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LED Television Purchasing Advice

"LED" TV's are really LCD TV's with LED back-lights.  Therefore, all the flat panel LCD TV Pros and Cons also apply to LED TV's, with the exceptions and additions described below.  Unlike fluorescent tubes, LED's last almost forever.  Besides, if one of the LED's in the set failed, you would never know!  LED TV's currently come in three basic flavors:

Local Dimming:

Local dimming LED TV's improve black levels by turning off LED's behind the dark areas of the picture.  For example, a bright street lamp in a dark scene would cause the set to turn on a group of LED's behind the street lamp, while the LED's behind the rest of the screen would be turned off.  Current local dimming models cannot dim individual LED's, so the LED's are divided into zones that are dimmed as a group.  Some edge-lit TV's also do local dimming by using plastic light guides to direct light to the various zones on the screen.  Local dimming greatly improves contrast ratios, but some weird "halo" effects can appear where light from the zone of LED's surrounding a bright object leaks through the LCD display.  This is rarely visible in normal video.  To see this effect, watch bright movie credits on a dark background.  A dimly lit "cloud" will surround the credits as they rise up the screen.

Pros:

Cons:

Best Brands:

Currently, the best and most reliable brands of LED TV's are Sharp, Samsung, and LG.