LED Backlighting - TVs Are Going Green

       By: Steve Auger
Posted: 2009-09-19 00:59:45
The latest generation of LCD television technology is a whopping 40% more energy efficient than last years models. Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have all introduced TV models utilizing LED backlighting, replacing the more power hungry CCFL backlight used in previous years. To verify power consumption, Techtree.com performed measurements on a 46" LED TV using a power meter with different levels of Energy saving. The measured power usage was between 72W and 116W depending on energy savings level. In contrast, LG's 42" plasma TV consumed between 150W and 255W depending on the Eco mode.Samsung, calling it's technology "LED TV", has been heavily criticized by competitors. The TV is LED-backlit, not a true LED TV like the more advanced technology called Organic LED (OLED) TV. An OLED panel is constructed using different materials and there is no need for backlighting; thus very low power. The pixels are made of organic compounds that react to electric current causing individual pixels to light up. Sony unveiled the first consumer OLED screen last fall but the display measures only 11 inches and it sells for $2,499. Sony may produce a living room-sized model later this year, but don't expect it to be affordable. A large screen OLED TV is several years away from consumer mass production.Apart from the previously mentioned OLED technology, Sony has an LCD TV offering called the Bravia. The Bravia uses Edge LED backlighting, meaning that the LED's are mounted on the side rather than using a backlight array. Doing so allows the Bravia to achieve a very slim profile.Toshiba's offering in the LED-backlight arena is the REGZA SV670. This TV model incorporates the company's FocaLight Full Matrix LED with local dimming instead of edge LED lighting. This allows individual groups of LEDs to be independently controlled, achieving deep blacks without sacrificing peak brightness. This TV will apparently deliver a dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1.In terms of the ecological footprint there is still some debate as to whether LED backlight technology is better. LED-backlit LCD TVs have a longer life and better efficiency than other high definition displays. LEDs also don't utilize mercury, resulting in fewer problems with TV disposal. But they do use two undesirable substances, gallium and arsenic in the manufacture of the LED emitters.
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