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How Long Do OLED TVs Last?

As an owner of an OLED TV, I know all too well the frustrations of trying to figure out how long it will actually last. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share what I learned about OLED TV lifespans and some potential solutions to extend their longevity.

In 2016, LG claimed that their OLED TVs would last for 100,000 hours, which equates to 10 hours of uninterrupted TV watching per day for ten years. However, this also includes a 50% brightness reduction. Also, consider the effects of HDR technology and differential aging of an OLED TV. 

Because OLED TVs are newer to the market than LCD TVs, and because they cost quite a lot more than an LCD TV, buyers are concerned about the longevity of an OLED TV.

Therefore, I decided to research exactly how long you can expect your OLED TV to last and the factors that influence the longevity of an OLED TV. 

Tips:

  • OLED TVs offer better picture quality than LCD TVs due to the way they manually control each pixel in the display.
  • The lifespan of an OLED TV is directly linked to the screen’s brightness settings.
  • HDR technology can reduce an OLED TV’s lifespan by 25%.
  • Differential aging can occur if certain parts of the screen are exposed to more light than the others.
  • OLED TVs should last at least 15 to 20 years if used correctly.
  • OLED TVs are worth the money if you prefer better viewing quality.

How Long Does An OLED TV Last?

You have various things to consider when buying a TV, such as the price and picture quality. The TV market offers two main competitors – OLED TVs and LCD TVs.

However, LCD TVs have been around much longer than OLED TVs. They have been on the market since the early 2000s. So chances are that your current TV is an LCD. 

While LCDs are proven to last for many years, as many as 28 years if you watch 6 hours of TV per day.

However, OLED TVs beat LCD TVs by far regarding picture quality. This is because an OLED TV can manually control each pixel in its screen, enabling it to turn the pixels off when needed. 

This ensures that the black colors on the TV are genuinely black, unlike the black on an LCD TV, that sometimes still shows light.

LCD TVs can only dim the backlight on specific pixels, but they cannot turn it off completely.

Another reason why OLED TVs offer much better picture quality because they don’t have backlit screens like LCD TVs do. 

With the advanced technology in OLED TVs, it is no surprise that they are also more expensive than LCD TVs, at least for now.

And while the OLED display is brilliant, you want to be sure that your TV will last for many years to justify the more expensive price tag.

What factors influence the lifespan of an OLED TV? 

1. Does HDR Influence An OLED TVs Lifespan?

When LG made the 100,000-hour claim about the lifespan of an OLED TV, they didn’t account for HDR OLED TVs.

Of course, this was before OLED TVs had HDR technology. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it involves the overall picture quality of your TV. 

A TV with HDR technology can produce a much bigger contrast between the light and dark elements of the picture.

This results in a better viewing experience. OLED TVs offer better contrast because the black parts of the image are entirely black.

However, HDR technology further improves the picture quality of an OLED TV. 

Unfortunately, HDR technology also puts more strain on your TV. This is because the lifespan of an OLED TV is directly linked to the screen’s brightness.

For example, LG claims you can get 100,000 hours of screentime from their OLED TVs if the brightness is 100%.

By reducing the brightness settings, you would get more screentime from your OLED TV. 

For HDR technology to work correctly, your TV must produce a lot more energy in some screen regions, such as the bright areas of the picture.

Therefore, when an OLED TV is also an HDR TV, the screen has much more strain. According to the experts, this will shorten your OLED TV’s lifespan by at least 25%. 

2. Do Certain Images Affect An OLED TVs Lifespan?

Another concern with OLED TVs is that they contain organic material. OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, and the TV is constructed by placing two organic films between conductors.

While this offers an excellent TV display, the organic parts of the OLED display also mean that the TV has a limited lifespan, as all organic matter is finite. 

In the previous section, we discussed how HDR influences the viewing quality and contrast of the pictures on TV.

However, in most tests conducted on OLED TVs, scientists assumed that the TV would wear down equally on all screen parts. This results in an overall degression of picture quality. 

In reality, the OLED screen will not wear down equally because not all parts of the screen will always have the same brightness levels. In fact, the screen parts that require maximum light energy are less than 5% of the time the TV is switched on. 

A bigger concern is differential aging. This is when certain screen parts are exposed to more light than the others.

These parts will wear down faster, and you will see parts of the screen fading more quickly than others.

Usually, this isn’t a big concern unless you watch TV channels with advertisement banners at the screen’s bottom. 

Because these banners remain unchanged for long periods on the screen, they cause burn-in, which is when the screen’s image is burned into the organic films of the OLED screen. The burn-in causes differential aging of the screen, leading to your OLED TV’s deterioration. 

Should You Buy An OLED TV?

The above scenarios might make you more apprehensive about buying an OLED TV, as you might be concerned about the lifespan.

However, we should mention that all the testing is done to determine the effects of HDR and the degree of differential aging on  OLED TV screens were in extreme cases.

The companies and parties that tested these effects on OLED TVs determined how well an OLED TV screen lasts under severe circumstances. You will likely never use your TV as often or as intensely as the testers did. 

Therefore, to answer whether you should buy an OLED TV, we must consider the advantages and price points compared to an LCD TV.

In short, an OLED TV is worth the money if you prefer higher viewing quality and don’t mind paying more.

But if you aren’t that concerned with having pitch-black images and crystal-clear viewing, an LCD TV might be the way to go. 

After doing the research necessary, we cannot see any reason why the lifespan of an OLED TV should deter you from purchasing one.

Regardless of what you watch on the TV and how often you turn it on, an OLED TV should last you at least 15 years, if not more. 

Therefore, the lifespan of an OLED TV shouldn’t significantly influence your decision when buying your next TV.

Conclusion

LG claims that their OLED TVs will last for at least 100,000 hours of screen time. However, experts and scientists have conducted various tests on OLED TVs.

They have determined that LG might be a little optimistic. The effects of HDR technology and differential aging determine how long an OLED TV will last. 

Suppose you are an average TV viewer and prefer watching TV with vivid colors and high contrast.

In that case, these factors shouldn’t deter you from buying an OLED TV. OLED TVs should give you at least 15 to 20 years of viewing time, which is still a very long time for technology to last. 

Read more: TV won’t turn off

References

https://www.cnet.com/tech/home-entertainment/led-lcd-vs-oled/

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-life-of-an-OLED-TV-on-an-average-usage

https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/real-life-oled-burn-in-test