LCD stands for “liquid crystal display.” Liquid crystal displays are everywhere in modern life, not just in TVs. Unless you live in a cabin in the wilderness, you can’t get through a single day without running into, and probably yourself using, an LCD of one type or another.
LCDs are critical to many items of everyday life: wristwatches, stereos, car displays, hand calculators, instant-read thermometers and computer displays. LCDs in these items may not seem the same as TVs, but the exact same technology is used in all types of LCDs.
How does an LCD TV work?
LCDs use a type of crystal that is naturally twisted. These crystals are chosen for their ability to untwist when an electric current is applied to them.
Millions of these crystals are put into a solution, which is placed in a very thin layer between two pieces of polarized glass. By using varying electrical charges to create different degrees of twist, it’s then possible to change the intensity of light permitted to flow through the panes.
Each display is divided into tiny squares named “pixels.” Different arrangements of these pixels present different information to the viewer of the screen. “Active matrix” LCD TVs use thin-film transistors (TFTs), which are arranged on the glass to direct electrical charges to specific pixels.
LCD TV sizes are quoted in different resolutions, such as 800×600, or 1280×1024. Those are pixel counts; the higher the count the sharper the picture will be at the same screen size, relative to a lower pixel count.
Fine–So Where Does The Color Come From?
In an LCD TV, a fluourescent light shines from behind the liquid crystals, shining white light through the glass. Different degrees of twist in the crystals let different amounts of light through. To get colors, the LCD TV divides each pixel into a red, a green, and a blue subpixel; these work together in different combinations to recreate any possible color and intensity.