What You Need to Know About...HDTV, Part 2

What You Need to Know About...HDTV, Part 2

Mar 28, 2007

Learn more about your viewing options and what to look for in this 3-part series on HDTV each day at Noon eastern; Check out Part 1 here to learn the basics about what makes HDTV HD.

"HD is coming, HD is coming!" There are three types of screens--besides projectors, which we'll cover another time--for HDTV: rear projection, plasma, and LCD. If you still have questions after reading the summary below, or want to find out more as there is only so much we can cover in a post, we recommend that you check out the article about video processing, as recommended by AT reader Max.

• Rear projection:
You'll see terms like "DLP", "LCD", and "LCoS" used when shopping for a rear projection TV; the technologies are very similar to the untrained eye.
Pros: Least expensive option for the 50" or 60" size; no risk of "image burn-in" (where an image remains on the screen when the TV is turned off)
Cons: Limited viewing angle - must be directly in front of the TV to get the best picture; the bulb will need replacing during the lifetime of the set and cost upwards of $200 or more
• Plasma TV:
Thin TV set that produces a very bright and vivid picture.
Pros: Thin enough to be wall mounted; wider viewing angle than rear projection TVs; often priced lower than LCD TVs of the same size in the 42" range and above.
Cons: Shiny surface can be very reflective (and therefore more difficult to view the quality of the picture in a room with a lot of windows); if a picture is displayed on the screen for an extended period of time, the risk of "image burn-in" is high.
This is the same technology used in laptop screens and in many monitors on office desks, with a HD tuner added.
Pros: Light and easy to wall mount; the screens work better than plasma in well lit spaces
Cons: The larger models are expensive; fast moving images may blur; most LCD monitors can't display true black.

Stop back tomorrow to learn more about what to look for and what to watch out for when purchasing an HDTV setup.

Photo from Kevin's Buildout; Kevin's TV is a 42" LCD HDTV Samsung LN-S4692D.

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