The Matchmaker’s Guide to Selling 2022 TVs: Help Them Find “The One”
In a world of dating apps where people try to find love in as long as it takes to swipe left or right, it can be hard for today’s consumer to find their match made in TV heaven. With names like “OLED,” “QLED”, or “QD-OLED” and no decade-old profile picture or highly embellished character traits to hide behind, it takes a lot more time and research to get to the heart of what makes these 2022 TVs special. That’s where you, the matchmakers, come in.
Whether they’re a cinema-phile, sports fanatic or avid gamer—you’ll be there to help them find the right 2022 model for their needs. We’ll begin with a brief explanation of each technology, followed by our go-to questions for customers that are sure to help them make the best selection.
Back to Basics: Transmissive Technology with Traditional LED and LCD
Before getting into the nitty gritty of what OLED vs. QLED means, you may start with the shoulders of giants on which they stand: LED and LCD TV. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, a “transmissive” technology that relies on a separate lighting element (such as a backlight) to illuminate an image. When it comes to transmissive TVs, what’s called an “LED TV” is typically just an LCD TV with LED illumination.
50 Shades of Black: OLED’s Claim to Fame
Enter emissive technology with the OLED TV. “OLED” is short for “Organic Light-Emitting Diode”–meaning that instead of relying on an external light source, each pixel creates its own piece of the picture. So why does that matter?
Have your customer imagine their favorite intergalactic space battle taking place on an OLED screen. Black is the absence of light, yet one may expect that image to still appear equally bright across the screen. However, since each pixel can illuminate independently, these pixels depicting black space turn off completely to create true darkness where necessary. This also allows each individual light (or star), for example, to appear as dim or bright as the movie creator intended. This infinite contrast is virtually impossible to achieve on backlit LED/LCD TVs, which still produce “halos” around the darkest points of the screen.
See Their True Colors (at Every Angle)
And that’s why we love you, OLED. Beyond amazing contrast, OLED creates super saturated colors thanks to its strong, independent pixels that “don’t need no additional technology.” Basically, because they light up on their own, they don’t need all the extra transistor/stabilizing layers that backlit TVs require. Fewer layers between the light source and the front of the screen also means that the light waves have more lateral and diagonal movement in each direction. This means their true colors are preserved at the furthest viewing angle, both vertically and horizontally. Great news for people forced to the “front row” of their home theater. And with an OLED like the Samsung S95B, these viewers can also enjoy a truly immersive sound experience thanks to cinematic surround sound of Dolby Atmos built right into the TV.
What’s more, competitive gamers and live sports fans rejoice! OLED TVs also offer the highest refresh rate of any technology (that is, the fastest-responding picture during live TV or competitive gaming).
QLED: Transmissive’s Big Comeback?
The “O” in “OLED” stands for “organic,” and the “Q” in “QLED” stands for “quantum” (quantum dots). QLED is Samsung’s answer to LG’s OLED, but keeps the transmissive backlit technology for a brighter screen. Quantum dots are microscopic nanocrystals that react to a specific color of blue light by emitting both red and green light. This color technique also uses the backlight as a strength, not a weakness–as it relies on a brighter screen to further enhance the color saturation. That’s why you can expect quantum dot TVs to be brighter than average screens, and even two to three times brighter than those of the good old OLEDs. QLED TVs are also the more affordable alternative to OLEDs, with lower risk of burn-in. But remember the rule about “all that glitters”—the one drawback to beautiful brightness and unbelievable color saturation is these things may be affected by the viewing angle, depending on where you sit.
QD-OLED: The Best of Both Worlds?
Perhaps an OLED can do it all. Offered by Sony and Samsung, the QD-OLED is a refinement of the classic OLED technology that promises to improve brightness to near-LED levels. It also uses a blue OLED panel with a quantum dot filter to create brighter primary colors, resulting in a screen that has better color saturation and better off-axis viewing. The Sony XR65A95K is a particularly smart choice for those wanting the OLED experience even in a brighter room. The QD-OLED panel reduces reflectivity of outdoor light, for that immersive viewing experience customers want in almost any lighting condition.
QNED is the name for the latest quantum dot-equipped (Q), NanoCell (N) “emitting diode (ED)” TVs from LG, and basically their answer to Samsung’s ultra bright QLEDs. These are the quantum dot version of their NanoCell TVs, using a proprietary NanoCell technology that claims to absorb unwanted wavelengths of light. These TVs seem to offer another winning combination of the aforementioned technologies–that is, traditional LED/LCD TVs fortified with quantum dots.
Mini-LED, Big Value
Mini-LED is similar to QLED, but the backlights are even smaller. By using more, smaller LEDs to illuminate the screen, this technology allows finer control over highlights and shadows, better brightness and no risk of burn-in—making it ideal for HDR shows, movies and games. Mini-LEDs also create a comparable contrast and variety of deep blacks as those of the OLED, offering a much more affordable alternative especially in larger screen sizes.
The Pinnacle of LCD TVs
It turns out that LG has come up with the best of all the worlds. This LG QNED90 combines quantum dot, NanoCell and Mini LED technologies, truly marking the next evolution of the LCD viewing experience.
Quick Questions for the Ultimate Pairing
Time to make a match! Here are two of the most important questions to ask your clients when beginning their search:
- What content do you like to watch? (I.e., what is this TV for?)
- Where will the TV be installed?
Customer #1: This guy is a big sports fan who loves a great picture, and having people over to watch games in a living room with lots of windows. We’d suggest a QLED TV—great color, picture, and maximum brightness for visibility in well-lit rooms.
Customer #2: This customer is a movie-lover through and through, and wants the ultimate home theater experience. They’re choosing to set up in their basement with as little light as possible. We’d suggest the tried and true OLED or QD-OLED. These prioritize color, contrast and most accurate picture at every viewing angle to best capture a director’s vision no matter where you sit.
Customer #3: This customer is a gamer who loves a great picture, is setting up in a room with lots of windows, and looking for a lower price. We would have them go with the more affordable QLED for its capacity for color and brightness. On the other hand, they were competitive gamer looking to set up shop in a windowless room or basement, we would recommend the OLED for its better refresh rate.
Setting(s) Them Up for Success
There are just a few more steps to take before sending your customer and TV pairing off into the sunset. No matter what they choose, here’s how we recommend our custom integrators create the best viewing experience possible by immediately changing three settings:
- Turn off all motion interpolation settings (Motionflow on Sony, Motionplus on Samsung and Trumotion on LG). These settings can cause content to appear as though it was filmed with a very low quality camera (known as the soap opera effect) and it is one of the biggest complaints that most people have when they purchase a new television.
- Turn off any ambient light detecting features on the TV. Can be called Ambient light, Eco Mode, Power saving. These setting often cause the TV to appear abnormally dim especially at night as the TV will lower it’s brightness output to save power.
- Change the picture quality preset to anything other than Dynamic or Vibrant mode. These modes are used in a retail environment to attract attention and they distort the TV’s brightness and color levels and should never be used for typical viewing.
Given all the different kinds of fish in the sea, there’s clearly no “best,” one-size-fits-all TV for every consumer. The decision will ultimately come down to who your customer is, what kind of experience they want, and a TV that will support their vision every step of the way.
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