No Big Deal HannStar is a tiny player in the overall TFT LCD panel industry with a 2.19-percent share in terms of revenues according to DisplaySearch’s PanelTrack June 2009 results. And that’s large-area and small/medium LCD panels combined. When it comes to just large-area HannStar’s share is even smaller at 1.85-percent. HannStar’s president David Joe stated that the company expects all of its LCD monitor panels to feature LED backlight technology in 2010. Yes, the shift from CCFL to LED is happening–in notebook PC LCD panels and LCD TV panels. But LCD monitor panels will take a good long while. Read my post dated just a few days ago on this subject “100-percent LED Backlights in 2012 for Notebook PCs“.
Cost LED backlights cost more than CCFL backlights. And applying the 80/20 rule here, I think about 80-percent of LCD monitor purchases are based on price. Keep in mind the majority of LCD monitors are made with TN technology and there isn’t much difference from one monitor to another–most consumers can’t tell the difference since nearly all of these monitors are pretty bad. Look at the monitor from the side and it is as if you’re looking at a completely different monitor. Want it in portrait mode? Make sure to get your eyes checked first because you’ll be wondering if your eyes are messed up. My point is that LCD monitors use crappy TN technology because of cost. There’s a good reason: consumers care about price–the lower the better. So putting LED backlights into 100-percent of its crappy TN LCD panels in 2010 isn’t going to do HannStar any good.
S-IPS or S-PVA LG Display makes S-IPS displays and Samsung pumps out S-PVA for their higher-end models. These two display technologies are the best in my book so if you’re looking for high quality look for either S-IPS or S-PVA. Pair these with LED backlight technology on LCD monitor panels and you’ve got yourself a near-perfect LCD monitor. Of course, you’ll need to save up quite a bit, around $1000 for a solid 24-inch monitor. For instance, Apple‘s LED Cinema Display uses a S-IPS LCD panel and at 24-inches runs US$899. For that price you can’t even rotate it and most likely you won’t be able to connect to your PC (you’ll need a DisplayPort connection or a DisplayPort-to-DVI/HDMI/VGA dongle). Shop around and you’ll find better values from LG, Samsung, NEC to name a few.