TV Tech Center: New Tech TV Promises A Better Picture
Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Kim Komando
With football season here, maybe you're eyeing your old televisions and considering new sets. Before you buy, learn about the latest developments in television technology. Your choices aren't limited to LCD and plasma. A slew of new technologies are hitting the market:
Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG and Toshiba all make LED TVs. These are really LCD sets. However, they use light-emitting diodes for backlights. Other LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent lamps.
LED backlights provide clearer, crisper images with better contrast. For an even better picture, look for one with local dimming. Local dimming turns off the backlight in dark areas of the screen. The result is blacker blacks and excellent contrast.
LED TVs cost more than traditional LCDs. Expect to pay a $400 premium. For example, Samsung's 32-inch UN32B6000 retails for about $1,500. The comparable LN32B650 LCD TV lists for about $1,100.
OLED sets are also trickling out. Unlike other sets, OLEDs don't require backlights. Rather, they use organic light-emitting diodes. When a charge is applied to the material, it creates a picture. It also gives off the light necessary to illuminate it.
OLED sets are amazingly thin and use less power than LED sets. And the picture is even more impressive than that of an LED set. OLEDs provide excellent contrast and color reproduction.
Of course, OLED sets are not cheap. Sony's 11-inch XEL-1 retails for about $2,500. LG will release a 15-inch model early next year. It should list for about $2,500. Larger models are also rumored.
Mitsubishi started selling its LaserVue laser TV last fall. However, production problems have lowered availability.
Laser televisions use rear projection technology. Mitsubishi's 65-inch L65-A90 LaserVue TV ($7,000) is 10 inches deep. Laser televisions produce brilliant colors and a bright image. Some say the colors are so intense they look fake.
Laser sets have double the color range of other TVs. They use a fraction of the power of LCDs and plasmas. And they don't degrade over time. So, they have a longer lifespan than other sets.
Also, methods for adapting content can result in a bad picture.
THIN IS IN
OK, thin isn't really a technology. But technology does make thin possible.
You'll pay a premium for thin sets. For example, JVC is releasing the LT-32WX50 in November. This 32-inch set makes standard LCDs look downright obese. It is only about a quarter-inch at its thinnest point. It will run $3,000.
JVC has just released the 46-inch GD-463D10. It runs about $9,100. Philips and Sony both plan to introduce 3-D sets next year. Panasonic is also planning a 3-D set.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: www.komando.com/listen.
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Labels: new tv technology