ELECTRONICS There are a lot of options when purchasing a new TV today. Apart from choosing whether you want 3D or a standard 2D tube, there's also several options when it comes to the screen construction as well, including standard LCD, LED, AmoLED/OLED, as well as plasma.
In this entry, we'll discuss the main differences that sets them apart, helping you decide what's optimal for your needs.
Digital, contra analogueWhen choosing what type of TV or computer monitor to go for, one important thing to remember is the fact that all types of digital displays - even the new LED and OLED screens - all consist of an array of fixed pixels made of liquid crystal. Hence, the acronym LCD - liquid crystal display. Plasma screens, on the other hand, are excluded from that group, because they actually came from an analogue technology much similar to traditional, "fat" computer monitors (CTR's), with the only exception that we're now able to produce them a lot thinner, thanks to modern development in this industry.
LCD, LED and OLED displays, on the other hand, are in fact all LCD displays. However, all LCD's are certainly not LED's, and even fewer are OLED displays. Below you'll find a breakdown of the different types, including pros and cons of each one:
- LCD and TFT LCD monitors of the traditional kind, have either one or a few, large lamps that light up the entire screen. As the lamp is always turned on*, continuously and evenly distributing luminance across the display, dynamic contrast is somewhat limited. And as the light cannot dim or lighten up the screen regionally, blacks as well as dark shades get lit up just like any other colour. However, as the luminance of the screen is very even and consistent, the colour reproduction is generally quite accurate.
"Ultraslim" LED backlit LCD TV. Fully flexible OLED display by Sony
HEY! Time to spill the beans already! - What should I get?
Next best thing: OLEDAs stated above, OLED is most definitely the technology of the future. The only factor that holds the OLED's back is that they're simply too expensive to make. Especially when it comes to larger screens. If just a few, out of millions, of pixels (or diodes) should come out dead, the product is useless, because there's no way a consumer would spend hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars on a defective TV.
But for now: LCD or LEDSo, until OLED screens become available to a broader market, your choices are going to be either a regular LCD or an LED backlit LCD, unless you rather spend your money on an a plasma, which would only be a suitable for movies and television use, due to burn-in issues that become quite apparent when used as a computer screen, or as a means of displaying other types of still visual content.
|LCD TV of the traditional kind.|
Still good for PhotoShop.
The broader dynamic contrast range of the LED would probably suit most user better, for casual use including television, movies, videogames, etc.
When to get a regular LCD
When absolute accuracy in colour and shades is necessary, and your old CRT has run its course - a regular LCD, with its even and consistent luminance all across the screen, would be a good replacement. This makes the traditional LCD monitor a good choice for anyone working professionally with digital images and video editing.
* Footnote: Some LCD's come with built-in behaviour of switching the lamp off when the screen goes entirely blank, mainly for energy conserving. This behaviour is most common in computer monitors (sometimes referred to as TFT's), and is often seen as a response to the screen saver sending out a blank signal.