LED TV Vs. LCD TV

Techspirited Staff Oct 23, 2018
TV sets have undergone a huge change in the past decade, moving from the bulkier sets of yesteryears, to the super slim models of today. LED TVs are taking the market by storm, thanks to their slim form factor, and superior quality. But what about LCD TVs? What has made LED TVs more popular?
The Bigger the Better?
Sharp has built an LCD panel 108 inches in size, while Samsung has an LED TV 110 inches in size!

Just a few years ago, TV sets were bulky, dominating most of the space in the room. Thankfully, these bulky CRT sets were soon replaced by LCD televisions, which were much thinner, and provided a better viewing experience than CRT screens.
However, these have now been upped by LED TVs, and most people today seem to want an LED TV rather than any other. LED TVs do have a few advantages over LCD TVs, but looking at the full story will definitely leave you surprised.

LCD Vs LED Comparison

LED TVs

When it comes to LED TVs, the only thing that changes is the light source used. Yes that's right. The display remains an LCD panel, but the source to light the liquid crystals of the panel changes to LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. In short, LED TVs are nothing but LCD TVs with LEDs instead of CCFLs as a light source.

LCD TVs

Basically, LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display, where liquid crystals are used to display the picture. The liquid crystals do not emit any light of their own, and hence to be able to see the picture, they need to be lit. In what we call LCD TVs, the light source used to light the crystals is a CCFL, or Cold-Cathode Fluorescent Lamp.
Thus you can see that there is no such thing as an LED TV, only LCD TVs with or without LED backlights. That being said, LEDs are better in a few ways, and this leads to the common misconception that LED TVs use a different display panel.

DISPLAY

The display is the most important aspect to consider. No matter how pleasing to the eye the TV is, if it suffers from a poor display, you are not going to be satisfied. LEDs and LCDs have a few points of distinction, which we shall consider here.
When it come to the display, LED has superior contrast, and can display the black color as black. In LCD screens, black usually takes on a slightly grayish tinge, due to the light of the CCFL behind it.
In an LED screen, black is achieved by simply turning off the LEDs in the region where black is to be displayed. Hence, when it comes to contrast levels, LCD screens simply cannot match LED screens.
However, LCD screens have better color reproduction than LED screens, with LED screens tending to show slightly oversaturated pictures. This can be corrected using various options that manufacturers provide, but LCD screens are just better than LEDs in this regard.
LED screens are also typically brighter than LCD screens, thanks to the many LEDs placed right behind the screen. LCDs, due to the CCFLs, tend to present a slightly washed out picture. In a bright room, an LED TV will look better than an LCD TV.
When it comes to color display, there is not too much difference between LCD and LED TVs. However, some companies (Sharp) have come out with colored (RGB) LEDs, which give their TVs a major edge over LCD TVs.
LED TVs provide a better viewing angle as compared to LCD TVs. Though LCDs suffer from poor viewing angles, current LCD screens have this corrected to a great extent, but just not enough to match an LED screen.
The refresh rate and response time is another factor that needs to be considered while buying a TV, and in this regard, both LCD screens and LED screens have similar figures. There may be slight variations from manufacturer to manufacturer, but nothing so great so as to have any impact on the quality.
Thus, comparing the display of the two, LED TVs definitely come out on top with their better contrast, black display, and ability to be watched from odd angles.

PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES

CCFLs are heavier than LEDs and bulkier as well. This makes LED TVs far lighter and much more slimmer than LCD TVs. LEDs also consume much less electricity as compared to CCFLs, thus decreasing the power consumption of LED TVs dramatically. As far as longevity is concerned, both LCD and LED TVs are on par, with a screen life of around 100,000 hours.
Thanks to the use of LEDs, TV manufacturers can now make models that are extremely thin, and pleasing to the eye. Edge-to-edge screens, or screens with almost no bezel, have become a reality thanks to LED backlighting. Thus, it can be seen that LED TVs trump LCD TVs in most aspects.
Thanks to the use of LEDs, TV manufacturers can now make models that are extremely thin, and pleasing to the eye. Edge-to-edge screens, or screens with almost no bezel, have become a reality thanks to LED backlighting. Thus, it can be seen that LED TVs trump LCD TVs in most aspects.
  • LED TVs offer better contrast as compared to LCD TVs.
  • LED TVs also consume around 20-30% less power than LCD screens.
  • With the introduction of RGB LEDs, better colors can be perceived. 
  • The introduction of Edge LED technology has made it possible for TV models to become extremely thin. 
  • LED allows wider local dimming that allows a better picture. 
Even if the physical attributes are taken into consideration, LED TVs emerge as the winners, mainly because of their lower power consumption.

OTHER FACTORS

Aspersions are also cast on the longevity of the LEDs used in LED TVs. Though not proven, some of the LEDs used are believed to have a very short life. Screen burn-in also remains a question with LED TVs, while LCD TVs have no such problems. Also, LED TVs suffer from flicker on the screen that causes discomfort and strain to the eye.

Game Mode

With earlier LED TVs, there was a problem with high-contrast stationary pictures that caused burn-ins on the TV screen. This used to make most people with gaming needs turn away from LED TVs, because the HUD on most games could cause burn-ins, if left for a long time. LCD screens are far more resilient than LED on this. 
This problem is almost non-existent now, mostly due to advanced technology that uses better LED backlighting, and a special Game Mode that cuts down on the TV screen's brightness and contrast. So all you have to do is make sure that the TV you're buying has a Game Mode.

Viewing Angle

The viewing angle depends on the type of TV only to a certain extent. What matters more is the type of glass used to make the TV screen. Edge LED TVs do fare slightly lower than LCD TVs, but the one that tops them all is an LED TV with local dimming.

Price

Another big factor that is against LED TVs is the price. Being relatively new in the market, LED screens tend to be more expensive than their LCD counterparts. At times, depending on the size of the screen, LED backlit screens can cost as much as twice the price of an LCD screen.
With all the advantages that LED has to offer, the price is understandable. As LED screens become more and more mainstream, this factor will fade away completely.
In this section as well, LEDs emerge triumphant, except for the price factor. However, if you are buying a standard size, like say a 32-inch, or a 46-inch, the price difference should not be too great. Also, keep in mind that LEDs will save you about 30-40% in electricity bills, making it more affordable in the long run.
All in all, the best that you can get as far as LCD and LED TVs are concerned, is an LED TV with RGB backlighting and effective local dimming. Apart from that, the only reason that you might find in favor of an LCD TV is its price.
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