LED televisions - information about this fantastic, radically new technology

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
LED televisions as are being mis-named by some manufacturers and mis-sold by some retailers, are not radical new technology, do not necessarily look better than LCD televisions and should not necessarily command a higher price than non-LED LCD televisions.

This is simplified to keep it brief, but...

'LED televisions' as you might currently find in shops are only LCD televisions with LED backlighting or edgelighting. The LED back/edgelighting technology is somewhat more efficient and can look attractive. Edgelighting technology allows the TVs to be a bit thinner than normal LCD televisions.
Whether you decide to pay a premium price for 'LED televisions' is up to you, but for gawd's sake, don't pay more for one because you think it is fantastic, radically new, superior technology, because it certainly isn't.

I'm not saying 'don't buy one', because some LED TVs are damn fine displays. I'm just suggesting that you know what you are buying.

The title of this thread is designed to bring lots of people to this thread via Google so we can correct any mis-information they may have been fed.
 
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mray

Well-known Member
It may not be radical technology, but the edge lit models look great and they use less energy than other types of LCD, with comparable PQ (and similar flaws).
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
It may not be radical technology, but the edge lit models look great and they use less energy than other types of LCD, with comparable PQ (and similar flaws).

True, but they are being sold as radical new technology which they aren't.
If TV technology wasn't already confusing enough for consumers, to see the manufacturers and retailers selling these TVs as 'LED' technology is frustrating.

My post is designed to catch people searching the internet for more information and in a 'sound bite' correcting any embedded misinformation.
 

killz187

Active Member
Just been watching the Gadget show and one of the presenters said LED tv picture quality is much sharper than lcd is that true?
 

Ned Senior

Well-known Member
Thanks muchly Stuart old man I awoke this morning with a bee in my bonnet that I must venture out and pick one up for my 20 something son for his Christmas gift
Lucky I am an avid forumee
I suppose now I will have to trawl these boards in search of the BEST 32" LCD

BTW I meant the thanks you have probably saved me a bundle
 

YellowSphere

Well-known Member
Just been watching the Gadget show and one of the presenters said LED tv picture quality is much sharper than lcd is that true?
It's a nonsensical comment, to be honest, how can a different light behind a screen make a picture sharper?
 

daveb975

Well-known Member
LED televisions as are being mis-named by some manufacturers and mis-sold by some retailers are not fantastic new technology, do not necessarily look better than LCD televisions and should not necessarily command a higher price than non-LED LCD televisions.

This is simplified to keep it brief, but...

'LED televisions' as you might currently find in shops are only LCD televisions with LED backlighting or edgelighting. The LED back/edgelighting technology is somewhat more efficient and can look attractive. Edgelighting technology allows the TVs to be a bit thinner than normal LCD televisions.
Whether you decide to pay a premium price for 'LED televisions' is up to you, but for gawd's sake, don't pay more for one because you think it is fantastic, radically new, superior technology, because it certainly isn't.

The title of this thread is designed to bring lots of people to this thread via Google so we can correct any mis-information they may have been fed.


I think this will be a very useful thread, and that coming from someone who has bought two of the Samsung LED sets.

It must be said that the advantage of these is that they are some of the first TVs that are thin enough not to look ridiculous when wall mounted in smallish rooms. When mounted, they are half the depth of normal LCDs and around a quarter of the current plasmas.

This will be useful for some (me included), but is still no excuse for marketing it as a new and different technology.
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
I don't think Stuart is saying don't buy one, but rather be aware of exactly what it is you are buying.

Recently I had the misfortune of going into a few high street retailers and was appauled and shocked at the misinformation and blatent mis-selling of LED backlit TVs.

The picture is far superior than plasma and normal LCDs - This is not true but sadly viewing them in a showroom with strong lighting is not going to highlight some of the issues they have. Uniformity of light behind the screen, especially on edgelit models IS a concern and should be examined if you are looking at one.

It's a different and better technology - Nope, it's an LCD panel that uses edge or backlighting from LEDs. There is no documented gain in consistant image quality differences against a standard high quality LCD TV. Dimming and contrast issues are to be considered when looking at buying. This can also only be switched off in certain picture modes on some TVs, but not fully.

Watch the price tag - Most LCD LED backlit TVs are sold at a premium over normal high quality LCDs. Bare in mind that the price increase has nothing to do with picture quality as we have discussed above. Some normal and very reasonably price LCDs offer the same or better picture quality. You are paying for the new backlight that can make the TVs slimmer and they have a nice designer look. That is what you are paying for. It's up to you if that is worth the extra money.

Mis-leading sales patter - Be aware that you will be told many wonderful and great things about LED backlit LCD TVs and how they are the best thing since sliced bread. However, as discussed above you are not buying a new generation of TV technology or a new technology. Picture quality is not any better than an average high quality normal CCFL LCD TV. And some normal LCDs offer a better image in a slightly thicker panel box.

It is likely that over the next year CCFL will be phased out by manufacturers as a backlight and more will employ LED backlighting or edge lighting. In terms of Eco performance and design this will likely be a step forward. However, it will become more important overall to assess picture quality as manufacturers try to save money. It's seen by them and stores as a way to increase the price again for LCD product, but in very, very few cases will picture quality take a giant leap forward.

I have to say that seeing some on display in a store they are quite eye catching. However, actually take the time to stand and view what is going on and you soon see what is actually going on within the picture. If you are tempted to buy, just be sure to do some homework and figure out what is going to be best for you and the room you are using it in. DO NOT leave it to a (high street) salesman to tell you anything about TV technology, because on the evidence I have, they cannot be trusted. In fact training and education of sales staff is well out of date and needs some serious help.

Hope that helps.
 
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Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Great that AVForums are picking up on this - it has to be the biggest SCAM in the AV World at present.

A visit to pretty much any High Street 'TV' retailer reveals how badly folk are being mis-sold on this subject.

Unfortunately the ASA have no teeth when it comes to In-store marketing - that's down to Trading Standards to look at complaints!!!

Widescreen Review have just published a good In-depth review of PDP and LCD and advise that LED-backlit LCD and LED-edgelit LCD have no discernable visual advantage over conventional LCD.

Joe

PS Phil if you never train anyone they cant go out-of-date :)
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Hi,
It is easy to say all this though but how would any of us actually sell LED models? LED-LCD or local dimming is a heck of mouthful and most people cannot tell the difference between an LCD and Plasma TV.

LED backlit sets do have a slightly more stable picture than the edge mounted models but I honestly don't know what they are going to do with them. I think most reviews and websites have mentioned the picture issues but it seems that some models are better than others. The Sony X4500 looks great but the cost is too high for the market. I think Toshiba and Philips have received similar feedback for their models - the Tosh is about £1500 more expensive than their next equivalent LCD model.

On the plus side LEDs use much less power if dimmed. I think this is the reason for the low output of the Sharp models - brightness is probably limited though.
 

sammy20v

Active Member
I think this thread needs to differentiate between edge lit led and local dimming led sets, as there is a huge difference in contrast and picture quality when local dimming is used. I do see the use in this thread as Samsungs advertising is very misleading, however having just purchased an X4500 I would not go back to ccfl backlighting.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
What's to sell - its a marketing gimmick!

How tricky has it been selling CCFL-backlit LCD - its not; you call it an LCD! Simple really.

The LED-backlit/edgelit LCD are thin - that's the selling point not the type of 'bulb' they use :)

How are you going to sell actual LED when they arrive if you already have LED in your sales vocabulary?

Joe
 

S Bibby

Active Member
What's to sell - its a marketing gimmick!
I thought the point made in the posts above were that we shouldn't refer to LED-lit models as LED TVs but what else is possible? LED-LCD is confusing and there is only so much information that manufacturers chose to provide. An example would be Contrast Ratio - they used to quote two figures, one for Dynamic and another called Native. Information on the native contrast is still available on some manufacturer websites but the sales tag rarely mentions it. I also think that some information is purposefully chosen to be used by retailers.

I don't understand why posts on this subject are so vehement - LED lighting is a new technology and there is no suggestion that these are not LCD TVs. Anybody can get information from the web and look at the TV for themselves in normal conditions. I have my own thoughts on the subject but I doubt anyone is making false claims about LED TVs - we should be careful when making this argument.

If there are any other problems you can always send the set back or ask for help from the relevant staff. Web Forums are fine for sharing views on what to buy but I don't think it is right to slag people off. It is difficult to work in retail and most consumers only have a casual interest.
 
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HMHB

Distinguished Member
Just been watching the Gadget show and one of the presenters said LED tv picture quality is much sharper than lcd is that true?

Just ignore the Gadget Show, they have become a joke in my view.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Bibby_83

Folk are annoyed at being mis-sold - Samsung (in particular) have big stickers all over their display kit in most stores saying LED TV when its obvious to anyone with a bit of Technical knowledge that they are not selling an LED TV.

It may be difficult in the retail channel but you don't need to pull the wool over folk eyes to make a sale.

Folk are being sold these LED-backlit/edgelit TV's as being something very special and they aren't!

Joe

PS And don't forget with Samsung its not just an 'ordinary' LED TV oh no its a VERY special 'Global LED TV'. According to Samsung its 'Global LED TV' is a TRANSFORMATIVE technology and their LED TV is better than anyone else's LED TV!!!

I hope that's not getting any more confusing for you :)
 

Samorlg

Novice Member
What's to sell - its a marketing gimmick!

How tricky has it been selling CCFL-backlit LCD - its not; you call it an LCD! Simple really.

The LED-backlit/edgelit LCD are thin - that's the selling point not the type of 'bulb' they use :)

How are you going to sell actual LED when they arrive if you already have LED in your sales vocabulary?

Joe
Oh joe, that's why this thread is here, to try and help sort out that very problem, get it right now and there will be no problems as you see it later on..:)
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Joe,
For one thing there are differences between back and side-lit models and the backlit sets are the same depth as a regular backlight. The most obvious points as the lower energy consumption and Dynamic Contrast. Reviews of the Sony, Sharp and Toshiba models have mentioned this.

Samsung and others might claim that LED models have better Colour/Contrast but that isn't the same as saying they are better than any other LCD/Plasma TV. Dynamic Contrast is available on most LCD TVs but LED-lit sets do offer more in this respect. I don't know if this feature is to everyones taste, but that is up to consumers to choose.

I don't think we should make a straw man argument that LEDs aren't what people expect them to be. If consumers have questions there are many options available to them and AVForums contributors might be better off posting this in an opinion section. People who do read the reviews, forums and listen to the podcasts will probably have heard these arguments anyway.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
So there you go you can promote an LED-backlit LCD as lower power consumption and an LED-edgelit LCD as lower power consumption plus thinner chassis and as and when LED TV's happen along you can hopefully promote them as lower power consumption, thinner chassis and better image quality.

What we have now in terms of LED-backlit LCD or LED-edgelit LCD are a marginal (if any) improvement over a CCFL-lit LCD TV in terms of image quality.

Joe

PS Contrast Ratios are the latest 'Watts Per Channel' :)

PPS Maybe you should Poll your customers and ask them what they think an LED TV is!!! I'll wager they don't think its an LCD TV with LED lighting!!!
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Well, for one thing LED and OLED are different technologies. Also I don't work for any retail companies so I'm not that bothered what people think. I just wonder how you or I could sell something different to the consumer. I don't really believe in many of these claims ie. Contrast but there are some benefits to the LED in on/off measurements.

Panasonic are calling their new sets Neo-LCD, but I don't think they have changed much apart from the backlight. Also, Sharp call their panel technology Advanced Super View, which means nothing. The correct name for ASV is completely technical and nobody is really that interested - I see LED/LED LCD in much the same way but I might be wrong.
 
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-gonzo-

Distinguished Member
When I purchased one of these TV's I never once thought OOh! This TV's got LEDs.
I walked into to Comet not intending on buying a TV and said OOh! I like the look of that TV and the picture looks amazing, I Want One.
Personally I couldnt give a monkeys what the TV is called, its what it produces that matters to me.
 

taylaw

Active Member
My buddy works electricals in John Lewis, they've had LED sets returned due to poor sound quality, with customers claiming the sets are too thin to have decent speakers.

They've been trained to advise customers at point of sale that this is a negative over 'standard' LCD unless they're connecting to a surround sound system.

Might just be a sales technique to shift surround systems along with the panel though...
 

S Bibby

Active Member
Gonzo,
True but I don't understand why AVForums contributors are saying there is no difference. Power consumption is one, another is brightness and black level (depending on the panel type and manufacturer). Then there is the Sony X series with RGB filtering. If you look at the review of the Philips and Sony models on Digital Versus there are many variations with the technology.
 

snadge

Active Member
i went into currys once and had a chat with one of the reps... i noticed that the 42" LED TV £2000 picture quality was CRAP! and the 42" Matsui (£449) behind it was far suprerior, with deeper black and less grain - when I chatted to the rep he said "that samsung LED tv is the best quality ive ever seen?" - even the reps havent got a clue... I pointed out that the pic quality was rubbish with lots of grain... (like a DVD being upscaled using SCART cable - i checked but was HDMI) and the Matsui was pin-sharp with blacks that looked like TV was turned off... (maybe the Samsung just had a bad feed) - he just grumbled...then went on too say he doesnt even have a TV in his flat - at which point I turned around and walked out of the store... (doesnt have a TV in his flat but he works in an electronics store in the TV dept.)

im glad Samsung are getting theyre knuckles rapped for this...
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Bibby_83

The reason contributors (Inc Mr Grumpy himself :)) are bringing up this subject is that folk are being fleeced into thinking they are buying into some fantastic new technology when in fact they are buying an LCD TV with a different light source and being asked to pay a handsome premium for it.

There's not much sense in buying an ultra slim TV to save power and then have to switch on an AV or HIFI Amp because the sound from the ultra slim TV is so poor!!!

Folk who visit AVForums want to know the truth about kit not the marketing hype.

Joe
 

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