Samsung and Sony neck and neck in the LED LCD race

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Samsung and Sony are competing to be first to market with several new technologies, including OLED, 200 HZ high frame rate and LED backlighting on LCDs. This latest technology is the subject of a small dispute.

In the competitive world of flat panel TV, it’s not only the panels that are getting thinner, the margins are getting thinner as well, and it’s all happening as a faster rate as new technology comes to market.

The technology race is a true test of survival — the key to success is bringing new technology to market and Samsung and Sony’s recent LCD TV releases are good examples.

Samsung has just released its Series 7, 8 and 9 LCD TVs with the flagship being the Series 9, with LED backlighting and a 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

In part of Samsung’s press release on 30 September, it was claimed the Series 9 was “the first LED television available on the Australian market”.

A Sony spokesperson pointed out, however, that 12 months ago, “Sony Australia released the BRAVIA KDL70X3500 LCD TV in October 2007. This TV features a Triluminous LED backlight — making it the first LED backlight TV in Australia.

“In addition, the new 46 inch and 55 inch BRAVIA XBR models announced last week have a RGB Dynamic LED backlight and will arrive in stores in mid October.”

According to the tech specs, Sony’s Triluminous LED backlight technology expands the TV’s colour range by aligning individual clusters of red, green and blue LEDs. Sony says that the combination of LEDs in the three colours, hence ‘Triluminous’, significantly increases colour purity over the traditional single white LED backlights.

A Samsung spokesperson clarified the statement by saying, “the claim ‘the first LED television available on the Australian market’ refers to Samsung launching the first mass market LED television widely available in major retail channels at a price under $9,999.

“A Samsung and a competitor 70" LED television was previously available but in extremely limited distribution at a retail price of around $70,000… Samsung apologises for any confusion.”

The Samsung Series 9 will be available from October 2008 in 46, and 55 inches for RRP $5,499 and RRP $6,999 respectively.

Samsung is claiming that a unique benefit of its ‘LED Smartlighting’ technology is that it significantly reduces power consumption via dimming system that switches individual LED lights on or off as required.

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