Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies, has never been one to mince words when it comes to holding display maker's feet to the fire. He's made a name for himself by shattering myths perpetuated by those whose jobs it is to hype and market LCD panels of all shapes and sizes, an attitude that meshes well with our "Minimum BS" motto. So when Dr. Soneira told us he wrote a lengthy piece on why existing brightness controls and light sensors in today's displays are effectively useless -- particularly on the iPhone, Android devices, and HDTVs -- we took a coffee break to read what he had to say.
"Although consumers currently don't pay much attention to them, the Automatic Brightness control and LIght Sensor on smartphones and HDTVs has a major impact on displayed image quality, screen viewability, and readability, as well as preventing eye strain and headaches when the screen is too bright or too dim for the current level of ambient lighting, which varies considerably," Dr. Soneira explains.
According to Dr. Soneira, "most smartphones and HDTVs run with the screen considerably brighter than it should be, which wastes a lot of power in addition to causing eyestrain." Throwing some hard numbers into the mix, Dr. Soneira points out that HDTVs use as much as 75 percent of the total TV power, which oftentimes translates to over 200 watts. With 330 million TVs in the U.S. alone beaming content 600 billion hours per year, "that adds up to a considerable amount of wasted energy, money, and oil."
Because of this, one would think smartphone and HDTV makers would pay particular attention to automatic brightness schemes, but according to Dr. Soneira's extensive lab testing, that isn't the case. Not by a long shot.
Hit the jump to learn more about what Dr. Soneira has dubbed "brightnessgate."