Every TV type Explained

Every TV Type, Explained: From CRT to QD-OLED

The world of TVs can be a confusing place, filled with acronyms and seemingly minor variations. But fear not, intrepid viewer! This guide will break down every major TV technology, both past and present, to help you navigate the display jungle.

Emissive vs. Transmissive Displays:

First, a key distinction: emissive displays create light at each pixel, while transmissive displays use a backlight that shines through the screen. Emissive displays generally boast superior picture quality, especially for black levels, but can be more expensive.

Legacy Displays:

  • CRT (Cathode Ray Tube): The classic picture tube TV, bulky and deep, with a picture generated by firing electron beams. While not commercially available anymore, some gamers still prize them for their responsiveness.
  • Plasma TV: The flat-panel pioneer, with stunning picture quality but prone to burn-in (permanent image retention) and energy inefficiency. Largely phased out by LCDs.

Modern Displays:

  • LCD (Liquid Crystal Display): The current workhorse of the TV market, LCDs use liquid crystals to control the passage of light from a backlight. They’re affordable, thin, and energy-efficient, but black levels can be a weakness.
  • LED (Light-Emitting Diode): Not a separate display type, but an illumination method for LCDs. LEDs offer better brightness and color than traditional fluorescent backlights, though some confuse them as a distinct display type. Edge-lit and backlit LED variations exist.

Emissive Powerhouses:

  • OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode): The king of black levels, OLED offers stunning picture quality with perfect blacks and wide viewing angles. However, OLEDs can be susceptible to screen burn-in and may not get as bright as some LED TVs.
  • QLED (Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode): A Samsung-developed technology, QLED uses quantum dots to enhance color vibrancy in LCD panels. It aims to combine the brightness of LEDs with color close to OLED, but viewing angles may not be as good.

The Cutting Edge:

  • Mini-LED: A new approach that uses tiny LEDs for backlighting in LCD panels. This allows for improved brightness control and deeper blacks compared to traditional LED backlights, potentially rivaling OLED picture quality.
  • Micro-LED: The future of TVs? Micro-LED uses microscopic LEDs to create a modular display. Imagine a super-thin, high-bright display with perfect blacks, completely customizable to any size. However, the technology is still very expensive and not widely available.
  • MLA OLED & QD-OLED: These are new OLED display variations that improve viewing angles and potentially address burn-in concerns. QD-OLED combines quantum dots with OLED technology for potentially superior color and brightness.

Choosing the Right TV:

There’s no single “best” TV type, as the ideal choice depends on your budget, viewing habits, and priorities. Consider factors like picture quality, screen size, price, and smart TV features before making your decision. With a good understanding of the different display technologies, you can confidently navigate the ever-evolving TV landscape!