Are Your LCD TV’s Letterbox Bars Dark Enough?

The poll question is: Do the letterbox bars on your LCD TV stay dark?


LCD TVs are big, bright and last a long time. But depending on the panel and backlight technology used, they can struggle with letterboxed content such as movies. This is especially true for edgelit LCD TVs as well as IPS models that have low native contrast.

For sports in the daytime, this particular weakness of “transmissive” TV technologies does not matter. But turn out the lights and put on the latest blockbuster and depending on the TV you’ll see anything from deep black bars, to bars where light “spills” in from the scene, to TVs that can only muster some shade of gray.

For movie lovers, letterbox performance is a big deal, so I’m curious if the letterbox bars on your LCD are dark enough for you.