How modern LCD display tv works

How LCD display tv works

Before we discuss how modern LCD tv display works, it is important to clarify some things first. LCD is an acronym for liquid crystal display. It is a type of display technology that widely used today. LCD display are widely used almost everywhere in the world. If you ever owned a digital watch, that small seven segment display screen was an LCD. You could be using an LCD projector and you do not know. In a previous article we had explained how modern LCD projectors work   and it is very interesting. Some people mistakenly call LCD screens LED which is understandable.

How modern LCD display tv works
Layers of an LCD display

LCD is the dominating display technology in the market today and are replacing the plasma panels because they are cheaper, less power hungry and lighter. As for plasma displays, major manufacturers such as the LG, Panasonic and Samsung stopped to produce them in the year 2015. They will be out of market. Currently, manufacturers are looking into OLED displays because they promise better performance and consume less power the LED and LCD tv and monitors; there are manufacturers who are combining both, where you can use your tv as monitor.

What is LCD

It will not be wise for us to jump into how modern LCD tv display works without defining what LCD is. Liquid crystal display is a technology that uses liquid crystals to create and display an image. they are the go-to screens for laptops (though manufacturers are exploring the viability of OLED). They are also used on cellphones, portable video games.   LCD display technology are very thin.  Though we shall dig into this much later on this article, LCD are better than CRT tv by far. Though how Cathode Ray Tube  tv works to bring image into is similar to LCD, the latter is more efficient and lighter.

Liquid crystal display technology has several layers that plays different purposes on the screen. There are two categories of LCD, the active matrix and passive display grid. Manufacturers seems to favor active-matrix display when making new phones but older phones used passive display grid. You might be wondering why manufacturers would still go LCD while other options such as LED are available. LCD has low power consumptions.

Liquid crystals do not emit light and so backlight is needed when using them. Surprising, LCD technology work by blocking the light. If not for LCD, most of the portable devices we enjoy could have been bulkier because we could either be using plasma display technology or CRT. You can read more on how plasma display tv works here.


History of LCD

LCD appears deceptively as newly developed technology. However, this is not the case. The first LCD displays came to life in as early as 1980s where they were used in portable computers. It is unfortunate that they could hardly compete with plasma TVs and monitors. Plasma tv and monitors had very high refresh rates and hence did not have blurred images that LCD had.

portable tv

There were portable televisions sets then which manufacturers of LCD had in mind when making them. the first LCD television was introduced into the market by Seiko Epson in 1982. It was a small tv worn on the wrist that employed active-matrix technology to function. In the 1983 dot matrix came into market by Sharp corporation. A full color pocket LCD came into market in 1984.  It was introduced by the Seiko Epson. In the same year TFT LCD display was made commercially available.

LCD screens were favored where the image was meant for a large number of audiences. In 1988, Japan launched an LCD industry which concentrated on computer monitors and LCD televisions. The year that followed, a full color LCD projector was made commercially available. We had written on an earlier article about how modern LCD projectors work.

LCD vs plasma

LCD stood a chance against the much-coveted plasma displays because the latter was prohibitively expensive. It was on the late 2000s that LCD prices encroached upon plasma market.  since LCD were able to offer true 1080p resolutions, they become noticeably attractive. The plasma TV soon lost to LCD and by 2015, all major manufacturers not longer produced them. You may have noticed we have hardly mentioned about the CRTs. In the 2000s, it was also clear that CRT would soon be phased out of the market because people were already getting used to LCD.

Despite their outstanding performance, LCD are now facing serious competition from other display technologies. The competing technology include the OLED, microLED, surface-conduction electron emitter displays and filed emission display. The four technologies are able to give out a directly illuminated image unlike the LCD.

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