Chris Pirillo: Is LCD or LED Screen Right for You?

LED monitors and televisions are beginning to become cheaper and more budget-friendly. They typically promote much higher contrast ratios and lower power use than traditionally lit LCD screens, but they may not be the best option for video editors. Why is that? What is the difference between LCD and LED screens?

The difference between the two technologies actually lies in the way the screen is backlit. All LED screens are LCDs, but not all LCDs utilize LED technology. With an LED-based monitor, backlighting is spread across a grid of tiny lights (LEDs) that is spread from one side of the screen to the other. Unlike the fluorescent lighting behind a common LCD screen, LEDs cover the entire space in order to provide even lighting from end to end. The extra contrast comes from the ability the monitor has to detect areas that are intentionally darker and dim or turn off the tiny LED light directly behind the dark points. This creates what’s called a dynamic contrast which can create much darker blacks as the screen is essentially off in areas that are intentionally dark. This can become a problem in cases where you have a starry night sky and tiny white points of light need to be lit brightly while the surrounding mass is pitch black. Because of this, the stars may appear dimmer than they normally would as the tiny light is dimmed to compensate for the majority of the space being black.

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About Chris:

Chris Pirillo is the founder of the tech blogging network, Lockergnome and previously served as host of TechTV’s Call for Help show. Chris’s insightful and entertaining how to videos will now be featured in the PC Pitstop newsletters and highlighted at and

You can follow Chris on Twitter and subscribe to his Youtube video channel here

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3 thoughts on “Chris Pirillo: Is LCD or LED Screen Right for You?”

  1. Wrong! They are available now and are not too expensive.I bought a 40″ set for under 700.00 (Canadian)

  2. The title of this article and quite frankly, some of the content, is misleading. The current flat panel HDTVs with the exception of Plasmas, are LCD. Liquid Crystal Display is the type of panel. LED, Light Emitting Diode, comes into play only as a backlight. The two most common type of backlights are CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp or simply fluorescent) and LED. Contrast Ratio is the measurement of the blackest black vs the whitest white. The bigger this ratio, the better the quality of the picture. There are two measures of Contrast Ratio: Static and Dynamic. Static measures this ratio on a static image or test pattern. Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR) measures the ratio that the TV is capable of at any time. DCR will always be higher than Static Contrast Ratio. The only LED “screen” will be the OLED…Organic Light Emitting Diode, but it is in its infancy and not yet readily available to the masses. Plus, while OLED will be very cool and very thin, it will also be relatively expensive initially. It should be available to the masses in one to two years.

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