There are a lot of different technologies for Televisions going around at the moment, it can be confusing when trying pick one to be the centre piece of your living room.
I’ll skip the old technologies such as CRT and Rear Projection, these are largely defunct, even more so CRT. I would completely recommend against buying a Rear Projection TV, they provide cheap access to HD content but provide a poor picture and have noisy fans and require the bulbs replacing eventually. This type of TV is also bulky and suffers badly from reflections on its plastic screen.
So now onto the more up to date solutions to your TV watching needs. Let’s start with the oldest mainstream HD TV type, Plasma.
Plasma – Plasma Panels were first implement in 1983 on an IBM PC, although the only colour it could produce was orange! The TV’s are called plasma due to the gas they contain in small cells that make up the image on the screen. When electricity is applied to the gas it turns to plasma and emits light, each pixel on the screen is coloured red, green or blue and mixes to produce the required picture.
The advantage – of Plasma TV is the deep black colour they can produce, colours in general have historically been better realised on plasma panels. Contrast tends to go up into the millions on Plasma TVs and offers an excellent picture. Older Plasma TVs had a much lower resolution than modern models but now excel. The brighter the image the higher the power draw.
The disadvantage – Plasma TVs use a massive amount of power compared to LCD, LED or the latest OLED (organic). They can also suffer from screen burn in, even on more recent models, this has been mitigated somewhat by manufacturer tech such as moving still images around the screen. Finally due to the glass used in the panels make up the TVs will tend towards weighing heavy and being more bulky, although less so in modern models.
LCD – The “successor” to Plasma it works by cold cathode ray tubes behind LCD shutters equipped with colour filters and white. The CCRT’s emit light and the LCD shutters filter it into colours and produce the image.
The advantage – LCD TVs tend to be slimmer and weigh less, due to using a plastic rather than glass screen. Power consumption is also lower than Plasma TVs and is not affected by the brightness of the image displayed. The manufacturing process is now also at its maturity and thus LCD is for the most part the cheapest option compared to plasma and LED.
The disadvantage – Colour, fast moving images and dead pixels can all affect these TVs. The colour can be compromised as some of the backlight can come though when it shouldn’t. The response rate of older examples can be terrible and result in very blurry moving images, however modern versions have largely illuminated this problem. Lighting of the panel can be uneven as some have backlights at the corners. Compared to Plasma a lot of the time LCD comes off worse in most respects.
LED – LED is really more of a stop gap technology, most LED TVs simply use LEDs to light the TV which results in a clean crisp picture, combined with LCD tech.
The advantage – The TVs built using this process are very thin, light and produce an amazing picture at least on par with Plasma and sometimes better. The contrast ratio is high and the panel is lit evenly rather than at the corners, this produces a very bright TV picture and response times are lightning fast giving sports and games a fluid movement. Power consumption is low due to the inherent nature of LEDs.
The disadvantage – None really except that these TVs will shortly be superseded by OLED.
OLED – OLED stands for organic light emitting diode. OLED TVs work by being sandwiched between anodes and cathodes, electricity is then applied to the OLEDs producing the image.
The advantage – High contrast ratio provides excellent colours and much wider viewing angles are present to. In future OLEDs will be able to be implemented in more ways than other technologies, such as flexible screens. Response times are considerably faster than LCD resulting in no lag. Reduced power consumption and thin displays round off the best TV tech today.
The disadvantage – Currently the tech costs a lot to make and this is of course passed onto the consumer. Lifespan is also a potential problem at present. UV light can cause damage if applied directly.
Final conclusions – forgetting CRT and Rear Projection, LED is likely the best option for most people, it offers good price to size ratio and of course has great picture quality, not to mention its thinness and lightness. Plasma TVs are cheap now, especially 3D models but do suffer from screen burn in, it is an option though for very large screens over 60″. LCD is being phased out by some companies such as Samsung and will likely not be made for much longer, plasma will likely outlive it, price wise plasma is still better and LED offers better tech. OLED is just far too expensive and has some kinks that need to be fixed.
In closing get yourself an LED TV and love it!
Don’t forget to check my blog out @ http://past-present-future-games-tech.blogspot.co.uk/ as well.