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The 5 Best Reasons to Avoid an LED TV Today

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The 5 Best Reasons to Avoid an LED TV Today

Key Points

  • LED TVs have poor black levels and picture quality compared to OLED and QLED TVs.
  • LED TVs are not energy efficient and consume more power than OLED TVs.
  • LED TVs are not as aesthetically pleasing as OLED and QLED models.
  • LED TVs have poor viewing angles and color accuracy.
  • LED TVs have inadequate response times, input lag, and refresh rates compared to OLEDs.

Shopping for a new TV is like paddling through a pool of technical jargon. Manufacturers use all kinds of acronyms to attack the market and make their TVs stand out. At one point, HD TVs were on everyone’s lips, but now we have 4K resolution. With the introduction of 8K TVs, it has become more confusing than ever.

LED TVs have stood the test of time so far, but with the introduction of OLED and QLED TVs, their future seems bleak. So, if you have the cash and are looking to buy a new TV, we are here to highlight five reasons to avoid an LED TV today.

Some Background Information on LED TVs

An LED (Light Emitting Diode) TV is LCD TV’s younger and cooler cousin. Both technologies use liquid crystal display technology but apply different mechanisms to display light on the screen. With two polarizing sheets and the liquid crystal solution in the middle, LED TVs allow electricity to pass through the solution. This causes the crystals to align and create a clear pathway for light, which projects the image on the screen.

Sony was the first manufacturer to sell LED TVs in 2005. However, the TVs were costly, as they used a new technology. LED TVs became popular over the years, as they were cheaper than the current OLED and QLED models. Still, we cannot wholly discredit their potential, as they are bright and consume less energy than traditional LCD TVs. Unfortunately, LED TVs are not perfect. They have several shortcomings that should discourage buyers.

Reasons to Avoid LED TVs

Back in the day, LED TVs ranked high in the market because they offered the best viewing experience. They had stunning brightness levels and vibrant colors. However, TV manufacturers later introduced OLED and QLED models that outmatched LED TVs in all aspects. So, here are the reasons to avoid an LED TV.

They Have Poor Black Levels that Affect Picture Quality

Among the main reasons to avoid an LED TV is their poor picture quality compared to OLED and QLED TVs. Most LED TV manufacturers pack their devices with advanced dimming technology, which darkens the LEDs to dim the areas that should be dark when watching a movie with shadows. Since their inception, LED TVs have always suffered from light bleeding, where some light spills onto the dark pixels, causing your blacks to look grey. Backlight bleeding is also common. Light leaking around the sides or edges of the TV affects image quality and undermines your watching experience.

In addition, LED TVs lack the latest technology to boost picture quality. For example, LED TVs lack AI Picture Pro technology, which adjusts the TV’s picture quality depending on the content you’re watching. AI uses machine learning to make your content more realistic. Overall, we cannot wholly state that LED TVs have bad picture quality, but given the current market options, you shouldn’t even consider it.

Woman watching TV series and movies via streaming service at home
LED TVs suffer from backlight bleeding, which can cause uneven lighting on the screen.

They Are Not Energy Efficient

At some point, LED TVs were the pinnacle of power efficiency, especially when they only competed with LCDs. Their dominance lasted until the swift rise of OLED TVs. LED TVs sometimes fail to dim properly when watching movies, which affects the picture quality and the TV’s power consumption. So, your TV will be on full brightness mode even in scenes that don’t require much brightness.

In addition, LED TVs’ mechanism for projecting images also increases their power consumption. Naturally, electricity must pass through the sheets to get to the crystalline solution to create a pathway for light, which essentially needs power. So, every time your LED TV displays an image, it must undergo this energy-consuming process. Ultimately, if you want to save on your utility bills, avoid an LED TV.

They Are Not as Aesthetically Pleasing

Design-wise, LED TVs are not unattractive, but they lack the wow factor one gets when seeing a TV for the first time. Some LEDs are thin, but they are not as sleek and thin as the new OLED and QLED models with razor-thin bezels, which also makes them lighter. Moreover, many LEDs have cluttered rear sides filled with different ports for numerous cables. So, if your TV is an essential element of your interior décor, an LED TV shouldn’t be your first choice.

They Have Poor Viewing Angles

One of LED TVs’ biggest criticisms is their poor viewing angles. You must strictly sit at the center of your LED TV to get the best picture quality. Shifting more than 45 degrees away from the center significantly reduces your TV’s contrast ratio. That means the LED TV’s ability to display black shades reduces, leaving you with gray spots when watching dark scenes from an angle.

In addition, you may notice image degradation should you shift 90 degrees away from the center. The images become hazy, especially when watching a movie with a dark theme. Lastly, the LED TV’s color accuracy decreases if you alter your viewing angle, which distorts the image quality even when streaming in HD. Though LED TV manufacturers have made strides in rectifying this issue, we cannot fully trust that these TVs won’t disappoint you once you get home. Moreover, you may not accurately determine the LED TV’s viewing angle performance when shopping, so it’s better to play safe and avoid them altogether. The issues highlighted in this section should give you enough reasons to avoid an LED TV.

Inadequate Response Times, Input Lag, and Refresh Rates

Most people didn’t care about a TV’s response time when LCDs first attacked the market. However, since we are in the era of fast-paced movies and video games, response time is essential. Though LEDs are somewhat better than LCDs, they still use the LCD panel, so you may see motion blur when watching fast-paced content. At this point, you know these TVs use LEDs to produce light and shutters to produce color. Unfortunately, the shutters are usually incredibly slow to change states, which causes blur.

Unsurprisingly, LED TV manufacturers’ response to this issue was to increase the TV’s refresh rate, which is typically 60Hz to 120Hz, or even 240Hz for some models. Yet this doesn’t rectify the problem because the TV’s LCD panel is the primary issue. Increasing the TV’s refresh rate affects its clarity, which is why some LED TVs are unclear when watching high-motion movies. Though some LED TVs have a reasonably good response time, they still cannot get ahead of OLEDs, which is at an astonishing 0.2-2ms.

Our subsequent criticism of LED TVs is their input lag, which is the time it takes for the TV to respond when gaming. Though an LED TV’s input lag varies with the model, some have a 9.2ms input lag, which is incredibly slow and can affect your gameplay. Also, the TVs with a lot of input lag are usually paired with a 1080p resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate, which is discouraging for a gamer. Overall, some modern LED TVs have a game mode, but this shouldn’t convince you to ignore other models specifically built for gaming.

Alternatives to LED TVs

At this point, you may have conceded that buying an LED TV no longer offers value for money. However, what are the alternatives? Let’s look at some of the best alternatives to LED TVs.

OLED TVs

Unlike LED TVs, OLEDs have deep blacks and high contrast ratios, elevating your watching experience. Moreover, most OLED TVs have a boundary-breaking design — it includes an ultra-thin bezel that makes them lightweight. In addition, gamers love OLED TVs’ supersonic refresh rates that create smooth images, which is something LED TVs cannot always guarantee. Also, thanks to the TV’s impressive off-axis viewing performance, you don’t need to sit at the center of your OLED TV to get the ultimate watching experience. So, if you’re convinced that OLED TVs are the best, check out the LG G3 OLED TV, one of the best OLEDs currently on the market.

QLED TVs

Best QLED
SAMSUNG QN90B 65-Inch Class Neo QLED 4K
$1,477.99
  • Samsung’s ultra-precise Quantum Mini LEDs
  • Quantum HDR 32X
  • Neo Quantum Processor 4K uses AI-based deep learning to analyze content and optimize it to full 4K
  • Anti-glare
  • Ultra-wide viewing angle
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/29/2024 09:43 pm GMT

The next best alternative for an LED TV is a QLED TV, which uses LED-based technology as its backbone. The difference is the TV’s use of quantum dots technology. QLED TVs are brighter than LED TVs and are suitable for well-lit rooms or outdoors. Moreover, most QLEDs have the modern slim design found in most of today’s TVs. We must also mention that QLED TVs don’t have a high degradation rate, as seen in OLED TVs, so they usually have a longer lifespan. If you have settled for a QLED TV, go for the Samsung QLED 4K QN90B, which has some exciting specs and advanced technology.

Projectors

Best Image Quality
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD 3-Chip Projector with HDR
$2,499.98
  • Features Epson UltraBlack technology
  • The projector has a true 3-Chip design
  • The digital imaging processor reproduces sources material perfectly
  • 4K PRO-UHD projection technology
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/01/2024 02:30 pm GMT

Though projectors aren’t very similar to traditional TVs, they are an affordable alternative, especially if you prefer a large screen. You will get a broad field of view for watching your favorite movies. Moreover, projectors usually maintain image color, even when watching in bright rooms. The only shortcoming is that they may not have the same picture quality seen in many premium TVs. All in all, they are a good choice for someone looking for a theater-like experience at home. We recommend buying the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB. The projector offers 4K PRO-UHD picture quality and maintains high brightness even in brightly lit spaces.

Wrapping Up

We cannot completely discredit LED TVs, as they are better than LCD TVs. However, LED TVs have many shortcomings. Consumers who can afford premium TVs should go for OLEDs and QLEDs. You will enjoy superior performance, picture quality, and user experience. Buying an LED TV may also be shortsighted because manufacturers will likely phase them out soon due to dwindling sales. Instead, opt for OLEDs, QLEDs, or premium projectors operating on advanced technology.

  1. SAMSUNG QN90B 65-Inch Class Neo QLED 4K
    $1,477.99
    • Samsung’s ultra-precise Quantum Mini LEDs
    • Quantum HDR 32X
    • Neo Quantum Processor 4K uses AI-based deep learning to analyze content and optimize it to full 4K
    • Anti-glare
    • Ultra-wide viewing angle
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/29/2024 09:43 pm GMT
  2. Epson Home Cinema 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD 3-Chip Projector with HDR
    $2,499.98
    • Features Epson UltraBlack technology
    • The projector has a true 3-Chip design
    • The digital imaging processor reproduces sources material perfectly
    • 4K PRO-UHD projection technology
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/01/2024 02:30 pm GMT

Summary Table

Reasons to Avoid LED TVsExplanation
Poor Black Levels that Affect Picture QualityLED TVs suffer from light bleeding and backlight bleeding, which affects image quality and undermines the watching experience.
Not Energy EfficientLED TVs sometimes fail to dim properly, which affects the picture quality and the TV’s power consumption. Their mechanism for projecting images also increases their power consumption.
Not as Aesthetically PleasingLED TVs lack the sleek and thin design of the new OLED and QLED models. Many LEDs have a cluttered rear side filled with different ports for numerous cables.
Poor Viewing AnglesYou must strictly sit at the center of your LED TV to get the best picture quality. Shifting more than 45 degrees away from the center significantly reduces the TV’s contrast ratio.
Inadequate Response Times, Input Lag, and Refresh RatesLED TVs may show motion blur when watching fast-paced content. They also have a slow input lag, which can affect gameplay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth buying an LED TV?

Well, it depends on your budget. For example, buying an LED TV may be the right choice, especially if the alternative is an LCD TV. However, if you don’t have any budget limitations, it’s not worth it. You can get a better model like an OLED or a QLED TV.

Which are the best alternatives to LED TVs?

For starters, check out OLED TVs. They are sleek and perform as well as they look. Also, most OLED TVs have exciting specs, like Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, plus they use the latest processors to boost picture quality. You can also check QLED TVs, which are part of the LCD/LED family tree, but they stand out due to their use of quantum dot technology. These TVs are bright and don’t have the shortcomings seen in LEDs, like low black levels.

Are LED TVs cheap?

LED TVs are relatively cheap compared to OLEDs and QLEDs. You can get a 43-inch LED TV for as low as $199.

Can you use an LED TV for gaming?

Yes, you can. However, gaming with an LED won’t be smooth. These TVs often have a low refresh and response rates.

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