Introduction to LCD Television
Like the popular flat panel LCD monitors that are now commonly used with computers, LCD Televisions have a slim design and a flat viewing surface, but have been fine tuned for video and television display. Recent advances in flat panel LCD television technology now allow for larger screens, wider viewing angles, and higher-quality video images. LCD Televisions are also competing with plasma television technology. They are several times lighter than comparably sized plasma televisions, and are far more durable.
All LCD Televisions offer progressive scan displays and sleek, slim designs. They also provide users with a bevy of input options, adding to their versatility. Most LDC televisions double as computer displays by allowing standard analog VGA (PC) or even DVI digital input, a great option if you need your LCD Television to pull double duty as a PC monitor. Nearly all LCD Television sets offer the option to mount on a wall, under a cabinet, on on a desktop.
How LCD Televisions Work
An LCD Television is sometimes referred to as a "transmissive" display—light isn't created by the liquid crystals themselves; a light source behind the panel shines light through the LCD Television display. A white diffusion panel behind the LCD redirects and scatters the light evenly to ensure a uniform image.
The LCD television display consists of two polarizing transparent panels and a liquid crystal solution sandwiched in between. The screen's front layer of glass is etched on the inside surface in a grid pattern to form a template for the layer of liquid crystals. Liquid crystals are rod-shaped molecules that bend light in response to an electric current — the crystals align so that light cannot pass through them. Each crystal acts like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking the light. The pattern of transparent and dark crystals forms the image. It's the same display technology behind your digital watch but way more sophisticated.
LCD Televisions typically use the most advanced type of LCD, known as an "active-matrix" LCD. This design is based on thin film transistors (TFT) — basically, tiny switching transistors and capacitors that are arranged in a matrix on a glass substrate. Their job is to rapidly switch the LCD's pixels on and off. In an LCD Television, each color pixel is created by three sub-pixels with red, green and blue color filters.
One of the biggest challenges for LCD television manufacturers has been speeding up the "pixel response" time (how fast an individual pixel's color can change without blurring) to ensure that fast-moving objects don't exhibit "motion lag" or ghosting. It's especially critical for larger-screen LCD Televisions where much of the viewing will be DVD movies and/or HDTV.
An important difference between plasma and LCD television technology is that an LCD television screen doesn't have a coating of phosphor dots (colors are created through the use of filters). That means you'll never have to worry about image burn-in, which is great news, especially for anyone planning to connect a PC or video game system. LCD televisions are extremely energy-efficient, typically consuming 60% less power than comparably-sized tube-type direct-view TVs!