QLED vs UHD TV: What’s The Difference?

Is it time to upgrade your TV? Shopping for a new TV can be daunting. Technology and terminology can be very confusing. Fear not, we are here to help! We put together this helpful guide to get you up to speed on QLED vs UHD TV technology.

If you’re researching TVs to buy, you’ve probably come across two industry terms – QLED and UHD. QLED is a category name for TVs that uses a technology called quantum dot. UHD is also known as 4K. What do these mean, and what’s the difference? Let’s find out.

First, it is important to understand, there’s no “one or the other” or “one is better than the other” here. QLED and UHD describe completely different technologies.

“Ultra High Definition" or UHD refers to the TV having a 4K display resolution
UHD stands for “Ultra High Definition” and refers to the TV having a 4K display resolution

What Is UHD?

First, let’s start with UHD, which stands for “Ultra High Definition.” This simply refers to the TV having a 4K display resolution. Now there are some UHD TVs available with an astounding 8K resolution.

UHD is not a “new” type of TV technology like QLED, but rather an improvement on the “full HD” 1080p LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs. With more and more 4K content becoming available to watch, UHD is a feature you’ll want for your next TV.

A UHD TV operates like a QLED TV in that it has an LED backlight and LCD screen, but it lacks the QLED TV’s quantum dots used to improve color and brightness.

The most important thing to remember is that UHD is not technically a type of TV, but rather a description of its 4K resolution. What’s confusing is that although UHD and 4K are not the same technology, the terms are often used interchangeably.

QLED is a category name for TVs that use quantum dot technology to create or enhance the color
QLED is the name for TVs that use quantum dot technology to create or enhance color. Image Source
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What Is QLED?

Next, let’s dive into QLED, which is a category name for TVs that use quantum dot technology to create or enhance the color. QLED stands for “Quantum Light-Emitting Diode.” The word “quantum” refers to the use of tiny particles called quantum dots. Quantum dots are tiny particles. Quantum dots emit red and green light when blue light is shined through them.

The light from the LED panel travels through a quantum dot screen before reaching the liquid-crystal display (LCD) at the front of the QLED TV. This produces the recognizable images we watch.

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The Differences, In a Nutshell

To summarize, these are the biggest differences between QLED vs UHD TVs:

  • QLED technology uses an LED backlight to hit a screen of quantum dot particles that then supercharges the TV’s pixels for brightness and color beyond the standard quality seen in other LCD TVs.
  • UHD TVs are simply higher-resolution versions of the standard LCD TV. Both OLED and QLED TVs usually offer UHD resolution!
Quantum dot technology or QLED uses an LED backlight to hit a screen of quantum dot particles that supercharges TV’s pixels
QLED technology uses an LED backlight to hit a screen of quantum dot particles that supercharges TV’s pixels for brightness and color beyond the quality seen in other LCD TVs
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How does QLED (Quantum Dot Technology) work?

All QLED TVs have a quantum dot filter. It’s a film of tiny crystal semi-conductor particles which replace the red, green and blue color filters that old TVs used. Quantum dot filters can precisely control their color output.

However, there are differences in quantum dot implementation. Quantum dot offers a step up color performance, but not all quantum dots are created equal.

There are varying levels of quantum dot implementations available in the industry that provide different levels of color performance. Color is measured using what’s called the rec2020 color space. The more color space coverage the better. Color space is the standard being used by Dolby Vision and other HDR formats. It is the widest color space currently available for electronic displays.

You’ll find the ‘QLED’ label on a few TV brands, including TCL and Hisense, but generally, it refers to a Samsung TV. Recently, Vizio has entered the QLED TV market, utilizing Samsung’s quantum dot technology.

quantum dot filters are a film of tiny crystal semi-conductor particles which replace the red, green and blue color filters in older TVs
QLED TVs have a quantum dot filter, a film of tiny crystal semi-conductor particles which replace the red, green and blue color filters that old TVs used. Image Source
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QLED vs UHD TV: Quantum Dot FAQ

  • What is QLED? A TV panel technology that use quantum dot technology to create or enhance the color of TV screens.
  • Which is better QLED or UHD? One is not better than the other. UHD is not technically a type of TV, but rather a description of its 4K resolution. UHD and QLED describe completely different technologies.
  • Is QLED better than 4K? All QLED panels have a minimum 4K resolution – while some are even 8K.
  • What is the difference between QLED and premium UHD? The main difference between QLED and Premium UHD is that the QLED is powered by Quantum dot TV technology while the Premium UHD is a standard used in 4K range TV displays. Premium UHD established a consensus for 4K Ultra HD specifications.
  • Are QLED TVs expensive? Some certainly are but there are mid-range models that won’t break your budget.
  • Is QLED really worth the extra money? It’s a step up from regular Ultra HD TVs. QLED panels have made for some incredible high-end televisions, with incredible bright screens and strong up scaling ability. Some are now offered at mid-range prices.
Samsung the world leader in QLED TV sets
Samsung’s 4K and 8K QLED TVs
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Samsung QLED TVs

Samsung, as the largest TV manufacturer in the world, is statistically likely to be your first choice. Samsung’s 2020 TVs sport and impressive lineup of 4K and 8K QLED sets. Here are our picks for the best Samsung TVs on the market this year.

For our money, we think Samsung’s QLED smart TVs are still the best option to buy. Samsung shifted its focus to 8K premium sets. Their 4K QLED TVs got few tweaks this year, and we still think they’re still great 4K TVs. If you’re in the market for an 8K set, Samsung’s 8K TVs are the most affordable for the money.

Samsung has also introduced its first outdoor TV models, The Terrace. This outdoor TV injects Samsung’s 4K QLED brilliance into a weather-resistant design that’s ideal for the patio or deck.

P-Series Quantum X TVs are VIZIO’s most advanced QLED models and are available in 65 and 75-inch diagonal sizes
Vizio’s P-Series Quantum TV Series. Image Source
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VIZIO Quantum Dot TVs

VIZIO offers three lines of smart TVs with Quantum Color, which are all 4K.

P-Series Quantum X TVs are VIZIO’s most advanced models and are available in 65 and 75-inch diagonal sizes. In addition to brighter images (up to 3000 nits) and offering up to 480 local dimming zones to maintain deep black levels and maximum contrast, these quantum dot LED-backlit LCD TVs offer 165% greater color than standard UHD models* with up to 84% coverage of the Rec2020 UHD color standard.

P-Series Quantum TVs are also available in 65 and 75-inch diagonal sizes. These VIZIO quantum dot LED-backlit TVs are up to 4 times brighter (up to 1200 nits), with 115% more color than standard UHD TVs, and offer up to 240 local dimming zones.

M-Series Quantum TVs are VIZIO’s most affordable quantum dot LED-backlit TVs. These 43- to 70-inch models provide up to 80% more color than standard UHD TVs, thanks to a color gamut that covers up to 80% of the UHD standard’s Rec2020 color space combined with up to 600 nits of peak brightness. Up to 90 local dimming zones help to maintain deep black levels and maximum contrast.

No matter which VIZIO Quantum Color UHD TV you pick, you’ll enjoy the latest features and superb image quality!

VIZIO Quantum Color UHD TV
M-Series Quantum TVs are VIZIO’s most affordable quantum dot LED-backlit TVs
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Should I buy a QLED TV?

Improvements in QLED panels have made for some incredible high-end televisions, with brilliant picture quality, at more affordable prices. Whether you should buy a QLED TV, will ultimately come down to price. You’re still paying thousands for a very good QLED television.

The most expensive and high specified QLED TVs these days are also 8K TVs. While 8K resolution isn’t quite a necessity yet, it’s still an impressive technology that comes into its own at larger screen sizes. If you’re looking for a 75-inch TV, 8K might be a smart move.

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In Conclusion

2020 QLED TV model lineups come loaded with impressive features, polished designs and innovative technology. Whether you’re interested in a stylish 4K QLED TV, or a premium 8K TV, you will find a quantum dot television that delivers a beautiful picture at a pretty price. To make one of these your own, learn which time of year is the best time to buy a TV. You might be surprised.

Hi, I’m David Clark, founder of CurvedView.com and you could say televisions are not only a personal passion but a career. My mission is to educate consumers and help each find the perfect HDTV and TV accessory, at the best price, for their personal viewing preference.

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