Long gone are the days when CCFL backlight were used for LCD TVs and computer monitors. Today, we have LCD TVs with LED panel in different sizes and configurations dominating the market. LED LCD TVs generally have low power usage, good color production, lighter weight, and minimal bezels that make them looked sleek and stunning. The improvement in picture quality is also one of the attribute that make LED TVs more superior than CCFL.
However, there are different types of LED backlight used in modern day LED TV. We have the VA (Vertical Alignment), IPS (In-Plane Switching), and TN (Twisted Nematic). Each of these LED panel have differences in how they work. Also, each have its own advantages and disadvantages. I am not going to dive deep into their technicalities and functionalities as I will be only focusing on how to identify the type of LED panel used in your flat screen LED TV.
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By continuing to read this article, you will learn the basics about each of the LED panels and how they differ from each other. How TN differs from IPS, how IPS differs from VA, how TN differs from VA and vice versa. By pinpointing these out, you will be able to know and identify the type of LED panel used in your LED TV.
TN LED technology is the oldest among the three – it reigned supreme about twelve years ago and it still exist today, although not as much as it used to because the world has shifted to VA and IPS. It is mostly used in PC monitors, and sometime in TVs. TN LED TVs in general have unbeatable fast response time and refresh rate, which makes them such a big deal for gamers. However, TN LED TVs are known for their very poor viewing angle. Their color production are not that great compared to VA LED TVs and IPS LED TVs either, and their contrast is the poorest (they can only attain up to 1000:1 contrast ratio).
TN LED TVs properties
- Best response time and refresh rate
- Poor contrast
- Poor viewing angle
- Poor color depth and color production
VA LED TVs are more popular today because they offer the best contrast in the TV market (they can attain up to 6000:1 contrast ratio), this help them render the deepest blacks compared to TN and IPS, and to also produce great colors. Also, they have better viewing angle compared to TVs that use TN LED panel. However, VA does not excel as much as TN when it come to response time and refresh rate because TN is still far more superior in this aspect, even today. This is one of the reasons why TN LED TVs haven’t gone extinct.
VA LED TVs properties
- Best contrast
- Poor response time and refresh rate
- Good viewing angle
- Good color depth and color production
IPS plays fair in all the ups and downs that define TN and VA, but unlike the two, it excel in viewing angle. IPS LED TVs have the best viewing angle in the market, which makes them the most favorited among TV buyers. Their color production are better than that of VA LED TVs, but nevertheless, they suffer when it comes to contrast. IPS is slightly better than TN in contrast (it can only attain up to 1500:1 contrast ratio), so in this respect VA still wins. In general, IPS have better response time and refresh rate compared to VA, but not as great as that of TN. High-end IPS LED TVs tend to have good contrast, best viewing angle, best color production, and good refresh rate, but they are very expensive.
IPS LED TVs properties
- Best viewing angle
- Best color depth and color production
- Good contrast
- Good response time and refresh rate
You are more likely to come across LED TVs with VA panel and IPS panel in the market than with TN panel. Most LED TV manufacturers has retired TN and use VA and IPS for their LED TVs, so it is more likely that your TV use any of the two if you purchased it not less than three years ago. The best way to know if your LED TV has a VA or IPS display panel is to check its contrast and viewing angle as these are the two major things that differentiate both LED panels.
If your LED LCD TV has a good contrast and you can view it at any angle in the room without noticeable color shift and brightness, it is likely to use IPS panel. If there is a noticeable color shift or the brightness darkens when viewing the TV from an angle, then it is likely to use VA or TN panel.