I found a Transparent TV! – How does it work?! OLED vs LCD

by birtanpublished on September 29, 2020

So it might not look like it right now, but I'm in the back of a semi-truck trailer. LG
brought me out to Minneapolis to show off their OLED experience – a traveling road
trip inside of a semi-truck with all of their OLED technology. They say there's a transparent
OLED in here somewhere. It should be pretty interesting.
Let's get started.

So in order to understand how a clear TV is even possible, first we need to understand
the technology behind LCDs and OLEDs. So when you walk into a room at first glance the TVs
might appear very similar. But in fact, LCD's are very different than OLEDs. So this is
an LCD TV torn apart section by section. You can see the back plate here with individual
LED strips running down. Then there's separate layer that's a reflector. Each of these LEDs
poke through the reflector and then get diffused by this panel. And then get illuminated by
several optical sheets before creating an image that shines out the front.
So you can see that LCDs are rather complicated inside and that's kind of what makes them
so thick. It needs each layer in order to function. Now OLEDs, on the other hand, don't
need all these layers. An OLED TV is just a single panel that displays the whole image.
And each of those 8 million pixels light themselves individually which makes the color more vibrant
because the back light isn't washing out the colors as it shines through the pixels like
it is on an LCD.
Because of that single panel, an OLED TV tends to be a lot more vibrant and vivid than an
LCD because you're getting the image directly from the source instead of spit out through
multiple layers. I'm going to put these two images side by side, and try to tell me which
TV is which using just your eyes.
So here's the direct comparison between the OLED and the LCD panels. I'm going to have
you guys guess which one is which. An easy way to tell is just by looking at the blacks.
The OLED panel has 8 million pixels working together simultaneously while the LCD has
LED panels, but 480 of them.
You can see the blacks on one TV are actually pitch black because the pixels are turned
off, where the LCD might be a tad bit grayer because there's a back light. Those LED panels
are lit up behind the pixels and it doesn't allow the TV to get pitch black.
So looking at this star field you can see the stars start to appear on the OLED sooner
than on the LCD because the blacks aren't quite as black on the LCD as they are the
OLED.
So because of the incredible thinness on that single OLED panel, it's the same technology
that's used a lot in cell phones, which means that a TV can be even more thin than a cell
phone. Which makes the whole thing lighter and easier to mount as well.
So one perk of an OLED panel is that it can be viewed from any angle. The image won't
change. Where with LCDs the picture changes depending on where you're standing. OLED panels
have a bit more customization as well. This one has sound that actually plays through
the screen. Because of the thinness of the OLED panels, the speakers are built into the
screen and the sound emanates out the front actually causing the screen to vibrate. This
sound technology is only found in the Sony OLED TVs. Because each pixel in an OLED display
produces it's own light, it's more efficient than an LCD, meaning that it produces less
of those harmful blue light rays that keep you up at night or sometimes cause headaches.
So now that we understand the difference between LCDs and OLED technology, we can understand
how a transparent TV works. Because there's only one singular panel, each time the pixel
turns off, it's just gone, which allows you to see through the TV to the other side.
So when the pixels are lit up, the TV stops being transparent. Only when the pixels go
to black and starts letting the light through and you can see my hand behind the image.
You might be asking yourself, 'What does a transparent TV do? Like what is it good for?'
I can think of several different applications for it. Like in heads up displays in cars
or fighter jets. Or like augmented reality inside of your sun glasses overlaying things
on the stuff you see around you. Or you can have a window built out of a transparent TV
so you can see the weather or the news as you're looking out into nature.
So these transparent OLED panels are not commercially available just yet. The only place you can
see them is on the OLED TV Tour. I'll put the link in the description so you can find
out where they're headed next.
So LG didn't make this giant custom OLED trailer just for me, they made it for you guys. They
have a road trip planned across the United States to 26 different cities. So if you visit
one of the 26 locations where this trailer is going to be and buy an OLED TV, you can
get 10% back on a Best Buy gift card. If you take a picture of yourself with the OLED TV
trailer and post it to social media, you could also have a chance to win a 65 inch OLED TV.
I'm pretty excited about where TV technology is headed, especially the transparent stuff.
Huge thanks to LG for inviting me out to see their OLED trailer. If you have any questions
leave them down in the comments. I'll be there to answer them. And I hope you have a chance
to come see this transparent TV for yourself. Thanks a ton for watching, and I'll see you
around.

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