LED TVs are the newest technology in HDTV. LED High Definition Televisions use LED backlights replacing the standard Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps used in most LCD televisions. The display is still a conventional LCD but changing the back light.
Without this backlight the image on a LCD display would produce little or no light of its own. The LEDs are placed along the outer edge of the LCD, projecting the light inwards without adding to the width of the screen. A light source on the outer rim of the TV makes it possible to regain space normally taken up by fluorescent light rods.
This technology enables the manufacturers to build thinner TV’s which can be less than two inches thick. Another benefit of LED TVs is that they are slightly more energy efficient (or use less power) than plasmas and conventional LCD TVs. A great improvement, which will make anyone who cares for the environment happy, is that no mercury is used in their manufacture. It must be noted though, that gallium and arsenic are used in the manufacture of the LED emitters themselves.
Overall, the advantages of LEDs compared with fluorescent backlights are:
1. LED’s are small
2. They are energy efficient, produce little heat
3. LEDs can be used in groups such that if one LED burns out, the remaining LEDs will still produce light.
4. LED TVs usually produce deeper blacks and higher overall colour saturation, (since fluorescent bulbs have a smaller optical frequency output range).
5. LED TVs that use edge-lighting can be very thin. (Edge-lighting can result in a loss of screen uniformity compared to back-lighting.)
6. LED TVs may potentially also result in more environmentally friendly waste over normal LCD TVs (which contain mercury vapour in the fluorescent lamps that are used). Whilst the components of LEDs are generally more inert than fluorescent lamps, they do however still contain other toxic materials such as arsenic (Gallium Arsenide) and are not considered a much better long term solution to the problem of TV disposal.
Samsung released the first mass market LED TV under $9,999 on the Australian market called the Series 9 LCD television which uses a technology called LED Smartlighting, which Samsung says produces bright, vibrant colours and premium picture quality. Sony, Sharp, Vizio and LG are all working on or have released HDTV’s with this technology also.