Samsung LED TV units have been on the market for long enough to prove their worth, but they’re still priced slightly above typical TFT units. What is it that justifies the higher price, and why are they both still available. This article gives answers to those questions, and makes an attempt at giving a straight-forward explanation of each beneficial feature.
As a quick preamble, I thought it would be necessary to explain the sloppy naming of these sets. TFT refers to the Thin-Film Transistor technology used in most computer displays and in modern flat screen televisions. It’s a way to make LCD crystals do some neat tricks and to up their resolution; tech speech aside, these panels can be found both in so called led LED and TFT displays. The only difference is that the former has Light-emitting diodes as the means to produce backlight. The latter tends to use fluorescent lamp tubes not unlike those you can see in an office building, but much more sophisticated.
1. The first benefit of switching those light tubes with diodes comes from the way each one is built. LEDs are solid-state electronic components, which means they don’t have moving parts, no glass gas tube with noble gases kept on a precise pressure, and definitely no vaporized mercury particles. The benefits of this change will be apparent if you’ve ever dropped a light tube and seen it shatter to millions of shards. LEDs can’t be easily broken, they’re indifferent to vibration, pressure, and their operating temperature range is much wider than that of light tubes.
2. Longevity is often neglected when benefits of a LED TV are discussed. LEDs in a Samsung TV have a typical operating life-expectancy of 100,000 hours, after which they don’t stop working suddenly, but slowly diminish and fade over the course of months or years that follow. In comparison, CCFLs have a life expectancy of 10,000 to 20,000 hours and they’re much more prone to sudden failure.
3. Power consumption can be cut by as much as forty percent just by going with these diodes. It may not sound much in a smaller screen, where that forty percent corresponds to 15 watts, but it definitely makes its appearance in your electric bills when you buy a 44″ or bigger screen, where it can be using 60 watts less. A TV that uses 60 W less an hour is as if you would switch off the lights in the kitchen for the night as opposed to leaving them on while you’re not even there.
4. Fourth, but for most people is the most important factor is picture quality. Since white LEDs emit a more consistent and homogenous white spectrum, the TFT panel between them and your eyes can be more accurately tuned to show the intended colors across its whole surface. It sounds tech-y, but it comes down to a better viewing experience and a more true-to life image rendering, which is always something to have in a big-screen TV.
LED TVs are almost always the better choice when pitted against simple TFT models. Almost, because if you only care about their price, they lose immediately. If you don’t care about resolution, color accuracy, or durability, because you just want a TV for the bedroom or kitchen, you’re probably still fine with CCFL based simple TFTs. In every other case I suggest you to invest that little extra and wait for it to get back in form of reduced bills.