What is an LCD Television?

From being futuristic high tech a few years ago, LCD televisions are now the norm. If you’re new to LCD, we’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages for you.

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What is an LCD Television?

by on April 9th, 2009 | Comment | Share

Until a few years ago, a standard CRT television would be all that you could buy if you wanted a new set. All you needed to do was choose the size you wanted, and that was pretty much it. Then Plasma and LCD televisions came along and it made the whole situation a little more difficult. Nowadays, LCD is the dominant technology, but what is it, and what benefits does it offer?

LCD is an abbreviation of ‘Liquid Crystal Display’ – a technology that is used in mobile phones, digital camera displays and computer monitors. It has a number of advantages, and a couple of downsides over traditional CRT televisions:

Advantages

  1. Size – The first obvious advantage is the size. The screens are much, much thinner, sometimes only a few inches deep;
  2. Looks – the size issue means they look much less bulky and are generally more attractive than CRT’s;
  3. Positioning – again the size issue means they take up less room, and are lighter meaning they can be wall mounted if required;
  4. Power Consumption – They require less power to operate and so will reduce your electricity bill, and help save the planet;
  5. Quality – because of the increased resolution, they are able to display much higher quality images;
  6. Futureproof – buy carefully and you can be sure that your LCD television will last long enough that it won’t become outdated.

Disadvantages

  1. One of LCD’s main advantages, it’s quality potential, is also one of its disadvantages. Pictures that looked perfectly good on your CRT can look pretty ropey on your LCD. This is simply because the LCD will show up every detail – even the bad ones! LCD’s need a good quality signal to get the best our of them – they are awesome for DVDs and gaming – but think carefully if your tv signal is not as good as it could be;
  2. Motion Blur – one some LCD sets you get a ‘motion blur’ where the movement on the screen is happening faster than the screen can fully refresh. It normally only happens with sport and games, and is becoming less of a problem now

Other things to consider

HD Ready – You need to be purchasing an ‘HD Ready’ television if you don’t want it to be outdated when HD broadcasts become more commonplace. These are still a few years off yet, but if you watch Blu-ray movies through you Blu-ray player you will definitely need an HD set to get the best out of it.

720p/1080p – This is a measure of how detailed the picture is – in theory the more the better. BUT don’t spend extra money on getting a 1080p set if the screen size is under 37″ – you simply won’t be able to tell the difference over 720p.

How to Buy

If the picture is important to you, visit a few stores, see what is available on the market, and compare the picture quality between the various sets and brands. Some stores don’t show off the televisions to their full potential so make sure you read some of the online reviews as well to help you make the best choice.

If the picture is not as important as the looks, you will be able to most of your shopping online, but again check the reviews of your shortlisted models.

If you are on a limited budget, firstly decide what you want and make sure it is achievable – you aren’t going to get a 32″ set for £99 – well not yet anyway! Then keep your eyes peeled for deals and bargains in the national press, and be prepared to move quickly, as the best deals will sell quickly.

Where to buy

LCD televisions are available to buy pretty much everywhere, both in the High Street and online
The prices range from £99 for a small 15″ set, right up to a couple of thousand for the biggest set.

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