LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and appeared for the first time in the 1970s. In the early days of LCD technology, digital watches displayed black numbers against a gray background. During the daytime or in well-lit buildings, the numbers showed up brightly against the dull shade of gray. However, the numbers faded into nonexistence once the lights went out. For this very reason, manufacturers placed small buttons on the side to activate a light source. Without this light source, an LCD screen might as well have nothing on it to show.
How Does an LCD TV Work?
An LCD TV works the same way as the old digital watch. It requires something called a backlight, which emits a light and shows the images on the screen. LCD TVs have cold-cathode fluorescent lamps, or CCFL, laid horizontally behind the screen. Overall, these lamps provide a bright picture with good colors and decent blacks. Today, TV manufacturers place small LED lights behind the screen and label them as LED TVs.
Differences between LED and LCD
LED and LCD TVs are essentially the same thing. Both TVs use the same LCD display, but the LED models have small LED lights either along the edges of the display or right behind it. Edge-lit LED TVs disperse the light across the screen, but the lighting appears brighter along the edges and less in the center. Full-array LED TVs use LEDs behind the screen to distribute the light more evenly. This type of TV also creates good contrast and a better overall picture.
LCD TV Features and Benefits
Most LCD TVs marketed today have LED on the label and range in price and features. They have slim panels and mount either on the wall or on a stand. Depending on the price, many LCD/LED TVs come with built-in Wi-Fi, multiple HDMI ports, 3D capability and more. For the best picture, an LCD TV with full-array LED backlighting offers sharp visuals and has local dimming, which improves the blackness in a picture. These TVs come in sizes up to 80 inches and compete with plasma TVs in both price and quality.
Does LCD still dominate the market?
For a while, it seemed like LCD would go the way of the dodo when it came to the superior picture quality provided by organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. OLED presented a superior picture with a more convenient, super-thin package. However, OLED still has a long way to go when it comes to phasing out the LCD.
One of the biggest concerns regarding the OLED is the manufacturing costs to produce these screens. For the time being, it seems like LCD has the OLED beat as the organic counterpart is largely being restricted to smaller displays over mainstream TV screens.
There’s also the issue of improvements in current LCD technology in the way of improved picture quality, longer battery life and an overall robust design. In the time it takes the OLED to truly reach mainstream appeal, the widely-celebrated (and cheaper) LCD technology just keeps getting better.