You are in the market for a new television, and want to have a whole theater system installed, but how do you decide between all of the different television options? What is the difference between LCD and plasma? What is a smart tv and do you even want a tv thats “smart”? What about 3D, do I want to watch everything in 3D? Here we will give a quick overview of what’s what in the world of televisions.
LCD, or liquid crystal display, uses cold cathode flourescent lamps. Typically the complaints against the LCD is that the contrast ratio is subpar and there are no dark rich images. Also, the price is slightly higher compared to plasmas. However, if you have lots of light coming into the room where your television sits, LCD is probably your best bet. The LCD is also about the thinnest tv you are going to find.
Plasma screens use small cells containing electrically charged ionized gases. This is going to require more electricity, but plasmas come in great prices at larger sizes. They also are estimated to last around 27 years if ran 10 hours a day. Plasmas have a wide view angle, deep blacks which provide rich color contrasts and have little to no motion blur. Many complain, however, that they tend to have a shimmering effect, glare, and are typically a bulkier tv set.
What about LED? The LED (light emitting diodes) television is simply an LCD with backlighting to help the contrast ratio. LED screens are what you see when you look at live billboards. The important thing to remember with these is that you really need to go with a good quality set with local dimming to get the best picture. This tends to be a pricier option.
Smart televisions are a neat concept if you know for sure you are going to actually use the feature. It is estimated that fewer than half the people who own a smart tv do. With the smart tv you are internet connected, meaning you can web browse, watch video on demand (Netflix, Amazon etc.), get video streaming (YouTube), share photos and music, and get music on demand (Pandora, etc.). If you aren’t ready to shell out the cash for a smart tv, you can use a Blu-ray player or one of the many set up boxes currently on the market in place of a smart television.
The 3D capable television set is all about immersion and the stereoscopic field of vision to get the most from viewing third dimension. It basically fools the brain into thinking it is watching reality right at that moment. So if 3D is on your must have list, go big for the best viewing experience. And yes, you can watch a 3D television the “normal” way when you want.