One of the most common questions among budding home theatre shoppers is the difference between LCD and LED TVs. A lot of confusion and hype surrounds the marketing of LED and LCD TVs. Even sales professionals and public relations representatives have been found falsely explaining what the difference between the two is to their prospective customers. Once confronted, they blame the acronyms. Here is a quick simple answer: An LED TV is an LCD TV. The manner in which the definition of the two terms became so muddled up may, however, be surprising.
LCD is an abbreviation for liquid crystal display. The basic technology for LCD devises is that they have two layers of polarized glass through which light is blocked and passed through. The LED, on the other hand, stands for light-emitting diodes. The main difference between the two is that while LCDs use fluorescent lights, LEDs use the light-emitting diodes.
Despite the difference in acronyms, an LED TV is just but a specific type of LCD TV. Actually, the proper name would be ‘LED BACKLIT LCD TV’. That being too much of a mouthful for daily conversation, people started referring to them as LED TVs. The question should, therefore, be: what is the difference between the LED-backlit LCD TV and ordinary LCD TVs, and which one is better between the two? The major differences between the two types of TVs as discussed below are in terms of backlighting, picture quality, and pricing.
Table of Contents
- What You Need To Know About LCD TVs and LED TVs
- Picture Quality
- LED vs. LCD Price
- What’s Better: LED or LCD TVs?
- Pros of LED TVs
- Long Lifetime
- Improved Efficiency
- Resistance to temperature and impact
- Heat Transfer
- Cons of LED TVs
- High initial price
- Voltage sensitivity
- Pros of LCDS
- The Shape Of The Screen
- Geometric Distortion
- Cons of LCDs
- Viewing Angle
- White Saturation
- Screen Uniformity and Bad Pixels
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What You Need To Know About LCD TVs and LED TVs
LED TVs are simply LCD TVs that use LEDs for the backlight. The backlight creates a light that allows the LED to build an image.
A backlight is a form of illumination that is used in LCDs. LCDs do not have the ability to produce light by themselves. They need illumination to create a visible image. Backlights illuminate the LCDs from the back or the side of the display panel. All TVs, whether they are LCD or LED require backlights to create a visible image.
Traditional LCD TVs use fluorescent backlights. LED TVs on the other hand use LEDs (light-emitting diodes) for the backlight. This is a semi-conductor source of light that emits light once a current flows through it. The use of LEDs for backlighting presents numerous advantages for LED TVs. Some of the advantages of LED over incandescent light sources include lower energy consumption, faster switching, longer lifetime, smaller size, and improved physical robustness. The color of the light emitted from an LED is also neither monochromatic nor coherent. The light’s spectrum is narrow in line with human vision.
When shopping for a TV, it is important to take a look at the quality of the pictures. There are three components of picture quality that you should consider to ensure that you get a TV that amazes the whole family. These are clarity, color, and contrast. In terms of clarity, high-quality pictures should be sharp and without any lines or blurs. They should also not have the little square pixels that appear on the screen. In terms of color, the good TV should have the ability to replicate as many color shades as possible. Finally, in terms of contrast, the good TV should be able to display both dark and light shades realistically. It should be able to bring out details of night scenes clearly. It should also be able to bring scenes of daylight without bleaching out.
Some of the factors that contribute to the quality of pictures include the surface of the screen, the black levels, whether the screen is curved or flat, the display resolution, and the scaling.
In terms of the screen surface, matte screens have a coating that reduces reflections of light coming from the lamps and the windows. Glossy screens, on the other hand, magnify and distorts the light that reflects towards the viewer’s sitting position. It is for this reason that matte screens are better for viewing during the day while glossy screens are better in a dark environment.
The Black levels of a TV also contribute to the quality of its pictures. In addition to contributing to contrast, deep black levels also enhance color. It is for this reason that it is important to check if there is any unevenness in black levels across the surface of the screen, for both the LED TVs and LCD TVs. If you are looking for a TV that has more even black levels across the surface of the screen, go for an LED TV that features full-array backlighting.
LED TVs produce better quality images when compared to ordinary LCD TVs. A collection of LED lights at the back of the screen is used in LED TVs to make the areas either darker or brighter. This helps to improve the contrast rates, thereby making the pictures brighter.
LED vs. LCD Price
Normally, while comparing with the price of both LCD and LED, the prices of LED TVs are comparatively higher than that of LCD because traditional LCD’s do use CCFLs for backlighting which makes them low efficient but at the same time cost-beneficial too.
While comparing with Mini-LED backlighting liquid crystal displays (LCDs) with the micro-LED display, the Mini-LED display backlighting LCD is a cost-effective solution to micro-LED displays.
However, their cost is still considered much higher than conventional displays such as LCDs and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels
As far as Amazon’s Best Seller list is concerned, it does have a wide range of LED and LCD which generally starts from $120 and $100 approximately.
LED full-array backlit looks cool and impressive and at the same time do have a great picture and screen resolution but due to the fact that it gives you luxuries outlook, it does have premium pricing as compared to traditional LCD’s
If you think the picture quality is extremely important to you, then buyer won’t regret to spend a little more money to enjoy the benefits of full-array LED backlighting may make sense for them and If you’re looking to have the thinnest TV with you, edge-lit LED is the way to go.
Further, if you are a person who calls himself or herself a bargain shopper then that person will probably go satisfies them and their pocket with the florescent LCD TV as it is quite low of a price.
As far as manufacturing costs are concerned, the cost of manufacturing of mini-LED backlighting is comparatively higher than traditional LCD and even with OLED panels, which cost around $23 and $37, respectively. It costs about 5 to 6 times to make an OLED panel and 8 to 10 times to make mini-LED backlighting than LCD.
Unlike micro-LED displays, there is not necessarily important to have the same number of LED chips against the number of pixels of displays in mini-LED backlighting. Due to that, this helps the manufacturer to reduce the LED chip manufacturing cost and ultimately the module cost of the mini-LED backlighting LCD.
What’s Better: LED or LCD TVs?
When we compare LCD and LED in terms of their picture quality, then undoubtedly as we discussed above that LED’s do have an edge over LCD. This difference is justifiable in the sense that the technological difference not only makes LED’s picture quality excellent, which also eye-catching for viewers but also it is, energy-efficient as well. To decide which of the two is better for you, it is important to first outline the pros and cons of each.
Pros of LED TVs
LEDs have a relatively long useful lifetime. Reportedly, LEDs gave an estimated lifetime of 35,000 to 50, 000 hours. LEDs that operate eight hours daily are expected to last about twenty years of service life. Fluorescent tubes, on the other hand, have a useful time of 10,000-15,000 hours, partly depending on the conditions for use. Again, frequent switching on and off of the LED has no negative impact on its service life. It is this extended lifetime that primarily determines the payback period of LED products.
LEDs are the most efficient, especially in terms of energy consumption. In fact, LED products to have a luminous efficiency of 80%. This means that 80% of the energy that is supplied to the device is converted into light while the remaining 20% is lost in the form of heat. Additionally, LEDs are capable of producing an output of 135 lumens per watt.
Resistance to temperature and impact
LEDs do not contain any glass elements or filaments. In the construction of LED devises, aluminum and high-quality plastics are used. It is for this reason that LEDs are more durable and more resistant to vibrations and low temperatures.
LEDs generate lower levels of heat as a result of their high performance. Most of the energy is processed and converted into light. It is for this reason that LED TVs rarely overheat, even after long hours of work.
LEDs are able to receive each light color lamination. Each LED RGB system has three sections, each of them giving a different color from the RGB (red, green, blue) palette color.
LEDs do not contain toxic substances such as mercury and other metals that are dangerous to the environment. In contrast, LEDs are 100% recyclable. This helps to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide emissions. They also consist of some chemical compounds that are responsible for the phosphor color of its light. These chemicals are not in any way harmful to the environment.
LEDs can easily be controlled for color and brightness.
Other advantages of LED TVs include higher reliability when compared to LCD TVs, improved viewing angle, increased brightness, and improved consistency in terms of color information.
Cons of LED TVs
High initial price
LED TVs must be supplied with current below the rating and a voltage above the threshold. They, therefore, require an electric supply whose current is regulated.
It is difficult to mount an LED TV to the wall as it has more dimensional depth.
Pros of LCDS
The Shape Of The Screen
For LCD TVs, the screens are perfectly flat.
The panel’s native resolution has zero geometric distortion.
At the panel’s native resolution, the image is perfectly sharp.
Other advantages of LCD TVs include excellent contrast, low flicker rates, immunity to screen image burn-in, and easy disposal. TVs do not also rely on phosphors like LED TVs.
Cons of LCDs
LCD TVs require a careful adjustment of the pixel phase for them to eliminate or reduce digital noise in the image. Timing jitter and drift may also require frequent readjustments during the day. For some video boards and displays, you may not be able to completely eliminate the digital noise.
LCD TVs have a limited viewing angle. The contrast, color mixtures, gamma, and brightness vary with the angle of viewing. This can lead to color and contrast reversal at large angles. The viewers are required to view as straight and as close as possible.
The bright end of an LCD’s intensity scale is easily overloaded, leading to compression and saturation. When this occurs, the maximum brightness is achieved. The device then reaches the peak of the greyscale. At this point, a careful adjustment of the contrast control is required.
Screen Uniformity and Bad Pixels
LCD TVs have many stuck and weak pixels, most of which are permanently off or on. Some other pixels may be improperly connected to the adjoining pixels. Additionally, the panel may not be illuminated uniformly by the backlight. This results in an uneven shading and intensity of the screen.
Other disadvantages of LCD TVs over LED TVs are a fixed aspect ratio and resolution, lower lifetime, higher chances of color saturation, inaccurate images due to black levels, gamma, and grayscale, and reduced proficiency in producing very dark grays and black. LCD TVs also use more energy than LED TVs.
It would, therefore, be justified to say that LED TVs are better than LCD TVs.
In general, as per experts and theory detailed analysis of past years they said and corroborate that LED TVs have had the highest number of sell in the past 5 years. Even though after the coming up of 4K resolution, most buyers still opt for LED illumination in TVs which makes LED sell still higher and shows a reliance of people towards LED over LCD.
Although lifespan, in general, can be seen in a description booklet of any LCD and LED the theoretical span is as mentioned as 60000 to 100000 hours approx. but the actual span varies with the usage and quality and material used in the manufacturing of said LED or LCD’s.
One can have to evaluate first before buying that what actually they need or they are willing to buy. One must ask the following question before deciding what to buy.
- Are you planning to buy a pocket-friendly product or premium-priced product?
- Are you sensitive to quality and blurring?
- What size do you want to buy?
- Color of LED or LCD?
- Are you a brand conscious, If yes then what brands in your mind while evaluating the model of LED and LCDs
These all are the minimum questions which a buyer asks themselves to find a better answer and to get a better product with respect to their needs.
In short, after considering all the points, it would not be correct to say that all LED-backlit TVs are better than CCFL-backlit ones because surely a top-of-the-line high configured and justifiably latest technologically equipped CCFL-backlit TV will obviously be better than a cheap or low branded LED-backlit TV.
Most of the times, we can see that manufacturer or sellers are trying to boost up their sales of LCD and LED by using eye-catching words with jargon that’s easily absorbed by unaware, less knowledgeable and less researched buyer. It is recommended to go for a bit of research before buying such goods that will surely help people make the right choice with respect to their needs.