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The Difference Between Three Types Of Local Dimming In Televisions

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With Black Friday right around the corner, you may be looking to upgrade your TV in your home theater. However, how do you know that you're buying a good TV or one that is a bit on the cheap side? Here are some things to better understand about the three ways that your new TV will get its primary light source behind the screen.


When looking at entry levels TVs, you are going to notice that many of them are edge-lit. This means that the light used to illuminate the screen is located around the edge of the TV's frame. This is not necessarily a bad thing depending on your budget, since edge-lit TVs are going to be cheaper. The problem is that edge-lit TVs are not that great as the TV gets bigger. As you can imagine, it is hard for light to reach the center of a big-screen TV all the way from the edges, which can make the brightness a bit uneven overall. This may be a good way to afford a cheap TV that is not in the primary room of your home, but it can be a deal-breaker when building a home theater and using an edge-lit TV as your primary screen.

Full Array

The next step up is going to be full array dimming, which is when a television disperses the light behind the screen by spreading lights across the entire surface. This allows the TV to be lit up evenly, have a better contrast ratio with deeper blacks, and help provide an overall better picture. Unfortunately, all TVs with local dimming are not created equal. 

A budget TV may only have a few light sources behind the screen, while a high-end TV will have many light sources. In general, more light sources is always going to be a good thing. If you are comparing two full array television sets, one way to test the full array setup is to watch a movie with black letterboxing. More light sources will cause the black bars to be closer to black, rather than have a halo of white over them. 


The best light source for any TV screen is going to be an OLED model. This is because each pixel has its own individual light source, which means black will be true black no matter where it is on the screen. While this is the most expensive type of TV you can get, the picture quality will be much better in comparison. Try watching any movie set in space, and you'll see a big difference in how the individual stars are lit up.

For more information, contact a home theater system service.