When it comes to a new TV, will thin be your thing or are you a colour connoisseur? That's the question rear-projection set manufacturers are asking, and hoping that you'll entertain the idea of their new LED and laser sets for long enough to fall enough with the broad colour range and deep, luscious hues.
Using LEDs to backlight is nothing all that new - in fact Samsung launched a number of setsthe other day which use selectively switchable LEDs to boost contrast levels - but as customers become more tech-savvy they'll realise the potential improvements over traditional backlighting bulbs. For a start, rather than purely white light the LEDs produce red, green and blue tones, richer than the bulbs can manage; secondly, they're rated to last the lifetime of the set itself, as opposed to normal rear-projection bulbs which need replacing every two to three years.
Coming soon to market, however, might be a technology even more impressive: laser backlighting. As with LEDs the lifespan is no longer a worry, but the colour range possible is even greater. And while thicker than LCD or Plasma panels, rear-projection sets using lasers could take advantage of advances in folded optics - the same sort that have given ultra-compact digital cameras internal optical zoom lenses - and reduce that depth while maintaining a colour range that encompasses more than 90% of what our eyes can see, as opposed to LCD and plasma which can only manage 35% and 40% respectively.
Improvements in both LED and laser technologies will see them not only continue to rival traditional bulbs but each other, and with engineers working to put LED backlighting into LCD sets the market might encounter yet another renewal cycle.
[via NY Times]