It was not too long ago that we were arguing the case for and against LCD and plasma televisions. And though LCD TV eventually came out the victor, due to its superior all round function and practicality, its crown is now under threat. That this threat comes from its sibling the LED television, is all the more intriguing.
It is not at all surprising that this change is driven by the major players in the electronics, and most certainly monitor and TV screen industry. However, a quick look at the new technology demonstrates that they are certainly a step forward; rather than simply be a way to get the consumer to part with more cash.
To appreciate this however, it is necessary to understand where LED television technology differs from what has gone before. In the most basic of levels, LED technology is simply a progression from LCD; it uses the self same screens for a start; and works in much the same the way. The difference lies in how light is sent to the screen; with LEDs, this is done through backlighting or side lighting.
Sending light to the screen in this way allows for far greater control over the picture quality, definition and brightness. Each diode can be controlled independently, allowing for smoother flow through the image projected onto the screen. Deeper colors and blacks are the result, delivering a far truer picture that feels as if you are looking at something through the human eye.
This is all fantastic of course, but what are the downsides to LED television technology? Increased power? Short Lifespan? Surprisingly, the opposite of each of these is true. The technology use less energy and, just as importantly uses this energy well with minimal wastage, which in itself drives up how long the TV itself will last for. Indeed, estimates suggest they could go on indefinitely if looked after well.
They are also a great deal thinner than there predecessors. Whilst regular LCD TVs are very slim; at just mere inches, an LED television will be measured with a depth given in millimetres. Indeed, the leading manufacturers are producing units that are a mere 6mm in depth.
Okay, this all sounds excellent but of course, it isn’t all good news. Whilst no limitations exist to the operation of an LED television, there is a limitation regards affordability. It is really no different to the large prices that LCD and most particularly plasmas were tagged with though.
In summary then LED TVs are just a natural progression from LCDs. It gives us better pictures, less operating costs and space saving abilities. The prices are really the only issue presently.
However, as with any new concept, the price will be high initially, to pay for investment that the manufactures have had to spend on research and development. The price of an LED television may be out of the reach of many for the time being, but over the next few years this will come down to realistic levels. Just in time for the next advance probably!