To increase the contrast of the LCD screens, the manufacturers have developed a new solution called Local Dimming. Local dimming significantly reduces the backlight where it is supposed to represent dark areas and brighten up white areas. This increases the contrast ratio per collector and gives a very good reproduction of the video. Different manufacturers of original equipment have offered different types of local dimming. Let’s take a dive into the local blackouts and how it works.
Unlike OLED displays, where pixels light up separately, LCDs need backlighting to display everything. A direct consequence is that even if the LCD monitor wants to display a completely black image, it will at best be a really dark version of gray, because the backlight at the back of the screen is set to a certain brightness and will stick no matter what is displayed on the LCD monitor.
To hide this, the OEMs used local dimming to control the dark areas of the image and maintain brightness as in the rest of the area. This led to a significant improvement in contrast and a deeper black. Unfortunately, this technology is not perfect. There are still compromises. If the brightness of the backlight is not adjusted accurately enough, it may result in uneven brightness levels over time and the overall picture quality may deteriorate.
LCD technology and local dimming were both advanced. Today, different types of backlighting and local attenuation methods are applied to it.
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1. Local dimmable task lighting
Direct backlight technology is typically used in older or entry-level LCD displays. In this case, very few individual LED lights are used behind the screen. As a result, the screen significantly reduces brightness in dark scenes and increases when bright scenes are displayed. This should not even be considered a local power failure, as most of the screen will become a power failure.
The contrast ratio may seem excellent in dark scenes, but as soon as a bright element appears, the screen will otherwise appear grey. This distracts the viewer’s attention and makes the contrast level insignificant. Thanks to this technology, everything on the screen looks completely blurred and has no realistic colours, even after turning on the local pseudo-dimmer.
2. Limitation of lighting Local dimming
For televisions with edge lighting, all LEDs are located at the edges of the TV screen. These are the most common types of LCD screens and are often cheap to produce. The lighting is divided into different zones, with each zone being darkened as a whole group rather than as separate zones. Generally this method does a good job in the local eclipse, but the results are just fur.
The color and contrast values are not uniform and you may not even notice the local blackout that occurs on such screens. In addition, some displays with edge lighting have different types of LED locations. They can come from all four sides, above and below, left and right, or just above and below. It also has a major impact on the outcome of a local power failure.
3. Local control of the entire zone
When the LCDs approach the contrast values of OLEDs, it is recommended to use the local full-beam dimming technology. Televisions and screens that dim the entire matrix locally have many areas in the display area that are equipped with LED screens. In contrast to backlit side panels, which are only equipped with LEDs on the sides, the LEDs on these displays are located directly behind the main panel.
This allows OEMs to control hundreds of different LEDs individually, resulting in variable lighting levels in each of these areas. With these individually controlled LEDs, the TV can display a higher contrast and a higher black level, a better overall shadow detail and less light bleeding.
Read it: What is the background bleeding and how can it be eliminated?
Each zone represents a specific area and may differ in the accuracy of the OLED level through individual control. However, if some image elements are smaller than these areas, the results will not be as good as the real OLED panel. However, the network-wide local blackout function still offers the best picture quality ever seen on an LCD monitor. Most of the new front panels are also HDR compatible, further enhancing the viewing experience for these panels.
These panels are generally cheaper and more expensive than televisions with other types of LED backlighting, as mentioned above. But since you get what you pay for, it’s at least advisable to get one.
Although LCDs can never really replace the contrast level of OLEDs, technologies such as local matrix darkening make the distinction between these two types of screens more complex and expensive. As the technology improves, so does the local failure experience. We hope you now understand what local dimming is and how different types of local dimming lead to different results.
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