After being around for more than 8 years, OLED TVs are currently among the most expensive consumer displays on the market.
So, how have they managed to hold their value even after so many years in the volatile electronics market?
OLED TVs are primarily costly because they use a new panel technology. The companies that invested in the technology will have to make their money back before the panels can be made affordable. The higher refresh rates, more vibrant images, and better viewing angles offered by OLEDs also push their prices higher.
This article looks at OLED TVs and why they’re so expensive. Keep reading to find out if they are worth the hefty prices or if there’s a cheaper alternative to OLEDs.
About OLED Display TV Technology
You’ll probably come across the term “OLED” when you’re shopping for a new phone, laptop, monitor, or even TV.
OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. While that phrase might not make sense on its own, it simply represents the panel used on those devices.
Therefore, it’s the OLED panel that makes OLED TVs stand out from other TVs in the market. These include LED (Light Emitting Diode), QLED (Quantum Dot), and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).
Although OLED technology had been used in different devices in the 2000s, it was first seen on commercial TVs around 2014.
It has gone on to become quite popular but hasn’t managed to snatch the crown from LED due to the high price tag.
Interestingly, although OLED TVs are clearer and have better viewing angles, they also have a shorter lifespan than most other TVs.
How Much Do OLED TVs Cost on Average?
OLED TVs are pretty expensive. Of course, the prices vary from different brands and sizes, but you can expect to pay at least $1000 for any TV with an OLED panel.
In fact, the majority of OLED TVs between 55 and 65 inches cost in upwards of $1500.
How Much Does It Cost to Make an OLED TV?
On average, a 65-inch OLED TV costs about $800 to produce. However, these costs vary between brands, with LG having the upper hand because they’re the sole producer of OLED panels.
Why are OLED TVs Expensive?
With so many alternative technologies in 2022, why are OLEDs still so expensive?
1. New Technology
OLED TVs have been commercially available for about 8 years now. Although that would be a long time in many industries, it’s still the pilot phase in the display market.
While there are many variables in the production of OLEDs, if you eliminate them, you remain with the age-old process of supply and demand.
As such, you can compare the price progression with that of LCD panels and expect to see a similar trend.
The process involves limiting supply in the early stages, creating high demand, and hiking the prices.
This helps the companies offset production costs and all the money they spent on R&D for the new technology.
The second phase involves bulk production and flooding the market with the new panels. This eventually lowers their prices.
As it stands, OLEDs are still in the first phase, so the manufacturers are trying to break even.
2. Better Viewing Angles
While LCD panels were a revolutionary technology 2 decades ago, they had one major flaw: angle distortion. LEDs came and tried to solve the problem, but no panel mainstream display can beat the viewing angles of an OLED.
The image on an OLED display is clear from whatever angle you look at it. This makes the panels ideal for consumer TVs which are often watched by many people simultaneously, sitting at different angles.
3. Vibrant Images
OLED displays are the most vibrant panels in the market. If you watch an LCD/LED TV, then shift to an OLED, you’ll immediately notice the difference.
The panels produce deep blacks and high contrast levels. They can achieve this by completely turning off the “black pixels” and lighting the “white pixels.”
Although LEDs use a similar technique, they often suffer from a “blooming” effect, where the bright pixels bleed into the darker areas.
OLEDs don’t experience this problem because, unlike LCD/LEDs, they are not backlit. Instead, each diode emits its own light.
This also reduces the problem of hotspots (areas on the screen that are brighter because they are closer to the light source.)
4. High Refresh Rates
OLED technology offers higher refresh rates than other commercially available panel technologies. This makes the panels great for gaming monitors and TVs.
They are an especially popular pairing with the new generation of consoles (PS5 and Xbox series S/X.)
Higher refresh rates make the image seem more seamless and give snappier responses in gaming or computing tasks.
Most display companies go all-out to market their OLED TVs. LG, being the only company that produces OLED panels before they’re fixed into other devices, capitalizes its entire reputation on the technology’s success.
The company, along with Sony and Panasonic, has worked hard to convince the world that OLED is a superior technology and should be priced as such. Therefore, most people believe the high prices are justified.
How Much Does OLED Screen Cost?
In 2021, the DSCC estimated a 65-inch OLED panel cost $520. However, these costs are expected to reduce to $420 by 2025.
Is OLED TV Worth the Price?
Most OLED TVs are definitely worth the huge price tag, especially if they’ll be used for computing or gaming.
Besides vibrant images and higher refresh rates, OLED panels are also more energy-efficient and offer better viewing angles.
Will OLED TV Prices Drop in Future?
If the estimates from the DSCC are anything to go by, OLED TV prices are expected to drop by 2025. Companies like LG and Sony are investing billions into the technology and will soon find a way to make it affordable.
Best OLED TV in 2022 (My Top 3 Picks)
Being the pioneer in OLED technology, LG has mastered the art of making great OLED TVs. The C1 series is actually the best-selling OLED TV on Amazon.
Aside from all the benefits of an OLED panel, it comes with a Gen4 processor that specializes in deep learning to give you optimized images for any use case.
This is one of Bravia’s first OLED TVs. Although it’s almost two years old at this point, it holds up pretty well. It’s especially great for gaming as it was optimized to work with the PS5.
Despite not being a household name, Vizio has been making some remarkable TVs at affordable prices. Their OLED lineup is excellent for anyone who wants to enjoy this futuristic technology on a budget.
What TV Is Better Than OLED
While many thought Samsung’s QLED would snatch the crown from OLED, Mini LED is proving to be the better technology. Mini LED panels mimic OLED properties at a fraction of the price.
They are not only cheaper to buy but also more energy-efficient than OLEDs. This Youtube comparison by Lew from Unbox Therapy also shows that Mini LED panels are brighter.
Check it out below.