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what is the difference between an LED and LCD screen television?

Posted on 2015-01-27
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Last Modified: 2015-01-31
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone

            I am getting ready to purchase a television for the living room.  At the moment, I am somewhat confused about what direction to go here which brings me to the point of this question.  What is the difference between an LED screen television and an LCD screen television?  I am not sure which one would produce the best quality picture and have the best features.  

           Any shared thoughts regarding this question will be greatly appreciated.

           Thank you

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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8 Comments
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
Trenton Knew earned 600 total points
ID: 40573546
LED and LCD mainly differs with the type of backlighting used, unless you're talking about OLED, which is completely different.

LED is just an LCD display backlit by LED lighting.  Fancier displays can sometimes achieve higher black levels because of having an led matrix that can locally dim, but other that than it's just marketing fluff.  LCD's used a florescent tube to backlight the screen, but this is not common anymore, as it's hard to get those bulbs with environmental concerns.

OLED is a different kind of display matrix entirely, richer blacks, faster response than liquid crystal (LCD), it is the newer of the technologies mentioned.  It doesn't suffer from that weird LCD "over-fluidy" motion like LCD displays do. I hope this helps.
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 40573551
LED TV's use LED's for the backlight. The display itself is still an LCD panel. LCD TV's can have any sort of backlight, for example fluorescent lamps, which require a an inverter to provide the high voltage to start the lamps. LED TV's use less power and so they are better for the environment.
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:it_saige
it_saige earned 200 total points
ID: 40573562
To add to Trenton's explanation.  LED LCD's also come in two main forms (edge-lit and back-lit).  Edge-lit models are usually less expensive and their picture is generally considered inferior to that of back-lit models.

More on LED backlights.

-saige-
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Shahnawaz Ahmed
Shahnawaz Ahmed earned 200 total points
ID: 40573571
Dear, GMartin

LED's are the best & latest technology as of now over LCD & Plasma. I don't think you are looking technical aspects of these television or definitions but you are looking features & better quality  
Please find the comparison chart attached
LCD-vs-LED.jpg
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Tiras25
Tiras25 earned 200 total points
ID: 40573790
Yep, Just the backlight.

Just like other experts already mentioned.  "LCD" TVs have a LCD panel in front of a CFL backlight.  "LED" TVs have an array of white LEDs as the backlight.  If you go for a LED backlit TV, look for local dimming for deeper blacks.

http://www.cnet.com/news/led-tvs-10-things-you-need-to-know/#! 

Of course, OLED and quantum dots add even more wrinkles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLED 

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509801/quantum-dots-get-commercial-debut-in-more-colorful-sony-tvs/
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LVL 25

Assisted Solution

by:nickg5
nickg5 earned 400 total points
ID: 40576448
George,
Since you appear to have neither, then maybe an older article from a very good website can help you. CNET.
They give an informative discussion about LED LCD vs. plasma vs. LCD.

LED LCD wins on brightness and resolution and energy consumption.
Plasma wins on black level and contrast and motion blur and angle.
All three are good on refresh rate.

http://www.cnet.com/news/led-lcd-vs-plasma-vs-lcd/
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40581838
Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

            Thank you for your shared input and resourceful links.  I am afraid I do not have the formal background in electronics to fully understand and appreciate the technical differences between LED and LCD.  However, I was able to get bits and pieces from the various replies in order to enable me to be a smarter shopper when it comes time to buy a nice flat screen television for the living room.

           George
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40581949
Maybe the following helps you understand better.

LCD's and therefore LCD displays don't emit any light. They only arrange themselves so that they allow light of certain colors through or not, resulting in what you would see. But in order to be able to actually see anything, there needs to be something behind the LCD display that emits light through it, so you can see anything. This light then gets broken into the colors needed, or blocked, resulting in black, when it passes through the LCD panel. This is called a "Backlight".

Conventional backlights used fluorescent lamps that passed through a kind of diffuser so that the light was as uniform as possible on the whole screen. Other backlights used Plasma, and the newer ones use LED's. So basically LCD panels are used all the time, it is just the backlight technology that is different.

The "OLED" technology that was also mentioned, is completely different. With that the panel itself emits the light as well as the pattern and colors. There is no LCD involved here.
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