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LCD vs. LED: Why we think you’ll end up with LCD
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022
LCD vs. LED: Why we think you’ll end up with LCD

Aug. 22, 2022 - When it comes to video walls, there are many display options to choose from. From older technologies such as rear-projection cubes to newer options like flexible OLED, it can be overwhelming at first. For the vast majority of video wall applications, it comes down to a choice between the two leading technologies of the day: LED and LCD. As a company with over a dozen years of video wall display manufacturing experience, we're here to help you assess these options. Before we go any further, let's get this out of the way: We acknowledge that we're somewhat biased as an LCD manufacturer.

There are applications in which either option could work, but one should keep in mind which technology will be the best fit in terms of user experience and cost. That's why it is important to know what differentiates the two display technologies and where each option's strengths lie.

To begin, before you learn about the differences, we recommend asking yourself several questions:

  • Will the display be indoors or outdoors?
  • How bright is the installation site?
  • What will the typical viewing distance be?
  • What is my budget?
  • What do I need to display on the video wall?

There are also some key similarities between the two technologies. Both are infinitely expandable, and both have long operational histories as dependable, stable technologies. But let's get to why you're reading this and talk about the differences.

LCD vs. LED: the breakdown

Pixel density: with a higher pixel density overall, LCD will produce a higher resolution image in the same display area. This is especially important in projects where high levels of detail are displayed (SOCs, conference rooms, etc.). If you're interested in learning more about pixel density/pixel pitch, we recommend this article from AV Integrator DGI.

  • Cost: LED is a big investment upfront, and although prices may be lowering as technology improves, LCD remains the most cost-effective option per-square-foot, by far. When it comes to LED, the lower the pixel pitch, the higher the cost.
  • Bezel gap: LED panels fit together seamlessly, without any visual indicator of multiple panels, whereas LCD panels fit together like a grid and the seams (or bezels) will always be visible, no matter how slim.
  • Brightness: LED panels are typically brighter and there are many LED options that are better suited for outdoor applications, compared with LCD.
  • Replacement: In the event of damage or failure, replacement LED panels should come from the same batch as the main video wall so as to match neighboring panels. Otherwise, replacements can stick out like a sore thumb. This means a high percentage of spares are typically recommended for purchase upfront, exacerbating the difference in cost mentioned above. LCD panels can typically be replaced even with panels from different production runs without as noticeable of a difference in brightness or color.

With bezel gaps and brightness levels, why would someone pick LCD?

Although LED is seamless and bright, that doesn't make it right for every situation. The higher pixel density in LCD makes the image crisp and clean in smaller spaces, all while maintaining a lower cost point. This makes them perfect for up-close advertisements in indoor settings, security operations centers, and other applications where fine details are important.

While bezel gaps used to be a major impediment to seamless imagery on LCD video walls, bezels are now so slim that the seams are easy to ignore (our narrowest option has a combined gap of 0.88mm – see 4×4 photo for reference) and images are continuous across bezels.

Alright, I'm convinced, what's next?

Reach out to us! The GPO Display motto is "visual solutions created for you" and we can walk you through figuring out what will work best for your needs. Whether you're setting up a large command and control space or simple lobby signage, GPO Display offers a wide array of display solutions to meet your needs. From video walls to 4K and 1080p commercial LCD monitors, interactive kiosks, and touch-enabled display tables, we believe that the only limit to our capabilities is your imagination.