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LCD Flat Panel Displays > Full Array vs. Direct lit vs. Edge lit - explain this to me as if I was a newbie.
steveknj's Avatar steveknj 08:41 AM 04-15-2014
I've seen these three terms bandied about in the forum and other places. I'm not sure if I understand the pros and cons to each and why I should purchase one over the other. Would someone who is not looking for it even notice the difference?

Mrke1's Avatar Mrke1 09:10 AM 04-15-2014
Stereodude's Avatar Stereodude 09:14 AM 04-15-2014
Full array means there is an array of many LEDs behind the LCD panel lighting it up. Direct lit means the backlight is behind the LCD panel lighting it up. Direct lit could be CCFL or LED. Full array backlights are also direct lit. Edge lit has the LEDs or CCLFs on the sides shining into a light guide that spreads the light out behind the LCD panel.

Direct lit will be thicker, but should have better performance (less problems) than edge lit.
pg_ice's Avatar pg_ice 09:22 AM 04-15-2014
its different tricks to get better blacks from the not so "reference" LCD screens.

every added trick to a non reference picture to get it closer to reference adds sideeffects
just choose the ones that you can live with

see it as different medicines for your diseases wink.gif
steveknj's Avatar steveknj 09:32 AM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

Full array means there is an array of many LEDs behind the LCD panel lighting it up. Direct lit means the backlight is behind the LCD panel lighting it up. Direct lit could be CCFL or LED. Full array backlights are also direct lit. Edge lit has the LEDs or CCLFs on the sides shining into a light guide that spreads the light out behind the LCD panel.

Direct lit will be thicker, but should have better performance (less problems) than edge lit.

So, in general the order of preference is Full Array > Direct lit > Edge lit?

Obviously there are going to be differences in quality that make this not necessarily so, I'm assuming.

Would a novice be able to tell the difference or is this something that you would really have to know what to look for to notice?
pg_ice's Avatar pg_ice 09:55 AM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknj View Post

Would a novice be able to tell the difference or is this something that you would really have to know what to look for to notice?

you can not tell the difference in daylight
as i said many times
its in the dark you really see how good a tv is.
there you will spot the differences.

FALD will have better blacks than Edge Lit in a dark room but can also bring out Halos around objects in dark scenes.
the more off you are to the center the more Halos you see on FALD tvs.

Edge Lit will have worse blacks but no Halos (glowing objects)
Edgel Lit can have clouding that is visible in dark scenes.
white spots spread around black areas causing uneven light to the blacks.

The best LCD HD TV to date as i see it is the Sony 55" W9 from last year.
it has Edge lit but as most of the Samsung models it has no clouding issues and the colors are also superior to any LCD LED tv.

in a low lit room the Sony W9 is beautiful with inky blacks and colors as taken from the old CRT tvs

what tv are you planning on buying?
steveknj's Avatar steveknj 10:18 AM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by pg_ice View Post

you can not tell the difference in daylight
as i said many times
its in the dark you really see how good a tv is.
there you will spot the differences.

FALD will have better blacks than Edge Lit in a dark room but can also bring out Halos around objects in dark scenes.
the more off you are to the center the more Halos you see on FALD tvs.

Edge Lit will have worse blacks but no Halos (glowing objects)
Edgel Lit can have clouding that is visible in dark scenes.
white spots spread around black areas causing uneven light to the blacks.

The best LCD HD TV to date as i see it is the Sony 55" W9 from last year.
it has Edge lit but as most of the Samsung models it has no clouding issues and the colors are also superior to any LCD LED tv.

in a low lit room the Sony W9 is beautiful with inky blacks and colors as taken from the old CRT tvs

what tv are you planning on buying?

I'm looking at budget TVs. I had actually purchased the 55" Vizio E series (B2), but returned it because it had a dead pixel. The remote was really flimsy and I had some lockup issues as well. I figured I just had a bad TV and was going to exchange for another one, but they didn't have anymore where I bought it. I might still get one at a different store, but I'm intrigued by this one:

http://costco.com/JVC-55%22-Class-1080p-120Hz-Smart-LED-HDTV-EM55FTR.product.100103365.html

It's $50 cheaper and I like the feature set. But it's direct-backlight as opposed to the Vizio which is FALD. I've been told that FALD is better, but I'm not sure that to my eyes I could really tell the difference. Unlike most here, I'm not as interested in blacks as I am in vivid colors and whites, since I'm a huge hockey fan. If it was blacks I was interested in, I'd be looking at a plasma, which has awesome blacks, but the whites are dull. (I have a 42" Panny plasma now as my secondary TV...great blacks, but the whites are dim). So, in my price range, I'm sure I'm not going to find the best picture. I just want a decent picture and I'm not familiar with the tech behind it, so I'm asking smile.gif

I should add, that I normally watch TV in a dimly light room, but not in complete darkness. In the winter I might turn the lights up a bit more.
wtfer's Avatar wtfer 04:21 PM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknj View Post

So, in general the order of preference is Full Array > Direct lit > Edge lit?

No, there is absolutely no distinct advantage between Direct Lit vs. Edge Lit or LED vs CCFL in terms of picture quality.
Edge lit just means the TV's can be made much thinner in size.
They are all still regular LCD's that produce the exact same picture, just the internals are different.


There is also a huge gap in the quality between Full Array.
Some that only have a dozen dimming zones that are barely better than a regular LCD. Compared to some that have hundreds of dimming zones that are more comparable to high end plasma in picture quality.
Stereodude's Avatar Stereodude 05:23 PM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

No, there is absolutely no distinct advantage between Direct Lit vs. Edge Lit or LED vs CCFL in terms of picture quality.
Edge lit just means the TV's can be made much thinner in size.
They are all still regular LCD's that produce the exact same picture, just the internals are different.
That's not entirely true. A direct lit backlight won't have flashlighting and should be significantly less prone to clouding. Sure, not every edge lit sets has those problems, but an edge lit design is certainly harder to get right.
Mike99's Avatar Mike99 06:58 PM 04-15-2014
I have a Samsung edge lit LED LCD. I don't have any flash lighting along the edges, however the screen is not uniformly lit It's not really bad & not noticeable when when watching TV programs but can be seen when displaying test patterns of various shades of gray.

Samsung had a slightly lower priced model which has full array back lighting. I thought that may provide better uniformity. But I did read somewhere that since its a cheaper TV that it uses fewer LEDs than the expensive full array sets from a couple years ago. I tried it & it was not so good. I don't know how many LEDs it used but there were darkish bands, 2 horizontal & 2 vertical. It looked like a tic-tac-toe board but with the lines more spread out. Even my wife noticed it on a commercial with a mostly whitish screen. That set went back & I kept the first one.

As other folks have said, most sets will have some quirks or problems & you just have to pick what works for you.
wtfer's Avatar wtfer 09:59 PM 04-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post

That's not entirely true. A direct lit backlight won't have flashlighting and should be significantly less prone to clouding. Sure, not every edge lit sets has those problems, but an edge lit design is certainly harder to get right.


I'm pretty sure the arrangement of the backlight has nothing to do with clouding.

It has to do with quality control during the manufacturing process more than anything else.
Vin's Avatar Vin 08:55 AM 04-16-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I have a Samsung edge lit LED LCD. I don't have any flash lighting along the edges, however the screen is not uniformly lit....


As other folks have said, most sets will have some quirks or problems & you just have to pick what works for you.

That's pretty much how I'd describe my Samsung UN65F6350.  Although I don't have 'flash lighting' either, my set does seem to have what I've heard described as 'vertical banding'.....not a deal breaker but somewhat disconcerting, nonetheless, especially since I never experienced this with my 1st large screen LCD, the backlit Samsung LN52A650 which is still in use and still looking quite good in my living room.


Mike99's Avatar Mike99 08:01 PM 04-16-2014
The current Samsung UN46ES6150 has bands, but they usually look somewhat blotchy depending on the lightness of the screen, & are less noticeable than the bands on the UN46FH6030. The bands on the full array backlit FH6030 are more defined & distinct & IMHO stand out more.
8mile13's Avatar 8mile13 05:55 AM 04-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer 

No, there is absolutely no distinct advantage between Direct Lit vs. Edge Lit or LED vs CCFL in terms of picture quality.
Edge lit just means the TV's can be made much thinner in size.
They are all still regular LCD's that produce the exact same picture, just the internals are different.


There is also a huge gap in the quality between Full Array.
Some that only have a dozen dimming zones that are barely better than a regular LCD. Compared to some that have hundreds of dimming zones that are more comparable to high end plasma in picture quality.
It is mainly Vizio that has lots of FALD models with limited number of zones.


steveknj's Avatar steveknj 07:58 AM 04-18-2014
I wound up buying a JVC SP55M-C at Costco

http://tv.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL029222&pathId=202&page=10

I have gotten the picture tweaked to where I think it REALLY looks nice, but I have one issue I can't figure out and I think it might have to do with the back-lighting (Edge lit). Watching hockey which, because of the ice fills the screen with mostly white, I notice vertical faded grey lines about an inch or so think toward the center of the screen. They aren't VERY noticeable but if you look close you can see them. I watched a few different channels with hockey and got the same results, so it's not the cameras at the game that are causing it. Interestingly I didn't notice them on a commercial bumper with a white background while watching something else.

What could cause something like that?
Mrke1's Avatar Mrke1 08:11 AM 04-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknj View Post

I wound up buying a JVC SP55M-C at Costco

http://tv.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL029222&pathId=202&page=10

I have gotten the picture tweaked to where I think it REALLY looks nice, but I have one issue I can't figure out and I think it might have to do with the back-lighting (Edge lit). Watching hockey which, because of the ice fills the screen with mostly white, I notice vertical faded grey lines about an inch or so think toward the center of the screen. They aren't VERY noticeable but if you look close you can see them. I watched a few different channels with hockey and got the same results, so it's not the cameras at the game that are causing it. Interestingly I didn't notice them on a commercial bumper with a white background while watching something else.

What could cause something like that?

Without seeing it of course, my guess is screen uniforimity issues. Very common for edge lit displays, so I wouldn't say you have a defective set. Just a pitfall of the technology.
steveknj's Avatar steveknj 08:16 AM 04-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrke1 View Post

Without seeing it of course, my guess is screen uniforimity issues. Very common for edge lit displays, so I wouldn't say you have a defective set. Just a pitfall of the technology.

Thanks. Now I have to decide if I can live with it or not smile.gif
bruce banner's Avatar bruce banner 09:34 AM 02-24-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by steveknj

So, in general the order of preference is Full Array > Direct lit > Edge lit?


No, there is absolutely no distinct advantage between Direct Lit vs. Edge Lit or LED vs CCFL in terms of picture quality.
Edge lit just means the TV's can be made much thinner in size.
They are all still regular LCD's that produce the exact same picture, just the internals are different.


There is also a huge gap in the quality between Full Array.
Some that only have a dozen dimming zones that are barely better than a regular LCD. Compared to some that have hundreds of dimming zones that are more comparable to high end plasma in picture quality.
I beg to disagree..

I will never buy an edge-lit again... On quick light to dark screens the image flash lights and around the edges of the screen you can see its brighter.
spectre08's Avatar spectre08 09:45 AM 02-24-2015
I just brought home an edge-lit LG television, and I think I may need to return it. The edge lighting is uneven in the top right corner. There is one spot in particular where there is no light at all, about half an inch wide with strong halos radiating from either side.

It wasn't noticeable until last night when I tried to watch a movie with the lights in the room out.

I'm undecided if I want to try another identical television, or switch to a different brand or model. Other than the edge lighting issue I really like the tv.

Do you think the sounds like a defect?
Nintendork1985 05:26 PM 12-22-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectre08 View Post
I just brought home an edge-lit LG television, and I think I may need to return it. The edge lighting is uneven in the top right corner. There is one spot in particular where there is no light at all, about half an inch wide with strong halos radiating from either side.

It wasn't noticeable until last night when I tried to watch a movie with the lights in the room out.

I'm undecided if I want to try another identical television, or switch to a different brand or model. Other than the edge lighting issue I really like the tv.

Do you think the sounds like a defect?
I notice the same on my LG but it is bad in the top left corner. I'm thinking of replacing it to see if another one would be any better. What model did you get? I have a UF8500.
King Richard's Avatar King Richard 03:28 AM 12-23-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce banner View Post
I will never buy an edge-lit again... On quick light to dark screens the image flash lights and around the edges of the screen you can see its brighter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectre08 View Post
I just brought home an edge-lit LG television, and I think I may need to return it. The edge lighting is uneven in the top right corner. There is one spot in particular where there is no light at all, about half an inch wide with strong halos radiating from either side.

It wasn't noticeable until last night when I tried to watch a movie with the lights in the room out.

I'm undecided if I want to try another identical television, or switch to a different brand or model. Other than the edge lighting issue I really like the tv.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nintendork1985 View Post
I notice the same on my LG but it is bad in the top left corner. I'm thinking of replacing it to see if another one would be any better. What model did you get? I have a UF8500.

It sometimes will depend on the TV (Brand/Make/Model).

On some "Edge-lit" TVs the "flashlighting"/"edge-bleed" is very noticeable.

On others, not so much.

I know for a fact that the Samsung JS9000 (Edge-lit) doesn't suffer from this issue at all and also happens to have excellent "screen uniformity" as well.

Richard
Jasonn B's Avatar Jasonn B 10:12 PM 11-04-2016
I know this is older, but since some time has passed, does anyone have the pro/cons of edge lit vs Full Array?

What are the main issues that full array has vs edge lit?
Joe Bloggs's Avatar Joe Bloggs 10:45 PM 11-04-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonn B View Post
I know this is older, but since some time has passed, does anyone have the pro/cons of edge lit vs Full Array?

What are the main issues that full array has vs edge lit?
Full array is the best. If you can get a Full array (eg. UHD) in the screen size you want that is likely to be a lot better picture than an edge lit (though check out reviews, zone count, local dimming algorithm).

Full array pros:
* Better contrast - able to better make parts of the screen black/dim while other parts are bright (especially on the TVs with many local dimming zones and good dimming algorithms) - especially important with HDR
* More screen uniformity most likely (LEDs evenly spaced at the back of the TV instead of just a few around the edges)
* Possibly cheaper to run? (eg. if it's only lighting up the parts of the screen that are needed). Though I suppose it might depend on the content.
* Local dimming can be turned off if you want (so it can be just like a direct lit, non-local dimming TV) or some TVs allow different levels of local dimming (eg. so on a lower setting it might not totally turn off one array while having the next one very high brightness).

Full array cons:
* More expensive
* Can have haloing or rectangular (or other shape?) blocks lighting up rather than just the object needing to be lit (probably especially visible when viewed from the side). Though it depends on the algorithm and level of the local dimming function (where available - eg. some are just on/off).
* Not always available in some places (eg. UK) at lower screen sizes in UHD.
* Heavier and not as thin as edge lit
* Not sure about this but I think a read a review of a TV with many zones where the local dimming wasn't that responsive. As thought here was a noticeable delay?

Edge lit pros:
* Cheaper than full array usually
* Available in more/lower screen sizes
* Probably lighter and thinner TVs

Edge lit cons:
* Less screen uniformity
* Less contrast/ability to show a dark/black screen with brighter objects
cah95046's Avatar cah95046 01:23 PM 11-05-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonn B View Post
I know this is older, but since some time has passed, does anyone have the pro/cons of edge lit vs Full Array?

What are the main issues that full array has vs edge lit?
I will give you a perspective you might want to consider.

The maximum CR (contrast ratio) the human eye can see on any given frame/scene is reported to be between 1000:1 (lowest I've seen) and 16000:1 (14 stops, highest I've seen).

The native CR of some LCD panels reach 7000:1 (e.g. SS KS8000).

Thus the advantage of LCD FALD (and OLED) to achieve CRs beyond what the eye can perceive and a good LCD panel can provide natively, is zero to marginal. A FALD cannot perform as well as an OLED with certain content e.g. star field. Even with 1000's of zones, each zone is much much larger than a single star.

It may be like the value of amplifiers that have a flat frequency response from 20 to 200k Hz vs those with a flat 20 to 20K Hz response.
8mile13's Avatar 8mile13 05:52 PM 11-05-2016
In general in the dark a FALD or a OLED will outperform any Edge Lit or Back Lit TV.
lordj's Avatar lordj 06:02 PM 11-05-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by cah95046 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonn B View Post
I know this is older, but since some time has passed, does anyone have the pro/cons of edge lit vs Full Array?

What are the main issues that full array has vs edge lit?
I give you a perspective you might want to consider.

The maximum CR (contrast ratio) the human eye can see on any given frame/scene is reported to be between 1000:1 (lowest I've seen) and 16000:1 (14 stops, highest I've seen).

The native CR of some LCD panels reach 7000:1 (e.g. SS KS8000).

Thus the advantage of LCD FALD (and OLED) to achieve CRs beyond what the eye can perceive and a good LCD panel can provide natively, is zero to marginal. A FALD cannot perform as well as an OLED with certain content e.g. star field. Even with 1000's of zones, each zone is much much larger than a single star.

It may be like the value of amplifiers that have a flat frequency response from 20 to 200k Hz vs those with a flat 20 to 20K Hz response.
FALD is more important for blooming and light bleed control rather than contrast, as you can tell from the reviews of your edge lit example.
cah95046's Avatar cah95046 06:24 PM 11-05-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordj View Post
FALD is more important for blooming and light bleed control rather than contrast, as you can tell from the reviews of your edge lit example.
Please define blooming and light bleed. I suspect these may mean different things to different people.

Blooming is caused by dividing the back light into zones. A backlight with a single zone has no blooming at all.

The purpose of zones is to increase contrast between a bright object in one zone and a dark object in another zone. Contrast within a zone is limited by the lcd NCR. The goal of an LCD FALD is to get the CR closer to OLED.
andy sullivan's Avatar andy sullivan 09:09 AM 11-06-2016
The way it was explained to me is that Full Array (FA) is Direct Lit. FALD is Full Array Direct Lit with Local Dimming technology incorporated. The Sony 75x850c is full array direct lit but does not incorporate local dimming. The Sony 75x850d uses edge lit technology. Why the change? Good question. Probably a matter of panel availability.
Joe Bloggs's Avatar Joe Bloggs 11:50 AM 11-06-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post
The way it was explained to me is that Full Array (FA) is Direct Lit. FALD is Full Array Direct Lit with Local Dimming technology incorporated. The Sony 75x850c is full array direct lit but does not incorporate local dimming. The Sony 75x850d uses edge lit technology. Why the change? Good question. Probably a matter of panel availability.
Probably to cut TV production costs (and give consumers an inferior product) .
Jasonn B's Avatar Jasonn B 12:28 PM 11-06-2016
So, the 2016 Vizio M series is FALD, with local dimming, correct?
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