LED TVs vs LCD TVs, Explained


The difference between LED and LCD is simpler than you may assume. An LED is an LCD TV; an LED TV uses the same display as an LCD and the difference is in how the TV is backlit.


LCD stands for liquid crystal display. LCD screens act like a venetian blind. An LCD has liquid crystal between two panes of polarized glass. The crystal aligns to filter individual pixels can be opened and closed to block or allow light, like the shuttering of a venetian blind. However, an LCD screen, like the blind, can’t stop all light from passing through.


And LED takes the components of an LCD screen and lights the screen by using small light emitting diodes. These small, efficient diodes can be arranged in full array back lighting and edge lighting. The diodes can also be programed for local dimming, which aids in better contrast.

LEDs and the Different Arrangements of Diodes.

Above we mentioned two potential arrangements of diodes in an LED screen; full array back lighting and edge lighting. The difference is just as you might imagine.

Edge lighting means that diodes are arranged on the edge of the screen. The diodes can line all four edges of the screen or two edges of the screen, either horizontal or perpendicular. There is a caveat to edge lighting. The diodes are emitting light across a further plane, meaning light picture quality is harder to control. Bright colors can be murky and dark scenes and result in bright banding. The upside is that edge lit LEDs cost less and are thinner.

A full back array means that diodes are arranged on the back of the TV. These diodes can be brightened or dimmed in zones. This type of lighting is more efficient, precise, and allows for more even light distribution. This means that this type of diode arrangement is more accurate and uniform versus an LCD screen or LED edge lighting.