W-CCFL Backlighting and Color Gamut
For starters, we should note that this new Dell monitor is built around an LM3001WQ1 LCD panel from LG Philips. The key technology behind this panel is its Wide Cold-Cathode Florescent Lighting (or W-CCFL) backlight. This type of technology has historically been employed only in high end HD LCD TVs, but the Dell 3007WFP-HC is one of the first to employ this technology in a computer monitor targeted product.
Courtesy of LG Philips LCD
Represented above is a cross-section diagram of a typical LCD panel. The backlight in an LCD panel is traditionally filtered by a diffuser that provides a consistent, even amount of lighting across the panel. As voltage is applied to the liquid crystals to generate per-pixel color through the subpixel color filter, the backlight provides the right amount of accurate luminescence to display the color properly, with good fidelity, and uniformity. Traditional, standard CCFL backlights have only been able to display about 72 - 76% of the NTSC color gamut (a US standard used to characterize CRT and TV performance).
The Wide CCFL backlight in the new Dell 3007 WFP-HC, however, is able to display 92% of the NTSC color gamut. The end result is better accuracy, especially with reds and greens, in addition to a better overall contrast ratio. Interestingly enough, this better color spectral range somewhat comes at the expense of the general brightness of the panel, since the new UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC is only rated at 300 cd/m2, whereas the 3007WFP of old is rated at 400 cd/m2. The end result in the real world isn't that significant, however, in terms of image brightness but we'll delve more into this in our LCD performance sections ahead.