Crystal UHD vs QLED Which is Better?
“Crystal UHD” and “QLED” — these two designations are marketing names for groups of TVs in the Samsung lineup. Accordingly, they have different classes of TV, different characteristics of the displays, and the hardware of the TV itself.
QLED TVs were introduced in 2017. The letter “Q” stands for the use of a layer with quantum dots in the structure of the LCD screen.
They improve the colors on the screen and the color reproduction of the TV itself, resulting in an expanded color gamut. The layer with the quantum dot film is placed after the backlight from the LEDs and before the layer with liquid crystals. For color television, only red, blue, and green colors are needed in the backlight, and it is with these colors that the crystal strips are applied to the film. Blue can pass from the LED backlight and quantum dots are not used to create the blue backlight color.
Quantum dots improve the RGB backlight spectrum and there are fewer dirty halftones on the screen, and the color is much clearer and richer.
In 2021 there was an improvement for “QLED” screens, the backlight began to use miniLEDs instead of LEDs. The novelty was the trade name “Neo QLED”. Now QLED TVs belong to the middle class, while Neo QLED has high-end status. They can be both 4K and 8K in resolution.
MiniLED backlighting is distinguished by the use of smaller LEDs. This improves the backlight control, there are more control zones. This improves HDR video, contrast, and black level.
Crystal UHD is another marketing name for a group of TVs in Samsung’s lineup of models. Introduced in 2020, the name means junior models with basic technology, without technological innovations.
Before 2020, such junior TVs in the lineup were called Premium TVs. These are regular 4K UHD models.
The main difference from QLED models is the absence of a layer with quantum dots. The backlighting works on conventional LEDs.
Samsung’s 2022 line of TVs does not use the Crystal UHD marketing name. Although the processors of the younger models come with the name Crystal Processor 4K.
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A comparison of the two technologies
Let’s say right off the bat that QLED and Crystal UHD TVs mean liquid crystal LCD (LED) screens. It’s all about the backlighting of the display. For example, OLED technology is completely different in structure and means a different display technology.
Since QLED refers to advanced TVs in the line of models, with better features, which means they are better than Crystal UHD TVs.
QLED stands for quantum dot screen technology. Many manufacturers are releasing TVs with QLED displays.
What different companies call quantum dot displays.
- Samsung — QLED.
- LG — NanoCell.
- Sony — Triluminos.
- SHARP — Q-COLOUR.
- Hisense — ULED.
Quantum dots are physical crystals, they begin to glow when light falls on them. Crystals glow with colors depending on the size of the crystal itself. As stated above, the TV screen needs red, green, and blue. So the size of the crystal should be between 1 nanometer and 3 nanometers.
Image courtesy of Samsung.com
Crystal UHD (Ultra High Definition) means the technology of processing the video signal to crystal clarity (as they write in the ads). That is, it is a regular 4K resolution TV with standard LED backlighting that uses the Crystal Processor 4K.
In Samsung’s lineup of TVs, Crystal UHD models occupy the entry-level spot.
QLED models have Quantum processors better than Crystal 4K. This processor can process 8K resolution video, which is not possible for Crystal UHD models. Also, QLED has HDMI 2.1 ports, while Crystal UHD can have HDMI 2.0b at most, which gives less able to connect to other equipment.
|Resolution||4K (3840×2160)||From 1080p to 8K max|
|Refresh Rate||60 Hz||60 – 120 Hz|
Since the QLED display is already more expensive, only the best features are put into this model regardless of the cost. This can be wireless communication technology, the Tizen operating system, an audio system, a tuner set, video processing quality, motion smoothing, and others.
But Crystal UHD TVs also show though not the best but good 4K picture quality. A big plus of these models is their affordable price. So if you need a normal 4K TV with basic features, the Crystal UHD models are a good choice.
Can Crystal UHD TVs playback 4K 120Hz?
No. Crystal UHD TVs only work at 4K resolution at 60 Hz and below.
Can QLEDs play 4K 120Hz?
Yes. But not all QLED TVs work with 4K 120Hz, you need to check the model specifications.
What's a better 4K UHD model or Crystal UHD model?
Crystal UHD is what Samsung's 4K TVs are, only the video processor is Crystal Processor 4K. UHD and 4K mean the same thing — a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels.
Is QLED worth the extra money compared to Crystal UHD?
Yes. The video quality is noticeably better with quantum dot models.