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Big Screen Televisions - LCD vs Plasma Big Screen Televisions

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Many families are tempted by the urge to buy big screen televisions for their homes to create home theater systems and to improve their overall entertainment experience. After all, what better way is there to enjoy the latest movies, video games, and television shows than with a large viewing screen? A large screen can put a person right into the middle of the action, create a more immersive experience, and allow more people to watch the screen at the same time. When buying big screen televisions, shoppers are confronted with two choices: LCD or plasma televisions. Each technology is fundamentally different and has its own pros and cons.

The technology behind big screen televisions has come a long way since the old rear projection televisions that used to dominate the market in the 1980s and 1990s. The old big screen televisions were not only wide, but extremely deep, making them take up a lot of space in a room. Now, flat screen TVs have taken over the market and offer large viewing screens with minimal depth so that they take up less room and can even be mounted to walls.

One of the most popular types of big screen televisions is the LCD TV. LCD or liquid crystal displays can be found in many electronic devices. In recent years, they have been included in computer monitors, televisions, phones, GPS systems, and most other electronic devices that depend on a display screen. The lightweight construction, low energy requirements, and cheap manufacturing costs have made LCD displays the go to display for portable electronic devices. LCD technology is based on substances called liquid crystals. Liquid crystals are not truly liquid at all. Rather, they are solid particles that when grouped in large amounts display the properties of a liquid. For example, liquid crystals are analogous to grains of sand. A grain of sand is solid, but a bucket of sand behaves like a liquid, able to be poured like water. What makes liquid crystals vital to the LCD TV is their ability to polarize light. Polarizing light is a technical term used to describe the filtering of light through certain substances. In typical big screen televisions that use LCD technology, millions of LCD crystals are grouped into a grid-like pattern. An LCD big screen television also has another important piece of equipment called the back light. This device is responsible for sending light through the crystal grid at precise moments to produce the picture. When this happens, the light from the back light is filtered through the grid. Depending on what needs to be displayed, the grid filters out and blocks light to produce different colors.

The other main type of big screen televisions that are commonly available is the plasma television. Plasma televisions have more in common with a fluorescent light bulb than they do with an LCD television. Plasma TVs feature two panes of glass that have an inert gas squeezed between them. The glass panes are then subdivided into small cells, each of which holds some of the gas. Coated with a special chemical that reacts to ultraviolet light, each cell glows a different color when exposed to different levels of ultraviolet light. The plasma TV’s electronics produce UV radiation in particular patterns to excite the gas within certain cells, producing different hues on the screen.

When choosing between LCD and plasma big screen televisions, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each technology. First of all, LCD big screen televisions are less expensive than equally sized plasma displays. Not only this, but they use far less power and produce less heat. LCD televisions also last longer than plasma TVs. The gas from a plasma TV can escape over the lifetime of the television. Once the gas has escaped, the TV will no longer function. Another advantage that an LCD TV has over plasma is that the screens are non glare, which can be important if the television is placed in a room with a lot of windows or lights. Plasma televisions do have some advantages over LCD big screen televisions though. For one, plasma TVs have better viewing angles, which allow watchers to see the screen from all over a room. Next, plasma TVs display black and other colors more vibrantly than LCD televisions. Finally, plasma TVs do not suffer from ghosting, blurriness than develops when objects move across the screen quickly.

When choosing between big screen televisions, shoppers will have to make the choice between plasma and LCD. As to which to choose, it depends. For those who want a large television at a low price, LCD technology is the clear winner. For those who value picture quality over expense, plasma televisions should be considered.

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