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How to Know the Differences Between an Digital LED Screen and LCD Screen

It seems as if modern displays have all kinds of different labels: high definition, 3D, smart, 4K, 4K Ultra, the list goes on. The two most common labels are LCD and LED. What’s the difference between the two? Is there a difference? And does this difference make one or the other preferable for certain types of activities like gaming or graphic design?

Are LED and LCD the same thing?

All LED Screens are LCD Screens. But not all LCD Screens are LEDs. Kind of like all eagles are birds, but not all birds are eagles. While the names might be confusing to those wading through specs to find the best monitor, once you break it down it’s easier to understand than you think.

We’ll explain the tech and the naming conventions, and then highlight some HP monitors that might be the perfect fit for your needs. Let’s figure out exactly what LCD and Digital LED Screens are and how to pick the right one for you.

Liquid crystal display explained

Both types of displays use liquid crystals to help create an image. The difference is in the backlights. While a standard Digital LCD Screen uses fluorescent backlights, an Digital LED Screen uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. Digital LED Screens usually have superior picture quality, but they come in varying backlight configurations. And some backlight configurations create better images than others.

LCD Screen vs. LED Screen - a brief history

Until 2014, plasma displays were the most commonly manufactured displays. But then the LCD took over. LCD stands for liquid crystal display. We’ll go over what that means in a minute. But first, it’s important to note that an LED also uses liquid crystals, so the name is somewhat misleading. Technically, an “LED Screen” should really go by the name, “LED LCD Screen.”