Monitors: Pick your poison

The GCN Lab will pick arsenic over mercury if it means it gets a better monitor

A report from DisplaySearch suggests that monitors and televisions using a new light-emitting diode backlit liquid crystal display technology could take up almost a quarter of the monitor market by the end of next year, and more than half by the end of 2011.

This new way to backlight an LCD screen differs from the current standard, cold cathode fluorescent lamps, in many ways. These screens use less energy, and allow for much lighter and thinner casings that before. While there may be some debate over whether the overall brightness is significantly less, there is a wider color gamut available, and dynamic contrast allows darker images to be seen more clearly. And LED fans rally around a favorite battle cry: "No mercury!"

Of course, the manufacture of these LEDs uses gallium and arsenic among other toxic elements. So, really, the long-term effects of their disposal as compared to CCFLs may not be much better. See, the problem with these long-term effects is you don’t know how they turn out until they’ve already been around a while.

Arsenic, huh? Am I the only one picturing two sweet old ladies murdering gentlemen by having them consume brand new LED backlit monitors? While their nephew Teddy buries them in the basement and their other nephew Jonathan kills his victims with older LCDs? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Okay, maybe I watch too many old movies. But now I can’t help but wonder how those movies would look on a new LED backlit LCD television. Maybe I’ll find out next monitor roundup.

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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