Whether you choose a smartphone, TV, or computer monitor, screen quality is one of the most important criteria these days. Knowing the different technologies used during the manufacturing process is the best way to make the right choice.
What is the difference between a TFT LCD and IPS?
An LCD screen consists of cells filled with liquid crystals that are illuminated by backlighting while filters define the colors. Each pixel on a screen is composed of three sub-pixels: red, green, and blue. There are two categories of LCD screens:
TFT technology is widely used in computer monitors, televisions, and mobile terminals. It is based on a matrix of thin-film transistors and an indium-tin-oxide electrode that control the voltage at each pixel, which helps to improve response time and image stability. It is called an “active” matrix display.
The IPS technology is an evolution of TFT that was introduced by the Japanese company Hitachi in 1996. It uses liquid crystals with varying orientations to block or let the backlight light pass through. This process improves the visibility angle for a TFT display but also reduces energy consumption. Besides, IPS LCDs offer brighter whites and brighter colors than TFTs.
A screen indicating only the LCD mention uses TFT technology, while an IPS screen will mention this technology in its description.
Amoled screen technology
The AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) or “active Oled matrix” screen follows the technical principle of the LCD screen in terms of individual pixel control but without backlighting. Liquid crystals are replaced by organic light-emitting diodes that produce their light under the effect of an electric current. This type of screen is characterized by the intensity of its colors, the depth of its blacks (because the pixels are then off), and the high level of contrast.
Besides, the absence of backlighting reduces energy consumption compared to an LCD screen and makes it possible to manufacture slabs with a slimness of under 5 millimeters. As the response time is extremely fast (less than 0.1 milliseconds), Amoled tiles do not produce a remanence effect and offer an ideal fluidity for video games.
So much for the advantages, but there are also significant disadvantages. Amoled displays are much more expensive to produce because you must avoid any presence of moisture during the manufacturing process. Also, their lifetime is still largely perfectible (about 40,000 hours) compared to the LCD, in particular, due to the degradation of the blue sub-pixels.
In short, although AMOLED technology is superior to LCD, its cost is still prohibitive. For the moment, the main obstacle to its popularization. Some models of high-end smartphones and tablets use Amoled displays. On the television side, apart from LG, few manufacturers are firmly committed to the OLED market. LCD technology still has a bright future ahead of it.