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5 tips for buying a LED / LCD TV

Updated on January 12, 2011

Today I will talk about main advantages of led TVs versus LCD panels. The main difference between LCD and LED TVsĀ  is the technology for backliting pixels. People call it LED TVs, but notice that LED TVs are still LCD TVs: LED refers to the backlight system used in newer LCD TVs.

Pixels on LCD screen don't produce their own light (pixels only produce their own light in old CRT screens), and that's the reason why they have to be "backlit".

New screens are called LED TVs, because these TVs use LED backlights instead of fluorescent backlights like other LCD TVs.


There are two types of LED backlighting: Edge Lighting and Full-Array (also called Full LED).

In Edge Lighting method, LED backlights are placed along the edges of the screen. Then, the light is dispersed all across the screen. By placing LEDs on the edge of the screen this LED/LCD TVs can be designed very thin. However, black levels are not so deep and the corners and edge areas are usually brighter than the area located in the center of the panel.

Edge LED
Edge LED | Source

When Full-Array backlighting system is used, several LEDs are placed behind the screen surface (as happen with fluorescent ligths in traditional LCD TVs). Of course the panel can't be so thiner but as an advantage they can use "local dimming". This means that each LED or group of LEDs can be turned on and off independently within certain areas of the screen, these provides more control of the brightness and darkness for each area.

Local dimming
Local dimming | Source

There is a lot of confusion between these new technologies: LCD, LED, Edge LED, Full-Array, "local dimming", ... However the main facts are yet exposed in this hub. The main thing you should consider is: what is more important to you, a nice design or superior image quality? If you like nice designs, thin panels and TVs then Edge Led is the answer. But, if image quality is the most important thing to you then a Full-Array LED TV with "local dimming" is your best friend.

LEDs are the new technology for backliting a LCD panel improving these screens performance in black levels pushing it to Plasma TV quality but with less power consumption or providing thiner panel designs.

Comparing a LCD TV with led backlighting versus standard LCD TVs using fluorescent backlit system:

Since LEDs are designed differently than standard fluorescent backlight systems, this means that the new LED backlit LCD sets offer the following differences with standard LCD sets:

  • LED uses lower power consumption.
  • LEDs don't use Mercury.
  • Well balanced color saturation.
  • LED TVs using Full Array blacklight, have better black levels than traditional LCD televisions, and even Edge-lit LED.
  • LED TVs using Edge backlight method can be much thinner than standard LCD televisions, and even Full Array LED.


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