LED Or LCD TV, Which One Is Better? Is There A Difference?

When someone searches for a TV that they can buy and would best apply to their needs, they can get overwhelmed by how a TV can be, there are so many factors that come in when you are searching for a TV, we have touched on this on one of our previous posts.

But today we’ll be touching a bit more on the panel technology of these TVs, specifically what are LED and LCD TVs and what are the difference. So the next time you got the shop you don’t need to ask yourself the question LED or LCD TV, you’ll be going with a decision to buy a specific TV.

Like A Grandfather

While a silly statement LCD TV technology is a somewhat of a grandfather for LED TV and in sequence for OLED TV and QLED TV screens. LED is more of an upgrade for LCD than a full on Very Old TVdifferent panel technology.

LED TVs are the same LCD TVs, like a branch of the main tree, the actual name for an LED TV would be a “LED-backlit LCD TV”, but for the simplicity of marketing the name was shortened to just an LED TV, which by my thoughts actually misinform the buyer.

So the similarities for both of them are that they both use liquid crystal displays(LCD), the difference is that original LCD TVs use CCFL backlighting, while the LED TVs use light-emiting diodes(LED) for the backlighting.

Why separate LCD TVs From LED TVs

For you to actually see the picture you need some sort of a light source and LCD don’t emit the light by themselves, they only either allow it to pass through via an electricity current which passes through the liquid or don’t.

I’ll be referring to cold cathode fluorescent lamp(CCFL)-backlit LCD TVs as just LCD TVs and to LED-backlit LCD TVs as LED TVs, I think that will make things easier to understand from now on as that is how they are referred to nowadays.

To first understand what LCD TVs are all about we have to understand what is so different from CCFL and LED technologies.


This kind of backlight works by having a lot of horizontally placed tubes right behind the screen, this ensures that the light is being distributed evenly, but that also means that each section of the picture can’t be perfectly managed to have higher contrast as we’ll discuss later about LEDs.

As CCFL becomes more and more outdated, the rarity of products with such type of technology increases and in terms so does the price drop, this kind of backlighting can still be used in various low priced screens, though even that is rare today.


LEDs are a lot smaller than CCFLs so you are capable of doing so much more with them, so there more than one way you can array the LEDs behind the LCD screen, for example there is the edge lighting and just as the name suggests, the LEDs are put in the edges. Even with this arguably the lesser quality placement of LEDs are still able to offer higher brightness to the screen that CCFL ever could.

There can be many variations of how the LEDs can be put, it can be around all four edges or just the bottom, or bottom and top, or left and right. While it definitely decreases the overall price in manufacturing these types of TVs, it also decreases the overall all quality, for example let’s say that the LEDs are aligned along all the four edges.

While the light would be consistent around the edges it would appear to get slightly darker towards the middle since the light is not able to reach there properly and mostly focuses directly in front instead of being directed at all points of the screen.

Full Array LED TVThen there are full-array and direct local blacklighting, these types are not much different from each other as both use the whole back of the LCD screen, but in direct local blacklighting the LEDs are more dispersed, so they have a slightly lesser quality compared to full array blacklighting, but still superior to edge lighting.

So as suspected the full-array backlighting offers a higher brightness to the screen, but also since the LEDs are put in such a way that when on the screen there is supposed to be a darker image or a specific region is supposed to be darker, by selectively dimming individual LEDs for the effect of darker darks or as some of you may know- higher contrast.

The Different Light LEDs

As these are LEDs there are different colored ones, but the main ones used are white light LEDs and RGB(red-green-blue) LEDs, they are fairly similar and they add quite a bit of the diversity to Red Green Bluehow many types of TVs you can find on the market.

So the white light is meant to produce a similar light spectrum as the sun, so in return making it seem more natural, but it only appears to be white because of the bulb having a coating of sulfur, while the color of the actual light is blue.

But then there is RGB which makes the color spectrum more diverse by using red, green, blue LEDs, in result of that the quality of the picture is a bit higher compared to white light LEDs and the viewing is certainly more enjoyable.

LED Or LCD TV Or Something Else

While we have discussed to which of these types of TVs are more superior they are not the main focus of the premium market anymore and LED TVs have actually become more of a norm thanProgressing Technology some kind of a serious upgrade. But with the new OLED and QLED on the horizon everything could change quite quickly.

LED TVs have been for quite a while, but I believe that modern society is starting to want for something more, for the new big thing that would improve their viewing quality, while that might not necessarily mean the increase in the quality of the screens, it definitely means in the development of technology and in the future we might be looking at LED TVs as one of the lowest quality TVs.

4 Comments on “LED Or LCD TV, Which One Is Better? Is There A Difference?”

  1. Hi, Rihard!

    Good article and nice to know a bit more about the differences between this kind of TV technics.

    I have a Pioneer plasma myself (LX-6090) and it has worked like a charm and the black levels are still amazing. If I ever replace it I think I would go for the OLED technic.

    What do you think is the best of OLED and QLED?

    Regards, Jan

    1. Well OLED TVs appear to be of a higher quality, they are of a completely different technology and their names is closer to a coincidence then a link to the technology that they represent.
      But I definetely suggest OLED TVs over QLED TVs, they are going to be quite pricy, but it’s going to be worth it.
      Don’t have any suggestions to any specific TV.

  2. Hi Rihards, great article and nicely detailed. I own a LED TV myself and I didn’t know how it worked so thank you for this. As well, I can’t wait to see more of your articles.

    1. Well I’m glad I was able to clear that up for you, do read other articles, if you want to find out more about TVs and don’t forget to comment, I’m always happy to answer your questions.

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