What Is The Difference Between a Touchscreen and an LCD?

What Is The Difference Between a Touchscreen and an LCD?

Austin Butler

We have all heard of an LCD and touchscreen, some people do not know the difference, and some do not even know there is a difference, but what exactly is the difference? Many of us have had to deal with a broken touchscreen or LCD at one time or another, especially with smartphones. But how well do you know this device? You should know it pretty well since we use them everyday in our phones, laptops, and even radios!

We’re going to focus on a radio’s LCD and Touchscreen display, and then go over the differences between the two parts.

What Is A Touchscreen?

A touchscreen is defined as "a display device which allows the user to interact with a computer by touching areas on the screen". In a radio, the touch screen or digitizer is the input portion of the radio. This thin piece of resistive or capacitive electrically charged glass is as thin as 1.1 mm. Using your finger allows for haptic responses to control the radio and some vehicle functions. A ribbon cable allows for integration into the main circuit board that powers the LCD, touch screen and any buttons built into the radio.

Types Of Damage

When the touchscreen is broken, you will still see what is on the screen, the screen should operate as normal. Like when you break your phone screen and can still operate the device. While it’s design may seem delicate and fragile, they are made to withstand the constant vibrations of daily driving. Any force greater than a finger tap is more likely to cause damage in the form of a spider web crack. Other foreign objects such as car keys, 2x4s, and the occasional matchbox race car can dent or completely shatter the touchscreen; even the LCD!


What Is The LCD?

The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is the output portion of the radio that displays all radio functions and features. An LCD screen is what displays the image from inside of the device. Without the LCD, the radio brain or module cannot be used to its full potential. Today’s car and truck radios act as infotainment hubs providing both in-vehicle entertainment and live information.

Types Of Damage

When the LCD is broken and/or damaged, you may still be able to use the touchscreen depending on how bad the damage is. When broken, the panel will have dark blobs or a viscous substance and most likely will have a spider web type crack. While the touchscreen seems to act as a protective barrier, any defect can cause secondary damage to the LCD deeming both pieces scrap. Isolated LCD damage with no damage to the touch screen is possible and has been witnessed by our techs; the cause of which is due to some dropping or the impact from a car wreck. The LCD has a thin ribbon cable that connects into a circuit board that powers the LCD, touchscreen and any buttons built into the radio.

Where To Get The Parts?

Luckily for you, at Factory Radio Parts, we provide many OEM replacement parts such as DVD and Navigation mechanisms, touch screens, spindle motors, LCD displays, main printed circuit boards, flex cables, hard disk drives-YOU NAME IT!  All of our products have been sourced from the suppliers who help manufacturer these factory radios. All products are delivered to our warehouse where they are thoroughly tested and stored in a clean and secure environment. We, at Factory Radio Parts, value our customers and will go above and beyond to provide the best quality replacement parts at the lowest prices and superior customer experience. CLICK THIS TO VIEW OUR LCDs AND TOUCHSCREENS!

How To Fix?

At Factory Radio Parts, we offer repairs and also have tutorial videos on how to replace your LCD and touchscreen yourself! Check out our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/factoryradioparts

If you find yourself with a broken touchscreen or LCD, don’t let mechanics and dealerships try to sell you a new radio, instead of the more cost-effective alternative: REPAIR! Click here to check out our repair services!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us!

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