Choosing the right television for the ultimate entertainment in your living room can be tricky and confusing. There are various brands and models available, and they all even use different technologies. Thus, the task of choosing the right television can be overwhelming and confusing. If you are looking for the best technology currently available on the market, you may end up confused in choosing between OLED TV and 4K TV. It has become a very common question that many people ask. What is the difference between OLED TV and 4K TV? As a matter of fact, OLED TV and 4K TV are like apples and oranges; they are not exactly different from each other in a way that makes them substitutive to each other. Below, we will see the more detailed explanations about OLED TV and 4K TV, the differences, as well as the recommendation whether you should choose OLED TV or 4K TV. Continue reading!

What is an OLED TV?

The term “OLED” actually stands for “Organic Light Emitting Diode”. As you may have noticed, OLED is different from LED (light emitting diode) or even LCD (liquid crystal display). What sets OLED apart from LED is the word “organic”. Unlike LED, which uses light diodes to do the lighting job, OLED uses a carbon film that is placed inside the display panel, just behind the glass screen. Whilst LCD panels would require an external light source for brightness, OLED panels emit light by themselves when an electric current passes through. Hence, as the effect, regardless of whether the image displayed is black or white, the image is lit with the same brightness across the entire panel. There would be no hotspots (areas with super bright light caused by the placement of backlights). However, what makes OLED even better than LED is that in OLED, the self-lighting capability can be more precise because the pixels are the ones that produce light. When a pixel needs to be black, it can turn off completely. This feature ensures outstanding black levels, great responsiveness, excellent sharpness, and sweet smoothness.

Nevertheless, the term “OLED” simply refers to the technology used for the display. It can be available in various sizes and resolutions. The most common OLED TVs right now are still Full HD (1920 x 1080). However, there are also 4K OLED TVs already. These TVs are relying on the OLED technology to display images, with the 4K resolution.

What is a 4K TV?

On the other hand, 4K TV is essentially any TV that has a resolution of 3840 x 2160. A 4K TV is also commonly called an Ultra HD TV or a UHD TV. That is a very high resolution, ensuring that the images displayed can be very sharp and detailed, even when displayed on a particularly large screen. The total number of pixels in a 4K display is four times higher than a Full HD’s. The higher resolution generally ensures increased sharpness, allowing the images displayed to be more vivid and realistic. However, the resolution has nothing to do with color quality, contrast, brightness, etc.

A 4K TV can be made using any display technology. For example, there are 4K LCD TVs, 4K LED TVs, and 4K OLED TVs. So, if you have decided that you are going to buy a 4K TV, you still have to choose which display technology that you want to use.

Comparing Image Quality

In the explanation above, you have read that OLED refers to the display technology, whereas 4K refers to the resolution. Now, if you want to get the best image quality, you may get confused whether you should choose an OLED TV or a 4K TV. For the best image quality, you may get tempted to buy a 4K OLED TV. It combines the best of both worlds; it uses the best display technology and it has the highest resolution available right now. It is a good choice if you don’t mind spending lots of bucks. It will deliver spectacular richness, finely fine details, and truly vivid colors. However, 4K OLED TVs are very expensive right now, so if you want to be more efficient with your money, you may want to consider other options.

In general, choosing an OLED TV with the Full HD resolution is more recommended than choosing a 4K LCD / LED TV. Why? If you choose a 4K LCD / LED TV, you will be able to enjoy the ultra high resolution, but the colors will not be as great as OLED. That is not an ideal solution. Enhancing the color quality is generally wiser than increasing the resolution alone, in order to deliver the most vibrant and vivid images. In addition, 4K content is not yet very common. Many TV channels are still using the Full HD resolution. This may change in the future, but not for now. So, you will not be able to make the 4K TV perform to the fullest for now anyway. Besides, a non-OLED 4K TV may still struggle with similar issues haunting LCD and LED TVs, such as terrible viewing angles and hotspots.

If you don’t want to spend so much for a 4K OLED TV, choosing a Full HD OLED TV can be a great alternative. The Full HD resolution is already the standard to enjoy various contents with satisfying visuals. On the other hand, the OLED technology will deliver the best color quality, with outstanding black levels and even brightness. It offers a great viewing angle, consistent colors and contrast, and rich, bright images.

- “Organic Light Emitting Diode”, refers to the display technology- 4K simply refers to the resolution, which is 3840 x 2160
- Available in different resolutions, including 4K and Full HD- May use OLED, LED, or LCD as the display technology
- Outstanding overall image quality with great black levels and even brightness- The ultra high resolution allows enhanced sharpness


The term “OLED” refers to the display technology, whereas “4K” simply refers to the resolution. A 4K OLED TV would make the best option right now, as it offers outstanding sharpness and color quality. OLED displays boast incredible black levels and excellent brightness, making them the best panels for producing vibrant and vivid images. If you can’t afford a 4K OLED TV, choosing a Full HD OLED TV is generally more recommended than choosing a non-OLED 4K TV because the overall image quality is better.

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