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Sony Bravia LCD TVs Vs Samsung LED HD TVs Which is Best?

By David Richards | Saturday | 09/05/2009

Facing declining market share for their Bravia LCD TV's and massive losses Sony has desperately hit out at LED backlight TV technology claiming it is a myth that LED is better than LCD. They also claim that Samsung is trying to position LED technology up against OLED TV technology.

Sony claim that Samsung is misleading the market when they claim that LED TV technology delivers a superior picture over LCD TV technology. Their comments made during a Sony roadshow for their new LCD Bravia TV range is now being challenged from several quarters, and not just by Samsung.

Sony Australia who only have one 11" OLED TV on sale in Australia at the staggering price of $6,999 and who last week took a swipe at Samsung over the marketing of their LED TV technology is now advertising their 116cm (46 inch) Sony Bravia TV as being LED backlight.

The  experts say that Sony is wrong with almost every professional reviewer of LED TV's praising the quality of the display when compared to traditional LCD TV technology. They also calim that it is impossible to compare LED with OLED as no manufacturer has released commercial OLED TV's over 20".

Several reviewers have said that backlight LED TV technology is superior to traditional LCD technology that is found in the latest Bravia TV offerings.

Leading UK TV reviewer John Archer said in a recent story in Home Cinema Choice "LED backlight TV's are a big deal for a number of picture quality reasons, all centring around the fact that LED TVs use an array of individually controllable backlight segments, 128 of them instead of the single, always-on fluorescent lamp used in normal LCD TVs".

He added "This approach can massively improve that traditional LCD weakness of poor black levels, since it allows you to completely switch off the LED segments in dark areas of the picture, achieving near perfect blackness, at the same time that you can leave the LED segments in bright areas of the picture running at full brightness".

Trusted Reviews in the UK wrote" what makes LED technology so intriguing is the way it illuminates pictures. The LED approach thus allows you to turn off the lights completely in some areas of the picture, to deliver a near-perfect reproduction of black, while leaving LEDs in other areas at maximum illumination. In fact, you could in theory have one blacked out section of the picture right next to one fully bright section of the picture, giving rise to a huge possible brightness range within a single image frame"

They also said of the Samsung LED TV "Thanks to a frankly eye-popping contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 the joint highest such figure we've ever seen, alongside (you guessed it) the aforementioned Samsung LED TV".

Pat Pilcher writing for the New Zealand Herald said "LCD TVs have long struggled to deliver the deep blacks and bright whites of their plasma siblings, but Samsung's new Series 9s have finally put paid to plasma's dominance. Eye-pleasing picture capabilities aside, the 46-inch Samsung LA46A950 (LED TV) is a head turner...... Light bleed or image distortion and discolouration when from viewed from an angle didn't exist".

"More importantly, the LA46A950 cranked out astonishing contrast levels thanks to the use of intelligent LED backlighting".

The Korean Times wrote of LED TV technology LEDs, as an alternative technology, consume less power and last longer than traditional light sources and are increasingly used in consumer products from mobile phones to flat-screen TVs. Consumers can expect enhanced picture quality in their devices that consume less power".

The problem that Sony is facing is that in big markets like the US where Samsung have launched their LED TV offering sales of Bravia LCD TV's are going backward (See SmartHouse story).
Sony is also facing big losses because globally the company has never made a profit from their Bravia LCD TV offering. And because they are losing money to the tune of billions of dollars, Sony has been forced to move third party manufacturers in China and Taiwan to make their Bravia LCD TV's. No longer are they "Made in Japan".

Another problem hampering Sony is that their OLED TV technology is expensive and at this stage has a limited life of around 15,000 according to DisplaySearch. They have also not been able to deliver commercial quantities other than an 11" screen which is selling in Australia for $6,999.

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