Forget Screen Size: It's Contrast That Matters

Big TVs, schmig TVs. We saw lots of sets that are bigger than we can (currently) imagine ever having. And we saw some crummy image quality on them, as well.

But the mind-blower was the advance in contrast ratio on LCD TVs—which were traditionally a poor cousin to plasma in that respect.

Sharp, for example, has TVs that dim their backlights as needed to get blacks deeper on things like night scenes. And its superfast 4-millisecond response time allows the set to actually close the pixels down all the way and block out light when needed in any of the 120 video frames it spits out per second. That and other secrets sharp wouldn't reveal to us push the dynamic contrast rate up to 15,000 to 1, claims Sharp.

More TV tech and photos after the jump...

Forget Screen Size: It's Contrast That Matters

LG raises the bar by ditching the fluorescent backlights from most LCDs and using a matrix of light-emitting diodes. In addition to way deeper color, the LEDs give Samsung that ability to selectively darken or brighten the backlight in different parts of the screen. This yields a contrast ratio of 100,000 to 1, they say.

Forget Screen Size: It's Contrast That Matters

Can Sharp rise to Samsung's challenge? Well, for the second year in a row they demonstrated a prototype TV with super-secret technology that gets a one million to one (they say while holding pinker fingers up to the corners of their mouths). This is wicked cool—digital photos on Web pages barely begin to do it justice.