Are you confused between LCD, OLED, QLED and miniLED display technologies? Here is a comprehensive guide for each type of display.
Display types and technologies explained: LCD, OLED, miniLED, microLED and more
The display industry has come a long way in recent years. With so many competing standards on the market today, it’s often unclear whether a new technology is worth paying more for. OLED and QLED, for example, sound very similar on the surface but are completely different types of screen.
Technically, this is all great – progress and competition usually mean better value for the end user. In the short term, however, this has undoubtedly made buying a new display a bit difficult.
To help you with that decision, we’ve summarized all the common display types with their pros and cons in this article. Remember to bookmark this page and come back to it the next time you’re looking for a new TV. , Monitor or smartphone.
Display Types Guide
LCD or liquid crystal displays are the oldest display types on this list. They consist of two main components: a backlight and a liquid crystal layer.
Simply put, liquid crystals are tiny rod-shaped molecules that change orientation in the presence of an electric current. We manipulate this property on a screen to allow or block the passage of light. This process is also supported by color filters to create different subpixels. These are basically red, green, and blue primary color shades that combine to create the color you want, as shown in the image above. At a reasonable viewing distance, individual pixels are (usually) invisible to our eyes.
Since liquid crystals do not produce light on their own, LCD screens require a white (or sometimes blue) backlight. Depending on the image to be displayed, the liquid crystal layer only has to let this light pass through.
Much of a monitor’s perceived image quality depends on its backlight, including things like brightness and color uniformity.
A quick note on “LED” screens
You may have noticed that the term LCD has started to disappear recently, especially in the television industry. Instead, many manufacturers now prefer to market their TVs as LED models rather than LCDs. Don’t be fooled, however, this is just a marketing tactic.
These so-called LED screens also use a liquid crystal coating. The only difference is that the backlight used to illuminate the screen now uses LEDs instead of CFL or cathode ray fluorescent lamps; LEDs are a better source of light than CFLs in almost every way. They are smaller, consume less energy and last longer; however, the screens are still predominantly LCD.
Now let’s take a look at the different types of LCD screens on the market today and how they differ from each other.
Twisted nematic (TN)
Twisted Nematic, TN for short, was the first LCD technology. It was developed at the end of the 20th century and paved the way for the display industry to end the use of CRTs. The
TN displays have liquid crystals arranged in a twisted helix structure. Its default “off” state allows light to pass through two polarizing filters. However, when voltage is applied, they loosen to block the passage of light.
TN panels have been around for decades in devices such as pocket calculators and digital watches. In these apps, you just need to power the areas of the screen where you don’t want light. In other words, it is incredibly energy efficient technology. Braided nematic plates are also inexpensive to manufacture.
The same system can also provide you with a color image using a combination of red, blue, and green subpixels. However,
TN displays have significant drawbacks, including narrow viewing angles and poor color accuracy, as most of them use subpixels that can only produce 6 bits of brightness, limiting color output to just 26 (or 64) shades of red. Green and blue. These are much less than 8-bit and 10-bit displays which can reproduce 256 and 1024 shades of each primary color, respectively.
In the early 2010s, many smartphone manufacturers were using TN panels to reduce costs; however, the industry has almost turned away from it. The same goes for TVs, where wide viewing angles are a key selling point. if not necessary.
However, TN is also used elsewhere. You’re more likely to find it on inexpensive personal-use devices like laptops under $ 500. And despite its weaknesses, TN is also extremely popular with competitive gamers, as it is characterized by short reaction times.