The first-ever electronic television debuted commercially in 1934. The first colour TVs went on sale in the 1950s. But it wasn’t until HDTVs arrived in the 1990s where we’ve witnessed the proliferation of new television technology at such a rapid rate. There’s LCD, LED, , 4K, HDR, and what seems like an endless amount of television-related acronyms for you to not only keep track of, but understand so you can make informed purchasing decisions.
In the below guide, get to know commonly used TV technology terminology so you can make the right choice when buying your next television.
Different display resolutions are visualized
At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that didn’t know what HD was. It’s High-Definition, but even that isn’t so easily defined. High-Definition refers to any television that boasts a substantially higher resolution than the previous standard, now known as standard-definition. HDTVs come in a number of resolutions, most commonly: 1280×720 (720p) and 1920×1080 (1080i, 1080p). The highest resolution of the bunch, 1080p, is often referred to as “Full HD”.
4K has become the new standard for televisions
It’s important to understand the higher the resolution, the more detail in the picture on the screen. Which is exactly why 4K is quickly becoming the new standard in television sets. 4K simply means that the resolution is 3840×2160 – or 4 times as many pixels as a “Full HD” 1080p set. This means 4 times the level of detail found in even the best HD sets. 4K TVs are also regularly referred to as Ultra HD, or UHD for short. But not all 4K TVs are created equal.
Pictured: LG’s signature W7 OLED TV
Despite what you’ve just read, TVs aren’t all just about pixel density and resolution. Other important factors in choosing a television are contrast ratio and colour accuracy. Contrast ratio is how bright or dark a TV can get, and colour accuracy is how close the TV is to replicating real life colour. HDR – or high dynamic range – is an evolution of these key factors, allowing for an even wider range of brightness, a greater contrast ratio, and more vivid colours. To break it down further, 4K provides the most pixels on the screen, but HDR gets more out of each pixel for the best possible picture.
Dolby Vision™ is offered on LG’s W7 OLED TV
Not all TV terms are acronyms, but this is an important one to learn. Dolby Vision™ is HDR, but only one of the two standards. HDR10 is the other HDR standard, but Dolby Vision™ offers the very best performance, with millions more colours than HDR10. While both formats are indeed HDR, Dolby Vision™ is compatible with HDR10 while the reverse isn’t possible, meaning Dolby Vision™ gives you the most bang for your buck.
LG’s W7 is unveiled to media applause at CES 2017
In the early HD era, LCD and Plasma televisions were the standards. As technology improved, flat-panel displays moved toward LCD TVs backlit by LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, to light the pixels on the screen. But having light behind black pixels creates washed out black colours on-screen. True to life, deep blacks are only possible in the absence of light. OLED TVs, however, light each pixel individually through electroluminescence. This also means OLED TVs can selectively not light up individual pixels, providing for an absence of light, and the deepest possible blacks. OLED has additional benefits, allowing display manufacturers to create curved, bendable displays, ultra-thin displays, and also offers the perfect viewing angle.
With so many important features available as options to consumers, finding a TV that encompasses the best of everything we’ve outlined today is no easy task. Unless you consider the LG W7 OLED TV. To learn more about the most advanced TV on the market today, click here.