There are a lot of TV choices to choose from, and people have asked me what type of TV they should buy so here is my handy guide.
People seem to think there is a difference between LCD and LED, but the only difference is that LED adds a backlight to give you a better contrast ratio, and make it easier to view in light rooms, but as far as picture quality goes there isn’t a difference for the most part, so if you have a dark room and there is a good deal on a LCD it is not a bad choice. These make great monitors because you are up close to them and you do not need the back light, but the sharp pixels mean you get great font display.
Edge Lit LED
Edge lit LED is just as it sounds. It shoots the light from the sides of the TV to brighten it. What is nice about edge lit is that it makes the TV much thinner, but what you have to look out for is the ‘halo’ effect. If you are watching dark films or TV it can sometimes look like there is ring around your TV, but that is just the back light beaming in and not being uniform. Gamers like LEDs because they have sharp pixels, but since they are further back from them they like the brighter screen.
Back/Grid Lit LED
Back Lit and Grid Lit are the same thing, and they shoot the light from the back of the TV to give you a more uniform light and color, so that is better, but your TV will be thicker to provide the space for the lights.
Plasma has made a comeback in the last couple of years, and that is because you get the best true picture out of a plasma, and they also don’t have the ‘soap opera effect’ where it makes you movies look a little too real. That is because of the way that they make their pixels, but they usually have glass screens so they have refection issues, and they are not as bright as an LED so the room needs to be a little darker. For the same reason they do not have the ‘soap opera effect’ is also the same reason they do not make good monitors, since the pixels are not as sharp.
For now, I would say that 3D is a gimmick and only get it if your TV comes with it. Do not seek it out. The same goes for 4K/UHD. The extra resolution is great but there is nothing made for the 4K spec to watch.
So What to Buy
It depends on what you want. Are you going to hook your computer up to it and use it as a monitor? Probably an LCD. You going to play a lot of video games? Probably an LED, but I would get a back lit one. You want the best picture for your movies and sports? Probably a Plasma, but all TVs have gotten much better so usually you will get one and be happy with it.