An LED TV belongs to the family of LCD TVs, and is not drastically different from the LCD TV. It is not a brand new breed of television.
What is an LED TV then? LED (Light Emitting Diode) refers to the backlight system of an LCD television. This essentially means that an LED TV is equal to a new and upgraded LCD TV.
Every LCD TV requires a source of light to illuminate its pixels, which generally happens to be a set of fluorescent tubes. In an LED television, the source is a series of LEDs instead of fluorescent tubes, i.e., the CCFLs (cold-cathode fluorescent lamps). Theoretically, take a flat-screen LCD TV to a workshop. Open it up. Take out all the fluorescent tubes and replace them with scintillating LEDs, and voila, you have just converted an LCD TV into an LED TV!
The CCFLs used in an LCD TV produce light and provide required illumination. But when they are replaced with LEDs, the LCD TV is referred to as an LED TV. An LCD TV (or an LED TV) is said to be backlit as the CCFLs (LEDs in the LED TV) are arranged to illuminate the screen from behind. This “backlit” setup allows the television to have specifically dimmed areas and specifically lit-up areas, depending on the specific LEDs that have been lit-up in the process. This generates a much superior dynamic contrast ratio as compared to the usage of fluorescent tubes, or CCFLs. Furthermore, LED televisions are extremely thin; some as thin as one inch!
There are two backlighting systems available in conventional LED televisions. The first one is “edge lighting.” In this system, a set of LEDs are attached along the outside edges or rim of the television and the light from these LEDs is dispersed across the screen. This technique allows the television to be made extremely thin.
The other method of backlighting is known as “full array.” In this method, many rows of LEDs are placed directly behind the screen surface. The biggest advantage of this mechanism is that it enables local dimming. “Local dimming” essentially means a specific set of LEDs that can be turned on and off independently. For viewers, this brings about a vivid contrast of light and darkness that enhances the visual effects on the screen. While most brands offer both types of LED TVs, some only manufacture a particular type.
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