptops, while others, such as VA (Vertical Alignment) and PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching) are similar enough to IPS. But its difficult to generalise and recommend one over the other without looking at a specsheet!
So, when you are finally deciding which TV to buy, the real battle is between OLED and IPS. So where do these stand? Which is better for you? Which one should you pick for your new home theater? Read on for more information on the OLED vs IPS battle!
How does an IPS display work?
IPS LCD displays are perhaps the most common type these days. Laptop displays, budget and mid-range phones, and even big-screen TVs, you’ll find these everywhere.
How does IPS work? IPS displays use an array of LCDs which shift colour as required. These don’t emit light on their own. For this reason, a backlight made up of LEDs is used. Backlights may be of different types – whether there are arrays of LEDs at the back, or strips around edges.
IPS screens display ‘black’ by changing the alignment of LCDs so that pixels block the transmission of light, but some lights still get through. It’s for this reason that IPS displays utilize methods such as ‘Local Dimming’ (reduces brightness of the backlight in areas where it has to show black) to increase contrast.
Pros of IPS screens
-> Relatively cheap and easy to manufacture
-> Good colour accuracy
-> Doesn’t suffer from image burn-in
Cons of IPS Screens
-> Limited contrast
-> Possible backlight ‘leakage’
What is OLED?
OLED displays have traditionally been restricted to flagship devices. Even today, it’s only high-end TVs that use OLED. In the world of smartphones, flagships almost always use OLEDs (the new Asus 6Z stands out for its use of IPS), and it’s now possible to buy budget or mid-range phones with this tech.
How does OLED work?
In a nutshell, OLED displays don’t use backlights. Instead, every pixel is a light source. So there’s no need for a backlight, as you can dim or switch every pixel on / off as needed.
Pros of OLED screens
-> Thinner than IPS LCD
-> Very power efficient
-> Excellent viewing angles
-> Excellent black levels
-> Excellent colour gamut
Cons of OLED screens
-> Possibility of image burn-in
-> Expensive to manufacture
Should you get a TV with an IPS LCD or OLED display?
We have given you a brief overview of IPS and OLED tech. But which one is better? And which of these will be right for you? Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you in your festive season television shopping!
OLEDs offer better contrast: OLED’s use of pixels that emit their own light and can be switched off completely makes for really deep contrast.
OLEDs offer better viewing angles: IPS screens have really good viewing angles, but OLED TVs are even better on this front.
OLEDs have a quicker response time: OLEDs individually lit pixels can switch on/off or change colour faster. This makes for lower ghosting during fast-and-frenetic action scenes or while playing games. Ghosting refers to when the image on the screen seems to be following itself around or is blurry at the edges.
OLED TVs can be made slimmer: As there is no need for a bulky backlight, OLED TVs can be made really slim. The next wave of display tech – foldable, rollable displays – will also be powered by OLED.
IPS TVs offer better brightness: IPS TVs use a powerful backlight which also lets them get much brighter than their OLED counterparts. This can make for better HDR and even offer a better viewing experience if your TV room gets a lot of sunlight.
IPS TVs may suffer from glow and backlight bleed: This is less of an issue with high-end IPS TVs, but some cheaper models may suffer from glow (bright, greyish areas near the corners) or backlight bleed (patches or leaks of light, usually around the edges).
OLED TVs can suffer burn-in: OLED displays are at risk of burn-in, a condition in which a static image left on for too long can get permanently ‘burned’ onto the display and may appear like a ghostly dark patch.
OLEDs may get less bright with age: OLEDs use organic substances which tend to decay over time. It’s for this reason that OLED displays lose brightness with age. It’s quite slow, and really shouldn’t be an issue, but you need to be aware of this.
IPS TVs are cheaper: OLED is a newer tech and is more expensive to manufacture. Most manufacturers also tend to restrict OLED tech to their largest, most feature-packed range, fueling perception of OLED being expensive.