Month: September 2011


What Exactly is an LED Television?

by B Totanes

Lately, there have been a lot of advertisements hyping about LED televisions. What exactly is an LED television and how can it benefit you, the consumer?

First of all, let me get a few terms defined, so you can understand the big picture:

Different layers of an LCD panel display.

LCD – this stands for “Liquid Crystal Display”. This simply means what it says. It is a display that uses liquid crystals sandwiched in between two glass panels and electrodes. The electrodes within these panels activate the liquid crystals and make the crystals dark, light or produce colors from the RGB spectrum, thus creating images depending on how the electricity is passed through them.

An LED lamp and its basic components (Image Credit:

LED – “Light Emitting Diode” is an electronic component that produces light. This device, a Diode, is a semiconductor device that allows electricity only to pass on one direction. LEDs have been around since 1962, and were very commonly used as indicatorlamps on switches. Today, LEDs can be much brighter and some of its applications are as light sources for flashlights, traffic lights, automobile tail lights and others. They normally last many times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. Often, the device it is installed on becomes obsolete and discarded way ahead of the LED lamp’s useful life. In ultra-large displays, thousands of Red, Green and Blue (RGB) LED lamps are placed on arrays in a huge panel and are controlled by a computer to produce TV-like images. These panels are what you see in big stadiums and ultra-large displays in Las Vegas, for example.

A vintage Altair PC using LED lamps

So, what is an “LED Television”?

Basically, the name “LED television” is a misnomer. It is really a combination of LCD and LED technology. In a traditional LCD television, the LCD panel that produce the images is back-lit by cold-cathode flourescent lamp (CCFL), similar to those white flourescent lamps in our homes. LCD panels by themselves will produce images, but you will barely see the picture as it requires some form of backlight. The floursecent lamp is placed on the back of the LCD panel to reveal the picture.

In an LED Television, the same LCD panel is used, but the cold cathode fourescent lamp (CCFL) is replaced by bright LED lamps. LED lamps are either placed directly behind the LCD panel or lined just behind the outer edge of the display (Edge-LED). So basically, the correct term should be “LED-backlit LCD Television”. However, Samsung, who invented LED-backlit LCD TVs, conveniently dropped “LCD” and started calling their LED-backlit LCD Televisions,simply “LED Televisions”. And so, the confusion started.

Some more expensive implementation of LED-backlighting involves putting Red, Green, and Blue (RGB-LED) LEDs directly behind the LCD panel and then dynamically controlled depending on what is being viewed on the screen. This makes for even brighter colors and deeper contrasts.

RGB LED Array (Image Credit: cNet Australia)

What are the benefits of LED-backlit LCD versus LCD Televisions? LED-backit LCD TVs differ from conventional CCFL-backlit LCD TVs in the following:

* LED-backlit LCD TVs produce images with greater dynamic contrast.
* With Edge-LED lighting they can be extremely slim. Models on the market can be approximately one inch thick.
* Offer a wider color gamut, especially when RGB-LED backlighting is used.
* Less environmental pollution on disposal.
* Generally 20-30% lower power consumption.

The Samsung Series 5000 LED TV

In a nutshell, LED-backlit LCD Televisions are fast becoming the preferred choice in televisions now-a-days. However, it is NOT the must-get feature if your budget does not allow the higher price. Do not disqualify traditional LCD televisions from your list. Chances are, you might just find a great deal out there.

Next: HDTV: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, what are the differences?

The Philippines Needs More Paris Hiltons

Just as Paris Hilton boarded a plane back to Los Angeles after opening her boutique in Manila, a survey was released showing she was voted as the least trustworthy celebrity, with a score of 60% by a survey made by Ipsos, a global market research company. I looked around the internet for reactions and many Filipinos were defending Paris, and simply didn’t care. “Past is past”, one person wrote. Some even thanked her for investing in our country.

Distrusted or otherwise however, the Philippines needs a Paris Hilton and more well-to-do celebrities like her. Imagine if other celebrities and the likes of Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, or even billionaire Donald Trump would invest in the Philippines and publicly promoted it? Even if the Philippines shouldered the travel, lodging and security expenses for these celebrities, the return would be many times over in renewed investment and confidence.

Paris Hilton’s investment in several stores in Manila not only endorses the Philippines as a country to look into for companies considering expansion in Asia, it also gives a boost of confidence in a flailing Philippine economy. We can toot our horns until our faces turn blue about how great investing in our country, but the truth of the matter is unless people from other parts of the world (i.e., the Paris Hiltons of the world) start believing in the Philippines and investing in our country, very few will come. Sadly, the quote made famous by the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it, and it(he) will come” does not apply to us. We need to build AND promote.

We already have several famous ‘marketing representatives’ who can help the economy. Why not tap our own famous celebrities to bring them in? It’s definitely easier said than done, but wouldn’t it be great if Charice can get Oprah to invest a few million dollars in the Phillippines? How about Arnel Pineda, who can he bring in? Apl de Ap? I bet that because Paris and Manny Pacquaio knew each other, it played a hand in Paris’ recent visit to Manila. Wouldn’t you think?

I remember hearing a story during the Marcos era when the IMF (International Monetary Fund) convention was in town. The dilemma was how to provide luxury automobiles to the delegates. It was solved by tapping into the financial resources of private individuals and companies. They were offered to import top-of-the line Mercedes-Benz cars using their own funds, tax free. The only caveat was they would allow the use of the cars by the IMF delegates for a week. After which, the car was theirs to keep. Whether this story is true or not, we need some out-of-the-box, creative thinking such as this. Maybe for travel and accommodations instead?

What is really lacking is confidence – not just by us Filipinos, but by potential foreign investors as well. It really does not do much how often we tell the world how worthy the Philippines is for investment, but it will really go a long way if other people like Paris Hilton invests and give the Philippines a vote of confidence — and maybe, just maybe then, when we build it … they will come.

Paris Hilton, distrusted as she may be by the world, is a good start :)

Is your last name Totanes?

I have been on the internet since 1994.  I have seen it grow from a handful of useful websites to thousands in just a few years.  One of my early email contacts with someone in the Philippines was with Professor Henry Totanes from Ateneo.  His reply was a simple hello letter explaining to me that he was writing from Ateneo rather than Adamson University where I first thought.  Later, I found out he actually
was a distant cousin of my dad.  Small world — and getting smaller each day the internet expands.

Since that day, I have seen more and more people in the internet bearing the same last name as mine.  Last year, I decided to start an email list for all people having the Totanes family name.  Sometime this year, I will also share the domain with you by providing free email accounts.  If you are interested, please drop me a short message, with your email address and name.  When I collect a list of more than ten people, I will immediately start the project.  Please email me at [email protected] — Thanks!

TOTANES Genealogy Forum
Visit the Totanes Genealogy
Forum at  If you’re
looking for distant relatives or simply just curious as to who else share our
family name, this is the forum to visit.

Totanes, Origins

Have you ever wondered where it all began?  After several years of researching, and receiving emails from different people, it has become apparent that the Totanes family name was
brought to the Philippines by a Spanish Franciscan priest named Fr. Sebastian de Totanes
during the 1700’s.  He came from a small municipality in the spanish
province of Toledo, called — you guessed it — Totanes.  The town still
exists today and is one of the oldest municipalities in Toledo.  The feast
of San Anton is celebrated every January, where the whole town is lit up and the aroma of garlic sausages fill the air.  The feast of the Virgin Mary is on the 3rd Sunday of September followed by the feast of the Immaculate Concepcion every 8th of December.  Totanes produces high quality cheese and extra virgin olive oil.

The main plaza at Totanes, Toledo is the picture above, right.  Also above left is the municipal seal.

For more information about Totanes, Toledo Spain, visit the following links:

Special thanks to Esmeralda Guio who hails from the town of Totanes for the above links.