Plasma, Part 2 - LCD plasma

John Dulaney
 


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What do you mean by an LCD Display?

LCD is the acronym for liquid crystal display, and this technology was available for several years before new development in the last two years lent it applicable for the excellent quality flat panel television and computer monitor displays available today. LCD displays stand out for a remarkable feature, which is the slimness of the unit and the resultant sleek look this affords, but of course a considerable amount of power is required for proper function within the confines of the thin design.

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. For different models the number of pixels can range from hundreds of thousands of pixels to millions of pixels. LCD panels are available in several categories of shapes and sizes, but they are usually geared to provide for a 16 to 9 display ratio, which enables end users to enjoy a perfect viewing experience of widescreen displays such as DVDs or television shows.

How are LCDs and traditional televisions different?

LCD displays, flat panel computer screens and several such devices have quite a few built-in benefits which give them an edge over competing technologies in the eyes of consumers worldwide. The advantages of LCD televisions include but are not limited to the following:

Brighter display: Displays on LCD televisions tend to be brighter than the ones on traditional CRT television because the LCD uses pixels while a CRT television or monitor employs a tube to produce the display. So while CRTs are flexible with a range of resolutions, there is nothing to beat the performance of an LCD at its native fixed resolution.

Flicker free performance: LCD displays would be flicker-free, since it would have the benefit of an unchanging light source throughout the entire screen because once a pixel is switched on, it remains on. In comparison, the CRT display needs to refresh the screen with a ray of light glancing down the monitor at fixed time periods, leading to flickers onscreen.

High energy efficiency: LCD televisions consume up to 65% less energy than their traditional cousins, thus bringing you a lower bill and conserving the environment at the same time.

Sleek look: LCD displays boast an ultra-thin design and can be as slim as almost 5cm, or nearly 2 inches, which enables them to grace any part of the home with almost contemptuous ease. They can be lugged around pretty easily too, and look totally hip and futuristic in the eyes of consumers.

Wall mountable designs: A lot of end users prefer to hang up their televisions just like putting up a simple picture, and the lightness and slimness of an LCD unit allows them to do just that. A bracket strong enough to handle the weight of the set, and one can enjoy a wall-mounted television.

Useful LCD television terminologyr In the world of television, it is important to be familiar with a few terms, and their significance for the end users and their preferences, especially in the context of LCD television.

Aspect Ratio – 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. 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.

Candela – Candela is actually a unit of brightness, it defines a particular intensity of brightness in terms of the number of candles that would be required to produce the same intensity: for instance, a reading such as 450 cd/m2 indicates that it would require a gathering of 450 candles in an area of one square meter area to show up the intensity of light under measurement.

Contrast Ratio – The contrast ratio is a term used to signify the difference in intensity of luminosity between the darkest shade of black and the brightest shade of white on the display. The picture on display will be of a better quality in terms of sharpness if the contrast ratio is high.

HDTV – HDTV stands for high definition television, and is today becoming a widespread standard for broadcasting signal technology. Any prospective LCD purchase should be HDTV compliant, in order to be able to receive HDTV signals.

Inputs – Input connections allow the end user to connect various devices like DVD players, VCRs, game consoles, computers and so on to the display panel by providing various options for the reception of signals into the device. The greater the number and type of inputs allowed, the better value the display will provide to the consumer. It is thus important to check out the possibility of inputs on a particular television keeping in mind the devices planned for subsequent connection.

Other points to check out before a purchase decision:

Before a purchase it is important to understand the type of signal that would be available to you, and check its compatibility with the television you are planning to purchase. The LCD television you have chosen should have a tuner that accepts the signal available to you. Alternatively, since many televisions today do not come with a built-in tuner you must consider buying a compatible tuner, because televisions usually do require a cable box, satellite TV box, DirecTV signal or other similar device in order to pick up the signal. All required accessories should be bought along with the purchase of the television.

As far as accessories are concerned, it is advisable to purchase the best quality component cabling on the market to hook up your LCD display to a DVD player, VCR, Laser Disk player, computer or any other such device. Quality cables would produce exceptional picture and sound quality, which would be an added enhancement for the LCD of your choice.

The price tag is important too, because it is ideal to get the best goods in the market for the price range in your budget. A typical LCD would vary in price according to size, thinness, and brand name, so a prospective buyer needs to do a proper survey on the televisions available on the market, read up all available reviews from experts as well as current owners, do a comparative study of prices and features, and then pick up the one best suited to personal preferences. r Last, but not the least, if the end user travels often and has to live in different countries in a limited span of time, it makes sense to consider the multi-system option. A multi-system television can play signals from broadcasting stations as well as devices like DVD players in different formats prevalent in various countries, such as PAL, NTSC and SECAM. This way the television is a better value for money as it does not have to be discarded or exchanged when one has to shift to a different country.

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Characteristics and Pros and Cons of the multi-system plasma television

Technological breakthroughs in the world of television are common enough, but with their slender, futuristic design, plasma screens are here to stay as one of the most popular displays. They are sleek enough to be put up on any wall in any room, have excellent display capabilities and can come in a large variety of screen sizes, all of which explains their appeal for homeowners. These screens entered the market with a hefty price tag far beyond the grasp of all but a wealthy few, but with technological advancements these have now become affordable enough for a large portion of end users.

Of the many important considerations while buying a plasma screen television, the most significant is its capability to receive and display several different formats such as PAL, SECAM and NTSC, which make it a multi-system television. Multi-system plasma televisions feature a number of benefits absent from single format systems, and it is thus important to figure out the perfectly suitable multi-system in order to get the best value plasma at the best price.

What do you mean by a plasma television and what are its plus points?

Plasma televisions are televisions with plasma screens which are a maze of red, green and blue phosphors (each triad forms a single pixel or picture element) placed between two thin layers of glass, which when activated with small electrical pulses, emit color information and light to produce a display of high quality. Since all the excited pixels react simultaneously the viewer does not see any flickering.

The viewer is instead able to feast on a bright display with a predominance of rich color, because the advanced electronics controlling the red, green and blue sub-pixels is able to produce more than 16 million colors. This comes along with a wide viewing angle going up to 160 degrees in a sleek package a bare 4” thick (some are even as thin as 3 inches), weighing in under 67 pounds for a 40” display, which makes these televisions the ideal choice for home theaters. It helps that the sizes of the screens can be considerably larger along with the thin build, popular sizes include 37”, 42” and 50”, but some models can be more than 60” in size.

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. The plasma screen is also totally flat, free of any curvature whatsoever and therefore free of edge-distortion, which makes plasma televisions a combination of large size, convenience, and high performance seldom seen before in the era of traditional CRT television technology. Plasma technology also ensures a better resolution than older models of television, which is an indisputably significant environment.

Special home theaters are now being created in a lot of discerning homes in order to enjoy not only the sleek, big-screen viewing of television programs but also to enjoy DVD players, hard drive recorders, HDTV receivers, computers and video games, to name but a few, because a plasma screen can be easily connected to a lot of devices. Home entertaining never had it so good, because the prices of plasma screens are on the way down, and this, along with the features it possesses, makes it the best bet for a weekend home, or for an evening's enjoyment.

Importance of multi-system plasma television

A multi-system plasma television is able to receive signals and display images from several different formats and read various broadcast signals, and this capability is very important in a world where technologies like digital television are becoming increasingly relevant in terms of broadcasting.

Digital television is finding wider acceptance because of the dramatic improvement it brings to both sound and picture quality as against traditional NTSC analog programming. Digital programming is available in two distinct categories: standard analog definition television (SDTV) or high definition television (HDTV). HDTV is known to provide the best levels of performance in digital entertainment, serving up to 1,080 scan lines, and is thus fast becoming popular with entertainment enthusiasts across the globe. SDTV is not far behind, being in itself a significant improvement over the standard television signal prevalent today. The SDTV signal allows television stations to broadcast several disparate programs employing the same bandwidth as the HDTV signal. With the growing prevalence of HDTV in the world of broadcasting, it is important for all television buyers to purchase a TV that is HDTV ready, which is where plasma televisions come in.

Plasma televisions can display a wide variety of signals, including HDTV, DTV and traditional television signals. Moreover they can capture signals from VGA, SVGA and XGA from computers, making them very good value for money indeed. Multi-system plasma televisions are thus an added advantage because they accept signals from various formats as well, making the plasma capable of functioning almost anywhere with a number of devices, using different broadcasting signals.

Considerations before buying a plasma television

Several things need to be considered before the purchase of a plasma television, because despite falling purchase prices, plasma is still a significant investment. These televisions do not usually come with built-in tuners, so the end user needs to provide a signal from either a cable box or a satellite box. Also important are the connecting cables: these needs to be of the highest quality because they have a significant effect on the quality of performance of plasma, as compared to their effect on a CRT model. Not only the video cables which connect to the tuner but also those that connect to other devices like DVD players, VCRs and other video devices should be the best available in the market.

The crucial thing is to ensure that the plasma television under consideration for purchase is completely HDTV ready, and can play several formats, including PAL, NTSC, SECAM and so on. It should also be able to accept video signals from different devices, including computers, DVD players, VCRs and Laser Disc players.

Last, but not the least, is definitely the reputation of the brand of television to be bought. This can be decided based on various reviews, and could include names like Toshiba, Hitachi, Phillips, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony. A plasma television is a major purchase and the discerning buyer needs to give it the time and consideration it deserves.

110-220 Volt Electronics - A multisystem TV is a TV capable of receiving and displaying different video systems like PAL, SECAM and NTSC. You'll be able to operate a multisystem TV in 99% of the world. Their dual voltage design allows them to be plugged into either a 110 voltage source or a 220 voltage source. In some cases, the plug on the television will not fit your country's outlet, so an inexpensive plug-adapter will be needed. They can generally be picked up at an electronics store such as http://www.planetomni.com for $1.95. With a multisystem TV, such as a plasma, CRT tube type, LCD or DLP, you'll likely need a codefree (sometimes called region free) DVD player. These exist in many forms. When used with a PAL-NTSC TV you'll be able to see the full 625 lines of resolution available in the PAL system and the full 525 lines used in the USA NTSC system. There exists a converting type of DVD player which is codefree in that it can read all of the world's 6 regions and both standards, PAL and NTSC. 140,000 other products are available here: http://www.planetomni.com Tel. # 800-514-2984

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