26" LCD TVs: Are They Ready for Prime Time?

Spatial Uniformity

We measured the panel's spatial uniformity using our second sensor.

For those of you who aren't used to the Tom's Hardware tests, here's the method we use:

We set the panel at 50% brightness and 50% contrast and measure the uniformity of the lighting on a white image separated into 48 areas of equal size (64 when testing computer monitors). The brightest point is considered to be 100%, and the previously measured black value is considered 0%, with the other values obtained distributed between them.

The Aquos LC 26 GA3 did well on the test, suggesting that the panel was fairly uniform. Don't be misled by the colors we use in the graph: the red/orange doesn't mean that the panel is bad. It simply means that the shade displayed represents 85% of the maximum value. It's a color code we've chosen arbitrarily to define a brightness gradient, from the lightest (100%) to the darkest (0%).

In fact, it's the entire range of colors that determines the quality of the screen, and not the color we've chosen. (I'm responding here to some e-mail comments we've received in the past about this test.)

And in the case of the Sharp, that quality is not bad. However the lower part of the panel is darker than the upper part, and we confirmed that in practice, though the difference wasn't dramatic. The situation could have been much worse if the viewing angles were narrow, which accentuates the difference in brightness across the panel. That wasn't the case here.

Overall, the colors displayed by the Aquos LC 26 GA3 were quite faithful. Now let's see how it handled moving images.