Dont let Screen Uniformity Issues in LED TVs get you Down
Picture screen uniformity has been an issue for LED Televisions manufacturers since the technology came out. The problems have ranged from banding light patterns in the back of the screen to corners and edges that are lighter than the center universe of the screen.
This latter of these two issues is typically caused by powerful edge lighting LED bulbs. Since the bulbs are not placed directly behind the panel as they were with CCFL florescent bulbs this can cause problems with uniformity and create a pattern for the lighting. So what you are really seeing when there is a lack of uniformity (or evenness in lighting) is patterns of light where one part of the screen receives more light than another. True local dimming backlighting sometimes comes closer to better light uniformity.
When I saw the top end Samsung D7000 and D8000 LED televisions earlier this year we could easily see the lighting irregularities, especially at the corners and edges. However, this was a symptom of a strength. These two televisions have very powerful LED back lights that create some great effects as well such as peak whites and dark blacks creating exceptional contrast. I think the new models such as the Samsung UN55ES8000 Review is much improved. At least that is what the top reviewers such as Robert Wiley at LCD TV Buying guide says. Steve Holdgren at Shred also has a good take on the Samsung UN55ES7500 in that area. By turning down the backlight control in the picture settings we were able to resolve the issue and no longer see the problematic issue. Another TV we noticed this same phenomenon on was the Toshiba SL515U series – high backlight setting equals uniformity problems. Turning it down greatly reduces it. Another top model to look for is the Sony KDL55HX850 which Holdgren and Wiley also liked when it comes to screen uniformity.
Lately Sony’s HX929 which has what the company terms, “full array local dimming,” has lighting across the back of the LCD panel which eliminates much of the uniformity issue. Other than that, we also thought some of the LG edge lit LED televisions did a nice job of lighting the screen more uniformly albeit with somewhat blurred non-crisp edges on images.
Of course, plasma televisions do not suffer any screen uniformity issues due to evenly lit phosphors which are individually lit rather than using a backlight. So consider that option as well if you are bothered by this issue.