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Toshiba Cell TV: How its LED backlighting works

LED backlighting isn't much of a mystery, but we were still thrilled to see a Toshiba demo explaining it in considerable detail -- so have a look at these photos, and get to know LED TVs better

Ian Morris

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The Toshiba CES stand this year doesn't have an awful lot on it. There's a Blu-ray player and Cell TV, which it's been teasing us with for aeons, but promises will finally arrive this year. Cell TV is quite remarkable, to be fair: it offers a weighty bushel of extras over a normal television. You get 4k resolution, LED backlighting, some very fancy menu systems and the ability to record from a variety of HD sources.

But as part of the stand, Toshiba has a Cell TV that -- wonderfully -- has had its LED backlight diffuser layer removed, which means you get to see the inner workings of a locally dimmable LED backlight. This gives you a good idea how many LED clusters are needed, and what struck us was how effective the system seems to be at cutting off areas of darkness -- something LEDs have suffered with in the past.

The more we hear about Cell TV, the more excited we get about it. Sure, LED backlighting isn't new, but as part of a wider package, we think there's more than enough here to upgrade our Enthusiasm Meter to Hysteric. Heck, we'll even change the bulb. The question is, will it arrive in the UK intact, or will compromises ultimately be made? Click 'Continue' to see the backlighting demo in more detail.

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Here you can see the LED backlight close up. The LCD panel in the foreground showed its ghostly image as we were taking these photos -- it was really cool.
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Here's the transition between the area with the backlight defuser and the area without. Quite remarkable to see this in action. We were spellbound.
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And this image shows how well the LED system handles cutting off areas of total darkness. Obviously, the more LEDs, the better this can be -- but the Cell TV looked very decent to us.

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