Buying A New TV – LCD Or LED?

When plasma TV’s first came out they were the coolest thing since sliced bread. I remember being amazed by how much thinner (definitely not lighter) they looked than traditional “box” shaped TV’s.

Fast forward to the present and TV’s have become lighter, more energy efficient (LED TV’s use up to 70% less power than plasma TV’s) and most importantly, cheaper.

Nowadays it’s a toss-up between LCD and LED TV’s. I’m sure that like me, many of you have seen LCD’s and LED on sale and wondered what the difference was between the two.

Funnily enough, LCD and LED TV’s are essentially the same, the only difference between the two is the method of backlighting – i.e. LED TV’s use light emitting diode technology whereas LCD TV’s use fluorescent lighting.

LED lighting produces a brighter, truer white light than fluorescent is able to, which gives it an advantage in terms of contrast and colour reproduction. The brighter white allows for more accurate rendition of colour and is also able to contrast better with darker colours – this ultimately translates to better picture quality.

LED backlighting comes in 2 forms – True backlighting and Edge-lit.

1.) Edge lit is more common than true backlighting. Edge lighting involves the use of a string of LED’s around the edges of the back panel. A reflective material is then put in place to distribute the light from the edges to the entire surface area of the screen.

One of the biggest advantages edge lit LED’s have over both traditional LCD and true lit LED’s is that the TV itself can be made extremely thin (less than 1 inch).

2.) True backlighting involves the entire backing surface is lit which translates to the light being more evenly distributed across the screen. True backlit LED’s also have a feature known as local dimming. What this basically means is that sections of the screen can be altered individually to produce better overall contrast.

In terms of pricing traditionally lit (fluorescent) LCD’s are cheaper than LED’s. Edge lit LED’s are cheaper and more readily available than true back lit LED’s. However, true backlit LEDs will produce the best image quality. As a lighting technology LED uses significantly less energy than fluorescent lighting and screens are often found in a control room as part of an integrated video wall display.

Hopefully you now have an idea of the different TV options that are available and are now in a better position to make a more informed decision. Remember to take the time to shop around…

This article was written by Michael James who is an avid cyclist, food lover, wine drinker and music fan.