If you are planning to buy an LCD TV and not sure how and what to look for? Read on to get a basic overview on things to keep in mind when looking around.
HOW DO LCD TVs WORK
LCD monitors work by blocking light. By sandwiching a solution of TN (twisted nematic) liquid crystals between two perpendicularly aligned panes of polarized glass, it becomes possible to manipulate the intensity of light as it passes through this crystalline matrix and out the glass panel at the other end. Depending on the voltage of the electrical charge running through them, liquid crystals will untwist so that the intensity of light able to pass through the second polarized pane is affected. Basically, these displays can switch between light states (where the liquid crystals are fully twisted) and dark states (where the liquid crystals are fully untwisted), or somewhere along the gray scale in between.
As a buyer, screen size is the first thing you need to decide on. Users generally fancy large size LCDs. The general view is the bigger the LCD, the better. However, ideally one must decide the screen size depending upon the space and distance available. For a proper viewing experience, one must maintain the right distance between viewing area and television screen.
This is important as a larger display when viewed from closer distance shows grainy or pixelated images. It also causes eye strain.
The accepted distance for LCD displays is two to five feet for 20-27-inch displays, six to eight feet for 32-37-inch displays, 10-14 feet for 42-46-inch displays and 16 feet for 50-inch display and above.
Also, LCD scores over CRT models in physical depth. Most are less than 3 inch in depth. Along with size, it is important to check viewing angle. LCD TVs have a good side-to-side view angle, with wide angle ranging from 160 degrees to 80 degrees from the center viewing spot.
Resolution or picture detail defines how finer or sharper the picture quality would be. Better the resolution, sharper the picture quality.
Average LCD TVs offer a minimum pixel resolution of 1280x720. This should be treated as the minimum pixel count one should go for.
Some large screen LCD TVs have as high pixel resolution as 1920x1080 , accompanied by obviously a high price tag.
Like LGís popular Scarlet range which comes in 47 inch to 42 inch range has 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution while the 37 inch and 32 inch models offer 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.
Another factor to note is the contrast ratio. It determines the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image.
If LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look grey and while light images looks washed or blurred. An average contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 10,000:1 for 32-inch.
Toshiba's new range of LCD TVs offer Higher Dynamic Contrast ratio (maximum 30,000:1 in 37-inch LCD). Samsung's latest LCD LA46A650 has a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 50,000:1 in 46-inch.
LG's Scarlet series also has a Dynamic Ratio of 50,000:1 in all models.
MOTION RESPONSE TIME
In case you are a sports lover or action movie buff, Motion Response Time is a must check. Motion Response Time is the ability of an LCD TV to display fast moving objects.
This is important as otherwise fast moving scenes like say a speeding car or in a tennis match scene, you may see notice a blur. It is described as fast motion blur.
So, before you buy, check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). On an average, an LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 6 ms, 8ms or 12ms.
Check for the connectors offered. If you have a home entertainment equipment, make sure that the LCD TV has all the connections necessary to hook up to your home entertainment systems.
Also, your LCD TVs can work as a computer screen. So, check for connections for composite, S-video, component video and RGB SCART inputs.
You may also want to connect your TV to gaming console, HD DVD or Blu-ray player.
ADVANTAGES OF LCD TV
Easier to watch as LCD TVs are significantly brighter and feature higher contrasts than traditional CRT sets
Improved LED backlighting system enables better black levels and a brighter more energy efficient TV performance
Direct-view models are only a few inches deep.
Good picture quality
15" flat panel gives same viewable screen as a 17" CRT monitor
DISADVANTAGES OF LCD TV
LCD has the problems producing true blacks. Some light always passes through when the liquid crystals untwist, so the best black on most LCD panels is a very dark gray.
Because of the way light passes through an LCD cell, direct-view LCDs usually have a narrower viewing angle than plasma TVs.
Low-resolution LCDs exhibit distinct pixelation and screen-door effects when blown up to big screen sizes. For front projection, using a model with XGA (1,024 x 768) or higher resolution will reduce screen-door effects
LCD TV and LED TV
LED or Light Emitting Diode TVs are part of the LCD TV family. The display screen on a LED is a liquid crystal display the same as it is on any other LCD TV. The main difference between the two lies with different backlighting techniques which may change the picture quality characteristics dramatically.
LED TVs are better than LCD TVs though are more expensive currently.
LCD TV price depends on the size and features you are looking for. As the features and size go high, so does the price. In some cases, it may depend on the brand. LCD range starts from Rs 20, 000 and can go up to Rs 5,00000.
Sony's Bravia series (W,V,S) is priced between Rs 24,990 to 299,900. Sony's new Bravia series BX, EX and NX are priced between Rs. 16,900 to Rs. 3,49,000. You can check more about them here.
Panasonicís recently launched LCD TV line-up is priced between Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000.
LG's Scarlet series is priced between Rs 57,000 to Rs 1,60,000 depending upon the model variant. Sansui Kyuuten LCD 324H is available for Rs 39,990.