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QNED vs QD-OLED: A Detailed Comparison of the Two Cutting-Edge TV Technologies

If you‘ve shopped for high-end televisions recently, you have likely come across QNED and QD-OLED – two impressive panel technologies pushing display boundaries. They promise exceptional picture quality that sets a new standard for color accuracy, contrast and peak brightness.

But with strikingly similar names and capabilities on paper, how exactly do they differ in real world performance? As display advancements accelerate, it‘s important to dive into their distinct capabilities before making a premium purchase.

This guide will break down what sets these titans apart and help identify which can best meet your needs as discerning home theater owners and entertainment enthusiasts.

Demystifying the Technology Inside

Let‘s first decode what the ambiguous acronyms actually stand for:

QNED – Quantum NanoEmitting Diode TVs developed by LG, combining quantum dot and proprietary NanoCell color technology onto LCD panels with full array local dimming powered by miniLED backlights. The miniLEDs number in thousands and span across hundreds of zones to achieve fine grained control over light precision.

QD-OLED – Quantum Dot Organic Light Emitting Diode TVs pioneered by Samsung, taking conventional OLED panels to the next level by overlaying a quantum dot layer. This allows self-emissive pixels to produce a wider array of colors at higher luminance.

So in simpler terms, QNED relies on LED backlights but enhances an LCD grid using nano particles. QD-OLED starts with an inherently emissive OLED base then expands its color reach. Both leverage quantum dots for vibrant, accurate visuals.

But how do these futuristic combinations translate to real-life performance? We break it down across a range of critical television capabilities below.

Display Characteristics – Brightness and Contrast Optimized

Peak Brightness Ultra-high
(Up to 2000 nits)
Very Good
(Around 1000 nits)
Native Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1 1,000,000:1
HDR Formats Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG
Viewing Angle Up to 120° Nearly 180°
Anti-Reflection Filter Yes Yes
Color Management System Calman auto calibration compatible 10-point white balance tuning

Test results clearly show QNED models achieving drastically higher peak brightness suited for well-lit rooms. However QD-OLED sets maintain rich colors even from wider off-center seats. Both leverage advanced dimming but OLED‘s per pixel light control helps boost perceived black level depth.

MiniLED Backlight vs Pixel Level Emission

What gives QNED its winning luminance advantage? The miniLED backlights with up to a few thousand tiny LEDs divided into 500+ dimming zones. This grants fine regional control – blacks can be pitch dark while bright areas remain vibrant on a zone by zone basis.

In comparison, QD-OLED sets emit their own light at the pixel level without a backlight layer. So each pixel transforms electricity into red, green and blue light independently. This auto-optimizes contrast and color precision to the smallest region – enabling perfectionists to enjoy infinite blacks alongside dazzling highlights in the same frame.

Wide Color Gamut

Both Television types render over a billion subtle shades and reach up to 85% of the expansive P3 color space used in commercial digital cinema. Quantum dot filtration in the QD-OLED along with nano particle layers in the QNED allow extremely saturated reds and greens translating to images with a thrilling degree of realism.

Standard dynamic range content is remapped on-the-fly to leverage this expanded gamut range. High dynamic range media with metadata indicating color boundaries receives bespoke processing to retain creative intent.

Uniformity and Accuracy

But color means little without consistency across the screen. Polarizing filter layers work to reduce color shifting when viewed at an angle. White LED backlights plus diffusion panels in QNED sets ensure stable brightness uniformity too. OLED panels have tremendous natural uniformity with precision factory calibration.

Both TV brands provide modes to calibrate colors against certified test patterns for enthusiasts seeking absolute accuracy. Warm and cool picture modes suit varied room lighting conditions.

Design – Slim and Seamless

As display technologies shrink, buyers expect their dream television to resemble a giant glass panel over a traditional gadget. These next generation TVs deliver with remarkably thin constructions using metal and high quality plastics:

QNED – 4K models like the QNED90 measure just 2.1cm deep allowing extremely flush wall mounting. The panel itself is about 0.5cm thin. Premium 8K QNED99 series clocks in at 3.9cm.

QD-OLED – Samsung‘s S95B is their current flagship, with a depth of 1.6cm making it the thinnest television commercially available. The OLED module itself is just 0.1cm thanks to transistor advancements.

Bezel widths are trimmed down to vanishingly small levels on both, practically eliminating borders around the video. This makes the displays appear elegantly boundless when mounted – defining a new era of luxury television aesthetic.

Responsiveness – Blazing Fast Gaming

Modern televisions have evolved far beyond just passive viewing. Today‘s cinephiles and gaming enthusiasts demand silky smooth motion clarity. Both sides deliver:

Gaming Metric QNED TV QD-OLED TV
Native Refresh Rate Up to 120Hz Up to 144Hz
Variable Refresh Rate HDMI Forum VRR Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
Input Lag @ 4K/120Hz 5ms 0.1ms

Quicker pixel response times in OLED technology help QD-OLED panels reach lower input latency for lag-free control in competitive games. Higher refresh rates also ensure smoother frame delivery improving aim precision.

For sports and video playback, both types offer specialized motion smoothing settings that can interpolate additional frames when needed while retaining accuracy of original footage. This helps reduce perceived stutter or judder during fast camera movements.

Extreme low input lag with support for the latest gaming display standards like 4K 120Hz, VRR and ALLM allow these TVs to elegantly multi-task as next-generation gaming monitors as well.

Image Processing – AI Powered Upscaling and Precision

With streaming and media content ranging from HD to 4K resolution, quality upscaling engines play a crucial role. LG‘s acclaimed α9 Gen5 AI Processor powering their latest QNED models leverages deep learning to intelligently enhance detail.

Samsung‘s Neo Quantum Processor 8K in QD-OLED series splits the TV‘s grid into 16 different zones to apply contrast, color and detail boosting individually. This smart tuning unlocks clarity in shadows, optimizes highlights and magnifies textures by understanding every on-screen object.

So whether you‘re catching up on vintage sitcoms or binging the newest show, you‘ll enjoy precisely upscaled visuals automatically fine-tuned to deliver their best.

Smart Platform – Featuring Voice Assistants

As smart TV processors gain speed and intelligence, finding and streaming content has gotten easier.

webOS – LG‘s user-friendly interface offers lightning quick access to popular streaming platforms alongside screen mirroring and casting conveniences. Intuitive point and click navigation is enabled by the included Magic Remote.

Tizen – Samsung‘s slick operating system also packs intuitive controls and an expansive app library. Effortless connectivity for iOS and Android devices makes sharing content painless.

Both integrate widely supported voice assistants – Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and even basic Bixby control. This allows conveniently operating TV functions like launching apps, search and playback entirely handsfree.

Far field mics let you issue voice commands from across the room. Natural language comprehension means you can speak requests conversationally instead of memorizing rigid sequences.

Smart Home Control Hub

On top of entertainment duties, the TV can also serve as a smart home control hub for connected lights, locks and thermostats. Simply link supported IoT devices to the set over WiFi using the mobile app and now you can monitor and operate them through the interface.

This expands usefulness allowing owners to adjust ambient lighting, view door cameras, activate robotic vacuums and more. TV based controls for the smart home bring added convenience complementing phones and dedicated hubs.

Lifespan and Burn-in Mitigation

With both LV and Samsuing retailing these high-end televisions at premium pricing, longevity is an important consideration.

QNED – Uses inorganic LED and LCD components rated for over 100,000 hours (~11 years) of normal use. MiniLED lighting integrated across vast zone counts prevent concentrated wear of backlights.

QD-OLED – Screens rated for 30,000 hours (~10 years), uses panel refresh techniques during standby along with brightness limits under extreme conditions to minimize uneven aging of organic materials. The latest models also reduce risk by having two efficient blue OLEDs to share workload.

In summary, both achieve decade long lifespans under normal viewership, sufficient for any extended ownership period. Care is taken to counter image retention risks.

The Outlook – More Sizes, Improving Yields

As manufacturing processes mature, costs are beginning to decrease allowing more screen sizes at lower price points. Yields for newer fabs also continue rising, enabling increased large scale production.

We expect QD-OLED availability to ramp up in both 55 and 65 inch categories. QNED has steadily expanded options from 43 inches to massive 85+ inch panels. 8K resolution variants are also beginning to get affordable staying below the $5000 mark for 75 inch class televisions.

With market adoption forecast to grow over 30% annually, competition is rising too. Sony, TCL and HiSense have all showcased QD-OLED prototypes indicating more diverse model lineups down the road. Panasonic promises to enter the QNED space by 2024 as well. Exciting advancements lie ahead as quantum dot and self-emissive technologies become mainstream.

Which Should You Buy in 2023?

For pure performance right now, Samsung‘s QD-OLED S95B edges out rivals as the best 4K smart television money can buy. Per pixel illumination precision crosses with quantum dot‘s wider color gamut perfectly poises this model at display‘s bleeding edge. From searing highlights across a starry night sky to candles flickering amid inpenetrable blackness, QD-OLED dazzles like no LED/LCD technology can.

Still, LG‘s rapid iteration shows QNED acting as a true giant slayer in years to come. Improvements to miniLED formulas plus advanced nanocell and quantum dot compositions continue yielding outstanding color volume, incredible peak brightness and deep contrast. Extra large screen offerings catering to dedicated home theaters also give QNED models an advantage.

In the end you have two stellar options depending on personal preferences and viewing tendencies:

QD-OLED – Cinematic Purists wanting infinite contrast and inky blacks even in dark rooms.

QNED – Bright Room Viewers desiring higher luminosity for shadow detail.

Affordable pricing in larger sizes make LG‘s QNED line a sensible pick for bright family rooms and gaming setups. Home theater enthusiasts wanting that awe-inspiring contrast to fully realize directors‘ creative vision will still find Samsung‘s QD-OLED hard to beat.

If current costs stretch beyond reach, it pays to wait as improving yields are already bringing these once prohibitively priced panels closer to mid-high tier price bands with each passing quarter. Keep an eye out in 2024 as heightened competition spurs further innovation around these phenomenal quantum dot based display technologies.