Direct-lit LED TV cost may not shrink much


The cost narrowing between direct-lit LED TVs and CCFL-backlit TVs may face a roadblock, said industry sources. However, firms such as Samsung Electronics, China-based TCL, and North America-based brand Vizio all plan to introduce direct-lit LED TVs to the market.

Direct-lit LED TVs use fewer LED chips and do not contain light guide plates, so the quality of backlight uniformity is less impressive than edge-type models, added industry sources.

TV firms have been using lens cap components to solve this uniformity problem, but the patent of such technology is owned by Japan-based firms, meaning the production cost of direct-lit LED TVs will increase because of royalties. This may defeat the purpose of having direct-lit LED TVs, which is to narrow the price gap with CCFL-backlit TVs.

The cost difference between a 32-inch CCFL-backlit TV and a direct-lit LED TV is about US$5-8. The cost difference between direct-lit and edge-lit LED TVs is around US$7-8/unit. Industry players worry that once light guide plate cost goes down to help decrease the cost of edge-lit LED TVs, the market for direct-lit LED TVs will shrink significantly.

Nevertheless, industry observers believe direct-lit LED TVs will have significant demand in emerging markets such as China.


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