Smart TV Terminology Can Be Confusing. We’re Here to Help
Shopping for a new TV but confused about the tech jargon?
Looking for a new Smart TV this Black Friday or Cyber Monday for your streaming or gaming needs? Let us help by defining some common terms seen in Smart TV product descriptions and sales.
LED vs. QLED vs. mini-LED vs. OLED:
- LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and is the most common type of tech used in TVs on the market. Standard LED TVs generally have good picture and are available in multiple screen sizes.
- QLED stands for Quantum-Dot Light Emitting Diode – this tech was coined by Samsung and offers a wider range of colors, including better dark and light scenes, than standard LED.
- Mini-LED TVs use thousands of smaller LED backlights to offer more precise control over dimmed scenes, resulting in improved contrast and deeper blacks.
- OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and is widely considered to be the best screen resolution technology available today. In an OLED TV, each individual pixel can be turned on or off and emit its own light, rather than a backlight layer behind the pixel layer lighting it up. This allows for more true blacks, very high contrast ratios for a wider color range, and an overall fantastic picture quality. OLED TVs tend to be thinner and lighter than standard LED TVs, but they often consume more power and are generally more expensive.
Hertz/Refresh Rate: This is essentially the smoothness of motion on the screen. A higher number means a better picture.
Pixels & 4K/8K: This refers to the overall picture quality the screen offers. Screens are made up of tiny dots (pixels) lined up in horizontal and vertical rows. Each pixel contains color information that is lit up by a separate backlight layer in the TV. Essentially, the more pixels a screen has, the better the resolution will be.
Local Dimming: This feature common in many new LED TVs can turn off individual areas of pixels in the screen so that black and dark colors stay more true, and white colors are brighter overall.
HDMI Inputs: TVs will list the number of HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) ports available - these are the connections on the back or side of the TV that allow you to connect external media devices like gaming consoles, streaming sticks, and Blu-Ray players.
Smart Platform: Many modern Smart TVs have a built-in operating system that allows you to stream content from various subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Prime Video, and others. Many TVs now run on the Google TV, Roku TV, Fire TV, webOS, or other operating system. The choice between them depends on user preference.
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