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LED technologies in Brief

LCD TV’s require a backlight to illuminate the picture that is being shown. In normal LCD TV’s, this light is provided by fluorescent backlights called CCFL. Now, LED lights are being used instead of CCFL’s because they consume less power and enable manufacturers to come up with thinner models.

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Edge lit (without local dimming) – This is what you generally get in the market. The LED’s in this type of TV are set around the edge of the screen. The center of the screen is illuminated with the help of “light guides”. The picture quality on this is the same as a normal LCD, but you will have certain problems like brighter edges and a dimmer center.

Full Array (without local dimming) – This model is rather rare and obviously a bit more expensive to make due to its component cost. Here LED’s are found everywhere behind the screen and not along the edges. This means that can be no dark spots like in the edge lit version. Picture quality is the same as a normal LCD TV.

Full Array (with local dimming) – This is the same as the previous model with one significant exception. Individual areas in the LED array can be brightened or dimmed as dictated by the signal. Due to the black levels can be far superior to those in normal LCD’s. However, it also leads to “blooming” (light spill) issues too. In spite of that, this remains the most desirable model to purchase.

Edge lit (with local dimming) – This model is still not perfect. It tries to do what the preceding type does, but rather unsuccessfully. Attempting to dim with edge lighting gives way to a lot of “blooming” issues. The best thing to do is to avoid this model.

The first LED backlit 3D TV

After weeks of rumors and non-committal statements from the manufacturer, LG has finally ‘spilt the beans’. This week LG announced that the LX9500, which it plans to release in May, will be the first HDTV in the world to feature 3D as well as an LED backlit LCD screen.

The upcoming model will be available in two varieties, a 47-inch and a 55-inch version. Both models will be packed to the brim with features like 3D, HDMI, USB 2.0 and integrated Skype software. It also features TruMotion 400 Hz (480 Hz) and a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1. The 3D glasses used to watch TV employ the shutter glass technique, which means each lens is blocked out alternatively in relation to the refresh rate of the TV. This also enables it to add more depth to the image. The good news about the glasses are that they are USB powered, so all you have to do is leave it plugged into the TV or PC and the batteries will be charged. Once fully charged, the batteries are expected to run for 40 hours allowing for uninterrupted viewing.

The TV also supports the new Multi Picture Format, which means that users can plug in their 3D cameras directly into the TV and view what they’ve shot without having to go to a computer to convert them. The LG TVs are expected to hit the Korean market first in the coming months, so as to get the jump on their main competitor, Samsung. European and U.S. consumers will have to wait till May for LG’s launch. So far, the unofficial word is that the TVs will be priced along the $4,000 mark.

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