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Edge LED-Lit LCD TVs - Pros & Cons

The Edge LED-Lit LCD TV Option

It’s not enough for a TV to just be thin, these days. Apparently they also need to be Super Thin! And mass market TVs don’t get thinner than LCD models that use edge LED lighting.

As the name suggests, edge LED LCDs use LED lights ranged around the edges of the screen to illuminate the liquid crystal array, with the light shining across the back of the array and being angled through it by reflectors.

Pros

Slim Designs
Not having a rear-mounted light allows TV designers to think thin. Samsung’s new 9000 Series edge LED TVs have a frankly unbelievable depth of just 8mm.

Energy Efficient
As with direct LED TVs, edge LED models run very economically versus plasma and normal CCFL TVs. In fact, some argue that edge LED sets are the most economical of all, since they don’t need to push their light through brightness-reducing diffuser plates.

Enhanced Shadow Detailing
The light created behind an LC array with edge LED sets is arguably more consistent and brighter than it is with direct LED sets. And since there are many more reflectors bouncing the light through the LC array than there are LED clusters in direct LED TVs, the points of light origin with edge LED sets are actually more closely related to the 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count of most of today’s TVs. This means that edge LED sets tend not to miss shadow details like direct LED sets can.

Rich, Dynamic Colours
As noted with direct LED TVs, using LED lights seems to boost colour response, with most edge LED TVs producing colours of eye-catching vibrancy and dynamism.

High Brightness Levels
Edge LED sets consistently do very well at delivering extremely potent brightness levels.

No Fizzing or Image Retention
As with all our LCD screens, edge LED sets don’t suffer with the image retention or fizzing issues that can still affect some plasma TVs.

Cons

Black Level Response
Since edge LED TVs don’t permit local dimming in the same way that direct LED TVs do, most have to resort to the kind of general, whole-picture and thus not particularly satisfying dynamic contrast compromises noted with CCFL LCD TVs.

Local Dimming Doesn’t Work
Three brands have tried to introduce local dimming to their edge LED TVs, by allowing groups of lights in the screen’s edge to be controlled independently. But this creates noticeable 'blocks' of light inconsistency when bright objects appear against dark backgrounds.

Backlight Inconsistency
Even edge LED TVs that don’t use local dimming tend to suffer with backlight consistency issues. With many edge LED TVs, during dark scenes you can see patches of clouding, particularly at the edges and in the corners.


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