In this article I will take a closer look at the difference between the RGB OLED and WOLED (also called WRGB OLED) techniques that are currently used by Samsung and LG.
At first glance, the OLED TVs from Samsung and LG, presented in January, are quite similar. Both models provide impressively deep black levels, very high contrast and ultimate sharpness. In addition, both models are very slim and, probably, also very expensive. Yet there is an important difference in the technology used for the OLED panel.
WOLED is the technology that LG currently uses for its 55 inch OLED TV. The term is a result of the term WRGB OLED which stands for White Red Green Blue Organic Light Emitting Diode .
Simply put, each pixel of a WOLED TV consists of four (tiny) sub-pixels, the diodes. The filters of the first three pixel sub pixels are red, green, blue. The fourth pixel has no filter and is white. White may sound a bit strange since most of us may be familiar with the primary RGB colors (red, green and blue).
Nevertheless, according to LG, the manufacturer that uses technology for the development of its 55-inch OLED TV (55EM970V), this has advantages. For example, colors must be more accurately displayed for a more realistic experience. The Color Refiner filter must then perfect the color rendering. For blue colors the difference should be clearly visible. In addition, this technique ensures that the viewing angles are very wide.
The term RGB OLED may be immediately clear after reading the paragraph above. These stand for Red Green Blue Organic Light Emitting Diode .
An RGB OLED TV does not use filters and each pixel on the TV consists of three sub-pixels that themselves radiate their main color. For example, one sub-pixel is red, one sub-pixel is green and one sub-pixel is blue. The color that appears on TV is determined by the intensity of the light emitted by the pixels. For example, the color is white when the intensity is at maximum and the color is black when no light is emitted.
Samsung is the manufacturer that currently works with the RGB OLED technology for its latest 55-inch Super OLED TV . Samsung itself provides relatively little information about the technology used, but the manufacturer does say that the technology is better than what LG uses. The RGB technology must provide more intense colors, although the viewing angle can be less.
Difference in costs
The use of a different technique not only brings differences in image quality. The production process is also different, so the costs differ. A study by the American DisplaySearch shows that the production of a WOLED panel is eight times more expensive than the production of a 200Hz LCD panel of the same size. The production of an RGB OLED panel would even be ten times more expensive. The difference is due to the fact that the percentage of perfect panels (panels that meet the quality requirements) is lower with RGB OLED panels and because the costs of material are higher. Due to the high costs, the selling price of the OLED TVs from Samsung and LG is estimated at a minimum of 8,000 euros.
What is the best between RGB OLED and WOLED?
Of course we all want to know, but this question is currently difficult to answer. Firstly, the models that LG and Samsung have shown are not yet for sale and can therefore not be extensively compared. Second, both manufacturers state different advantages but the disadvantages are not discussed. And third, the development of OLED is far from standing still and we could also see other techniques for producing OLED panels within a year. In short, the market is still in full swing and it will only become really interesting for us consumers when OLED TVs are offered for the same prices as current high-end LCD and plasma TVs.