Liquid crystal display televisions (more commonly known as LCD TVs) are known for providing bright, crystal clear pictures and a full spectrum of beautiful colors to the TV viewer, but less known is the technology behind the picture. Armed with that knowledge, consumers will be better informed when it comes time to make a major television buying decision.
All LCD displays, whether those large and expensive televisions or the LCD projectors used in schools and offices, use the same technology. Crystal-filled cells are placed between two sheets of glass. When supplied with an electrical charge from a matrix of thin-film transistors, those crystals untwist and, using a lamp behind the television’s screen, begin filtering light, and thus color. Interesting enough, it is the process of subtraction that allows LCD TVs to produce their verdant colors. The projected light within the LCD TV starts out as plain white light, and the many bright colors you see on your television when watching are the result of blocking out certain wavelengths of that white light.
This method of blocking out light, though, has created somewhat of a problem for LCD technology when it comes to broadcasting true black or dark gray colors. Fortunately, electronics companies have heard the call and are furiously developing technology to improve LCD TVs’ true black display. Still, it appears that it will be some time before manufacturers can resolve the problem of faded blacks and grays for viewers of LCD TVs who happen to be viewing from less than dead center in front of the screen.
Also, if you are “going green” and considering the power usage of your appliances, it is important to note that LCD TVs use the most power when they are showing true blacks. This is the result of the television working hard to block all of that white light.
In today’s increasingly wired world, more consumers than ever are using their large screen televisions for gaming or even to display data from computers. It is in this capacity that LCD TVs have the greatest advantage over their biggest competitor, plasma televisions. LCD TVs are wonderful at displaying images straight from computers or other VGA sources. The number of pixels per square inch on LCD TV displays is higher than competing technologies, so not only will videos from your computer look and play beautifully, but you will be able to high volume documents such as Excel Spreadsheets or web pages. The ability of LCD TVs to display flawless images without any flicker or any chance of screen burn in also make them perfect for gaming.
Watching television at a high altitude? If you regularly view at over 6,500 feet then LCD TV is the answer for you. While their competitors, plasma televisions, might buzz at heights of over 6,500 feet, LCD TVs are not affected by increases or decreases in air pressure. This makes them the preferred televisions for viewing aboard planes.
Due to their significant cost, a big screen television is an investment, and nobody wants to invest without information about the longevity of their new product. Luckily, longevity is one area where LCD TVs particularly shine. Manufacturers claim that LCD TVs last anywhere from 50,000 to 65,000 hours, but when they say that, they are really only commenting on the longevity of the replaceable LCD bulb.
Because LCD TVs rely on light passing through a screen, aside from the bulb, there is essentially nothing else on the television that will wear out. Keep in mind that as LCD TVs age though, that the colors can fade slightly. All in all, LCD TVs can’t be beat for longevity, but older televisions might require a sacrifice of color. As always, keep these points in mind before making your purchasing decision.