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Progression of TV Technologies from CRT, LCD, LED, OLED

Your Guide to the Latest TV Technology [Infographic]

The television screens that have become a part of our homes for years have come a long way. This progression is all thanks to Display technology's evolution from those big and thick boxes to flat screens with a high-definition display. TV technology's progression makes it possible for us to have a colorful television experience that is very lifelike.


Television evolved rapidly in the 20th century due to market competition as it has seen significant changes and breakthroughs in the past hundred years. Initially, people had enjoyed the commercially available black and white televisions, marking the beginnings of television as an everyday furniture staple in many households. Black and white televisions have initially occurred through using a white phosphor-coated screen representing an image and an electron beam that painted that image on it.


Progression of TV Technologies from CRT, LCD, LED, OLED Infographic


CRT Technology

The Cathode Ray Tube was the first display technology initially invented in 1897 by German physicist Ferdinand Braun. It had a long run for its money despite its heaviness and hazardous waste materials. Additionally, in 1907, Russian scientist Boris Rosing utilized a CRT in transmitting simple geometrical patterns on a television screen. This display technology would later develop and would become commercialized in the 1920s. 


Years after, people became accustomed to black and white moving pictures on the television, CRT, or the Cathode Ray Tube technology made colored television a reality through three electron beams for each primary color of red, green, and blue. The blend of red, blue, and green light from electron beams, commonly referred to as RGB, has produced the different colors that we can see on the screen. Magnetic charges guide these electrons' streams that may cause interference with unshielded speakers or other magnetic devices placed near CRT screens.


LED Displays

Initially, the foundations for LED displays were established when British radio researcher Henry Joseph Round discovered electroluminescence in 1907. Electroluminescence describes a natural phenomenon wherein light does not produce heat. 


In 1961, Nick Holonyack invented the first light LED or Light Emitting Diode visible to the human eye. This breakthrough earned him the title of being the "father of the LED." While it initially lacks efficacy and color options, LED developments have paved the path for different display technology products.


An LED display is a flat panel display that uses an array of light-emitting diodes as pixels for displaying videos. It is utilized as a backlight source for the display, providing a facility wherein light can be dimmed.


LCD Displays

The invention of LCD or Liquid Crystal Display technology occurred in the 1960s, which laid the foundation for the possibility of the ever-familiar flat-screen televisions that we can see in many households. LCD research by American inventor James Fergason led to the first modern LCD watch in 1972.


LCD technology utilizes a backlight source through the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals to illuminate. However, liquid crystals do not emit light directly, unlike the electron beams of CRT. This type of display technology consumes much less power because it functions through blocking light rather than emitting it.


Plasma Displays

Plasma technology in televisions came along with the continuous evolution of display screens. It did not see widespread success until the advent of digital technology, wherein the public was introduced to the full-color Plasma Displays in 1995. Plasma technology consists of tiny cells coated inside with phosphor in a glass tube filled with gas. Ultraviolet lights are then generated through the gas, and the gas atoms bombard on cells. This technology reduced the size of televisions because of the absence of cathode tubes.


OLED Displays 

In 1987, researchers at Eastman Kodak invented OLED or the organic light-emitting diode technology, which is considered an advancement in electroluminescence.


OLEDs are thin, flexible, and smaller than LEDs. It is a light-emitting diode wherein an electroluminescent layer's emission is a film of an organic compound and organic semiconductors that can emit light as a response to an electric current. This type of display technology can utilize either a passive-matrix or active-matrix addressing schemes. It works without a backlight, and it can display deep black levels of color.


AMOLED Displays

AMOLED or the active-matrix organic light-emitting diode technology has brought OLED displays a step further into advancement with increased resolution and infinite contrast ratio. Introduced mainly in 2008, AMOLED has made it possible for screens to be thinner and more flexible. There is no backlight, and the display is no longer rigid. 


However, the organic materials in AMOLED tend to die out in the long run, making it the technology's most worrisome flaw for devices designed to last for a couple of years. Today, different versions of AMOLED have various labels based on the companies' marketing terms.


Quantum-dot Displays

Quantum-dot technology or semiconductor nanocrystals called QLED (quantum dot light-emitting diode) recently arrived in the scene of display technology in 2013. This display technology is quickly picking up its speed nowadays. These quantum dots are the tiny particles used as a light source or a light-emitting device that can deliver high-intensity images when hit with light. This display technology is characterized by pure and saturated emission of colors with a narrow bandwidth made possible by the quantum dots' size determining the colors.


This Quantum-dot technology boasts a fancy variation of an LED-backlit LCD television as it makes exceptional image quality with its high and dynamic brightness levels. It also produces more colors than other LED television screens, making vivid and lifelike hues and colors a possibility on the screens. The difference of quantum-dot technology begins with the color of its backlight as it emits blue light. The blue LED light drives the blue hues of the picture, but the quantum dots create red and green light. These quantum dots are either arranged in a quantum rail tube adjacent to LEDs or a film sheet on top of the light-guide plate.


These quantum dots can support large and flexible displays on the screen without degrading quickly like OLEDs, which theoretically makes them an ideal candidate for advancement in flat-panel TV screens.

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