TVs, Projectors & Screens, Oh My!

We can’t all be techies. Sometimes, there’s too much to deal with when it comes to specs for audiovisual equipment. What size screen you need, what resolution you want, what color gamut is important to you – there are tonnes of options out there because, besides top-of-the-line vs not, everyone just has different preferences. Professional gamers are going to invest in the craziest screen setup out there – like, see-the-pores-in-a-CGI-face detailed, whereas a family with a media room for movie watching probably just wants a nice, clear picture. We see these little acronyms describing picture quality all the time – OLED, 4K, LCD… and on and on. But what do they mean?

Seriously – what do they mean?

Just kidding; we did the research for you so you don’t have to. Because while we are experts in luxury home theater furniture, we needed a brush up on display tech, too. Let’s take a look at the different picture qualities you can expect from projectors and TVs:

Picture Quality in Projection Systems

The thing about projectors is, there is a whole other component to think about when trying to attain the picture quality the projector specs claim – the screen. So, when choosing which kind of projector you want, remember that the other piece of the puzzle is a projector screen that allows the projector to perform at its best. In today’s market, there are several common picture options for home theater projectors:


The latest and greatest in HD, UHD stands for Ultra High Definition. It comes in 4K and 8K, which refer to the number of pixels that comprise the image. For instance, 4K UHD has a little over 3800 pixels. With just 4K, you can see the tiniest fibers in a fabric, so 8K is kind of off-the-wall intense. Some people argue that at the point of an image so Hi Def as 4K, getting an 8K projector has diminishing returns (read: extra cost isn’t worth the better picture vs 4K).


An acronym for Liquid Crystal Display, LCD projectors use 1 or 2 glass panels with a liquid crystal grid in between. This grid is backlit, and each pixel can be turned on and off. This results in super-clear, super-detailed images with well-saturated, accurate color. LCD is starting to be replaced by OLED displays, but they’re still a great choice for movie nights of any kind.


3LCD is basically LCD+. The 3 represents the 3 panels. These extra panels, since they add more layers for the light to project through, result in better color with more depth and clarity. In terms of projectors, a distinct advantage of choosing 3LCD over 1 or 2LCD is that the projector casts more light for better color saturation without the blur.

Picture Quality in Digital TV Screens

It seems like TVs are always getting better, brighter, smarter. And sometimes it’s like – did they just add the word “crystal” before “UHD” for fun? Or is there an actual difference? Well, yes and no. Some options you have for big screen TVs today are:


LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. If you ever played with a light board as a kid, this is like that, except super tiny and high-tech. These types of screen provide higher contrast ratios than projections screens like LCD.


The O in OLED is for Organic. Basically, the mechanism of an LED display changes just a bit, because the organic light-emitting diodes that comprise the picture glow when they receive an electric current. The picture is then controlled by adjusting the diodes. This results in super-dark blacks and no aura around brighter images.


The Q here stands for Quantum-Dot. The mechanism of picture display is the same, but the diodes in standard LCD have been replaced with tightly-packed micro particles that result in better color saturation, contrast and clarity. QLED TVs are more affordable and are available in bigger screen sizes than OLED.

Crystal UHD

This is just an LCD TV. It’s unclear as to if it’s a marketing in-name-only distinction, but TV manufacturers claim Crystal UHD results in a more high-definition picture than standard LCD. Is it different than 3LCD? This is why we aren’t in the audiovisual tech business. We’ll stick to home theater furniture.


Perhaps the most expensive display technology, no other type of display can step to AMOLED in terms of image quality. Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode screens take OLED to the next level by adding thin strips of film transistors behind every pixel. This results in a super-high-def, accurate and more flexible image than standard OLED… Is the better image worth the extra cost? Like we said earlier: it depends on what you need for your media room setup.

Which One is Right for You?

Sorry to tell you, but these aren’t the only types of display technology on the market today. But unless you’ve been absolutely enthralled by this first foray into types of screen displays and just need to know more, being familiar with these ones is enough to make sure your movie nights are even better at home than in the theater. And better yet, since these are the most common types of display tech, whether a projector or a TV, they’re easy to find in stores or online. Happy screen hunting!