Should you buy a QLED TV or an Ultra HD TV? If you're in the mood to buy a new TV, you've probably come across both terms. What do they mean? You need it? Is it possible to get both?

To begin with, most QLED TVs available today are 4K TVs. In fact, all QLED TVs on sale have a minimum resolution of 4K, so in practice you can't have the former without the latter. Having said that, it's possible to get a 4K Ultra HD TV without QLED; there are also many regular LED-LCD and OLED TVs.

The television market is littered with deliberately confusing names for new imaging breakthroughs, design revisions, and new iterations designed to make buying a television an exercise in testing. To get QLED and Ultra HD, it's best to know what they are and why you'd need them.

So this is what exactly you need to know about QLED and Ultra HD, and its position in the television market.

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What does QLED mean?

QLED, if you've never heard of it, is essentially a bloated LED-LCD TV of the sort that's been around for decades.

QLED stands for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode.. Although Samsung makes many types of televisions, QLED TV is its mass-produced high-end panel technology, as you can see if you take a look at the new Samsung TVs this year.

4K Ultra HD

(Image credit: Apple)

What is Ultra HD?

Furthermore, Ultra HD is a TV feature that can be found everywhere on newer TVs around 40 inches. The abbreviation for “ultra high definition”, Ultra HD generally refers to televisions with 4K resolution. You'll hear people talk about TVs Ultra HD and 4K TVs, but it's exactly the same thing.

In terms of sharpness, they are now firmly in the mainstream, having replaced Full HD TVs that are smoother, but not as detailed as next-gen 8K TVs.

For now, 4K Ultra HD TVs are the sweet spot for big-screen TVs both in terms of technology and price, although opting for QLED is also more complicated. For example, Samsung makes 4K QLED TVs, but also 4K LED TVs, Micro LED TVs, and the rather confusingly named Neo QLED TVs (QLED, but with Mini LED backlighting).

“Ultra HD” refers to a 4K digital cinema standard, while "4K" tends to be used for home consumer TVs. Either way, 4K is now the most common pixel resolution for a TV. Ultra HD TVs use a 3840 x 2160 pixel panel, known as 2160p, but also 4K because the images are almost 4000 pixels wide.

But do you need Ultra HD?

Yes, if only because this will be a default feature on almost all TVs around 40 inches and larger, unless you go for a very expensive 8K model or a very small TV. So unless you're looking for a 32-inch TV, perhaps for a bedroom, you'll definitely be looking for a 4K Ultra HD TV.

Samsung 8K QLED TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

While native 4K content sources few, now growing rapidly. Will find native 4K content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, Rakuten TV and other streaming TV services, as well as Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, while Apple TV 4K, PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X all render native 4K content.

How does QLED work? Is it different from OLED?

QLED TVs use a "quantum dot" filter. Made of ultra-small, precisely controllable semiconductor particles, these quantum dot filters can be controlled very precisely for color output, which it essentially helps create a brighter image and a broader color spectrum.

Then, if you look at a 4K LED TV and a 4K QLED TV, the general rule of thumb is that the QLED TV will be better in terms of color accuracy. While Samsung sells the majority of QLED TVs, it also supplies them to TCL and Hisense.

OLED vs. QLED? is a question often asked by those who want to buy a premium TV, but it is largely based on a misunderstanding of what a QLED TV is. QLED's almost alphabetical name makes it seem like a no-frills alternative to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, but they're drastically different.

The pixels in a QLED TV are illuminated by old-fashioned backlighting (direct LED backlighting and edge lighting). Therefore, the QLED TVs don't show black areas in pictures like OLED TVs do. That's because OLED TVs control each individual pixel and are thinner to begin with. OLED TVs also offer much wider viewing angles, smoother flicks, and better black levels, which it means they are generally better for movies.

However, QLED TVs stand out when used in well-lit roomsas well as for desktop and laptop PC monitors. The QLED vs OLED issues remain as they pit Samsung, the only QLED panel maker, against LG, the only OLED panel maker, which supplies them to Sony, Panasonic and Philips.

What is Neo QLED? Mini LED? Micro LED?

Samsung TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

As you may have noticed, Samsung employs armies of marketing creatives to come up with disturbing terminology, the latest of which is Neo QLED. found in the Samsung's 2021 TV Lineup, is Samsung's own name for something many TV manufacturers use: Mini LED. Mini LED TVs use a "micro layer" in the backlight to guide light from the mini LEDs through the same quantum dots used in QLED TVs. The end result is better gloss control control.

Micro LED is a completely new (and extremely expensive) TV panel technology which threatens to ban QLED from history. It's been around since Samsung launched "The Wall" Micro LED in 2018, though in early 2021 Samsung's Micro LED TV launched in 110-inch, 99-inch and 88-inch sizes.

As you might have guessed, this new panel technology - which uses pixel-sized LEDs to create brighter, more contrasting images with less power - is, for now, all and only on monster-sized TVs that you almost certainly can't. to pay. This is an issue to keep in mind in the future; get ready for a debate between Micro LED and OLED.

Samsung q80t

(In the image: Samsung Q80T QLED 2020 TV). (Image credit: Samsung)

Should you buy a QLED 4K Ultra HD TV?

If you're into QLED, pick the best Samsung QLED TVs. For the price, we quite like last year's Samsung Q80T QLED, which will set you back €1,099 / €1,199 (around AU$1,500). However, if you crank it up, you'll see that only some of Samsung's 8K TVs, like the Q800T and Q950TS, use QLED panel technology.

However, if you don't care about QLED and just want a 4K TV, look for the best 4K TVs that cover technology like QLED and OLED, and span brands like LG, Panasonic, Sony, and Philips, as well as Samsung.

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  • Looking for an even higher resolution display? Check out our list of the best 8K TVs.
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