Buying LCD Televisions

Buying LCD Televisions

When searching for a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) television to purchase, there are several key attributes to be considered when looking for in an LCD HDTV. Picture quality is the number one issue to focus on, because the difference is like day and night between LCD and standard televisions.

Types of LCD Flat Panel Televisions

Searching for LCD televisions will result in finding 3 main types:

  • Standard Definition LCD TV (SDTV) has a 480i resolution and is best for 19 inch and smaller TVs.
  • Enhanced Definition LCD TV (EDTV) has a 480p resolution and is best for 24 inches and smaller TVs.
  • High Definition LCD TV (HDTV) has a resolution range from 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 1080i. These are best for 26 inches and larger TVs.

The “I” and “p” stand for the type of picture scanning found in the picture tubes. As follows:

  • i – interlaced video which means the picture scanning on the screen starts at the top, works its way to the bottom and starts over.
  • p – progressive scan is the better of the two for quality viewing. Picture scanning on the screen starts at the top and skips every other line as it works its way to the bottom. Then it goes back to the top and fills in the missing lines and then starts over.

Features of LCD Flat Panel Televisions

The features of LCD TVs to consideration when selecting a LCD TV include:

  • The stretch and zoom mode is used to expand and compress videos to eliminate black stripes on top, bottom, and sides of screen.
  • The film mode is designed to compensate for viewing older films which use 24 frames per second and DVD videos use 30 frames per second.
  • Having a memory card slot is great for viewing digital camera pictures and camcorder home videos in HDTV.
  • Using an illuminated remote is handy for watching videos in darkened home theater environments.
  • Picture in Picture (PIP) mode allows watching more than one show at a time or even two football games at once.
  • Use as a computer display for better viewing of computer games or watching online movies.
  • Gaming Consoles – the quality of the gaming experience is unsurpassed when playing video games with a PS3, Xbox 360, WII, etc.

LCD HDTV and Movies

Enjoying wide screen movies is better with an LCD HDTV, because it uses a video aspect ratio of 16:9. Wide screen videos are shot at 16.65:9 ratios, which make them ideal for LCD HDTVs. SDTVs use an aspect ratio 4:3.

So what does this aspect ratio mean? Basically this means for every 16 inches in width, then there is 9 inches height. A SDTV is 4:3 or for every 4 inches in width, there is 3 inches in height. When comparing the two using a similar height, HDTV is 16:9 and SDTV is12:9. This is why LCD HDTV is better for wide screen movies.

Other Factors for LCD HDTVs

Another factor to consider when purchasing a LCD HDTV is If it is to be used in a large room, then a 42 inch or greater screen size is best. Also if the Tv is for home theater use, then 1080 resolution HDTV is the best choice. A third factor is if the HDTV is to be mounted on a wall, a mounting bracket is needed. Also check to ensure there is adequate wall support to bear the weight. A LCD HDTV can weigh as much as 100 pounds or more.