LED TV and LCD TV compared



What's the difference?

Read LED TV reviews and you might be left wondering what the difference between an LED TV and an LCD TV is. Confusingly they both use LCD screens – the different names refer to the different ways in which light is used to generate the picture.

The term LED simply refers to one of the methods that manufacturers use to supply light to the back of an LCD screen.

LED TV and LCD TV compared

  Conventional LCD TV LCD TV with LED technology
Screen type LCD LCD
Backlight technology CCFL technology

Cold Cathode Flourescent Lamps spread a white light across the back of the LCD which is then coloured to generate the image.
LED technology

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) emit a coloured light using less energy and space than traditional bulbs.

When used to backlight an LCD they may be white lights or they may be used in sets of red, green and blue (RGB LED)

LED TV technology brings powerful benefits in terms of slimness and picture quality. LCD TVs are rapidly developing to offer different strengths. The simple guide below should help you understand the strengths of these two technologies:

LED – opening up new possibilities

There are two types of LED lighting - LED Backlight and Edge LED:

  • LED Backlight is positioned behind the screen, and each group of lights can be locally dimmed. This helps the LCD deliver deeper colours, higher contrast and a greater range of shades in the all-important dark end of the spectrum.
  • Edge LED places white LEDs around the edge of the screen, which clears the way for screens less than 1 cm thick.

Edge LED

  • How does it work?

    LEDs are placed around the edges of the TV and the light is distributed evenly across the screen using light guidance plates.
  • Key benefit

    Avoids the need for lights behind the screen.
  • Result

    Incredibly slim TV. The BRAVIA ZX1 is only 9.9mm thick.

LED backlight

  • How does it work?

    LED lights are placed behind the screen. With local dimming they are organised into groups and the brightness of these groups of LEDs is controlled separately.
  • Key benefit

    Produces richer, purer blacks and delivers more realistic colours to the LCD screen.
  • Result

    LCD can deliver incredible colour accuracy and improved contrast especially for darker colours.

BRAVIA TVs with LED lighting


  • Edge LED technology - the ZX1 is only 9.9mm thick (at slimmest point).
  • BRAVIA 1080 Wireless means no more cables, so the ZX1 can be hung flush to the wall just like a picture.
  • Motionflow 100Hz and Image Blur Reduction technology delivers smooth, judder free action.

See the BRAVIA ZX1


  • RGB dynamic LED backlight with local dimming technology for the deepest blacks and most realistic colours.
  • Enhanced picture depth, clarity and definition with BRAVIA ENGINE 2 PRO.
  • Access network content with DLNA home networking technology.

See the BRAVIA X4500

LCD – packed with innovations

As an established technology, LCD is now being refined and improved. This stream of innovations includes features that add incredible detail to action scenes, ways to improve colour accuracy and improvements that reduce energy consumption.

  • LCD technology allows a brighter picture so LCD TVs are watchable in all situations and circumstances. Kitchens and workplaces are now suitable environments.
  • BRAVIA ENGINE 3 offers reduced noise levels and improved colour and contrast.
  • Motionflow 200Hz. This innovation works out the path of movement in a scene and produces extra frames to smooth the flow of action and reduce judder.
  • New HCFL backlighting reduces power consumption and your energy costs by 50% compared to previous LCD TVs of the same size.



  • Motionflow 200Hz with Image Blur Reduction for smooth action shots.
  • Enjoy enhanced contrast and colour accuracy with BRAVIA ENGINE 3.
  • Minimalist frame design so there’s nothing to distract you from the action on screen.

See the BRAVIA Z5500


  • Motionflow 100Hz with Image Blur Reduction for smooth action shots.
  • Enjoy vibrant pictures on screen and optimal colour purity with Live Colour.
  • Watch TV, movies and games in superb 1920 x 1080p High Definition.

See the BRAVIA W5500