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How Does an LED TV Work?

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The new era of smart TVs brings you the best picture quality than ever before along with a minimal design and bezel-less display panels. Also, you will find a lot more exciting features in a TV now that makes them as good as a smartphone in terms of functionality and application support.

Although, the display is still the most important part of the TV and one must look into it carefully before buying a TV. As LED TVs are right now the most trending lineup of televisions in the globe right now, we will be taking a comprehensive look at different types of LED display panels and various technologies related to them. We will strongly recommend you to stick until the end of this article to make sure you don’t miss out on an important part.


First of all, let’s try to understand what LED technology is and how it operates in a display panel. The term “LED” stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. In all LED TVs, monitors, and other display panels, these light-emitting diodes are used as the sole light source for the display. In earlier times, LED technology was quite expensive and was only observed in high-end equipment.

But now, LED tech is the most preferred technology for displays and available even in the most affordable options. Today, you will find mainly 3 different types of LED TVs that are available under a certain budget range. Let’s try to understand these LED types in a brief manner.

Full array

The full array LED panels are currently one of the best looking display panels available on the TVs that provide a high-quality image as well as a surprisingly well contrast ratio. In this technology, you will find the LED lights directly behind the display. These lights are evenly distributed throughout the panel and controlled individually to create the local dimming effect.

The full array LED display panels can easily manage the luminosity of only a certain part of the screen as required by a particular frame of a video or movie. Thus, it creates the perfect brightness control for true HDR content and delivers optimum quality.


Edge-lit LED TVs are somewhat a middle ground for manufacturers as these TVs are available even on most budget-oriented ranges and still provide a decent image quality. As it is given in the name itself, edge-lit LED panels have an array of LED lights installed over the edges of the television.

The placement of the LED lights is dependent upon the manufacturer as some brands use all edge LED lights whereas some only have LED lights available on either sides or bottom.

As the light source is placed on the extreme edge of the display. It cannot control the luminosity of the frame properly. You might also find some edge-lit LED TVs having overly bright edges which is a common phenomenon known as edge bleeding in LED panels. You can personalize your panel with proper brightness levels to avoid these problems.


This LED display technology is quite similar to full-array LED placement, except the number of LEDs available in this technology, is quite less. Therefore, it cannot control the luminosity of the panel perfectly even after being directly behind the display.

While direct LED TVs are quite cheaper than that of the full array of LED TVs, they are not thin in design and compared to other premium models. Due to the lights being behind the display, there is some gap provided so that the light can be diffused properly.

Working Principle

Now that you know the basic types of LED display panels available on current generation LED TVs, let’s try to understand how a digital image is created with the help of LED lights. If you take a look at the working principle of an LED TV closely, you will find it to be a descendant of LCD technology with slight upgrades. The LED TVs feature a lot of advantages over an LCD TV, the top one being the energy efficiency of an LED display panel.

LED display panels also come with a liquid crystal display on the front. Unlike an LCD panel, the LED lights are used as the source light to create an image on the LCD panel. The liquid crystals available on the front acts as a filter and locks the light coming from the LED by generating an electric field.

For example, the light will be completely blocked if the black color needs to be displayed on the panel. This is also the reason why we do not find a perfect black on an LED panel as light always finds a way through the filter and brightens the display area,

Latest Technologies in LED TVs

Resolution: 4K and Higher

The resolution of any digital display is its fundamental property to generate details and quality. Higher the resolution, the sharper the image quality.

The resolution levels for TVs are upgraded quite a bit now as 4K is slowly becoming the standard option for most users and 8K displays making their way in the market. Other resolutions such as HD (720p), HD Ready (768p), and Full HD (1080p) are some of the budget-oriented options in the market.

Even though 4K content streaming and gaming are not available for everyone right now, it is surely going to become the standard in the upcoming couple of years and it is better to be prepared for with a decent 4K panel beforehand.

OLED and QLED Display Panels

The OLED and QLED TVs are currently the best looking display panels in almost every genre, whether you are talking about smartphones, monitors, or TVs. OLED stands for an organic light-emitting diode that uses an organic light-emitting material that glows when electricity is passed through it.

Similar to the AMOLED display technology that we see on our phones, the OLED displays allows control over every individual pixel on the display. This provides the perfect black levels as the pixel can be completely turned off individually. The QLED (Quantum dot LED) technology is similar to OLED, but the pixels are even more minuscule.

HDR Technology

HDR is one term that we often see with almost every mid-range to high range television. Most people confuse HDR technology with high definition picture quality, which is certainly not the case. HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range” and allows a wider range of contrast and color accuracy for digital content. In simpler words, it makes the bright part of the frame much brighter and darker part of the frame much darker than a non-HDR panel.

This provides an added depth to the scene and it feels extremely realistic. As proper luminosity control is a must for HDR, it’s best when viewed on an OLED or QLED display panel rather than a normal LED panel.

Dedicated Image Processors

As we mentioned earlier, the 4K resolution is slowly becoming standard for online content streaming and gaming whether it is based on consoles or PCs. A 4K stream has a significant amount of bandwidth, even more, if it is HDR content. In such a case, the TVs require a special processing unit to properly encode/decode the picture information that is called image processors.

You will find many different image processors from different brands such as Sony, Samsung, LG, and many other high-end options. These image processors also help to upscale the low-resolution content to native 4K resolution so that it does not look blurry on the large-sized panel.

Smart OS on Smart TVs

The LED TVs are now more than just a TV as they are used to run tonnes of different applications and services. Apart from popular OTT content-streaming applications, you will also find various games and other lifestyle based applications on smart TVs that makes everything manageable right from your couch.

This is possible because of the dedicated operating system available on smart TVs. While most of the TVs have pure Android OS for best compatibility, the premium brands like Samsung, LG and Sony have their own proprietary OS with a limited number of supported applications.

High FPS Imagery

You must be familiar with the term FPS if you play games. FPS refers to the frames being displayed on the screen every second. Naturally, more frames result in a smoother and blur-free video output.

The FPS of pre-recorded content like a movie or TV show is limited to a certain value to ensure the best viewing experience. But, if you want a smoother video, you can enable this technology that inserts extra black frames in the content to make it look much smoother than the original.


Finding a new TV that is perfect for your budget range is getting more and more difficult every year as new variants are constantly being released with additional features and new technologies. In this article, you will find all relevant technologies related to LED TVs that are available out there right now.

After going through our article, you will understand the working of LED TV, different types of LED TVs, and various fresh technologies available in smart TVs right now. This will help you to pick up the best option amongst all choices.

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