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TV Panel Types 101: How To Choose The Best


TV panel types might sound like something you shouldn’t care about much. However, it’s the most essential part of any TV that determines the quality of a picture. We all love production studios like Netflix or HBO for the best content quality and want to know about the upcoming or canceled TV series we want to watch. That’s why companies like TV Entertainment have become just as important to us as daily news. We all want to watch the latest in the best possible quality, but what if your TV bottlenecks your viewing experience? Let’s find out what TV panel type is the best to choose.


TN (twisted nematic) display consists of crystals sandwiched in a polymer between closely spaced glass plates. The crystalline particles in one panel are placed perpendicular to the particles from the other panel. As a result, the light passes through the matrix and changes polarization at an angle of 90 degrees.

Control electrodes are an important element of a TN matrix. These transparent plates can be considered the progenitors of pixels. A filter responsible for color transmission is located between the front panel of the electrodes and the glass plate.

TN displays are rarely used for TVs for their mediocre color reproduction. However, they are pretty popular for high FPS monitors due to their top-notch response time.


IPS (In-Plane Switching) is a horizontal planar switching technology where liquid crystals are in the same plane between the polarizer and the substrate. When there is no voltage, they are closed and show a simple black color. But when electricity is supplied, the crystals rotate at an angle of up to 90 degrees and let the required light pass through them.

IPS displays are the safest option if you need good picture quality and no image retention (a bit later about it). IPS is known for perfect color reproduction, so your TV shows and movies will look the best way possible. The main disadvantage is a relatively weak contrast. It means the black color is not like inky black but rather a dark gray. However, you won’t notice it unless you have something to compare with.


Vertical Alignment technology is a direct competitor to IPS. It is based on the principle of vertical alignment of crystals. When at rest (no voltage), they are aligned perpendicular to the position of the second filter. The second polarizer entirely blocks the crystals, which makes the black color deep.

VA offers better black levels than IPS, but that’s all. VA color reproduction is weaker, not to mention a much worse viewing angle. However, VA panels are cheaper than IPS ones.

Both VA and IPS have boosted versions named QLED. You might have heard about it. QLED is based on VA or IPS and gives extra color richness and a better contrast ratio for an extra price.


OLED or organic light-emitting diodes is a technology that is incredibly in demand these days. Each pixel on such a panel acts as a separate light source. Organic diodes are carbon-containing polymers. If a current is passed through them, they begin to phosphorescence. This approach is superior to previous types.

OLED gives perfect black levels, vibrant colors, and incredibly fast response times. However, there is a catch. If you keep some static elements for a long time, you risk getting image retention (burn-in static marks), which is unfixable. So, OLEDs are solely about content consumption since a working routine implies a lot of static elements.


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