Philips has quietly dropped its advanced, blinking fluorescent backlights for flat televisions, and will instead focus on LED backlights which are smaller, the Dutch electronics group said on Monday.
This puts an end to the technology designed to dramatically reduce motion blur and smear on flat LCD televisions, a notorious problem with those types of TV sets.
Instead of emitting constant light, like in current LCD TVs, Philips’ scanning backlight emitted bursts of light, which tricked the human eye into seeing sharper images.
Philips had touted the technology called Aptura as a major innovation and a potential cash cow for the lighting division which has been repositioned as one of Philips’ growth engines.
“If we want to continue developing this backlighting technology, we’ll have to make new investments. At the same time, LEDs (light emitting diodes) are getting ripe for the market and they enable thinner TV sets, so we’ve chosen to invest in those,” said a Philips spokeswoman.
Philips unveiled its intention for a flickering backlight several years ago, and started selling it commercially last year together with LG. Philips LCD which makes the LCD panels for which the backlights are needed.
Some expensive flat television sets already have LED backlights, but it will probably take several years before they are cheap enough to be put in mainstream flat televisions, the Philips spokeswoman said.
LED are solid-state lights, used in car indicators, bicycle lamps and increasingly in buildings. They require no bulb, which makes them sturdy and long-lasting, and they also consume less energy per lumens – a measure of light.
Philips Lighting has a unit called Lumileds which is the world leader in bright LEDs, one of the fastest growing business segments in the lighting division with 25 percent annual revenue increases.
Philips is the world’s biggest lighting maker, a top three hospital equipment maker and Europe’s biggest consumer electronics producer.
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