Gadget Spot: LED TV

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Some people love to shop for clothes. A few folks I know like to troll for antiques. Others spend weekend after weekend looking at furry creatures at the local pet store.

Me, I could roam the TV section at Best Buy every weekend and never feel I've wasted a second of time.

A couple weekends ago, I was doing just that when I saw a new TV-screen technology - LED TV. Simply put, LED TVs are actually LCD TVs without a backlight. More simply, every pixel of an LED screen is its own light source, which means a brighter picture, blacker blacks and generally the best picture imaginable.

When I came across the Samsung 40-inch LED-TV (model UN40B6000VF; $1,400 at Best Buy), as the Romans used to say: Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I bought! (Well, that's what they would have said if there were Best Buy stores in ancient Rome.)

I went for a 40-inch screen because anything bigger would look too crazy-large in my bedroom. But since LED TVs don't have backlights, they can be super-thin. This Samsung set is only 1.2 inches deep, which is crazy-thin - just like today's high-tech TVs should be.

The TV comes with all the right specs: 1080p resolution, built-in HDTV tuner, 20-watt speaker system with SRS TruSurround Sound HD technology, 40 percent less power usage than a conventional LCD, four HDMI inputs, a pair of USB inputs, an ethernet input, picture-in-picture and PC/Game modes. Plus, it has a four-millisecond response time and 120-Hz screen refresh rate, so fast action doesn't blur.

But the true calling card of this particular TV is its crisp, vivid, colorful picture. LED is like nothing you've seen before. I've had plasma screens, DLP screens, LCD screens and tube TVs. I loved them all at the time I bought them, but they all had what I'd consider today to be washed-out images.

My DirecTV has never looked as good as it does on this TV. Even the Cleveland Browns manage to keep my attention on this set.

If you're looking for a clear, perfect picture, you won't find anything that beats LED TV.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail