Yes, according Tom’s Hardware, new less expensive LCDs will soon be on store shelves, with prices that will astound and amaze.

I have heard that one before – but I’m still willing to listen.

The new panels will incorporate HCFL (hot cathode fluorescent) technology, yet they are said to save power, be brighter, and reduce motion blur. That seems like a very tall order.

Hitachi today demonstrated what it said will bring prices of LCD panels down significantly, while bringing quality up: hot cathode fluorescent lamps, or HCFL.

Most LCD panels shipping today are based on CCFL, or cold cathodes, but Hitachi told us today that its new HCFL technology not only gives superior brightness as well as lighting control, but utilize less energy and cost significantly less than emerging LED panels. With HCFL, LCD panels will achieve two to four times the watt output that a typical CCFL panel can do. Not only this, new LCD panels will also deliver more granular and accurate brightness controls. Most of all, Hitachi said that HCFL panels will require only two to three times less lamps, all while delivering more brightness.

On a 32-inch display, a HCFL panel will require anywhere from four to six lamps, while an older CCFL display can take up to 14 lamps. This of course, translates into significant power savings over the long haul.

When we asked about comparable LED panels, Hitachi indicated that there will be a huge cost savings. Current LED LCD TVs on the market command a high premium and we’re excited to see a cheaper alternative show up.

Though the emphasis in this article seems to be on televisions, the technology will also be found in computer LCDs (they are the same technology essentially, just no tuner built in).

The only bad thing, and I can’t find anything to substantiate this – it was an assertion in another story – is that the LCDs will not last as long, due to the burnout rate of the HCFL lamps. If this is the case, hopefully we will either be given the opportunity to choose between cold and hot lamps in our LCDs, or, barring that, the changes are made that would allow easy replacement of the HCFLs.


When it’s a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.Voltaire

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