#WhatIs? : The difference between LED and LCD TVs

A majority of Zimbabweans own a television set. Whether you watch ZTV or subscribe DStv channels you can not run from the fact that you need a good television set. But before you decide to buy the new television for that beautiful home of yours there are certain things you need to know and consider.

One of these has to be the type of television you want and its quality , so in order to have a clear cut picture of the television you would like purchase, you need to spot the differences between an  LED and a LCD TV. This distinction is important, because it can significantly impact image quality as well as the pricing of your television set.

By David Zvina

You probably wondering the difference between LED and LCD TVs,  read on…

What is LCD?

LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is the fundamental display technology used by most monitors, televisions, tablets and smartphones. It consists of a panel of liquid crystal molecules that can be induced by electrical fields to take certain patterns which block light or allow it through.

A lady looking on to LCD and LED screens

Color LCD displays have green, blue and red sub-pixels in each pixel. The intensity of light allowed through each sub-pixel is carefully controlled to create a detailed picture capable of displaying millions of different colors.

What is LED?

In the past, HDTVs used cold cathode fluorescent lamps to provide this light. However, manufacturers noticed that using Light Emitting Diodes  (LED) would provide equal light with less energy. It was also possible to turn individual diodes off when no light was needed, something that’s not possible with CCFL lighting.

On paper it can be illustrated that LED screen provide better quality than LCDs mainly because,CCFL tubes can’t be switched on or off while a display is turned on and can only be arranged in vertical or horizontal lines. This creates picture quality problems and at times its the reason why LCD screens have shorter life spans.



Since the lighting is never turned off, dark scenes are hard to render properly, and the arrangement of the CCFL tubes can cause parts of a display to appear brighter than others



LEDs, on the other hand, can quickly be switched on or off. This allows much better control of light. They also can be arranged in a grid across a display or in a ring around a display, which offers theoretically better light distribution. Finally, LEDs do not consume as much energy.

I hope this has clarified the differences with LED vs LCD – or, rather, highlighted the fact that it’s not a difference so much as a confusion of terms.

If you’re wondering if LEDs are worth it over non-LED displays, the answer is that it depends.

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