Proportion of LED-Backlit TVs to grow by factor of 13 from 2009 to 2013
As prices of LCD panels that use LED backlights fall in the coming years, their use in TV is set to explode, iSuppli predicts.
Global shipments of LCD TV panels with LED backlighting will rise to 90 million units in 2013, up from just 438,000 LED TV panels in 2008. The proportion of LED backlight technology in LCD TV panels will increase to 39% in 2013, up from 3% in 2009.
"The price gap between LEDs and the CCFLs traditionally used for LCD backlighting has narrowed due to the higher yield rate of LEDs, as well as the oversupply that resulted in a drastic price reduction for LEDs in the second half of 2008," said Sweta Dash, senior director, LCD research at iSuppli. "And with the advent of green technology, power savings and thinner form factors, more branded manufacturers are looking at LED-backlit LCD TVs in 2009. These factors are spurring brand-name television manufacturers to adopt LED backlighting."
LEDs emerging at last in TVs
Branded TV manufacturers have offered LED-based LCD TVs for some years now without much success. Mostly, this was due to a higher price and larger cost differential between LED and CCFL products. But there is a renewed interest for LED-backlit LCD TVs with the use of white LEDs. Instead of focusing only on color gamut, picture quality and high-end RGB solutions, manufacturers are starting to concentrate more on thinner form factors and lower power consumption with the use of edge-type white LED backlight solutions.
The lower price differential between CCFL and white LED solutions, combined with the lure of thin TV, has led to an increasing adoption rate of LED-based TVs. Branded manufacturers such as Samsung also are focusing on shifting a significant portion of their LCD TV offerings to LED backlights.
For LCD TVs, panel suppliers are offering products with 120Hz frame rates with edge-type LED backlights to achieve thinner form factors, lower power consumption and mercury-free "green" attributes. In some cases, power savings with the use of LED backlights can be as high as 30-50%. Thickness and weight savings also can be as high as 30-50%.
Owing much to the "green" initiative from many countries in the world, lower power requirements for TVs are expected in the next few years, and the current power-consumption level of many TVs may end up being below these requirements. This will lead to a faster shift to lower-power-consumption products.
Suppliy in chains
However, because LEDs also are used for general lighting purposes, there recently has been some concern about LED chip supply. Furthermore, the LED backlight supply chain is still evolving with varieties of solutions and many different suppliers that need to be involved. Already, panel suppliers are either entering joint-venture partnerships or developing their own in-house LED solutions to streamline the value-chain process, reduce costs and gain better control over the supply.
New innovations and higher performance will help LEDs gain faster adoption in TVs in the years to come. The price difference between LED and CCFL TV systems may range from US$300-700, depending on the size and type of LED used. The gap, however, is expected to narrow in the future, and many branded TV manufacturers are planning new LED-based TV models with very aggressive prices in the second half of 2009.
Given the current high price gap between CCFL- and LED-backlit LCD TV sets and panels, panel suppliers are hoping to reduce the price difference, to less than US$100 between the 40- and 42-inch CCFL and LED-backlit panels, and to below US$150 for 46-inch panels. This compares to a difference of more than US$150 for 40- and 42-inch sizes at present.
With increasing importance being placed on lower power consumption and green initiatives, TVs are expected to have more stringent requirements in the future. LED backlights will enable next-generation TVs to fulfill those requirements.