Local Dimming vs Micro Dimming Ultimate vs Micro Dimming Pro vs Micro Dimming Standard

Posted on March 22, 2013

Local Dimming vs Micro Dimming Ultimate, Pro and Standard

What’s the difference between Local Dimming and Micro Dimming?

Right now there’s a real fight going on in the Dimming area. Every manufacturer is looking for that perfect black of blacks and whitest of whites. Here’s the difference between all the dimming technologies.

Local Dimming vs Micro Dimming

Local Dimming is when software in the TV can recognize dark and light more efficiently on the screen and can adjust the light output from the backlighting (which are LEDS). Another words, adjust how bright the LEDS are. Kinda like adjusting your bedroom light using that spin knob thingy. But Samsung thought it could go further and they came up with Micro Dimming.

Micro Dimming, according to Samsung, is software using exceptionally fast processors that can instantaneously run algorithms on the information coming from your antennae, cable box, or dish and decide on whether or not to tweak the lights and darks of the picture by adjusting the cells in the liquid crystal display (LCD) itself instead of the actual LEDS. WHEW! That was a mouthful!

It does this by dividing the LCD screen into zones. The Micro Dimming Ultimate divides the screen into app. 600 zones. You may be thinking, that’s a lot of zones, but why should I pay more for micro dimming when local dimming is less expensive and does the same thing? The answer is, they have the same goal, but one should be exceptionally better at the job.

Is there a downfall to Local Dimming?

The theory is that all LED LCD TVs use a backlighting system implementing LEDS. The non techie way to describe this, is the LEDs shine forth light that will illuminate the pixels on the screen so we can see it. There are thousands of LEDS in the backlighting setup that can actually make the picture seem brighter than it is, so if you could actually turn down the lighting you would have darker darks. The problem is if you turn down different LED lights and leave other LED lights completely on, the light from the bright LEDs left on could effectively hit the darks and giving you a not so dark black even a halo effect. So Samsung has attempted to fore-go the dimming backlighting scenario altogether for another tactic.

Theory behind Micro Dimming

Instead of adjusting the brightness of the LEDS they devised a system that would work at the liquid crystal level. And if they could adjust / tweak with perfection the actual liquid crystal cells on the display it would effectively give you the ultimate picture. You see all light has to go through the liquid crystal cells in a LCD screen. Each liquid crystal cell already does a little twisting and turning to allow on a certain amount of light through in Local Dimming, but with Micro Dimming the software will go deeper into each pixel and adjust each pixel in a zone giving you a staggering better contrast of lights and darks. That’s the theory.

Micro Dimming Ultimate vs Micro Dimming Pro vs Micro Dimming Standard

So what is Micro Dimming Ultimate?
The system software will divide the screen up into app. 600 zones and each zone will give each pixel in that zone the attention it deserves faster than you can see. Adjusting on three levels for contrast, sharpness, and overall image color.

So what is Micro Dimming Pro?
The Pro version has app. 300 zones which makes it not as attentive to detail as the 600 zone Ultimate, but also works on three levels. Contrast Enhancements, Color Enhancements and Sharpness

So what is Micro Dimming Standard?
This also has app. 300 zones, except it only deals with contrast enhancements (darks and lights) and does not have the color and sharpness enhancement features of pro and ultimate.

Is Micro Dimming worth the money over Local Dimming?
Most experts would say not yet. There’s still much more that could be done to improve the technology. As some Plasma and other less expensive Local Dimming LCD LED TVs still give off a better picture. Me personally, I couldn’t tell the difference between Ultimate and Pro, but could definitely see a difference on the standard.

That being said I would never buy a TV with Standard Micro Dimming as it’s not as effective as Local Dimming and doesn’t really give that great of contrast, in my opinion. So either go Pro, Ultimate or Local Dimming. At least for now as all three will give you approximately the same picture.


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