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LED TVA flat panel LCD TV set that uses LEDs (light emitting diodes) for its backlight source rather than the traditional cold cathode fluorescent lamps (see CCFL). Smaller, more power efficient and having a greater optical range than the fluorescents, LEDs produce deeper blacks and more saturated color. In 2005, Sony was the first to sell an LED TV.
Although the TV is really an LCD TV, and the LEDs are secondary components, the industry branded them as LED TVs to avoid monikers such as "LED backlit TV" or "LED-based LCD TV." Today, most TV sets are LED TVs.
White or RGB
White LEDs are less costly, while red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs provide a richer color gamut.
Backlights: Direct Lit, Edge Lit and Full Array
There are three "local dimming" backlight techniques for LED TVs, all of which dynamically dim the light behind the black areas of the image to make them darker.
The more economical direct-lit method uses LEDs in a sparse array across the back. Because the LEDs are farther away from the screen to allow each light to spread to more pixels, direct-lit TVs are as thick as the older CCFL fluorescent lamp LCD TVs.
Edge-lit LED TVs beam light to the back of the screen from the sides and allow for ultra-thin cases. Although some designs provide selective dimming, they are not as effective as the full array. In addition, they have a tendency to be brighter at the edges than at the center.
The full array covers the entire back of the screen with LEDs. Although the case is thicker than edge-lit designs, the full array provides better details in shadows and more contrast than the other methods. See ULED, LED, LCD, flat panel TV and Dolby HDR.
|A 55" Samsung LED TV|
|Using edge-lit LEDs rather than fluorescent tubes, this Samsung TV is only 1.2" deep. Introduced in 2008, it was amazingly thin compared to previous LCD TVs. (Image courtesy of Samsung, www.samsung.com)|
|More Than Six Feet Wide|
|In 2012, Sharp introduced a 90" smart LED TV, the world's largest. The 3D set includes apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus and other services and has Wi-Fi built in. In 2013, Samsung bested this dimension with a 95" model.|