questionsis there a big difference between edge-lit and…

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Back-lit is better because light is more evenly distributed across the screen. With edge-lit TVs, you get a "spotlight" effect from light shining from the edges of the screen. It's noticeable mainly if you're watching a scene that's dark or has a lot of black in it.

The down side of back-lit TVs is they're more expensive. They're also a bit thicker than edge-lit models, but the only time that might become an issue if you plan to mount it on a wall.

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This is perhaps the best breakdown of current LCD/LED TV technologies I've seen lately.

http://reviews.cnet.com/2795-6482_7-399.html

From personal experience, the back-lit LED with local dimming I have (a Vizio) is beautiful. I haven't seen picture quality or blacks that deep on any other TV, outside of perhaps a plasma. The problem with a plasma is it's not as bright as an LED and less suitable for brighter rooms.

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@hobbes9: The 2 plasmas that I have had both had a definite glow when on a totally black screen. My LCD has better blacks. That said, I have a 23" LED monitor (LG) that has the deepest blacks.

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Much thanks to you all. I'm going to hold out for a good deal on a back-lit TV.