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Smart TV vs. LCD TV: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
A smart TV connects to the internet and offers app functionality, whereas an LCD TV is defined by its liquid crystal display screen, not its connectivity.

Key Differences

The term "smart TV" implies a television set equipped with internet connectivity, enabling users to access a world of web-based content, applications, and streaming services. On the other hand, "LCD TV" references the technology used in the display, which utilizes liquid crystals to project images.
Smart TV features enhance a viewer's experience by providing access to popular apps like Netflix or Hulu directly from the television, without the need for additional devices. LCD TV, conversely, speaks solely to the visual component and not the TV's features.
While a smart TV might use LCD technology for its display, not every LCD TV is inherently "smart." The distinction between smart TV and LCD TV is primarily one of capability versus display technology.

Comparison Chart

Basic Definition

Television with internet connectivity
Television using liquid crystal display

Primary Feature

Internet access & apps
Liquid crystal technology for visual display


Connects to Wi-Fi or Ethernet
Does not inherently connect to the internet


Contains operating system & apps
Does not inherently have software/apps


Streaming, browsing, gaming
Primarily for watching broadcasted content

Smart TV and LCD TV Definitions

Smart TV

Device that can download and update applications.
I updated my smart TV's software to get the latest streaming app.


Television with backlights illuminating the liquid crystals.
The backlights in my LCD TV make the colors vibrant.

Smart TV

Television that connects to the internet.
I use my smart TV to stream movies on Netflix.


Screen technology distinct from LED or OLED.
I chose an LCD TV over OLED because of the price difference.

Smart TV

TV with integrated software for apps and streaming.
My smart TV lets me play games and use social media apps directly.


Utilizes electric charges to align liquid crystals and produce images.
The LCD TV in my bedroom has excellent contrast ratios.

Smart TV

Television that offers interactive web features.
On my smart TV, I can browse the internet and watch YouTube videos.


Television using liquid crystal technology for its display.
The images on my LCD TV are clear and sharp.

Smart TV

Television with an operating system similar to a computer or smartphone.
I can customize the interface of my smart TV like I do with my smartphone.


A type of flat-panel display that uses liquid crystals.
I replaced my old bulky TV with a sleek LCD TV.


How does an LCD TV display images?

LCD TVs use liquid crystals illuminated by backlights to display images.

Does every smart TV use LCD technology?

No, smart TVs can use various display technologies including LED, OLED, and more.

What's the main feature of a smart TV?

A smart TV offers internet connectivity and access to apps and streaming services.

Do I need external devices to stream on a smart TV?

No, smart TVs have built-in software to stream directly.

Do I need a Wi-Fi connection for my smart TV?

While most smart TVs use Wi-Fi, some can also connect via Ethernet.

Are LCD TVs energy efficient?

LCD TVs are more energy efficient than older CRT models, but efficiency varies among models.

What makes a TV "smart"?

Internet connectivity and the ability to run apps make a TV "smart."

Can I play games on a smart TV?

Yes, many smart TVs allow users to play games either through built-in apps or external consoles.

How do I clean my LCD TV screen?

Use a soft, lint-free cloth and avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive pressure.

Can I install apps on my smart TV?

Yes, most smart TVs allow users to download and install apps.

Do LCD TVs have a risk of burn-in?

LCD TVs have a lower risk of burn-in compared to OLED TVs.

Do LCD TVs work well in bright rooms?

Yes, LCD TVs perform well in well-lit rooms due to their backlit design.

How is the image quality of LCD TVs?

LCD TVs generally offer good image quality, but performance varies based on the specific model.

How long do LCD TVs last?

On average, LCD TVs can last around 60,000 hours of viewing.

Are updates required for a smart TV?

To maintain functionality and security, periodic software updates are recommended for smart TVs.

Can a smart TV function as a regular TV without internet?

Yes, a smart TV can display regular broadcast content without internet.

What does LCD stand for in LCD TV?

LCD stands for "Liquid Crystal Display."

Can an LCD TV also be a smart TV?

Yes, an LCD TV can have smart features, making it a smart LCD TV.

Can I browse the internet on a smart TV?

Yes, many smart TVs offer web browsing capabilities.

Is LCD TV the latest screen technology?

No, while popular, there are newer technologies like OLED and QLED.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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