11/28/09

LED Television... Not Exactly

Today I want to take the time to discuss a bit of a pet peeve of mine…

Have you noticed the rash of television commercials and print ads lately touting “LED TVs”..? Rather makes it sound like these televisions tout some brand new crazy view-screen technology. I am here to tell you that this is simply not quite the case.

These televisions are LCDs.

Liquid Crystal Display… The same screen technology you may have been looking at for lord knows how long. It’s all about the marketing with these guys.

Now for the good part…

There are actually LEDs present in these sets. You see, an LCD screen needs a source of light, and that is precisely what the LEDs have been adopted to do. The advantages here depend on how the set is being engineered. The simplest implementation of using LED lighting is that manufacturers can make the LCD TVs very thin by using the lights around the edge of the screen. Not a big deal if you ask me.

The other and more impressive utilization places a panel of lights directly behind the LCD screen. This allows manufactures to employ a local area dimming technology which has the benefits of improving contrast as well as black level (dark scene detail) compared to other LCD televisions. Both of these improvements help LCD TVs compare more favorably with plasma televisions, as contrast and black level have been weaknesses for quite some time.

There you have it folks – the real meaning behind “LED TV”. Now you can watch TV in peace… Happy viewing!

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