Obviously price variations of LCDs would depend on screen-size, differences in display quality, screen resolution and a host of other factors, including, but not limited to, the brand name. LCD televisions are now available at increasingly lower prices, and the smaller units are available for as low as two hundred dollars with several retailers. But the upper range still runs into tens of thousands of dollars and the biggest LCDs for home theaters come at steep prices.
A majority of the customers belong to the middle range of 23 to 40 screen size, which generally come at nearly $1,000 to just under $3,000. Some of the biggest manufacturers of electronic goods present televisions with LCD technology such as Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Phillips, Panasonic and Toshiba; even computer manufacturers Dell have taken an interest in this field and have come up with a model that has created quite a stir.
Though the televisions with LCD technology are tagged exorbitantly, much higher than the regular tube models, there are several reasons why that extra cash pays off, the most important of which are outlined below:
Totally Flat Screens:
Traditional CRT televisions have a curvature built into their display screens and this could cause edge distortion, as well as shadows on the screen. But this is not the case with the LCD screen, its truly flat surface is able to remove any edge distortion and thus delivers a more reliable and true-to-life display.
Genuine Widescreen Performance:
The LCD televisions carry a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, which is more like a theater screen than a television display. This means that the height of the screen is 9 inches and the width is 16 inches, making its length almost double its width which gives the viewer a feel of being in a theater. The current HDTV signals follow this aspect ratio, as do widescreen DVDs and VHS videos.
Better Viewing Angle:
Unlike other televisions like rear projection technology DLPs, LCD televisions come with a 160 degree viewing angle, and can possibly be seen without any distortion from any angle at all.
Superb Color Accuracy:
The superior quality LCD displays can produce approximately 16 million unique colors, generating a remarkable depth of color that ensures excellent and accurate colors.
Flexibility and Versatility:
A lot of the LCD televisions are geared to function with inputs from several different devices, which may include but are certainly not limited to DVD players, VCRs, Laser Disc players and of course, satellite and cable TV systems. Moreover, there are multi-system LCD displays, which are geared to function with a range of several television signals, which includes PAL, NTSC and SECAM. This enables the same unit to be perfectly functional in several countries, because it can accept the different television broadcast standards that prevail in different parts of the world.
Superior Reliability Quotient:
It has been established through various tests that the expected lifetime of an LCD is approximately 35,000 hours, which at the average rate of four hours of television-viewing time per day, works out to nearly 20 years. Even at eight ours of television-watching a day, these units would last a decade, which is good value for the extra cash one has to hand out for their purchase.
The advantages enjoyed by the LCD television over the regular televisions and others are due to the technology that makes LCDs possible, and we need to understand what drives this technology in order to realize the benefits LCDs promise. An LCD display consists of picture elements or pixels, and the quality of resolution on an LCD panel partially owes to the number of pixels carried by the display: the higher the number of pixels, the better the resolution and the sharper the display. For different models the number of pixels can range from hundreds of thousands of pixels to millions of pixels.
LCD televisions are better suited for widescreen pictures such as DVD and VHS movies along with traditional television programs because it has an aspect ratio of 16:9, that is 16 in width and 9 in height as against the traditional CRT models which use an aspect ratio of 4:3. Aspect ratio of a television is a term that relates to its capabilities to suitably display movies and television programs in the true widescreen format, it is actually the ratio between the length and height of a television. HDTV signals are broadcast using the 16:9 aspect ratio and it is also applied by manufacturers of widescreen DVDs and VHS tapes. This widescreen aspect ratio enables viewers of LCD televisions to enjoy a truly intense cinematic experience, not unlike one in a theater.
When shopping for an LCD, one should be considering a variety of aspects, which would include the tuner the set would have to use. The LCD set ought to be capable of working with inputs from a variety of different tuning sources, including satellite TV boxes, cable TV boxes, DVD players, VCRs and so on. For potential buyers who move residences between different geographical areas often, it is necessary to ensure that the LCD television chosen is capable of working with NTSC video signals, which are the usual standard in North America and Japan, as well as the PAL and SECAM standards used in other parts of the world.
It is definitely important to buy the best LCD your money can get, which not only means that you should try and get the best you can afford when you are on the look-out for an LCD, but also that you get the best value for your dollars. If you shop around enough, physically as well as on the internet, sooner or later you would find a deal which gives you the best quality at the lowest price possible.
When you invest as much money on a device as you do on an LCD, you would naturally expect top-level performance. But if you use inferior quality connecting cables with an LCD, you would be disappointed, because this directly affects picture quality. So you might want to spend a little extra and get the best cables that money can buy to connect your LCD to your DVD player, VCR, game console, computer or other device for a fantastic display and an incredible viewing experience.
All you should know about plasma television technology
Though the last twenty years have seen great advancements in the world of television technology; it is the plasma television that has captured the imagination and attention of the masses. This technology has come a long way since the July of 1964, when it was at first the product of a research by the University of Illinois. These true flat screen monitors entered the market with exorbitant price tags beyond the reach of all but the wealthy few individuals and businesses, because the original plasma screens were comparatively smaller in size, and the raw materials for their manufacture were expensive.
But technological advancement is a great leveler, especially when combined with the falling prices of raw materials: the prices of plasma displays have plummeted quite a few notches in the past few years and are more reasonable today than ever before. Their power and beauty in terms of color and picture quality is within the reach of more and more mid-level customers. Most well-known electronics manufacturers carry superior quality plasma televisions, and these include companies like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Zenith, Phillips and Sylvania.
The prices of plasma televisions are no longer what they used to be, and are more affordable nowadays, but they still cost a whole lot more than a regular tube television. Most plasmas retail between $2,000 to $3,500, but sagacious shopping in the form of looking around, doing market research, looking out for sales and so on can land you a plasma television for 1500$ or less. You should know exactly what you are looking for, the limitations and benefits of the plasma technology and what you are ready to pay for them.
It will also be good to remember at this point that the quality of a plasma television depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is the quality of cable connections it is hooked with. Compromising on the quality of cable in order to save a few bucks is going to cost a lot to the plasma owner not just in the long run, but also in clearly discernible fall in performance from the very beginning even from the best model of plasma. One must invest in the best quality and most reliable cables to hook up the plasma screen to different devices like DVD players, VCRs, laser disc players, computers, laptops and so on.
How does the plasma technology function inside a television display?
A plasma screen is made up of two thin panels of mounted glass, and the core of its technology lies between these two panels with a network of small pockets of compressed gas, which go on to form picture elements or pixels. Each pixel contains a triad of sub-pixels, in red, green, and blue phosphors.
The uniqueness of a plasma television lies in the fact that the advanced electronics controlling the red, green and blue sub-pixels is able to produce more than 16 million colors. When the sub-pixels are activated with small electrical pulses, the gases react to form plasma, and they emit light which acts on red, green and blue phosphors to produce color information in a screen display of high quality. Since all the excited pixels react simultaneously the viewer does not see any flickering, and is instead able to feast on a bright display with a predominance of rich, realistic color with superior depth and subtle color gradations.
Moreover, because of an absence of any back-lighting or electron beam association with the plasma television, the viewer is able to enjoy a sharper, brighter and richer picture displayed on an ultra-slim flat screen. This comes along with a wide viewing angle going up to 160 degrees without any edge distortion like in the regular CRT televisions. At bare 4 thick (some are even as thin as 3 inches), and weighing in under 67 pounds for a 40 display, makes plasma televisions a combination of large size, convenience, and high performance seldom seen before in the era of traditional CRT television technology.
Plasma televisions deliver a much higher screen resolution than CRT televisions, and also come equipped with the ability to function with several different signals, including HDTV (high definition television), DTV (digital television) as well as XGA, VGA and SVGA signals from a computer.
The technology behind traditional CRT screens requires an electron beam to be used to scan the picture tube from top to bottom at regular intervals. In the course of playing a traditional NTSC signal the viewer may be able to actually see these lines, but since a plasma television comes with built-in line doubling, this increases picture quality and the viewer is not distracted by visible scan lines especially when viewing a standard analog signal like broadcast television of VHS tapes.
Plasmas also come with an aspect ratio of 16:9, which means that their length is almost double their width, more like a cinema screen than a traditional television. This makes it one of the best choices for a home theater, because widescreen DVD movies and HDTV programming look great on these displays; watching these displays is like being in a movie theater, and makes for a very enjoyable performance. Plasma technology is also superior to rear projection television technology which sometimes causes their displays to have hot spots in the middle of the screen, or dark spots in the corners. Plasma televisions are completely free of all such problems, and project a uniformly bright image at all times.
But, of course, the biggest cause of the burgeoning popularity of plasmas is the way they look. Their ultra-thin, futuristic design catches the imagination of potential buyers like nothing else. Bigger and bigger screen sizes with thinner and thinner bodies help as well. They can be wall-mounted just like a picture, and can fit anywhere in a small apartment, while giving the apartment itself an ultra-modern look, which is in stark contrast to the earlier regular tube televisions with their ungainly bulk.
Plasma televisions have an array of benefits for the potential television buyer; they have the looks and the performance that have set them so much in demand. Falling prices down the years have made them more affordable than ever before: today a plasma is considered a good investment of hard-earned dollars for an eager television enthusiast.
All you should know about regular tube televisions
CRT televisions seem to have lost the race for popularity in the high-tech age of plasma screen televisions, LCD TVs, and DLP televisions, but CRTs are still actually quite a good value for money which is why they retain a major chunk of the television market. Other cost advantages include relatively less need for maintenance, especially when compared to rear projection televisions like DLP which could work up a cost of 500$ and more for the replacement light source. And prices of CRT keep falling, which means for 500$, you can actually purchase quite a good CRT set.
The low prices are in fact the most significant unique selling point for CRT televisions because not only do they now come with built-in DVD players and VCRs, making them much more versatile and useful, but with flat screens and HDTV readiness as well. For a 100 dollars it is possible to own a 13 CRT, which is the smallest traditional tube television, and for a maximum of 300 dollars one could enjoy a 25 CRT.
Compared to the LCD, plasma and DLP rear projection models, the CRT units come much cheaper, and even the largest of CRTs is much cheaper when compared to other technologies. A 36 traditional unit would come in at $1,500, whereas a comparable size LCD or plasma television would retail for much, much more, and could be more than double the price of the CRT. Once you shop around to get the best deal, even the largest CRT television with maximum features may come in at around 2000 dollars. For value per square viewing inch, this record is hard to beat amongst the new technologies.
Traditional tube televisions can also be installed with much better ease than the new technology sets, which makes it the television of choice for those who do not want to be bothered by set-up difficulties before starting on their viewing experience. Provided you have electricity and an antenna or cable connection, all you need to do is put the set on a stand or in an entertainment center, plug it in and connect the cable or antenna and you are ready to go: use the remote to find the channels and you are already watching your television. This ease is in stark contrast with the complications of hanging a wall mountable LCD or plasma TV; or for that matter, individually setting up a projector, a screen and a separate audio system in other cases and this could be one of the big reasons why CRT s continue to be popular.
Considerations before buying a CRT television
Television buying ought to be given its due consideration given the significant budget it carries, whether one is in the market for a new set or a replacement unit. Of course, the main things to keep in mind are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a particular brand or model, compared with personal requirements and preferences as well as the dictates of budget and comparative value for money.
But one needs also to note the things that would gain the best performance, and good inputs hooked up to the unit can sometimes make all the difference, because some of the latest CRT models come with several different inputs meant not only for cable, satellite and antenna signals, but also for computer inputs. A potential buyer ought to ensure the presence of inputs for DVD players, VCRs, Laser Disc players and video games as well as a VGA connection, a DVI connection, or both if possible. These two connections allow a computer to use the television screen as a monitor as well.
Not only do good cables make the CRT television more versatile, they also add significantly to the picture quality and performance over all. A bad cable would ruin the performance not only of the television itself but also of the equipment that the cable attaches to the television. On the short term, bad cables save money, but in the long run they are not worth it because they hamper performance by a significant margin, so it is advisable to buy the best cable available on the market.
While shopping around for a CRT television it is important that one finds the most suitable deal, and this is not very difficult because CRTs still hold the major portion of the television market. Because of this, all brands from American firms and European manufacturers to all the Asian suppliers, including well known brands such as Toshiba, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Daewoo, Sylvania, RCA, Magnavox and Phillips among others, have several models of the traditional tube television. It is easy to compare the advantages or disadvantages as well as price differences through the study of reviews or by just simply shopping around. One should be looking at sets available at the deepest discount retailers to the totally top-of-the-line stores, electronics retailers as well as online stores, in order to find the best value for money possible.
To get the most out of your hard-earned dollars, you should insist on the latest features and advantages available in the market in order to ensure the television's longevity. One of the things that should be absolutely mandatory that the television to be bought is HDTV (high definition television) and DTV (digital television) ready, because this will enable it to survive well into the future and support the proven long life of the CRT as much as possible. Also beneficial would be the choice of a television with a flat screen.
This reduces glare and edge distortion and enhances the television's performance. The flat-screen CRT television actually provides a viewing experience identical to, if not better than flat-screen televisions, at a fraction of the price. The bulk could be a nagging issue with the bigger CRT sizes, and make them awkward to place, but adequate pre-planning according to the requirements of the home should be able to address this problem.
Things you should know about the latest LCD television
Though the last two decades have seen an avalanche of innovations in television technology and home theater systems, it is the LCD television that has captured the imagination and attention of the television consumers. These flat screen monitors which look nifty even when they are not switched on, entered the market with exorbitant price tags beyond the reach of all but the wealthy few. But then, technological advancement is a great leveler: the prices of LCD displays have plummeted quite a few notches in the past few years and are more reasonable today than ever before.
The lower-end, small screen LCD televisions are available for up to 200 dollars, while the higher-end models retail at several thousand dollars. For larger LCD screens with sizes as large as 65 and even more, the price goes up to $10,000 or more, but this only means that the technology is able to cater to all sorts of demands: for those who are on a strict budget but need quality performance, as well as those who want the very best money can buy. This new technology has changed our expectations of television viewing as none other has done previously, and may well turn out to cause a change in the way we enjoy movies, television and other forms of visual entertainment.
Televisions which use LCD, or liquid crystal display, had a few technical disadvantages in the early stages of the technology like ghosting specially when displaying fast action or fast moving imaging, but these problems have been sorted out down the years. These sets no longer need to be viewed from a point straight on or at an angle, and are a huge improvement on the earlier versions. At the outset of the technology, it was also generally held that LCD would be suitable only for small size televisions, and that this technology may not be able to compare favorably against other technologies like plasma, as far as large screen sizes were concerned. But LCDs are now available with bigger screen sizes as the technology has made large strides in a short period of time. This means the demand for LCD models has steadily increased and today most electronics manufacturers carry a few models that use LCD technology , and they are now featured by companies like Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Phillips and others.