Acronym Conundrum – DV LED, DV-LED, DVLED, Something Else??? Should We Care???

September 29, 2020 by Dave Haynes

I was trading messages with an industry friend Monday, who asked me what the preferred or most used acronym is for direct view LED displays.

Was it DvLED? Or dvLED? Or DV LED???

I replied DV-LED, and he said that was a new one to he and his colleagues.

So what is it?

It was not at all long ago that “direct view” started being included with descriptions about the display tech. It was new to me, and in doing some quick research, I saw the the key thinking behind this was to distinguish how the LEDs are used.

Some TV manufacturers started marketing consumer displays as LED TVs, with big titles on boxes to that effect. I am not sure why. Maybe that tested well in consumer research?

But the LED TV you saw at a big box store was an LCD display with LED back or edge lighting. So with TVs and commercial display panels, the LEDs illuminate the LCD layer, but you don’t see the LEDs directly.

With OLED displays, you are directly viewing the light source, but OLEDs are a different technology from LEDs. QLED displays are LCDs, with an LED backlight and a Quantum Dots filter, hence the Q. But QLCD doesn’t roll off the tongue like QLED. 

In contract, all of those LED display products now on the market are based on people directly viewing the LED light chips. It’s the light source AND the source for the visuals.

So the correct technical description for the large scale displays used for video walls, replay boards and advertising spectaculars is direct view LED.

Is the appropriate acronym DV LED? DV-LED? DVLED? Dv-LED? dvLED? I dunno … this is not one of the burning questions of our times. But it would be nice if the industry was all, collectively, on the same page and adopted a standard term.

My vote is DV-LED, as that says it is indeed an LED product, does not mix upper and lower cases, but does try to conjoin the whole thing in five letters. That stated, this issue is not making me toss and turn at night.

A bigger issue, perhaps, is that we have display manufacturers calling their products microLED, when most of those products use teeny light chips that are, technically, not really microLED. 

I have seen some early marketing material, written by nerds for nerds, that reference microLED as the weird little dangling, upside-down “h” ahead of LED. I’d type that out but WordPress no likey.

That’s an orgasmically nerdy acronym that really does need to be stopped in its tracks.  I’d worry more about a company marketing with mysterious Greek symbols, than going off the industry song sheet on the direct view acronym.

There’s also the issue of miniLED, which sits in the middle between regular and microLED, and is being used as a backlight source on LCDs but also as a direct view LED display product.

What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments section.

  1. Ron Bax says:

    There’s a good DV-LED technology comparison, authored by Insight Media’s Chris Chinnock ( in the June 2020 issue of Laser Focus World.

Leave a comment