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Video:Difference Between LCD and LED TVs

with Bob Murphy

LCD and LED TVs are often confused, but there are key differences in the TV technology. Watch this About.com video to learn why LED TVs are of slightly better quality than LCD TVs.See Transcript

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Transcript:Difference Between LCD and LED TVs

Hi, My name is Bob Murphy, I am the branch manager at Listen Up in Boulder, Colorado.  I am here for About.com and we are going to be talking about the difference between LCD and LED TVs.

LCD and LED TVs Have Different Backlighting

In the realm of LCD TVs, we have conventional LCD with the backlight done with the fluorescent tube, and then we have the LED backlighting. LED being light emitting diode, and this is a step-up from the conventional LCD because it gives you a brighter picture, it runs cooler, uses less energy, and overall better colors. And in the top of that series is LED, local dimming.

LED is a Variation of LCD TV

The confusion is that LCD and LED are two different kinds of TVs. They actually are not. They are both variations on the LCD, with a different way of lighting from behind. In all cases, LCD and LED TVs are using a liquid crystal to create the picture.

The difference is the backlighting. The backlighting in a conventional LCD is cold cathode fluorescent, and in the LED, they use a LED backlight. Backlight is necessary, because LCDs don't have any backlight of their own, it's just a transmissive panel and the light goes right through it. One of the things we look at in a TV is how it handles black levels.

Screen Contrast in LED and LCD TV

Black levels, that's a term that you will see, manufacturers, reviewers, in brochures and online. Black levels is another way of saying contrast. LCDs traditionally do not have a good contrast ratio because they can't show pure black. Now they have gotten better, and LED's are better than LCD's in this regard, but that is something you are going to want to look for, especially if you are going to watch movies.

If you are going to watch sports, it is not as much as an issue, and regular broadcast tv is not as challenging. As soon as you get into movies, or any of the premium channels on cable that have high production values, you are just going to see things that look better when you have one picture over another. 

Thanks so much for watching. For more information about home theater, please visit us at About.com.                  

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