After attending the LG, Samsung and Toshiba press conferences at CES today it was even clearer that LCD TVs with LED backlights will soon dominate the television market. Scott Ramirez, Toshiba VP of TV Marketing went so far as to suggest that in 2012 there may be no cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlit TVs in the Toshiba lineup.
While organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs are still a good distance from the mass market, LCD TVs employing LED backlights which are often inaccurately called “LED TVs” are being widely introduced and bring along several important display performance and environmental benefits. Key LED-backlit LCD TV design and performance attributes are slim design, improved contrast ratio when combined with local area dimming, and substantially reduced power consumption.
Although the press conferences did not emphasize reduced power consumption, slim designs and extreme contrast ratios were underscored by all presenters. Samsung for example showed their 9000 series TV that at only 0.3 inches thick was claimed to be “pencil thin.”
While fashionable thin designs and excellent display performance will likely catch consumers’ attention on the CES show floor tomorrow, the low power consumption and elimination of mercury-containing CCFL backlights will pay continuing environmental dividends as LED back-lit sets come to dominate the television market. One of my objectives tomorrow when the CES show opens is to meet with LCD TV manufacturers and ask them to quantify the environmental benefits of their latest products. It will be interesting to see if the greener characteristics of the new LED backlit LCD TVs are an important selling point for set manufacturers.