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The Pros and Cons of LCD TVs Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 September 2004
Article Index
The Pros and Cons of LCD TVs
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How to decide if LCD is right for you?
Consider your usage and the advantages and disadvantages of LCD displays. In choosing consider room lighting, type of viewing, and viewing distance. The viewing distance should be between three and five times the width of the screen for television usage, and no closer than 1.5 times the width for the highest quality sources. Using specifications to choose an LCD display qualitatively is problematic because, as usual, the most important specifications, black level and gray scale definition, are usually left out. The most important factor in moving image quality is not a specification, but the quality of the digital processing, and that can only be judged by viewing a variety of moving images on the screen. Processing quality is very important. Poor processing creates digital artifacts such as blurred images and/or strange dots and lines flashing across the screen.

Remember that the pixel count, maximum brightness and contrast ratio are of secondary importance. If you want the resolution of high definition, it is defined as a minimum pixel count of 720 by 1280. Most units with high definition resolution will look great playing an HD source. The problem occurs when you play a DVD, standard satellite or regular TV source, which is when the quality of the processing becomes most important. Good processing cannot clean up a bad source, but bad processing can create many problems with a clean moving image when scaling up to the panel’s native resolution.
As with plasmas, I would recommend buying a display that has good fundamental parameters and matching it with an external processor. Interlaced film-based material is the hardest to process and benefits the most from a processor. I recommend the processors from Faroudja, Runco, or DVDO. The difference is amazing.

While it seems technology is ever moving forward and quality goes up while the price goes down, it is no reason to deprive your home of the beauty, quality and ease of use of today’s flat panel technologies. You may hear of nanotube technology as the next imaging solution, and it may be the next great flat panel technology, but what you can put in your house right now is a level of image quality previously available to professionals or hobbyists. You will find yourself frequently looking at the picture quality now on your wall in amazement.

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