LCD flat screen TVs provide a superior picture as compared to a traditional
television - and they can come in more attractive styles to boot. A flat screen
LCD TV can be mounted on a wall, under a cabinet, on the ceiling… or can sit on
a stand or on top of furniture. LCD TVs are versatile, flexible, and provide a
better entertainment experience… but how do they work?
LCD flat screen TVs, and LCD technology itself, is based on the properties of
polarized light. LCD TVs consist of two, perpendicularly arranged panes of
polarized glass "stuck together" by a liquid-crystal-filled polymer solution.
When they are exposed to electrical currents, the crystals untwist to varying
degrees, permitting specific amounts and colors of light to pass though them.
Flat screen LCD TVs are, in effect, projection TVs that depend on an extremely
bright lamp as their light source, so they're considered a "passive" display.
So how do you choose the right flat panel LCD TV for you? You should at least
consider the following factors when shopping for a flat panel LCD TV.
1. Look for a HDMI input. This port keeps the signal all-digital, avoiding
degradation that can occur as the signal passes through other components (like
your cable box). HMDI carries high-definition audio as well as video. Some
satellite receivers and DVD players also connect through this port.
2. Match the LCD TV size to the size of the room where it will be placed.
Because LCD TVs have higher resolutions than conventional TVs, you can sit
closer than you normally would, so you can view a larger screen comfortably.
(Keep in mind a 42-inch screen may overwhelm a small room, though.)
3. Decide if you want the picture-in-picture feature. The picture in picture
feature allows you to simultaneously view two video sources at once, with one
appearing as a small window on the screen. If you do want picture-in-picture in
your flat panel LCD TV, keep in mind that single-tuner picture-in-picture lets
you watch TV in one window and another source (like a DVD) in the second window.
A flat panel LCD TV with two tuners lets you watch two television sources at
4. Do you need HDTV? A flat panel LCD TV with EDTV is cheaper, but it can't
display high-definition signals. The price difference between smaller flat panel
HD-ready LCDs and ED-ready LCDs is fairly low, so you're better off buying a
HD-ready set. In fact, most experts say there's little reason to buy a non-HD
LCD television. These lower resolution LCD TVs won't be able to accept
high-definition signals, so the picture won't look any better than regular
analog TV. And small HD-ready LCD TVs can be found for $500 or less, which is
cheap enough that there really isn't much to "save" on a non-HD LCD TV.
5. Check to see if the TV comes with a stand or mounting hardware. Most flat
panel LCD TVs come with a basic table stand, but wall-mounting hardware costs an
additional $100 to $200.
6. Look into the manufacturer's warranty policy before buying online. Some
manufacturers have strict policies regarding authorized dealers. If you buy a
Sharp LCD Television, for example, from an unauthorized dealer, Sharp may not
offer warranty coverage. (However, the retailer may offer a substitute warranty
that sufficiently covers you.) The difference in price between an authorized
Sharp dealer and a discounter can sometimes be hundreds of dollars, so make sure
you're comfortable with the risk of not having a warranty, or make sure you ask
the dealer for information about their warranty terms for the flat panel LCD TV
7. Finally, learn about LCD TVs. There are far more things to learn about LCD
TVs than the above mentioned points. Get educated on how to buy an LCD TV.
|About The Author
Tim Jeffries is author of “The LCD TV Shopping Guide.” Get your copy at