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Home Theatre Insider Secrets: Expert Reviews and Recommendations
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Home Theatre | Projectors: November 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What are the Differences between a Plasma TV and a LCD TV?

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Have a satellite system and now want a flat panel TV?

So you have gone out and purchased a Dish Network or Direct TV satellite system. When you got home, you realized that although you have a high definition receiver, your TV isn't compatible. You have eyed those flat panel TVs in the store but don't know which one to buy?

Two of the greatest changes to the world of televisions are the plasma TV and the LCD TV. Both offer slim and sleek designs and enable unique placement, such as above a fireplace or mounting on a wall. Gone are the days of the bulky CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions or rear projection; long live the flat panel!

So how does a plasma television work?

First introduced in 1964, improvements in processing and manufacturing have made the plasma television one of the best. Differing from other television technology, such as LCD and CRT, the image is created by combining all three colors within each pixel. The signal is sent by a charge through the electrodes sandwiched between two glass panels. This changes the state of the plasma gas inside and makes the red, green and blue phosphors glow, creating light on the picture screen.

You can buy plasma televisions in either Extended Definition (ED) or High Definition (HD) resolutions. ED panels can input full HD content 1080i (interlaced) but output 500p (progressive) resolution. If you are planning to use the plasma with primarily high definition and/or with a computer, consider the HD model. If you are using it mostly with DVD, regular satellite, or cable, you will find the ED model looks great. A good ED model will outperform a poor HD plasma television, so choose a good manufacturer.

So how does a LCD television work?

The LCD television creates a picture by using a system called Twisted Nematic (TM). It is a naturally twisted crystalline structure that reacts to electric currents in predictable manners. These electric currents cause the crystal to untwist to different degrees based on the voltage given. These TM crystals are stuck between panes of polarized glass and the untwisting allows varied amounts of light to pass through.

If you are looking for a flat panel television, here are the guidelines. Below 32 inches, buy a LCD, above buy a plasma. LCD panels are available in larger sizes but the cost and quality of image will make a plasma more attractive.

Plasma televisions are better able to display fast movement without any trailing. As wel, plasma televisions have a much greater contrast ratio than LCD televisions. Panasonic lists their plasma televisions at 3000:1, while the best LCD tends to be only 1000:1 contrast ratio. The plasma television has a greater angle of view and better color saturation too.

One area where the LCD television has an advantage over plasma is in screen integrity. You need to be careful with potential burn-in on plasma, but not on the LCD TV.

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All about HDTV

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The HDTV has become increasingly popular since its introduction. There are many well-known electronic manufacturers that have designed many models of the HD style TV. There are multiple sizes, styles and colors that can be attributed to a HD television. Likewise, there are various price tags found on the HD television. With so many choices and decisions ahead of you, don’t feel overwhelmed; there are many great resources to help make your search as quick and painless as possible.

HDTV has been around since the mid 1960’s. In Japan, the first model of the HDTV was created. The innovative electronic geniuses of the United States were quick to follow and the race to perfecting the high definition technology was off to the races around the mid 1990’s.

Basically, the term “HD” refers to the quality of the broadcast signal that is sent through the television set. The high definition signal represents images that are as crystal clear and lifelike as possible. When you watch a program via the HDTV, you will quickly understand why it is becoming the favorite method of watching TV! The HD signal is digital in nature and provides viewers a 16:9 wide screen format, the same as used in movie theaters. The incredible, lifelike images displayed through HD televisions are unbelievable! You can literally feel like you at the racetrack or on the football field! If you are watching a concert, you will have a front row seat to the magical madness, too!

Many of the leading television manufacturers make at least one model of the HD television set, including: Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, RCA, JVC, Mitsubishi, Pioneer and Magnavox. There are multiple sizes of the HDTV available, from as small as 13 inches to as large as 85 inches!

3 types to choose from

There are three different formats that offer the HD technology, including: CRT (paints the image onto the screen. This style is perfect in any lighting condition and from every angle.), LCD (uses 2 different polarized, transparent panels to house a liquid in the middle.) and the Plasma (digital images at a high resolution are created.). Be sure to do a little research to find the format that you will prefer.

Rear-projection CRT televisions are older technology. CRT TV's use three separate cathode ray tubes to create red, green, and blue and the TV combines the three beams before magnifying and projecting the image. The image quality isn't as good as Plasma or LCD technology.

Flat-Panel LCD TVs (liquid crystal display) technology are designed to create sharp, bright images in any lighting condition. LCD flat screen TV models work by shining light through pixel cells, with each cell containing a red, green, and blue component.

Plasma TVs are the thinnest of all types of high definition televisions. You can find a huge range of widths, from 36, right up to 72" inches that offer amazing color accuracy and saturation.

The 2 different types of HDTV

There are two types of hdtv systems, ones that are HDTV-ready and other systems that have an integrated system. HDTV-ready is the definition for a television that is capable high definition programming with the installation of a receiver or tuner. An integrated system is a television with a built in HDTV receiver enabling you to watch programming right out of the box.

If you are not sure as to which brand, size or format you prefer, there are many resources that you can access to make the decision a little easier. Other consumers, that have made a purchase of an HDTV, have written HDTV reviews on their TV of choice. These reviews are unbiased in that some may be favorable and other may not. One thing you can count on is that these reviews are not biased; everyday consumers, like yourself, write them. No one likes to spend their hard earned money on a product that they would have never given a second glance, had they been forewarned. Well, with reviews and ratings from other consumers, you will have a “heads up”!

When you are in the market for a great new TV, the HDTV is a perfect choice! There are many sizes, styles, formats and prices available. You should have absolutely no problem finding the perfect one for your home or business. If you demand only the best in your life, the HD style TV will fit right in!

Chris Vorelli is a successful writer with info on HDTV reviews & Plasma TV reviews.Get info on Sony plasma TV, Pioneer Plasma TV and Panasonic plasma TV models.
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