How do screens work? From LCD to OLED and Micro LED

This is how LCD screens work

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) always consists of signal input, power supply unit, control electronics, backlight and liquid crystal panel. All components are located between the frame and the rear wall (see illustration above). Let’s go through the terminals in order:


Today, an LCD monitor is usually connected digitally to a computer via HDMI or Displayport. The digital connection enables better picture quality than the now outdated analog picture, since converting digital image signals to analog and re-converting in the display is unnecessary. The TMDS protocol is used with HDMI. Converts 8-bit color information per channel of the graphics card into 10-bit format. This ensures better error correction, but also increases the required bandwidth. In addition to HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection), an encryption protocol for copy-protected video content, HDMI 2.0 supports a bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps. It can transmit 4K UHD HDMI 2.0 maximum resolution at a maximum of 8 bits and 60Hz refresh rate without tools like color reduction. The remedy here is HDMI 2.1, which, unlike its predecessor, supports 48Gb / s bandwidth and thus can transmit 4K UHD content at 120Hz or 8k at 60Hz, for example. Adaptive synchronization is also supported by variable frame rates (VRR). Technology is a novelty of consoles. It is already used on the Xbox Series S / X. Like other common interfaces (PCI-Express, Serial ATA), the display port relies on LVDS (“Low Voltage Differential Signals”) for the physical data layer, which enables larger amounts of data. Current applications include Compatibility Mode that allows for simple use of HDMI adapters. We expect version 2.0 this year, which will increase the bandwidth from 32.4 Gbps, which is distributed over four data lines with 8.1 Gb / s each, up to 80 Gbit / s. A maximum of 16K (15,360 x 8460 pixels) is provided at 60Hz and 10 bits per color channel. To do this, however, the data stream must be compressed with DSC (Display Stream Compression). DSC is currently used with Displayport 1.4 and is necessary, for example, to be able to transmit 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) at 60Hz and 10-bit color depth.

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The following topics can be found in the article:

  • Rotate liquid crystals
  • How does an LCD screen work
  • Hintergrundbeleuchtung
  • TN-panels
  • IPS-panels
  • VA panels
  • Via FALD to mini-LED
  • OLEDs
  • Micro LED






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Background knowledge: How do screens work? From LCD to OLED and Micro LED

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