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LED vs. UHD TV/Monitor: Are They Comparable?

As a tech savvy individual, I’m always looking for the best and most efficient way to stay up to date with the latest in tech. So when the issue of LED vs. UHD TV/Monitor came up, I had to find out which one was better. After hours of research, I can now confidently tell you that LED and UHD TVs/Monitors most certainly are not comparable.

In this blog post, I will be breaking down the pros and cons of each and provide some helpful tips and tricks to help you decide which is best for your needs.

LED and UHD refer to two different aspects of your TV or monitor. LED is the lighting technology used, while UHD pertains to the display resolution and aspect ratio. In fact, you can get an LED TV or monitor that’s also a UHD.

LED vs. UHD: How Are They Different?

As we’ve mentioned, LED and UHD are completely different from one another. However, bumping into these terms may hint at the viewing experience you can expect from a TV or monitor.

Here are details that show how incomparable LED and UHD are:

Function

LED and UHD reflect separate functions of a TV or monitor—screen technology and screen resolution.

LED

When a TV or monitor is an LED-type, it only means that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used in its screen lighting.

LEDs can be configured in full-array backlighting or edge lighting.

In a full-array setup, the diodes are equally distributed in zones behind the monitor to provide even lighting across your screen. Additionally, this enables local dimming to enhance bright and dark pixels at the same time.

Meanwhile, in edge-lit LED, diodes are placed along the border with a light diffuser. So, the absence of a backlight allows for a slimmer monitor. On the downside, this setup can lead to non-optimal viewing angles and some glare.

Yet, both types still do one thing, and that’s lighting up your panel.

UHD

On the other hand, UHD reflects how many pixels are there on your screen.

So, a UHD TV or Monitor means that the screen resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels for an aspect ratio of 16:9.

To put things in perspective, we need to say that this resolution is at least four times sharper than that of a Full-HD. This is why the term 4K resolution is sometimes used interchangeably with UHD. 

Take note that there are other variants like 8K and 16K UHD, though. These are eight times and 16 times sharper than Full-HD, respectively!

Consumer Appeal

LED and UHD TVs and monitors are constantly developing, but let’s see why consumers might want them in the first place.

LED

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs), under the visible light spectrum, were invented in 1962. Since then, they’ve found applications in remote controls, automotive lights, display boards, flashlights, and many more.

In the TV and monitor industry, LED screens can be slightly more energy efficient compared to other techs like OLED. So, that’s one reason to consider getting them.

Plus, the edge-lit panels’ small size conveniently allows for more compact devices. Yet, full-array LEDs are the ones that are considered a step up from conventional LCDs.

UHD

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released a UHD standard for 4K resolution in October 2012. With this came mass rollouts of UHD TVs.

The main appeal here is that the viewing experience is taken to a whole new level with jarring details on display. After all, 4K offers a crisper image than a 1080p screen.

Add to that a high refresh rate for smooth transitions, and you get a screen that attracts not only film enthusiasts but also gamers who don’t want to deal with lags.

Cost

We can’t really compare LED and UHD to each other in cost, but we can see where each specification stands in the market.

LED

LEDs should cost less than advanced screen technologies like OLED (Organic LED) and QLED (Quantum-Dot LED).

The OLED feature eliminates the need for a backlight. It has pixels sandwiched between the glass screen that light up when current passes through them. On the other hand, QLED is an enhanced version of the regular LED with quantum dots. 

Keep in mind that LED, OLED, and QLED are all panel technologies that can be used in UHD TVs and monitors.

UHD

Similarly, we can only compare UHD to other resolution levels.

Well, UHD TVs and monitors cost more than Full-HD due to the premium display quality.

However, despite UHD designs gaining market value, Full-HD counterparts are still widely available to fit personal preferences and pricing concerns.

So, you’ll have to balance screen resolution with technology to get something within your budget.

Pros and Cons of LED vs. UHD

LED Pros:

  • Can be more energy efficient than other technologies
  • Full-array LED provides even lighting across the screen and enables local dimming
  • Edge-lit LED allows for a slim design

LED Cons:

  • Edge-lit LED can lead to non-optimal viewing angles and glare

UHD Pros:

  • 4K resolution is at least four times sharper than Full-HD
  • High refresh rate for smooth transitions
  • Attracts film and gaming enthusiasts

UHD Cons:

  • Costs more than Full-HD

Key Takeaways

Terms like LED and UHD can come up in your search for a new TV or monitor and may even be compared to each other, but in essence, they’re entirely different things.

Light Emitting Diode refers to screen technology in LED TVs and monitors, either in full-array backlighting or edge lighting. On the other hand, Ultra High Definition or UHD indicates a 4K screen resolution or higher.

Remember, a UHD TV or monitor can also be LED-lit. So, there’s no stopping you from getting both features in one go!

Read more: How to tell if HDMI supports 4k