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TV Terms To Know

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

About a year ago, I posted about some common TV terms. I've decided to update the list. With new TVs coming out every year, new terms are made up. Below are some of the important words you'll see when looking for a new television.

What does 'refresh rate' mean?

Refresh rate can be a complex topic. When you're looking for a new TV, you may see a brand rave about its refresh rate. Simply put, a refresh rate tells you how many images it can show per second: the more images, the smoother the picture.

There is much more to it, so you can read about it on The Home Cinema Guide's website. The best advice right now is to choose a TV that has a 120 Hz refresh rate. It can decrease motion blur and rid your viewing experience of flickers (a flicker is a visible change in brightness between cycles displayed on video displays).

What is Mini-LED?

Mini-LED is just the same as an LED screen, except the diodes are smaller than normal. Smaller diodes mean more diodes, which means more precise backlighting. These types of screens can almost be compared to OLED without the cost. So, keep that in mind when looking for a new TV.

You will also see it labeled as QNED with certain brands.

What is HDR?

HDR (high dynamic range) has to do with color/brightness range. Brights look brighter, and darks look darker. It's not exclusive to any one resolution (HD, 4K, 8K). However, it does look better on higher-resolution TVs. Overall, HDR improves video quality all around.

What is 4K?

4K (regularly referred to as Ultra HD/UHD) is an upgraded resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels. To compare, Full HD, the most recent pre-4K TV resolution, is 1920 x 1080 pixels. There are nearly eight million pixels, about four times more than Full HD. The going consensus of tech blogs is that 4K looks better on TVs 50" or bigger. Overall, 4K is just more pixels making your viewing experience a lot crisper.

Sidenote: Not everything is filmed in 4K. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't upgrade. It makes Full HD look better, and you'll be ready for when everything is finally in 4K. Games, movies, TV shows, and sports are all working on 4K for you.

What is 8K?

8K (also known as Full Ultra HD) is another resolution upgrade at 7680 x 4320 pixels. That's equal to 33,177,600 pixels on screen!!! These are high-end TVs. Why? Because anything less than 85 inches renders 8K essentially useless. The picture would still be amazing, but you wouldn't get the full feel (just like any 4K TV should be 50" or more).

8K is occasionally used now, but you've got plenty of time to enjoy your 4K TV before it becomes a thing of the past.

What is LCD?

LCD (liquid crystal display) is a type of display, and it uses CCFLs (cathode fluorescent lights) to backlight the display. It uses a lot less power than its predecessor, the plasma display. LCD TVs are the most common and most sold type of display.

What is LED?

LED (light-emitting diode) is a version of LCD, but better. It uses LED lights rather than CCFLs. All LCD TVs now use LED lights, so they are now just LED TVs.

What is OLED?

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is another type of display. It's much different from the original LCD. Each pixel on the screen emits its own light rather than a backlight (like all other LCD/LED TVs). OLED has the darkest of darks but a more muted brightness level. This is the best type of TV display for those who enjoy movies and/or cinematic TV shows because of how it shows darks/blacks and mutes its brightness.

What is QLED?

QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode) is a display more similar to LCD/LED than OLED. It uses a backlight, making bright colors much brighter but darks much less so. However, eventually, QLEDs will be self-emitting and be the better option over OLEDs.

Sidenote: Neo QLED is better than regular QLED with how they cluster LED lights for the backlighting. It is an improvement, and if you're going with the quantum dots - this is the best option.

In October of last year, I recommended a 4K HDR OLED that is at least 50 inches. As of today, I am recommending the same. OLED has still proven itself to be the best option. Mini-LED is the second best option if the price is a factor. If you're looking for a new television, reach out to us!


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