LED or LCD Televisions?

Last Saturday my brother and I were buying an LCD (commonly referred to Flat screens) TV. We left after having bought one for myself but we didn’t buy his. The Sony he so much wanted to buy, as it occurred to us, was an LCD pannel - we could not accept anything less than LED. We did some research and we later learnt that the only LED panels are OLED pannels. Got me thinking, why do manufacturers or so to say sellers, talk of LED pannels when they are actually LCD with LED backlight???:sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:

It’s in the fine print, and just marketing, and most people who want to make a large TV purchase, will do their research.

I’m flabbergasted that such a big company can misrepresent information as critical as that. I doubt that they would have let you return it if you took it out of the shop.

Sure. But I was quite amused with how little the sellers know or “know”.

They would not of course. Sony was quite honest and did not use ambiguous terms describing their pannels. LG was - unfortunately.

1 Like

Did your search include Samsung TVs, because for the last 5 years I’ve believed I have an LED TV.

My research was on TV screens in general (Samsung not excluded). Apparently, what we call LED TV are basically LCDs lit with LEDs in different permutations: edge lit or direct lit. With edge lit, LED strips are placed at the edges of the LCD pannel opposite of each other (top-bottom or left-right) facing towards the center of the screen, whereas the direct lit has an array of LEDs just behind the LCD pannel - facing towards the viewer.
The edge lit however applies to small and medium sizes, thereabouts 50 inch max. Beyond that, it is hard to light the center as the screen is too big.

Check on your TV manufacturers specifications and some reviews about your TV you should get enough of that info.

Why manufacturers use LED on their tv is before there were two types of LCD panel depending on what was used to light the pixels. There were tvs with LCD and used I think cathode something to light up the pixels, other older tvs that used plasma and the current ones that use LED. So to differentiate the 2 they used the two terms LCD of old tv tech and LED of newer energy efficient Tech. So they are LED tvs. For OLED there is no need of a light source because the pixels themselves produce the light, hence very clear image as compared to our LED which use the the edge and direct lighting on the pixels.

Mmm the term LED used alone is a misnomer because of this reason: the earlier LCDs used a CCFL (cold cathode florescent lamp) to light up the LCD pannel, the newer ones in contrast use LEDs to light up the same LCD pannel which is responsible for the display. In fact, LCD will still work without the CCFL or the LED. OLED on the other hand is made of pure LEDs thus, it does not have any LCD at all.
Thus the term LED is used to cofuse the buyer into thinking that their pannels are pure LED whereas they’re LCD basically with LED backlight. If you look up at any Sony KDL series, they state the display as LCD and will also state the type of backlight implemented. Samsung as far as I have seen avoids mentioning at all and LG will just give it as LED.

On the other hand, clarity is affected by the screen resolution and of course your content. What the OLEDs give better than the LCD/LED pannels is a deeper contrast ratio. In fact, the contrast ratio for any OLED is xxx: infinity (xxx is any number) because it completely shut the LEDs where there are blacks…

Buying Tvs is becoming a headache
-Plasma Anisuma still has some pieces they are trying to push
-HD ready (what does this even mean)
-Full HD
-HDR screen
-Curved (i don’t find this helpful at all)
-Digital/analogues (sometimes it’s cheaper to buy analogue plus set top box for a high quality TV)
-3D (this seems to be dead
This you have not even come to the sound tech, DTS, sijui Dolby , DTS etc then you have to calibrate,check if the TV has all the ports you need, Meh.

1 Like

Dolby Atmos
Dolby True HD
Optical audio
Miracast etc
In fact, sound is the most complicated of all. Best of it, it only concerns the audiophiles.

Let me drop this here. It’s the Sony KDL-40w650d.

We should start seeing spec sheets for TVs as well.

And understand them.

Yeah. OLED has perfect contrast ratio but it consumes more energy because every pixel is a light emitting diode (LED). Also, the screen has a shorter life span because of how hard the LEDs have to work to keep those images flowing. I do like the picture quality though and would still buy it regardless.

1 Like

Here’s a little clarity… Do you remember those ASAHI watches we used to buy for 50 BOB? That is an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen. Any screen you see using LCD tech is just like that watch (just a little advanced for better refresh rate and a bunch of other stuff.) Do you recall the ‘bulb’ used on most rechargeable torches that doesn’t look like a miniature traditional light bulb? That is an LED (light emitting diode.) Most can not only produce white light but also any other color.
These are the two most commonly used materials for screens.

Now, an LCD screen only produces images but no light. That’s why it must have a backlight for the images and colors to be visible. Most old LCD displays used a CCFL as @Deno05 said. This is basically a long fluorescent tube put at the edges of the screen to light up the display. The LCD usually has a white material stuck on the back to ensure even light distribution but it’s far from perfect. LED backlit screens use an array of white LEDs put directly behind or at the edges of the screen to illuminate it. The picture quality on LCD screens is okay but it cannot match that of an OLED screen.

An OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen uses LEDs to display the picture. It’s not called organic because it uses natural materials but because each pixel produces its own light. This type of screen doesn’t need a separate backlight. Its pictures are extremely vivid because it completely turns off the pixels on black parts of the picture. In contrast, a LCD screen will always look grey when the picture is black because the backlight illuminates all pixels indiscriminately.


Very concise, I like the parralel you drew between an asahi watch and the subject.
Btw it was a bit of a shocker to learn that these “LED” TVs are nothing close to what I thought.

You do know that currently there is only one manufacturer LG offering the OLED tv (Sony are buying the screens from LG, Samsung still dont have a product in the market yet) and the they started selling last year. so anything before last year is an LED tv and before that just lcd tvs. Curious What were your initial thoughts on LED TVs?

Initially, I thought the LED pannels are the OLED pannels until it occurred to me that all those pannels are LCD with LED backlight.
Only OLED pannels actually use LEDs to produce pictures on the screen: and that’s what I thought of the LEDs

Well put my friend, you should be writing tech articles on Techweez