By Phil Conner
Both full-array and edge-lit LED backlighting are fairly new to the TV stage, having entered the market in 2009. By now, unless you’ve been in a deep cave for the past couple of years you are aware of what LEDs are (light emitting diodes). Full-array LED TVs have LED backlighting across the back of the entire screen, whereas edge-lit LED backlighting is self explanatory – the LEDs run along the sides of the TV. A couple years ago, Sony introduced and XBR8 series LED TV with full array backlighting and it was a hit in terms of quality viewing although it had a heft 4.5” cabinet.
Now, both full array and edge-lit LEDs are in production. Neither full-array nor edge-lit have the “edge” in quality at the moment due to the fact that some lower tier models have full-array and many upper or top tier models have edge-lit. But generally, I think of full array as the higher end of the two technologies. Samsung LED TVs surprised me this year with the EH6000 series such as the Samsung UN46EH6000 which as full array backlighting but is only a mid to lower end model. It is also 3.5” in depth to accommodate those LEDs. The company also has edge-lit LED TVs as their top tier models in the ES8000 and ES7500 series.
By contrast LG’s top model has full-array LED lighting while their models down from that all have edge-lit. So we see that it matters not which technology is utilized to determine picture quality – only how thick or thin the TV is. How many LEDs, and the quality of the LEDs has more to do with picture quality.