You may be getting confused with all the new terminology of the flat TVs that are hitting the market. LCD TV has of course been the most popular and widely used flat TV with the largest market share. Plasma TVs have also been around for many years now. They are quite popular and cheaper with lesser market share than LCD televisions. But what do you understand of the new range of LED televisions that you are hearing these days? How is it different from a regular LCD TV?
Samsung was the one to introduce the term LED TV. LED stands for Light-emitting diode. But it is important to understand that the display or the panel is not necessarily a LED display in a LED TV. The Samsung LED TV uses only LED backlighting; the display is still a LCD. So the term LED TV is rather disputable and erroneously used by the manufacturer as the display is not composed of LEDs. The fact is that the use of a LED Display is suitable for very large screen sizes like 100 inches and above and not for home sized screens which usually range from 32 to 50 inches. However it does not mean that a LED backlit TV (even with LCD display) does not differ from a regular LCD TV.
Some of the major benefits of LED backlit TVs over the current popular LCD TVs are:
LED TVs consume far lesser power than LCD TVs.
A LED TV can produce deeper blacks and brighter images.
They are capable of producing better color reproduction in terms of the range of color.
They can be slightly slimmer.
If Edge-LED lighting technology is used the TV can be very slim
However advancements in conventional LCD-CCFL (Cathode Fluorescent Lamps televisions) mean that the above results are possible with this technology also.
So a LCD TV manufacturer can use an LED backlight instead of the standard LCD-CCFL used in most LCD TVs. It is important to differentiate this method of backlighting a conventional LCD panel, from a true LED display, or an OLED display. The first commercial LED backlit LCD TV was the Sony Qualia which was introduced way back in 2004, so Samsungs technology is not new. Sony still has this technology in some of its Bravia models.
The other backlit method is Edge-LED lighting which was also first introduced by Sony in 2008. With Edge LED lighting it is possible to have an ultra slim TV. Samsung has also introduced a range of Edge-LED lit LCD televisions (which is described incorrectly as “LED TVs”) which are again the thin types. However one must remember that Edge- lighting may not produce the best backlighting and therefore not a uniform picture.
LED-backlit LCD TVs are a good choice but the problem currently is their higher cost. LED TVs are expensive to manufacture. If a standard 40” LCD TV costs $1200 to $1500 then a LED backlit LCD TV could cost you more than twice this price. However if you can afford it is just better technology resulting in greater contrast and a brighter picture.
An OLED display television is again a different technology. Here the display itself is of OLED. OLED stands for organic light emitting diode. Sony introduced this in its XE-1 OLED TV and in October 2008 Samsung unveiled the largest OLED TV at 40-inch with a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 pixel. A significant benefit of OLED displays over traditional liquid crystal displays (LCDs) is that OLEDs do not require a backlight to function. An OLED TV is also very thin and can produce superior pictures, better colors, more brightness, faster response time and consume lesser power mainly because the OLED pixels directly emit light. The biggest drawback of OLED is that the display has a shorter life span compared to a LCD display, a Plasma display or a LED display. Cost is also a factor that makes it less popular.
I hope the above throws some light on the emerging new technologies and how they differ from each other.