Check out the amazing differences between the LCD and LED TV.
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- 28 Sep, 2021
The TV world is a minefield of different buzzwords, acronyms and abbreviations, and that can make choosing a new television a very tricky business indeed. Even the slightest differences in an acronym can represent huge differences in TV technology and therefore performance.
There are a lot of features in newer TVs that want to grab your attention, making it difficult to make a decision on features alone. Take 'OLED' and 'LED', for example: that one extra letter represents a vast upgrade. Then there's 'LED' and 'LCD': just one swapped letter but these are completely different technologies.
The market today is flooded with TVs and most brands selling top-notch televisions have unique features that make them stand out. Among them, LED and LCD TVs have been the most sought after, thanks to the host of features they offer. So, what is it about these two models? What is the difference between the two? Is there a difference?
This is what we would be talking about in today's article. Hopefully the information in this article on the difference between LCD and LED TVs will give you enough details on the difference between LCD and LED TVs.
What is a LCD TV?
LCD also known as Liquid Crystal Display is a technology that blocks light rather than emitting it. The liquid crystals block or allow light to pass through them. The different colors and brightness levels created by the liquid crystals and various filters become the picture that you see on the screen.
What is a LED TV?
Light-emitting diode or LED is a semiconductor that emits light each time electric current is passed through it. The LED TV is a specific type of LCD TV, which uses a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel to control where light is displayed on your screen. When an electric current passes through the liquid, it causes the crystals to align, so that light can (or can’t) pass through.
One very noteworthy thing that you would have noticed from the above definition is that, every LED TV has an LCD display. What now makes the difference between the two? you ask. Both types of displays use liquid crystals to help create an image. The difference is in the backlight that they use.
While a standard LCD TVs uses fluorescent backlights, an LED TVs uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. While older LCD TVs uses cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) to provide lighting, LED LCD TVs use an array of smaller, more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the screen.
Let's talk a bit about the Backlighting.
* CCFL backlighting: This is an older, now-abandoned form of display technology in which a series of cold cathode lamps sit across the inside of the TV behind the LCD. The lights illuminate the crystals fairly evenly, which means all regions of the picture will have similar brightness levels. Since CCFLs are larger than LED arrays, CCFL-based LCD TVs are thicker than LED-backlit LCD TVs.
* LED backlighting: LED backlighting swaps the outdated CCFLs for an array of LEDs spanning the back of the screen, comprising zones of LEDs that can be lit or dimmed in a process called local dimming. TVs using full-array LED backlighting make up a healthy chunk of the high-end LED TV market, and with good reason.
They can create better picture quality than CCFL LCD TVs were ever able to achieve, with better energy efficiency to boot. There are two methods of LED backlighting: full-array backlighting and edge lighting.
With Full array backlighting, the LEDs are placed evenly across the entire screen, similar to an LCD setup. But what makes the difference is that the LEDs are arranged in zones. Each zone of LED lights can be dimmed (also known as local dimming). Local dimming is a very important feature that can dramatically improve picture quality.
The best images are ones that have a high contrast ratio; in other words, images that have both very bright pixels and very dark pixels simultaneously. When there is an area of the picture that needs to be darker, the LEDs in that region of the picture can be dimmed to create a truer black. This is not possible on standard LCD TVs, where the entire picture is lit evenly throughout.
With Edge lighting, the LEDs are placed along the edge of the screen rather than behind it. They can be placed along the bottom of the screen, the top and bottom, the left and right sides or along the four sides of the screen. There are no local dimming capabilities in edge-lighted displays, so they can’t create pictures that are as high-quality as those created by full-array LEDs.
However, edge lighting enables manufacturers to create extremely thin displays that don’t cost as much to produce - and which are better for a tight budget. Though it doesn't produce a picture quality as great as the model with full array backlighting, this model of LED TVs is still better than a standard LCD TV.
This difference in backlighting means that LED TVs can be thinner than LCDs, although this is starting to change. It also means that LED TVs run with greater energy efficiency and can provide a clearer, better picture than the general LCD TVs. So far I have highlighted a few differences between these two TVs. What to know more? Let's talk more about this differences.
Here are the differences between the LCD and LED TV.
* Picture Quality.
The sharpness of a television picture is directly related to its refresh rate. Refresh rate refers to the number of times a picture is changed every second. Instead of displaying fluid motion, televisions display “frames” every second that give the illusion of a moving picture.
LED TVs have higher refresh rates than traditional LCD TVs, and so they have far better picture quality than traditional LCD TVs. The LED TV also offers more colors, especially ones that use RGB-LED backlighting. Color accuracy is slightly better on an LED TV. While LCD TVs are no slouch on color accuracy, compared to an LED TV, the latter has a slight advantage.
LED TVs have superior black levels and employ dynamic contrast mechanisms as compared to LCDs. They allow for better dimming and brightness control than fluorescent lid LCD screens. The LEDs allow for faster darkness and lightness control that creates truer blacks and brighter whites.
Some popular brands have even come up with a better version: edge lit with local dimming. This variety results in better picture quality, with the black levels becoming darker, providing a visual feast even for those very discerning viewers.
* Viewing angles.
The narrower a television's quoted viewing angle is, the smaller the range in which it produces a 'perfect' image with no loss of contrast or color. A wide viewing angle is important if the television will be placed in a large living area or will be regularly watched by multiple people simultaneously. Most of us will have family and friends around to watch the TV at some point!
Viewing angle is more or less the same on both TVs as this will depend on the glass panel used by the manufacturer. A thicker and higher quality glass panel is expected to provide a better viewing angle. LCD TVs project clear pictures for up to 165 degrees, but projections tend to distort beyond this point.
However, LED TVs are equipped to offer you better clarity at all viewing angles. The brightness and color on LCD TVs shift noticeably over the screen and depending on viewing angle.
* TV thickness.
In terms of size, LED TVs are slimmer compared to LCD TVs but not by much, especially full array backlighting models of LED TVs. LED lights can be installed in smaller places, allowing manufacturers to trim out some unnecessary weight. If space is an issue, better to keep those measuring tapes handy before buying your latest TV set.
An LED TV, owing to the technology it uses, flaunts a thinner screen with sharper edges. On the other hand, the two-layer display technology adds bulk to an LCD TV. Newer LED screens are generally seen to be lighter than LCDs, especially on an edge-lit display that has fewer components to add bulk to the device.
So if you want the thinnest TV on the block, edge-lit LED is the way to go. The thinnest you can go with LCD screens is 1 inch. However, with LED screens you can get TV screens that are less than 1 inch thick. These TVs are also much longer and easier to move around.
* Energy efficiency.
If power consumption is a major concern, then what you need is an energy efficient television. LED TVs get the vote here as it is uses less light to display its pictures. These are designed to produce a better quality pictures while also using less power than LCD models. They are far more energy efficient than backlight LCD televisions.
This is because they are able to anticipate darkness and light by turning some bulbs off completely for different scenes, thus reducing energy expenditure. Additionally, LEDs are inherently a more efficient light source than heated fluorescent tubes and are slowly being introduced into other screen technologies to reduce costs.
These television sets consume less power as compared to cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), which most LCD TVs use. This results in a power savings of up to 30%. LCD TVs use more energy because their screens rely on fluorescent panels behind the entire screen to make the picture visible, and so they use more energy than LED sets.
TVs and monitors that use edge-lighting are more efficient than full-array ones because they contain fewer lights in general. However, you must know that full-array screens don't necessarily use all of the LED backlights at once. LED TVs consume less power around 70% compared to plasma TVs.
* Screen size.
The best part about an LED TV is that it can perfectly fit your space, however limited or expansive it may be, courtesy its versatile size and thickness. You can buy LCDs ranging between 13 and 57 inches in size and LEDs of up to 90 inches, based on the available space.
* Life span.
It is generally claimed that an LCD TV would last for around 75,000 hours. This is just an average estimation, and some LCD TVs could even last longer if the conditions are optimum. LCD TVs are backlit by fluorescent lamps, and it is a fact that over time, these lamps become dimmer and less effective, and this affects the quality of the picture that is produced.
When it comes to LED TVs, the light source does not stem from the fluorescent lamps, but from LED lamps instead. This bulb technology is superior and longer lasting, so they do tend to win the lifespan comparison between both. It is generally assumed that an LED TV offers around 100,000 hours.
But you must remember that this lifespan depends highly on the level of contrast that the TV set plays at. You want to know more about that? Check out our article on "6 tips to make your LED last longer".
Although LED TVs have the more advanced technology, slightly better picture quality (generally speaking), but comes at a higher price point. For instance, to buy an LED TV that is HD Ready, you will have to spend a minimum of N50,000 and the price will go up with an increase in screen size and technology. Smart TVs, for instance, come with a higher price tag.
Owing to the technology on offer, the price of LED TVs is higher as compared to LCD TVs. LCD TVs remain in production despite the gaining popularity of their LED counterparts. This is because they offer good value given at a lower price, doing so with above average picture quality.
LED full-array backlit TVs are impressive but are more expensive than their fluorescent-lit peers. If picture quality is important to you, spending more money to enjoy the benefits of full-array LED backlighting may make sense for you. And edge lightening TVs are less expensive than their full array counterpart, seeing as they use less light emitting diodes.
Now you know all about LCD and LED TVs, well not all but I reasonable bit. Now you know enough to make a decision which one you want and why.