How does a TV work? Watch this fascinating video!

You will never look at your TV the same!

I thought I knew how TVs worked. I do, but I’d struggle to actually describe it, let alone find a way to show it. So, hats off to the Slow Mo Guys who have utterly nailed it.

So each TV is made up of pixels. Those pixels need to be “lit” for them to show a picture.

Back in the day a CRT TV was actually “drawing” the picture before your eyes – left to right top to bottom. These Slow Mo Guys have demonstrated that amazingly using a super slow mo camera. That itself is amazing to me.

But with modern TVs its a much more complex thing. Each “pixel” is actually made up of three “sub pixels” – red, green and blue. When all three are lit the pixel appears white to you. Different colour variations then produce the billions of colours we see on screen.

This extreme close up of an LED TV shows the actual sub pixels.

One of the biggest problems with even the best LED (LCD) TVs is the blurring or greying that occurs around a bright white or coloured area and a large black screen. It’s particularly noticeable on movie titles and credits. Because an LED/LCD screen is backlit – whole areas of the screen must be lit, creating this grey area. Again, very well demonstrated in the video.

Finally, there’s OLED the latest TV technology which rather than backlighting the whole screen lights up each and every pixel as and only when it’s required.

Honestly, if you’re even half interested in the technology behind your TV this is just fantastic viewing:

Hat Tip: Sam for sending me the link!


Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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