There are different types of display panels used in TVs. The three most common are LCD, OLED, and QLED. There are something good and bad in each type. In this small guide, we will tell you what those are.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display):
TVs with LCD displays have been around the longest, and they come in a variety of types. Standard LCDs, which are the cheapest kind, use cold cathode fluorescent lamps for backlighting, whereas newer ones utilize LEDs instead of older technologies. LED-backlit LCD TVs tend to be slightly lighter and more power-efficient than their CCFL counterparts, but the image quality on both is similar.
LCD panels are divided into two main subtypes: Twisted Nematic (TN) screens are fast but don’t offer great viewing angles or colour accuracy. Vertical Alignment (VA) screens can be even slower than TN models but provide superior black levels and contrast ratios as well as wider viewing angles. In-plane Switching (IPS) panels are the current gold standard for LCD panels, offering very good colour accuracy and viewing angles, along with fast response times.
Talking about the resolution, almost all LCD screens come in two types: 720p and 1080p. The “p” stands for progressive scan, which is a higher quality output than the interlaced scanning of older TVs.
- Cheapest in the market
- Good viewing angles (IPS panels only)
- Slow pixel response times (bad for gaming)
LED (Light Emitting Diode):
As the name suggests, LED TVs use LEDs as their light source. This allows for very small TV or incredibly thin TV displays, which is a nice feature to have if you want something wall-mounted. The main problem with LED sets is that local dimming cannot be used to make dark portions of the screen even darker, which reduces detail in the shadowed areas.
Some LED TVs support local dimming, which can improve black levels when turned on in a dark room, but they usually have no effect when used in well lit environments. This is because most of them cannot dim their own screen when you are watching it during daytime. When viewing angles are important to you, an LED TV is the best option.
About the resolution, LED TVs come with either 720p or 1080p. There are very few 1080p LED TVs in the market because the LED backlight system is too heavy and expensive for most manufacturers to justify building them.
- Super thin designs, good for wall mounting possibilities
- Wide viewing angles due to edge-lit nature of LEDs
- Thin and lightweight displays
- Can be edge-lit or back-lit
- Poor black levels when not using local dimming (common)
Vertical Alignment (VA):
This LCD technology uses an electrically charged liquid crystal to block light rather than polarizing filters, allowing each sub-pixel on the screen to produce its own colour. These TVs are considered superior to standard LCDs because they offer deeper blacks and improved contrast ratios. The downside is that VA displays tend to exhibit slower pixel response times, resulting in blurry motion handling. They’re also not the best when it comes to wider viewing angles; if you aren’t looking dead centre at your TV, you might notice a bit of colour shifting – something that’s much more noticeable when watching sports.
Talking about the resolution, VA panels usually come in 1080p.
- Great for movie viewing
- Deep blacks and better contrast ratio than standard LCDs
- Not suitable for gaming
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode):
This is a newer technology employed in the best-LED TV panels on the market. Instead of using cold cathode fluorescent lamps or LEDs, OLED panels produce light directly from each sub-pixel to create bright and saturated images that pop right off the screen. The lack of any backlight also means that an OLED display can achieve truly deep black levels while offering very wide viewing angles, making it ideal for consumer environments where ambient lighting may be present.
LG has crafted the best OLED panels around. Each pixel contains a red, green and blue sub-pixel to generate all colours; when they’re switched off individually, complete black is produced. This opens up some interesting possibilities for contrast ratios, as individual pixels can be turned off to produce total darkness or dim down specific parts of the screen for better depth perception during dark scenes. There are no backlight concerns with OLED either; each sub-pixel produces its own light, so you’ll never see any bleeding or discolouration across the display.
OLED TVs generally come with resolutions of either 1080p or 4K.
- The best picture quality on the market today
- Very wide viewing angles
- Expensive (still) and production costs still high per panel.
QLED (Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode)
This is Samsung’s response to LG’s OLED panels. Quantum dot LEDs are a new type of LED that use tiny “quantum dots” to emit light. They’re applied as a film over the surface of the LCD panel and can be tuned to produce any colour on the spectrum by varying the size of the quantum dot. Because they don’t rely on backlighting, they can also achieve much higher peak brightness levels than traditional LEDs – perfect for HDR content.
The first QLED TVs hit the market in 2017 and offer some significant improvements over traditional LED-backlit LCDs. In particular, they offer improved viewing angles and better colour reproduction, thanks to a technology called “quantum-whitening.”
The resolution of QLED TVs are usually either 4K or 8K.
- The best consumer TV available.
- QLED TVs cost significantly more than standard LED/LCD models.
This is an older technology that was once used in high-end TVs. Plasma panels produce a brighter image than LCDs and can offer deeper black levels, making them a great choice for watching movies. However, they suffer from poor viewing angles and are not as suitable for gaming or general use as LCDs. They’re also more prone to screen burn-in, so you’ll want to avoid leaving any static images on the screen for too long.
The resolution of Plasma TVs is usually 1080p.
- Great for movie viewing
- Deeps blacks and good contrast ratio
- Poor viewing angles
- Not suitable for gaming
Now, among all these types it is difficult to choose which one is best. All these types have some good and bad features. It completely depends on what you are looking for in a TV. If you want the best picture quality, OLED is the way to go. But, it is also the most expensive. If you are looking for a good LED panel with great viewing angles, QLED would be a better choice. And if you are on a budget, standard LED/LCD panels will still offer a good picture quality. So, it really depends on your needs and what you are willing to spend.
So, before buying any TV, it is advised to do some research about the latest specifications and features of each type in order to choose the best TV for oneself.