Originally Posted by davegow
I also wouldn't call LED a bell and whistle, although manufacturers are hyping it as the latest thing. In fact LED sets are much simpler and almost certainly more durable and reliable, so I don't think LED really qualifies as anything exotic.
LEDs aren't exotic anymore - the shift happened in 2009 and 2010 will be the "LED year" - no doubt about it.
However, a local dimming LED backlight is definitely not simpler than a CCFL set.
Hundreds (sometimes thousands) of LEDs and the processing needs are not to be sneezed at. The power section also has to cope with quickly varying power demands because of the brightness changes.
The newer local dimming sets with reduced thickness use light guides to "bend" the light cones (necessary if you don't want to use too many LEDs) so they are even more complicated than, say, the XBR8 that points it's LEDs simply at the back of the panel. The XBR8 is more complicated in another aspect, though, as they need to select three different LED types - red, green, blue instead of only white - for a comparable brightness spectrum. A process called "binning" because LEDs failing this test wander into the bin...
You have a point concerning backlights with LEDs on the edges of the panel, though, but even they use some trickery with light guides etc.
When more and more TVs with LEDs are manufactured (which happens right now!) then the cost gets lower and at some point the CCFL sets will be too expensive to make and will be removed from the market like CRTs.