Hitachi today demonstrated what it said will bring prices of LCD panels down significantly, while bringing quality up: hot cathode fluorescent lamps, or HCFL.
Most LCD panels shipping today are based on CCFL, or cold cathodes, but Hitachi told us today that its new HCFL technology not only gives superior brightness as well as lighting control, but utilize less energy and cost significantly less than emerging LED panels. With HCFL, LCD panels will achieve two to four times the watt output that a typical CCFL panel can do. Not only this, new LCD panels will also deliver more granular and accurate brightness controls. Most of all, Hitachi said that HCFL panels will require only two to three times less lamps, all while delivering more brightness.
On a 32-inch display, a HCFL panel will require anywhere from four to six lamps, while an older CCFL display can take up to 14 lamps. This of course, translates into significant power savings over the long haul.
When we asked about comparable LED panels, Hitachi indicated that there will be a huge cost savings. Current LED LCD TVs on the market command a high premium and we're excited to see a cheaper alternative show up.