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HDTV Brightness – Things to Consider

December 27th, 2010

Brightness refers to the illumination level of the screen. It varies for TV sets depending on the viewing requirements and the manual settings available with different models. HDTV has this issue when large display units are constructed for outdoor bright light conditions. A room with plenty of sunlight also needs a higher value for the brightness of the screen.


Brightness is one of the most visible features of TV screen and can be compared with naked eyes to some extent. The internationally accepted standard unit for measuring brightness value is candela per square meter (cd/m2). In local terms it is referred as ‘nits’. Higher value indicates more brightness. TV sets with low brightness value needs a dark or dim light condition for perfect viewer experience. Suppose you’re using a low brightness screen on a room full of sunlight. Your TV can’t show you the low light area of the image in a proper way as in darkness.

To tackle the brightness problem TV manufacturers researches to maximize the backlight scattering to the screen and gradually improved the backlight sources. Earlier LCD HDTV came with a brightness value ranging up to 500 cd/m2. With the evolution of LED backlight technology and development of cool electrode fluorescent displays creation of bright light is possible with a lesser production of heat emissions. Improving the brightness value needs much attention in context of health safety while making huge displays for public places.

To bring the laboratory innovations to the public several exhibitions are conducted by all famous brand owners. Display units giving great public opinion are adopted for further improvement in functionality. LED HDTV with great illumination value can attain a value of 1000 cd/m2. The brightness value has more significance when HDTV is intended for public viewing in a crowd place like a restaurant. Outdoor display units at full sunlight may even need 5000 cd/m2 to stand bright before viewers.

Brightness value can be improved together with a higher contrast ratio. This is needed because low contrast combined with high brightness creates a dull looking image. The movie also needs to be created in a bright environment to minimize the dullness while viewing under high bright display units. Signals fading away or input created from a night mode shooting can create some problem by creating a sense of artificiality to the video output.

You need to select an optimum brightness display for brighter areas of your home. This rationalize the cost you are spending for an HDTV unit. For a typical bright room in your home, HDTV with brightness range 500 – 800 cd/m2 is sufficient.
You may also like to notice that looking at a very high brightness TV under low light condition and strain your eyes and can be potentially strainful to your eyes. This is same as looking at sun with naked eyes.

The Plasma TVs typically have higher brightness value, though, LCD TVs, especially the recent backlit LED LCD TVs are catching up fast with high brightness. If you plan to see a lot of TV in day time and your room has a lot of light entering through transparent window, high brightness TV could be something that you must watch for.

Some other facts to consider when purchasing a LCD HDTV

- The truth behind the HDTV Contrast Ratio
- 1080p Vs 720p resolution
- LCD HDTV Refresh Rate
- Plasma Vs LCD TV
- Historical fact LCD TV Vs older CRT Monitor
- LCD TV – Response Time

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