Every time I think TV technology has peaked, some manufacturer shows off a screen that makes my eyes go "Wow!" Yesterday it was Dolby and SIM2 who played that role, showing off their LED Dynamic Backlight technology, which gives a TV extreme contrast. The 46-inch prototype shown in New York was an LCD panel with an LED backlight instead of a regular (CCFL) one. In fact, the set uses 1,838 LEDs to illuminate the picture, each individually controlled and able to dim in areas so black areas stay black (instead of dark gray, like on most other LCDs).
In the demo, the blacks were indeed very dark (the companies claim infinite contrast, just like that Pioneer set from CES), but it was the bright areas that really struck me. In chase footage from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, headlights in the picture really popped and were almost hard to look at, as if they were, well, real headlights. One downside the company engineers confessed to is that the LED tech can only do 92% of TV-standard color, though I would never have known if they hadn't pointed it out. The other downside is power consumption, with the demo unit sucking up as much as 2 kilowatts at peak brightness (that's as much as your dryer), but keep in mind it's a prototype.
Company reps were mum on when they might bring a product to market. When they do (presumably under the SIM2 brand), it'll most likely have a price tag as striking as the picture, so start saving now.
Via Dolby Labs