LED vs LCD does always indicate picture quality as they both use LCD panels in front of the backlight. The older backlight technology CCFL more commonly (and incorrectly ) referred to as LCD , more on that later, are cold cathode fluorescent tube LCD panel backlights sometimes called compact fluorescent tubes . The newer more commonly referred to as LED sets use smaller, more energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes for the LCD panel backlight.
Both types of sets are in fact LCD but differ in the type of panel backlight CCFL (fluorescent tube) or LED (light emitting diode)
LED and LCD are both in fact LCD panels using different types of backlight lamps if you will.
The correct ways to describe them are CCFL/LCD more commonly referred to as LCD , LED/LCD is more commonly referred to as just LED.both in fact are LCD also.
both in fact are LCD also.
All LCD panels must have a backlight as they are passive displays and must have a light source .(think of LCD ,liquid crystal display like a translucent plastic color wheel in front of a lightbulb on steroids but with rapid color changing occurring in milliseconds without a motor or wheel but done electrically in the LCD panel by millions of switching transistors rapidly turning the red /blue and green liquid crystal light filters on or off thus allowing colored or white light through . OTOH Plasma and the older CRT (picture tubes) are emissive phosphorus displays and generate their own light natively and thus do not require backlights .
Both LED and and LCD can be either full back light arrays or edge lit both have advantages and disadvantages . Full array backlighting usually allows for more uniformity
sometimes superior brightness and more control of local dimming sometimes enabling superior contrast in dark backgrounds at least in LED panels. Edge lighting allows for thinner,lighter ,more energy efficient ,lower cost to produce panels , the disadvantages are uniformity,less effective and less accurate local dimming control and "flashlighting" and "clouding ,( areas of visible light or clouding in black backgrounds).
Ideally for best LED picture quality one would want a high density full array local dimming panel (most expensive to produce and thicker than the more common edge lit panels .) these are usually reserved for more expensive LED sets .however newer higher quality edge lit panels are now being being used there also.
More important to picture quality are things like black level,contrast, color saturation and accuracy ,picture detail and brightness Both CCFL/LCD and LED/LCD panels can be made to excel in those areas .
. LED backlights (especially edge light type) are becoming the norm now with the older CCFL being phased out due to energy efficiency and production costs.
As with anything new ofc LED panels usually cost more at first but at least in the case of edge lighting LED panels the production costs are lower and as they have become more common in the market place the manufacturers have been able to amortize their changeover and tooling costs over increasing numbers of LED set sales so they are now cost
competitive with the older CCFL/LCD sets
LCD and LED sets should be evaluated on an individual basis for cases of shopping comparisons .
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Edited by tubetwister - 9/25/13 at 3:13pm