Aug. 10, 2009 -- Televisions have evolved from bulky to sleek and, in the process, have become more eco-friendly. The newest generation of sets uses the more energy-efficient LED, or light-emitting diodes, as a light source for the picture rather than the traditional fluorescent bulbs.
The change can result in energy savings that are passed on to your wallet.
LED televisions use 40 percent of the power of a fluorescent bulb. And they save energy because the LEDs may be timed off independently, whereas a fluorescent backlight is never turned off completely.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, LED bulbs are mercury-free, which also helps the environment. They have the added bonus of lasting longer than traditional bulbs. They can last up to 10 times longer than fluorescents.
All those energy-efficient and eco-friendly benefits come with better color quality than older sets. LEDS have deeper blacks and richer colors.
LEDs increasingly are being used everywhere for their energy efficiency — from strings of holiday lights to the Times Square New Year's Ball.
LED TVs are still new to the market and make up 3 percent of all televisions today. But research firm iSuppli predicts that number will jump to more than a third of the TV market in the next four years.
And the greener TVs come at a higher price. They can go from $800 to more than $1,000.
Working with CNET, "Good Morning America" picked four different LED sets. All the models, which ranged from 46 to 55 inches, got top marks from the Web tech product reviewer.
It's the industry leader in LEDs. Samsung has a 95 percent market share in the United States for LEDs According to CNET, the 46-inch model un46b7000 set gets a four-star rating.
It runs about $2,000 and is mercury-free. Although picture quality can't quite live up to the high price, according to the CNET review, the series is a technological and design tour de force.
LG views itself as a main competitor to Samsung in the LED market. The model 47lh90 got four stars from CNET and runs about $2,000. Click here to learn more about the LG LED TV.
The Toshiba REGZA sv670 model has been out a few weeks. It's so new that CNET hasn't even reviewed it yet.
It's priced at $2,300 to $3,000. The set is a backlighting LED and is Energy Star 3.0 compliant — meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to help consumers save money and reduce energy consumption.
The Sony Bravia KDL-55xbr8 received four stars from CNET. It runs about $4,500.
CNET said that although the set was not the best HDTV it has tested so far, the wallet-busting LED-powered TV comes pretty close.