As if 240Hz, 1080p/24 compatibility and contrast ratios in the millions aren't confusing enough, get ready for more product differentiation in the LCD TV space: two different kinds of LED lighting schemes. On one hand are relatively tried-and-true "local dimming" LED-based LCDs, which generally give great picture. In the other are "edge-lit" LED-based LCDs, which if the new Sony KLV-40ZX1M ($3,999) is any indication, do not.
We're sure the distinction won't stop marketers from trying to equate the two, however, and simply call them all "LED TVs," expecting consumers to assume that all LED-based LCDs give great picture. In fact, one company, Samsung, has already said it wants to create a separate "LED TV" category to differentiate the more-expensive, higher-tech-sounding sets from their lowly fluorescent-backlit cousins.
Also, who knows, maybe Samsung's upcoming edge-lit models, namely the 6000, 7000, and 8000 series HDTVs announced at CES, will perform better than the Sony KLV-40ZX1M we just reviewed. Lighter black levels and imperfect uniformity hampered its picture--as you might expect, the edges of the picture were brighter than the middle (go figure!). It sure looks cool though.