The Past, Present and Future of LED Display

Old TV

As of 2018, it is suspected that there are over twenty-seven million TVs in the UK alone, and this figure is still rising. We are a nation addicted to Netflix, console gaming, and Doctor Who. The TV is the heart of the living room, but how have our TVs evolved to take such a prevalent role in our homes? Let’s find out how the TV has changed.

What came before LED displays?

In the dark ages of television – before LED TVs – there were CRT and LCD TVs. The first CRT television was invented in 1897 by a German physicist named Ferdinand Braun, though it didn’t become commercially available until 1934. The CRT was a giant TV, in both importance and size. It’s nothing like the LED TVs we know and love today, but it was the only TV available until 1964.

The CRT changed home entertainment forever, but its large and chunky size was a problem to be solved. This led to the invention of flat panel display TVs. The first flat display was the PDP (plasma display panel) in 1964, which coincided with a rise in coloured TV sets being sold. Pre-1960s, TV was viewed in black and white.

The PDP TV was quickly chased up by the LCD (liquid crystal display) in 1972. The LCD didn’t last very long – only five years – as the advent of the LED in 1977 took the television-watching world by storm, and we’ve been with LED ever since.

What does LED mean?

LED means ‘Light-Emitting Diodes’. The LEDs in our modern TVs serve as backlighting which gives our TVs brighter colours and greater contrast than the basic LCD TV. The LED TV is not all that different from the LCD TV, both use ‘liquid crystal displays’ to control the light on your screen. The main difference is that LCDs once used an inferior backlighting system known as ‘cold cathode fluorescent lamps’ (CCFL), but when CCFL was replaced by LED backlighting, the term ‘LED TV’ became the most popular method of distinguishing between these two types of ‘liquid crystal display’ televisions.


As well as providing the brightest TV colours in history, the LED backlighting system was also significantly more energy efficient than CCFL lighting.

Full-array backlighting

Full-array backlighting calls for swathes of LEDs spanning the back of your TV screen. With so many LEDs, the picture quality is precise and illumination is evenly spread. Full-array backlighting is the most common type of lighting for high-end TVs because of its precision; if you’re willing to pay a little bit extra, then full-array might be the lighting you’re looking for.

Edge lighting

Not content with the upgrade from CRT to flatscreen, TV developers have been striving to make home entertainment systems thinner than ever. Edge lighting is one way of achieving this, as the LEDs are lined along the edges of the screen. Edge lighting has some drawbacks in picture quality, but it means light, thin, and cheap LED TVs.

Minimalist TV


The current buzzwords in the LED TV industry are ‘OLED’ and ‘QLED’. Both are improvements on the standard LED TV and they feature at the highest end of commercially available TVs. OLED stands for Organic LED, and these TVs are constructed with panels of pixel-sized organic compounds that react to electricity, resulting in one of the most accurate images that modern TVs can have.

QLED is a technology being developed by Samsung, standing for ‘Quantum LED’. QLEDs feature improved illumination technology. In cheap QLED TVs, the liquid crystal layer is replaced by quantum dots, which are microcrystals able to reach an astounding brightness of 1000 nits, resulting in top-end TVs.

The Future of LED TV

Working to keep ahead of the game, Samsung has also been working to make 8K video TVs a reality. Only recently available to the public, 8K TVs are the latest in TV fashion. They have around 8,000 pixels going across the screen horizontally, and over 4,000 pixels vertically. In total, this TV uses a ginormous 33,000,000 pixels, compared to the 4K TV’s total of 8,000,000. Amazing!

3D tv

From cathode ray tubes to multi-millions of pixels, we’ve covered a brief history of the TV. It’s difficult to imagine where TV technology will take us after this, but we at cheap LED TVs will be ready to provide you with the best deals on the latest TVs every time.

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