A press release from Samsung highlights the fact that the company is now shipping its 81 Series of LCD HDTVs in time for holiday shopping. One key feature of these models is that they have LED backlights. Instead of the usual cold-cathode fluorescent lamps — CCFLs — the backlights for these models use an array of LEDs. This arrangement makes it possible to selectively dim the backlight in different regions of the screen, resulting in better black levels for images with dark regions. And since the backlight can be dimmed selectively rather than have to run full bore all the time, this also can result in energy savings. (Energy consumption on a plasma panel depends in part on the amount of light it has to produce to create a given image, but most LCDs have a constant requirement because the backlight is always on.)
Samsung calls this local dimming feature “Smart Lighting“. These TVs also have Samsung’s “LED Motion Plus” technology that cycles the LED backlight on and off, resulting in a strobe effect that is designed to reduce motion blur.
Samsung has four models available now with the LED backlight feature: the 40″ LNT4081F, the 46″ LNT4681F, the 52″ LNT5281F, and the 57″ LNT5781F.