With most companies pushing the use of LED TVs, a lot of people are wondering what makes these TVs different from the ones they have already. Here are some of the basic facts about LED TVs:
While most marketers these days introduce LED TVs as something that has never been heard of before, the reality is that LED TV technology has been around for quite some time.
As a matter of fact, it is just an LCD TV which is backlit using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), rather than the usual cold-cathode fluorescent lights or CCFLs.
Even though they have only become popular during the past few years, along with the ultra-thin models introduced by Samsung, the use of LEDs in backlighting LCDs have been on the market as early as 2007.
Primarily, displays that are LED-based, such as the one that is available on the Samsung LN-T4681F, were illuminated using full-array LEDs at the back of the LCD, right across the back panel, similar to that of a standard CCFL backlight.
However, in order to come up with an even thinner TV, manufacturers and engineers had to remove the extra LED layer, moving it to the display side.
With this type of backlighting, LEDs are just fixed on all of the four sides of the TV, with light projecting inward, towards the center of the TV through the “lightguides”.
This technology refers to some LCDs that are already LED-based, and come with a full-array rear-placed LED backlights.
With this feature, parts of the backlight can either be independently brightened or dimmed when various areas of the picture become brighter or darker.
For instance, the LEDs that are behind the words within a credit sequence can easily illuminate. On the other hand, the ones in the black background stay dim.
With this capability of dimming certain parts of the screen, the amount of light is reduced, thus resulting in the creation of blacks which can appear more realistic and provide a darker picture.
Since these black levels are very important when it comes to contrast ratio, the deeper the black is, the more color and picture appear. The only downside to this feature is a specific effect which is called ‘blooming’, where the brighter areas bleed into darker ones, reducing adjacent black levels.
One of the key advantages of edge-lit LED backlighting technology is that companies can easily create thinner television models. However, a drawback to this is that backlighting is not generally uniform.
With the use of edge-lit displays, if you place a white image on it, you can see the brighter edges of the screen. At the same time, if you place an all-black image on it, you can also notice that the screen edges will be lighter.
One thing that is admirable about the technology behind an LED TV is the fact that it can definitely cut down more on power use. As a matter of fact, most of the LED-backlit LCDs are among the most efficient flat panels out there.
According to a survey conducted, the use of LED TVs, on average, utilizes around 101 watts, as compared with the 111 watts used on a standard LCD TV.
This is one thing that is really vital in this industry in which things continue to evolve. The backlighting schemes under the LED TV technology will certainly continue to improve over time.
Interestingly, manufacturers and engineers continue to improve edge-lit backlighting to a point in which it already equals, or may even surpass, the capabilities of full-array LED backlighting.
The reality is that LED-based LCD TVs actually cost more compared to their non-LED counterparts. This basically applies to more famous brands and major players in the market.
The good news is that with the introduction of brands such as Westinghouse and Vizio, the competition has really intensified as these two offer more affordable price options.
As such, it is expected that even those at the higher end will have their prices falling quickly in years to come.
In contrast with plasma technology, one of the major drawbacks of the technology behind LCD TVs is that the picture tends to degrade if you are sitting to the side, or if the television is placed either too high or too low according to your eye level.
An LED backlighting system does not really have an impact on this. As a matter of fact, it may even make things worse.
Another important thing that needs to be taken into account is that if the picture settings are not set up correctly, regardless of whether it’s an LED or non-LED, this won’t really make any difference.
As a matter of fact, you may even have the best HDTV unit using the greatest and latest technology, but if it’s not set up correctly, it may still be useless.
To conclude, to get the best performance from your television, requires a good combination of a quality TV unit, and the correct setup of the picture settings.