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2010 World Cup: LED HD could be Big Winner

Out of a projected total of about 4.6 million LCD TV shipments in 2010, more than 510,000 could be LED backlit units.

Not too shabby, considering there were no LED backlit LCD shipments at all in 2008, according to industry analyst iSuppli.

In 2009, nearly 180,000 LED backlit LCD HD sets will be shipped — which is quite a jump from virtually nothing a year earlier — but nothing compared to the estimated 3.5 million CCFL-based LCD units to be shipped.

CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) is what most newer HD set owners have in their units right now, but iSuppli said LED has "significant advantages" over CCFL backlight — notably lower power consumption, slimmer form, enhanced performance (arguably) and the advantage of "market differentiation" (in other words, something new to advertise).

Also, LED LCD sets are about 15 percent slimmer than traditional panels, said iSuppli, and consequently more units can fit into each shipping containers and result in a shipping cost-savings of more than 50 percent.

The analyst concludes that as LED backlights gain share among LCD HD and computer monitor shipments, "Pressure will be added on emerging display technologies such as plasma and [OLED]."

Sales of LED backlit LCD sales (as well as HD units, in general), will likely see an upsurge starting next spring in time for the World Cup soccer tourney next summer in South Africa, according to iSuppli (although the 2002 and 2006 World Cups did not prove to be the major prompters of HD set sales globally as originally predicted by others).