Before you choose a TV service, you have to have a TV. In today’s market, the task of selecting the right television to grace your living room can be fairly daunting. With so many different technological terms flying around the electronics store, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by your options. From DLP to LCD, HD to 3D, knowing the terms can help you make a better decision regarding which TV is right for you and your family and the way you watch television.
Decoding the lingo on different types of TV displays
It can be virtually impossible to make an educated decision on which TV type is best for you without first learning to speak the language. After bidding farewell to the faithful tube television that carried us through from the 1940s to the end of the millennium, leaps in efficiency, technology and design have brought us in to the 21st century.
With displays as thin as four millimeters, or one-sixth of an inch, modern TVs are barely recognizable as the newest edition of their midcentury counterparts. Below, we have taken a few terms and broken them down into easily understandable and comparable elements.
- DLP (Digital Light Processing) — DLP TVs use a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) chip to digitally process light and create the screen image. Consumers have a choice between rear or front projection. Front projection is optimal for a home theater setup that mimics an actual movie theater. If you just want a DLP TV for your living room, rear projection works just fine. Some consumers have complained about experiencing a rainbow effect, or flashes of red, blue or green light, on DLP televisions. However, advances in DLP technology have greatly reduced the occurrence of rainbow effect. Unlike plasma or LCD screens, DLP televisions are not susceptible to “burn-in.”
- Laser Projection — This may be the next wave of projection because laser projection displays a broader range of light wavelengths. Laser projection is also capable of 3D video display as well as maintaining focus when projected on varying surfaces over varying depths. Cost of laser projection may be prohibitive for certain consumers, though prices are sure to come down if technology gains popularity. One hurdle to the takeoff of laser projection could be that some viewers have described the picture as too intense or artificial-looking.
- LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)—LCD TVs are probably the most affordable HD televisions on the market today. Their savings benefits don’t stop at the checkout counter. LCD TVs use less power than traditional tube televisions. LCD TVs are also not susceptible to screen burn-in. LCD is a good display type for gaming applications because of its pixel resolution. The greatest drawback is distortion associated LCD screens’ limited viewing angle and liquid crystals’ sensitivity to environmental fluctuations.
- Plasma — Plasma displays have a broad range of color and a superior contrast ratio. This makes them ideal for watching sports and movies. They also have a wide range of viewing angles, unlike LCD TVs. However, plasma TVs are susceptible to burn-in. Newer models are less susceptible to burn-in, but it still occurs.
- 3D — Two basic types of 3D TVs are available on the market today: 3D-ready TVs and full 3D TVs. 3D-ready TVs can operate in 2D or 3D mode, with a refresh rate of 120Hz. 3D viewing glasses may come with the 3D-ready TV or sold separately. Full 3D TVs offer a faster refresh rate. Limited availability of 3D content has hindered growth of 3D technology, but Blu-ray™ and 3D television programming options are facilitating a growing interest in 3D TV.
High definition: the new standard
When it comes to contemporary television, high definition is a must have. Customers almost don’t have a choice in the matter. Practically every new television on the market is HD compatible. The choice lies in the quality of HD.
Get the details on the distinction between the varying degrees of HD televisions: 1080p v 1080i v 720p