Last month, Sony unveiled its next-generation OLED TV for the Indian market. It came hot on the heels of the global launch of the product in New York just a couple of months ago. It’s a clear indication that the Indian market is key to the brand’s global game plan. One of the key messages the brand outlined during the launch in Delhi was how this TV would be capable of displaying images that faithfully convey the creator’s full intent. I was blown away by the first impression. It’s been exactly ten years since Sony launched the world’s first OLED TV. At the time of its launch, the XEL-1 was the world’s thinnest TV – just 3 mm thick. Ten years later, Sony and LG continue to bet big on OLED TVs even as LED TVs see wider adoption, especially among value-conscious consumers. Price, though, is a limiting factor for most people, with the cheapest version costing Rs 2.25 lakh. The Indian market currently is almost entirely shared between LG and Sony. The prices are bound to come down when others jump into the fray.
OLED vs LED, What’s in an ‘O’
Light-emitting diode is the expansion for LED. These are tiny solid-state devices that create light with the movement of electrons through a semiconductor. LED TVs are essentially LCD TVs with an improved contrast ratio that provide the necessary backlighting instead of CCFLs (Cold Cathode fluorescent lamp) found in older LCD models. OLED (organic light-emitting diode) on the other hand uses an organic substance that glows with electric current. This revolutionary material reduces the thickness and weight of the TV. That’s why OLED TVs boast of an ultra-thin, sleek form and also great colour reproduction with individual pixels that turn off for true blacks. The biggest advantage an OLED TV brings to the table is its ability to deliver deep, dark blacks – one of the key factors to produce exceptional picture quality. Deeper blacks create more realistic images with higher contrasts and vibrant, life-like colours. Samsung’s premium QLED (with the Q denoting Quantum dot material) features an updated illumination technology with a brighter greyscale and colour and also enhances the High Dynamic Range (HDR). It has taken the ‘picture quality’ fight to OLED TVs.
OLED and 4K
4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) is used to refer to TVs with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (8.3 megapixels, aspect ratio 16:9). A full HD TV, on the other hand, boasts of a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. You could have 4K TVs that use OLED or LED technology.
Here’s our pick of the best OLED TVs currently in the Indian market
Sony Bravia A9F OLED
The processor is the key to picture quality in high-end televisions. Sony’s all-new ‘X1 Ultimate processor’ is at the heart of this television and teams up with the brand’s proprietary Pixel Contrast Booster that boosts colours at high brightness levels, deep blacks and a wide viewing angle. It’s not just great visuals; the A9F’s proprietary Acoustic Surface Audio+, 3.2 channel multi-dimensional sound creates an immersive entertainment experience. The additional centre actuator is similar to centre speakers embedded behind an acoustically transparent screen found at the cinemas. There’s a unique Netflix Calibrated Mode that allows you to experience Netflix content with the optimal video and audio settings, the way the creators intended. The A9F Bravia is powered by Android TV 8.0 and allows you to control your other smart devices via the TV. You don’t need your remote to swap channels or apps thanks to the built-in Google Assistant.
Price: ₹3.99 lakh (55 inch)/ ₹5.59 lakh (65 inch).
LG AI ThinQ OLED77W8PTA
LG’s top-of-the-line 77-inch OLED TV is a real object of beauty. The TV has won numerous design awards since it was first showcased at the beginning of this year, including a Red Dot design award. Aside from its ultra-thin form factor, this TV can double up as a showstopper in your living room and display images when it switches to gallery mode with LG’s unique tie-up with TripAdvisor. This TV is powered by LG’s a9 (Alpha 9) processor and employs NLP (natural language processing) to deliver intelligent voice-activated controls. The TV’s Dolby Atmos audio interface and 4K Cinema HDR creates a truly cinematic experience. Price: ₹32.9 lakh
Sony Bravia A1 Series
Propelled by Sony’s X1 Extreme processor, this TV combines the brilliance of 4K clarity with brightness, colour and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and can handle a variety of HDR formats. At its heart is Sony’s proprietary TRILUMINOS display that produces rich, vibrant colours. The TV features Sony’s critically acknowledged ‘One slate’ design philosophy and Acoustic Surface Sound Technology
Price: ₹3.05 lakh (55 inch)/ ₹4.05 lakh (65 inch)
LG OLED 55B7T
LG’s 2017 55-inch OLED TV is still a great buy at this price point. It supports premium HDR content mastered by Dolby Vision and features active HDR technology that optimises HDR picture scene by scene for a life-like viewing experience. It features Dolby Atmos, infinite contrast and webOS, a simple and intuitive Smart TV user experience.
Price: ₹2.25 lakh