LG recently announced it was rolling out its new lineup of 4K and 8K TVs in South Africa, which includes a selection of OLED and NanoCell models.
8K offers the highest resolution generally available in consumer TVs, with 7,680 horizontal and 4,320 vertical pixels across the display.
These provide them with a total pixel count of around 33 million, four times the number of 4K and 16 times that of Full HD.
In South Africa, LG’s new 8K TVs are set to compete with Samsung’s 8K QLED sets, which first arrived in the country back in April 2019.
While offering the same number of pixels, it is important to note that LG and Samsung use vastly different techniques for lighting the pixels of their flagship displays.
For its OLED TVs, LG employs an emissive technology called organic light-emitting diode (OLED) which means that individual sub-pixels in the display emit their own light.
Samsung’a QLED displays, meanwhile, use a transmissive technology more closely aligned with conventional LCD panel TVs.
QLED TVs use a film which contains microscopic quantum dot molecules that emit their own light when hit with incoming light.
An LED backlight projects this source light through several layers in the TV, including the QLED colour film, to project the image onto an LCD panel.
LG offers a similar technology to QLED in its NanoCell TVs, but rather than using a colour sheet over LCD, NanoCell TVs use approximately 1nm-sized nanoparticles integrated into the panel.
OLED vs QLED
OLED generally performs better than LCD-based technologies like QLED and NanoCell in terms of both picture quality and contrast.
This is because each individual pixel in an OLED display is self-lit and can be turned off, allowing for improved contrast and deeper blacks in dark scenes.
Even in premium QLED and NanoCell TVs, which use full-array local dimming to lower black levels, a small amount of light still slips through.
LCD TVs are capable of higher brightness levels, however, which means QLED and NanoCell can display better in brightly-lit rooms.
OLED TVs also have one substantial disadvantage – a bigger risk of burn-in – typically caused by displaying a static image on the panel for too long.
This results in a permanent and visible smudge on the panel which can be seen when viewing other content later on.
While users can fix the problem with a panel or pixel refresher, this generally shortens the lifespan of the display.
Additionally, LCD is still the most widely adopted display panel type, meaning QLED and NanoCell TVs are cheaper to manufacture and therefore more affordable.
As a consequence, there is a significantly wider range of these TVs available from multiple manufacturers worldwide.
LCD performance can differ greatly based on the other features included in the display, such as the previously-noted full-array local dimming, bright highlight capability, and increased viewing angles.
8K price comparison
Samsung currently offers several 8K QLED TVs in South Africa, including 65-inch, 75-inch, 82-inch and 98-inch models.
LG has confirmed that it will offer one new NanoCell 8K model in the country, the 75-inch NANO97 8K TV, which will set buyers back R94,999.
The company’s largest 8K OLED TV – the 88-inch ZX Real 8K TV – will also be launching in South Africa in September. Its local pricing will only be revealed at a later stage.
The table below shows the pricing of the Samsung and LG 8K TVs currently sold in South Africa.
|Samsung 65-inch Q900R QLED 8K Smart TV|
|LG 75-inch NANO97 8K Smart TV|
|Samsung 75-inch Q900R QLED 8K Smart TV|
|Samsung 82-inch Q900R QLED 8K Smart TV|
|Samsung 98-inch Q900R QLED 8K Smart TV|