QLED vs. UHD: What's the Difference?

What’s the difference between QLED and UHD?

Shopping for a new TV can be daunting. The technology and terminology can be especially confusing. But fear not, we’re here to help! If you’ve been researching TVs, you’ve probably come across two common terms that are widely thrown around in ads and spec sheets alike -- QLED, which is a category name for TVs that uses a technology called quantum dot, and what VIZIO refers to as Quantum Color—and UHD, which is also known as 4K. What do these mean, and what’s the difference? Let’s find out.

First, there’s no “one or the other” or “one is better than the other” here. QLED and UHD describe completely separate technologies. You can have one without the other, but generally speaking, QLED TVs are also UHD TVs -- and that’s certainly the case in VIZIO’s lineup.


What’s the difference between Quantum Dot and UHD?

Let’s start with UHD (Ultra High Definition) -- often also labelled 4K (four kilo, i.e., four thousand). The definition relates to how many pixels, or how much detail a TV can display and how crisp the resulting images look. It has nothing to do with brightness, contrast, or color quality. High definition (HD) television has been the standard for TVs since the late 1990s and comes in two flavors -- 1280 x 720 pixels (aka 720p) and 1920 x 1080 pixels (aka 1080p, or FHD, i.e., Full High Definition).

UHD, which has been around since the mid 2010s, cranks things up to 3840 x 2160 pixels (almost four thousand horizontal pixels horizontally, hence 4K) -- that’s four times more detail than FHD! Clearly, with more and more 4K content becoming available to watch, UHD is a feature you’ll definitely want for your next TV. The good news is that other than a few entry-level models, most of VIZIO’s TVs support 4K.

Now, let’s dive into QLED, which is a category name for TVs that use quantum dot technology to create or enhance the color. But there are differences in quantum dot implementation, which is why VIZIO’s implementation is referred to as Quantum Color™. To start, quantum dots are tiny particles that emit red and green light when blue light is shined through them. Since the early 2000’s TVs started to use flat panels to display images. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs make up the bulk of today’s models, including those from VIZIO.

Most LCDs today use an LED (Light Emitting Diode) backlight that shines through several layers of material before illuminating the LCD panel itself, which makes up the image. Quantum dots are used in this middle layer between the backlight and the LCD and make it easier for the the TV to create a wider color gamut or color palette. As a result, VIZIO’s TVs with Quantum Color -- like the P-Series Quantum and M-Series Quantum-- achieve a wider color palette and match better with HDR content than conventional UHD TVs. This expanded color, combined with brighter LEDs and more local dimming zones, makes for an unrivaled TV watching experience!

But while quantum dot offers a step up in color performance, 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 can be measured using what’s called the rec2020 color space, and quite simply, the more coverage the better. This color space is the standard being used by Dolby Vision and other HDR formats, and is the widest colorspace currently available for electronic displays.

Many TVs in the industry that use quantum dot technology can reproduce colors centered within 70-80 percent of this new color space, but VIZIO Quantum color TVs reaches out to 85% of the rec2020 color space, which is the highest in the industry, and offers much more saturated reds, greens and blues. It’s like going from the 16 crayon box set to the 64 crayon box set. VIZIO covers more colors and shades of colors that the human eye can see!


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.

All of VIZIO’s TVs with Quantum Color deliver support for Dolby Vision HDR, Chromecast built-in and Apple AirPlay 2, and works with Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa-enabled devices. So, no matter which VIZIO Quantum Color UHD TV you pick, you’ll enjoy the latest features and superb image quality!

*Compared to standard UHD TVs with Rec709 color and 300 nits of brightness.