- DIRECTV Authorized Dealer
Authorized Dealer

DVD, LCD, HD, TV, LED: What do These Abbreviations Really Mean?

We all know about watching shows and operating televisions. But there’s more to TV than just the shows you watch. Ever wondered what the abbreviations LED and LCD actually mean?

A history of television-related abbreviations

Learn where these names and abbreviations come from!


No big surprises here – TV is the shortened form of television. The world television has Greek and Latin origins and means “to see at a distance.”


Hearing someone talk about a VCR probably feels like a blast from the past because of today’s technology. Do you remember what VCR stands for? Video cassette recorder.

An old VCR. New VCRs come as a DVD combo player.

A VCR gave way to time-shifting, allowing TV viewers to record television programs onto a VHS tape to be watched at a later time. These videotapes were the precursor to the DVD. Most American film studios have stopped releasing titles on VHS.


DVDs were introduced in 1995. Originally, DVD stood for digital versatile disc, but now it is sometimes also referred to as digital video disc.

Now, DVDs are being challenged by Blu-Ray™ discs, but the DVD doesn’t seem to be going out of fashion any time soon.


We hear the term HD all the time. It stands for high definition and describes the picture quality of a program. HD delivers a much clearer, crisper picture than standard definition. Many channels are available in high definition for those with an HD TV.


LCD stands for liquid-crystal display, and describes the technology used by LCD televisions. The majority of TVs sold today have LCD screens. When you compare LCD TVs to other types of televisions, like CRTs and plasma screens, you’ll see that the LCD consumes much less energy. These TVs can be made very large and thin, so it’s easy to mount them on the wall. But, there is a limited viewing angle with LCD screens, so viewing distance and position is extremely important.


LED refers to the backlighting used in LCD televisions. LED stands for the type of display known as light-emitting diodes. Flat panel LCD televisions use LED displays.

CRT TVs are larger and thicker than other models.


A CRT TV is a cathode ray tube television. These are older than plasma, LCD and LED televisions. A CRT TV has a large viewing angle and high picture quality, so any seat can be the best spot in the living room to watch television.

Because of how a CRT TV works, it is very large and heavy, and thus cannot be made any bigger than 40 inches. If you’re trying to set up a home theater and want a large TV, a plasma or LCD TV might be a better option.