What Are The Main Types Of TV?

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Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: August 30, 2023

LCDs, LEDs and OLEDs are the main types of TVs.

  • LCDs run on liquid crystals, illuminating the screen when electricity hits.
  • LEDs are an upgraded version of LCDs, using fluorescent bulbs instead of liquid crystals.
  • And OLEDs use organic material to illuminate the screen.

Buying a television set used to be pretty easy. You just needed to know a few details, and it was done. But with so many types of TV technologies at your disposal, it’s become hard to figure out what’s legit and what's a marketing gimmick.

We’re here to help you understand the three main types and what they’re all about. We’ll also tell you the factors involved in picking the best and which type wins each battle.

What Are The Main Types Of TV

We will discuss three main types of television sets categorised based on their display capabilities. Here we go.


LCD is short for liquid-crystal display. These television sets generally have three polarised, flat glass panels inside, with the area in between filled with liquid crystals. These crystals allow light to pass a certain way, and that is how you can see the images you do on the screen.

The three panels are called substrates and come in RGB (red, green and blue). When electricity passes through them, the crystals align themselves in a way that allows the passage of light.

These television sets have high resolution, great colour and energy efficiency, which has made them a popular choice for a long time.


  • LCDs are energy savers compared to older technology like plasma and bulb-lit screens.


  • The viewing angle is limited.
  • Black images are not reproduced very well.
  • Brightness levels are restricted.
  • Screen lagging and blurring are real problems.


The second type of TV is an LED which stands for light-emitting diode. Contrary to popular belief, this technology is not all that different from LCDs because LEDs are an upgraded version of the TV sets of the previous generation. And technology-wise, both these generations of TV sets use the same stuff.

But if you’re looking for differences, LCDs have a fluorescent bulb to illuminate them, whereas LEDs have a diode. Hence the name. LEDs come in two categories: edge-lit and direct backlit.

As the name suggests, in the direct backlit LEDs, the diode that illuminates the screen is right behind it. In the edge-lit models, the diode is on the outer edge.

LED screens are narrower than LCDs and also more efficient. They don’t need to use as much energy, and they have a better viewing angle.


  • The use of backlight LEDs improves picture quality.
  • It’s an affordable technology for the average customer.
  • They’re multifunctional.
  • LCDs are energy savers compared to older technology like plasma and bulb-lit screens.


  • The viewing angle is limited.
  • Black images are not reproduced very well.
  • Brightness levels are restricted.
  • Screen lagging and blurring are real problems.


And finally, there is the OLED which is short for organic light emitting diode. These TV sets are said to have the highest quality display technology in this market segment. When an electric current is supplied to the circuit, these television sets use an organic material (carbon, for instance) to light up the screen.

This technology also doesn’t require a backlight which is why it is thinner than the earlier-mentioned models. The size also makes it more flexible, which is another benefit. On top of that, these sets don’t need as much energy as LCD and LED sets. OLEDs also don’t emit as much heat as the others.

They are sleek, and their picture quality is terrific. The colour display is impressive, and it is so without the need for substrates.


  • There’s no question of blurring or screen lagging.
  • The true blacks are impressive when compared with the other models.
  • The colours are richer in comparison.
  • Producing these units is quite easy.
  • The viewing angle is great for the customer.


  • Manufacturing these units is expensive for companies.
  • Customers need to spend quite a bit on the product.
  • The pixels tend to burn easily.

Which Display Technology Is Better?

If you’re wondering which of these is a better pick, here are a few factors to consider and judge.

large. television set on a white cabinet

Brightness: LCD

You should be a little careful when it comes to the screen's brightness. You know that TV screens look their best in this context in a dark room. But all these TV sets are made to look bright even when the surroundings are sunny. But the LCD wins because of its backlighting capacity. 

This is what makes the screen, the whole screen, look bright. You're not entirely wrong if you’re wondering what the big deal is. It’s not a big deal, so it’s not a great victory.

Blacks: OLED

When we talk about the black levels or true blacks, we’re talking about the extent to which the TV screen can get dark. This is achieved when the pixels can be turned off. And the OLED wins because it can turn them off completely, which produces some gorgeous blacks.

On the other hand, the LCDs come with local dimming, which means the screen can get dim in parts. That isn’t the same as dimming at a pixel level. True blacks are fully achieved when the technology has maximum control over the contrast on the screen, which is what OLEDs have.

Contrast Ratio: OLED

Speaking of contrast, that’s another aspect to check out when comparing display technology. The contrast ratio is the gap between the darkest and the brightest visual output a television screen can produce. This is important because it defines your television set’s picture quality.

The OLED wins this round, too, because of its ability to get extremely bright and dark. This, once again, weaves into the pixel-level control it has over the screen. You can say that OLEDs are the best in the business concerning the contrast ratio.

Our Number One TV Recommendation

Now that you have all the information you need to decide on your new TV, we have done a review of the Best Televisions to save you time.  You can access the Reviews and Buyers Guide here.

Number One Pick
LG 43UP75006LF 4K UHD HDR Smart LED (43") LG 43UP75006LF 4K UHD HDR Smart LED (43")

The LG UP75 TV offers stunning 4K HDR visual intensity. For better Ultra HD graphics powered by LG's Quad Core processor 4K, it also has AI sound for a spectacular and realistic sensation, regardless of your view. Utilise the built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa on LG's high-quality webOS smart platform to interact by voice while streaming content from platforms like Netflix.

To keep our website going, we earn a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Now you know the basics of all three options in the market. You should research the jargon more before you go to a store and check them out in person. But now you know where to begin. Good luck!

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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