Technological progress has undoubtedly significantly improved the quality of our lives. Not only in strictly functional aspects, but also in areas related to luxury and entertainment, including that of televisions. Today, to buy a new TV or a monitor for our PC, we have to evaluate between different solutions and models, which use different and increasingly advanced technologies.
In fact, you too will have happened in a consumer electronics store to come across new generation televisions with the words NanoCell and OLED, two quite different types of TVs that are often marketed with similar characteristics. These, in fact, have their own peculiarities and consequent advantages and disadvantages.
To choose the one that best suits our needs, it is therefore appropriate to know what these acronyms mean, and what are the identifying characteristics of the panels that employ one or the other configuration. In fact, we're going to launch together into a discount NanoCell vs OLED, so as to analyze all the main differences and go on the safe side when buying.
What does NanoCell mean
Before focusing on the contrast NanoCell vs OLED, it is therefore good practice to devote ourselves to each of the two technologies separately. Starting right from that NanoCell, developed by the technicians of the South Korean giant LG. This was created with the aim of increasing the range of colors and viewing angle through a very thin layer of nanoparticles, the size of just one nanometer.
These TVs are very similar to traditional light-emitting diodes, ie LEDs, and televisions with liquid crystal displays, the canonical LCD. The main difference lies in the presence of backlighting, and the ability to offer the same resolution as other 4K resolution TVs, with the addition of a layer of nanoparticles placed between the liquid crystals and the screen.
In this way they are more similar to OLED TVs, definitely improving the vividness, saturation and accuracy of the colors displayed. All without enabling dynamic filters. On the market, the NanoCell are present with different diagonals and support all 4K UHD with HDR, while rarer are the models that go up to 8K.
The operation, then, is very simple. Notoriously, the pixels that structure a TV screen are red, green and blue, and their combinations go on to produce a billion possible colors, with the risk of superimposing the projection of a single pixel on an adjacent one, and consequently distorting the appearance of colors on the TV screen.
The nanocells, however, absorb a thin region of wavelengths between green and red, acting as a filter to absorb red light at a green subpixel and vice versa. Light which, for the uninitiated, is what contributes to the desaturation of the two colors. As mentioned earlier, the result is a wider range of colors and a greater viewing angle than a canonical LED TV.
Also improving is the purity of the whites and blacks we see on the screen. The quality is even higher in those models that mount the so-called Full Array Local Dimming, known as FAD, which has the task of attenuating the backlighting of the TV in dark areas, providing darker blacks and shadows and improving the dynamic range of the screen.
What is OLED technology
Metabolised the operation of the panels that exploit NanoCell technologies, we now move on to OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode. This type of solution, more expensive than the previous one but with lower energy consumption, uses the electroluminescence properties of organic materials, specifically conductive polymers. In this way the panel of organic LEDs can generate both the light and the color of the individual pixel, thus making the backlight panel unnecessary. In practice, each pixel is individually illuminated.
The OLED models will then be much thinner than their LCD counterparts, simultaneously putting on the plate during evaluation an infinite level of contrast, very high visual quality and not inconsiderable energy savings. Another advantage is that with this latest technology you can have access to what is commonly referred to as "true black" or "absolute black", where parts of the TV can be completely dark.
This is possible because, when the TV area is black, the pixels are effectively turned off, or off if you prefer. This results in absolute black depth that doesn't veer into blue or gray tones, unlike in LED TVs.
The fact is that, putting aside the minor criticisms, OLED panels have a very high dynamic range, precisely because each pixel is individually illuminated. In LED screens, backlighting by means of LED strips arranged along the sides of the panel causes uneven illumination, which is not the case in OLED panels that do not need to be backlit.
In opting for such a model, we will consequently choose an incredibly detailed image, with vivid colors, high contrast and a marked dynamic range. So much so that they make them very popular screens for TV experts and photographers. Finally, it should be pointed out that most TVs that support OLED technology boast fast response times and low input lag, making them suitable for those looking for a TV dedicated to gaming and for those who want very wide viewing angles.
On the other hand, OLED TVs present the risk of burn-in, the phenomenon that occurs when an image "burns" on the screen. Fortunately, it usually requires thousands of hours of use to occur, unless structural errors are made during production.
NanoCell vs OLED: pros and cons
Now that we have precisely defined the features and nature of OLED and NanoCell screens, we can conclude by devoting ourselves to the real comparison between the two technologies. A clash, the NanoCell vs OLED one, that must necessarily come to life in several key features, to be considered in case you want to buy a new TV. The first is linked to the depth of blacks, an aspect in which we have seen OLED models excel.
These can in fact ensure absolute blacks by going to turn off the individual pieces when they are not needed. NanoCell screens, on the other hand, are LED backlit and therefore fail to ensure the same depth of blacks, often steering towards the gray, although the optional feature known as local dimming manages to darken only the black areas of the screen.
As mentioned above, the filter of nanoparticle panels improves the low viewing angle typical of LED TVs, which have always suffered from the problem that the image on the screen tends to much more faded colors when we are watching the TV from a more angled position. Nonetheless, the viewing angle in NanoCell TVs is still limited when looking at it from an angle of 60-70°.
In OLEDs things get a lot more enticing, considering that organic LED technology is absolutely capable of maintaining good color fidelity even at angles of almost 90%, before the viewer can perceive any actual color distortion. We then move on to analyze motion blur, which is the effect that makes an object that is moving very quickly on the screen appear blurry.
Also from this point of view, the performance of OLED TVs is better, since the pixels have the ability to change state instantly. As TVs that are still LED-backlit, NanoCell TVs have a hard time dealing with fast-moving subjects on the screen: each pixel on the panel takes a few milliseconds to change its state, creating the typical and annoying wake effect.
It is not possible to determine with certainty, when comparing NanoCell vs OLED, which is the more efficient technology by looking at the color gamut. Not surprisingly, this aspect can vary from model to model, and shows substantial differences even between different manufacturers on the market. In general, we can say that OLED TVs offer a good color gamut, but the NanoCell technology has been able to actually increase its performance, pushing in new directions of the color table.
The nanoparticle filter at the red and green color band actually serves to improve the accuracy of the image, which is bright and detailed. What's more, even at maximum brightness this type of panel has a good overall color level, while its OLED competitors sometimes tend to overdo the saturation.
In short, our analysis shows that OLEDs offer better image quality, better gaming performance, lower power consumption, deeper blacks, brighter whites and truly splendid colors. Not to mention the incredibly wide viewing angle. The NanoCell ones, however, are preferable for use in brighter rooms and don't have the aforementioned burn-in risk that OLED has. NanoCell TVs are also much cheaper than OLED TVs.