The history of OLED TVs is quite interesting, even taking into account it has started not so long ago – the first OLED TVs were made in 2016. However, since then OLED TVs have occupied a strong niche in the TV market. OLED TVs offer a brighter picture and, since there’s no backlight, they’re more energy-efficient. Also, OLED TVs offer better black color, as pixels can stay absolutely without light (in LED TVs black colors are more grey).
Now, as for 2021, many companies are offering OLED TVs. Speaking, frankly, organic LED screen technology isn’t new. However, LG was the first company to make large screens using that technology.
But LG isn’t the only company to make OLED TVs, so in this article, I will tell you about all major OLED TV makers, so you would have a wider choice.
OLED panel manufacturers: OLED panels makers
To begin with, you should understand that LG is the only OLED panel maker (don’t confuse this with OLED TV makers). That means that almost all world companies are using panels made by LG, so no matter what maker’s TV you would choose, you would get an OLED panel made by LG. There are also Chinese companies that are trying to make OLED panels, but LG is the only company that offers OLED panels of a large size.
Also keep in mind, that almost all OLED TVs are 55 and 65 inches, that’s the most popular screen size in the US.
All OLED TV makers, as of 2021
OLED TVs are made by the following companies: LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Skyworth, Hisense, Konka, Changhong, and Grundig. There are companies that have tried to make OLED TVs, but failed, although you can still find such TVs on sale. Such companies are Metz, Loewe, Bang & Olufsen, and Vestel.
You should understand, that almost all TV-makers, except LG, are just buying LG OLED panels and use them in their TVs. However, don’t forget that each TV-maker has its own processor and image processing algorithm, so we can’t just say that “all OLED TVs are like LG TVs”.
Talking about picture quality, I can say my own opinion – the best picture quality is on Sony and LG OLED TVs. These two companies are positioning their OLED TVs as high-end ones, aiming to get “premium for OLED”. Other manufacturers are going another way, trying to make the final price of the TV as low as possible in order to compete with lower prices. As you understand, the quality of TVs suffers a little if the company is trying to take this approach, as the company should reduce costs.
Leading OLED TVs maker: LG
LG was the first company to start making OLED TVs and the company still held leadership in this segment.
The product line of LG OLED TVs is quite wide, starting from inexpensive models (relatively inexpensive, to be fair) to high-end TVs that may have a price of a couple of thousands of dollars. Understanding the LG OLED TV model number is quite easy. The company has different letter designations for different TV models. In short, letters in model number mean the following:
- BX, CX, GX – standard TVs; 2020; B1, C1, G1 TV 2021
- WX – TV with a separate control unit 2020; W1 2021
- RX – rollable TVs; R1 2021
- ZX – OLED TV 8K resolution. Z1 – 2021
- A1 – new model TV 2021
You can read about LG OLED TVs model numbers in our article.
Sony OLED TVs
Sony was one of the first companies to start making OLED TVs.
However, you should know that the company buys the display planes for its TVs from LG. Another interesting fact is that the company offers more TV models in Europe than in the US.
As of 2020, the A8H, A85H, and A9H OLED TVs were available in Europe. In the U.S., only the A8H officially went on sale for the first half of 2020.
Sony OLED TVs use their own hardware (processors, motherboards, speakers).
Comparing with LG, I can say that the TVs are generally of the same quality, but the sound quality is slightly better. However, also keep in mind that on average Sony OLED TVs are more expensive than LG.
Panasonic OLED TVs
There was a time when Panasonic dominated the TV market.
Now, Panasonic is trying to revive the former positions.
The company has left the US market because of low sales, but it offers a very wide range of models in other countries. In 2020, the company is offering HZ980, HZ1000, HZ1500, HZ2000 OLED TV models.
Just like Sony, the company uses display panels made by LG. Panasonic OLED TVs have a very good sound quality, the price is on average the same as offered by LG.
Phillips OLED TVs
Currently, there are a lot of products manufactured by different companies under the Phillips brand. Because of this, the brand’s positioning differs in different markets.
For example, in the US and Canada Phillips TVs are positioning as cheap and low-end. Because of this, in the US, Canada, and Mexico markets there are no Phillips OLED TVs available.
However, in Europe Phillips OLED TVs are available because the brand is more popular compared to North America. In 2020 there’s only one model (Phillips OLED805/12).
OLED panels are supplied by LG, hardware, and software solution are developed by Chinese companies. You should know that there are a lot of complaints about software quality, so in my opinion, buying Phillips OLED TV isn’t the best idea.
Vizio OLED TVs
Preliminarily announced that Vizio plans to start ordering the production of OLED TVs for sale in the United States.
But the new Vizio TVs are always released in the second half of the year and it is not yet known whether OLED TVs will be offered.
Vizio has always positioned itself as an inexpensive brand, and whether the decision will be made about the release in the upper price range will tell time.
Loewe OLED TVs
Loewe is a German OLED TV company.
Due to financial difficulties, it stopped developing new TVs in 2017.
The ongoing crisis had made the situation worse, and in 2019 the company has filed for bankruptcy.
The rights to the brand were bought by the investment fund Skytec Group Ltd. Which intended to come back to the TVs market in early 2020, but this didn’t happen.
The reason is that Loewe TVs are a premium brand, attention is paid to workmanship and materials, this makes Loewe TVs 2-3 times more expensive compared to LG models. However, you can still find the TVs under the Loewe brand, which are OLED TVs models released in 2016-2017.
Hisense OLED TVs
For some markets, Hisense has released Hisense 55O8b OLED TVs.
That was an experiment to see the market reaction. Hisense OLED TVs aren’t available in the US market but are available in Europe.
Whether Hisense will continue to make OLED TVs is still unknown, but if you look at Hisense sites, preference is given to TVs with quantum dot screens, Hisense calls such TVs ULED.
Skyworth OLED TVs
Skyworth is the Chinese TVs maker, that released the first OLED TVs back in 2019. At the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, new TV models weren’t released. Currently are available Skyworth OLED TVs like S9A, XA8000, and XA9000.
KONKA OLED TVs
KONKA is a Chinese TV maker, that has released some OLED TVs, such as the 793 Series, 798 Series, and 799 Series. And such TVs are on sale in China.
Sharp OLED TVs
In 2020, Sharp has released some OLED TV models, but only for the Japanese and Chinese markets.
For all other regions, Sharp trademark rights have long been licensed to other companies. For the US market, Sharp has bought back its brand and promised to release new TV models at the end of 2019 (for the US, Canada, and Mexico markets), but this didn’t happen, perhaps the brand will again be licensed by other companies.
Grundig OLED TVs
Grundig was a famous German company, but it went bankrupt in 2003 and the rights to the Grundig brand were bought by the Turkish concern Koç Holding, that’s well known by its Beko trademark.
It keeps on making Grundig TVs, including OLED TVs, but only for the German market. In Germany, the brand has a strong position and many potential buyers even don’t know that a brand is owned by a Turkish concern. If you’re interested in Grundig OLED TVs – there are models like 9089 and 9099.