LED HDTV Explained – Know What You Are Looking for “By the End of This Article”

FAQ’s for HDTV:LG LED HDTV favorite LCD pic

What is the difference between LED HDTV and LCD HDTV Televisions?

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display.

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.

An LED HDTV is an LCD TV… with LED lights used for back lighting instead of fluorescent.

The difference is in the back-lighting. This may seem like a non issue but what this small change makes to the picture is no laughing matter.

The LED creates a whiter light with less ‘glow’ and is much easier to control color. Not only that, but the LED can use region dimming which makes the black levels and shading even more accurate and deep.

Black levels are the area that is most improved as LED technology has almost none of the glowing that fluorescent lights create.

Learn the difference between 1080i VS 1080p here.

Back-lit or Edge-lit LED HDTV:

Edge lit LED TV is just what is sounds like.

The LED lights are located on the sides of the display facing inward. They often illuminate a sheet of acid etched lexan to create the light output for the screen.

Edge lit TV’s can be thinner sets as side lighting takes less space behind the LCD screen than back lighting.

Back lit LED Televisions uses LED’s that face the back of the screen you are viewing. This gives a much brighter appearance to the picture and offers the most control over the black levels and colors.

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Also, sections of the screen can be illuminated brighter if need be for optimal calibration. Back lit LED is considered superior while Edge Lit LED allows a much thinner TV.

Some of these sets are little over an inch in thickness. These sets are also the most expensive as it takes many individual lights to produce an even backlight.

Edge-Lit LED Televisions

Sony ZX1

Samsung Series B6000, B7000, B7100 & B8000 – Samsung LED LCD TV

Back-Lit LED Televisions

Sony Bravia X4500 – Sony LED TV

Sharp Aquos LE600 and LE700

Samsung Series B8500

Toshiba SV670U

Go to one of the links at the bottom of the page, open a new browser window and cut and paste one of the above HDTV’s into the Amazon search bar to find one of these TV’s. Or use my recommended TV selections at the bottom of this page.

ECO Friendly LED HDTV – 40% Saving in Power Consumption:

An LED HDTV set will improve the power consumption over a basic LCD TV set.

The reason is simple; the LED lights take very little power to operate. Savings are usually less than $20 per year.

Not much savings, but every little bit helps.

Contrast Ratio – Playing with Numbers:

Generally speaking the contrast ratios claimed by manufacturing companies are little more than a gimmick.

You usually will get what you pay for here.

Refresh Rates – Make it Hertz!

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A few years ago all that you could get was a 60Hz refresh rate. Then they went to 120Hz and now 240Hz refresh rates is all the rage.

These numbers are only associated with LCD displays as Plasma typically have refresh rates of 600Hz. Other: Samsung DLP LED TV and LG 32 LCD TV can have lower rates of 60hz as well.

A refresh rate of 120 Hz or 240 Hz should give you a satisfying picture for years to come. The 240 Hz sets have recently come down in price making them an affordable option as well as the 120 Hz sets. Some folks can see the difference and other cannot. Each HDTV set will also play a role in how visible the refresh rate difference will be as well.

Frame Rate – 24 frames per second delivered:

Standard HDTV frame rates are 30 frames per second. Blu Ray Discs frame rates are 24 frames per second.

Most common HDTV’s are set to 24 frames per second to accommodate the Blue Ray Player standard.

In the Showroom – What to Look For:

The first thing you may want to find out about the current LED TV you are considering is if the set is back-lit or side-lit.

Any sales person worth his salt will be able to tell you which ones are back-lit and know what the difference. Then ask for some literature to back it up. Make them prove it!

You may be able to tell the difference if viewing two sets side by side but this is not always possible.

Also, often they may not be using the same blu ray disc players which can also affect differences between the sets. Ask questions!

Below is a list of known LED TV’s and their configurations: If you know of other sets add them to the comments section at the bottom of the page. We appreciate your comments.

The Current Crop of LED HDTV sets and their configurations – Latest LED TV Ranges:

Edge-Lit LED Televisions

Sony ZX1

Samsung Series B6000, B7000, B7100 & B8000

Back-Lit LED Televisions

Sony Bravia X4500

Sharp Aquos LE600 and LE700

Samsung Series B8500

Toshiba SV670U

Updated 06/24/2010:

My LED HDTV picks – Highest Quality sets at Top, Moving Down to Budget sets at the Bottom:

Samsung UN55B8500 $4000: – sets the bar high for all HDTV sets to beat. The buck stops here. Awesome everything! The big Samsung has local dimming on the LED’s and incredible color. Phenomenal HDTV set! (Not cheap!)

LG 55LH90 around $1800 online: This set is much less expensive than the Samsung UN55B8500 model and it is nearly as good. This is my favorite HDTV out of this group and for the money – you can’t go wrong here! But if you have the big bucks go for the Samsung above.

Samsung UN46B8000 $2000 online: (Amazon) offer incredible black levels and performance. The LG is very tough to beat at this price point.

Samsung LN46B750 $1350 online: (Amazon) This set is not an LED but you may be hard pressed to notice. This is a great conventional back-lit model and worth every penny.

Samsung LN40B650 $1000 online and is a good value set that outperforms most sets in this price range. This little Samsung is very hard to beat at this price.

LG 37LH30 $700-$750 online: This budget 37 inch HDTV does not have a perfect picture due to uneven screen brightness and black levels but performs very well within its price constraints.

Vizio VO320E $500 online: 32 inch budget display is a great Vizio LCD TV with good overall picture quality. If used with a decent blu ray player provides a convincing HD picture on a budget.

Vizio VA19L around $200: 19 inch budget display has a great image and would work well for a kitchen, bedroom, or patio set.


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