Now that we've published our review of the LED-backlit Samsung LN46A950, we're already receiving e-mails from readers, apparently with money to burn, who're anxious to find out whether it's better than the Sony XBR8 series, another LED-backlit contender that will hit store shelves in October.
Sony and Samsung will also be joined by LG in the backlit-LCD race, despite apparent lack of reader interest in that company's LG 47LG90. Since we haven't reviewed either of those two models yet we don't know how they compare with one another or with the Samsung, but that won't stop us from "spec"ulating with the only information we do have: spec sheets, rumors, and brief eye-time.
First off, it's worth noting that each of the three sets use a technology colloquially called "local dimming," where the individual LEDs behind the screen can be dimmed or turned off as needed. It's this technology that adds some weight to each company's claim of a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio (a nice round number, no?) When part of the screen goes dark and another is bright, standard fluorescent LCD backlights must rely on the LCD panel itself to block out the light and create dark areas. The result is the less-than-stellar black-level performance for which many LCDs have been noted. … Read more