|The Pros and Cons of LCD TVs|
|Home Theater Feature Articles Video Related Articles|
|Written by Mike Levy|
|Wednesday, 01 September 2004|
Page 2 of 3
The Pros of LCD Displays
Most LCD displays have a non-reflective face. By comparison, the glass surface of plasma screens often reflects the lights in the room, degrading picture quality. Like plasma displays, you can put them almost anywhere. You can hide the connections for power and signal inside the wall, and they use very little space. Like the couple in the famous Phillips ad, you could even put one on the ceiling. Their advantages are that they weigh much less, are far less fragile, and use much less power than plasma displays.
Like plasma displays, if you can put a picture or painting on a specific wall in your home, you can usually put an LCD display there. If you want them to hide away, there are slick new mechanisms from companies like Tech Art that will cover them with high-end artistic reproductions that roll away when you want to watch TV. Other companies like Vantage Point have created hardware called the UFO that allows you to creatively position the thin sets in ways that also allow you to move the set out of the way in a number of innovative configurations. The low power usage and heat generated by an LCD display lowers the need for fans for ventilation and the lower weight allows for a lighter mechanism.
While the plasmas light output degrades with time due to phosphor wear, the LCD does not suffer from the same malady. Like plasma displays, they work in a variety of lighting. They usually have a variety of inputs and accept everything from standard NTSC TV to HD.
Many have DVI inputs as well as composite video, S-video, analog component and RGB. The newest sets even have HDMI digital video connections, the MPAA-approved standard for digitally transmitting encrypted HDTV. The larger sizes are usually true 16x9 HD displays. Many now include upscaling chip sets from Faroudja or Silicon graphics. They process lower-resolution signals like standard DVD or TiVo and convert them to the native resolution of the display. They sense when the incoming source is from a movie or video and process it accordingly, creating cleaner and smoother motion, fewer digital artifacts and better detail.
The Cons of LCD Displays
The black level of an LCD display, while quite good, is not as deep as those from plasma displays or CRT displays because it blocks light rather than creating it. The LCD has a response delay that causes fast motion to blur. Larger sizes are much more expensive than their plasma counterparts and they are not presently available in the largest sizes. Viewing from an angle can be a problem, because the light is coming from behind the pixel through a tunnel. Newer LCD displays are much better at an angle, because the length of the tunnel has been shortened greatly.