AUO, CMO, LPL and Samsung are all under heavy R&D trying to incorporate LED BLUs into their LCD TV panels by 2H'06. AUO has a 7" LCD TV panel with a LED BLU, but that doesn't count. Who watches TV on a 7"??? CMO, on the other hand, is currently developing a 32" with a LED BLU. 32" is more like it. Samsung showed a 32" with LED BLUs back in 2005. Anyone going higher? Well, yes. LPL (LG.Philips LCD) already introduced a 47" prototype with a low-power BLU.
Why LED BLUs?
There are a couple of reasons. One is mercury. That's right. The mercury that's really really bad for you. The EU is banning them soon and the rest of the world (except China of course) might follow soon. So all of the LCD panel makers are scrambling to find a solution. You see, all LCDs, except for a very few, use CCFL-based BLUs. CCFLs use mercury, and that's why you can't just throw away your tubes once they konk out. Another reason is that with LEDs (R-G-B LEDs to be exact) you get better color. Currently, the best CCFL-based LCD displays get you to about 80-85% with about 99% of them around 72% NTSC. With LED BLUs, you can achieve more than 100% NTSC. And when you take a look at something like that (CES is a good place to go to see all this kind of developments) you'll want it. Oh, one more reason to go this route: perhaps the LCD panel makers think this is a way to pad their margins a bit since ASPs have been falling like a rock for the last 12 months.