As the TV service advances in the technology of how they’re delivered to our homes, and the various TV service packs offer more flexibility in what we can choose to pay for, the more demand is being put onto TV industry. These days, it looks like the providers of services like AT&T U-verse TV, Verizon FiOS, and Comcast XFINITY are all going in fiber-optic direction. Later on, it may be some other technology. In any case, it is all about increasing the bandwidth and speed of the digital information being transmitted over the long distance and delivered to our houses. Once in our living room, kitchen, or bedroom, it’s about the HDTV TV that we look at. When shopping for a high-definition television, it’s important to get the type that suits the needs of the consumer. There are three different types of HDTV (LCD, Plasma, and LED), and all have their benefits and disadvantages.
Plasma televisions are the oldest flat-panel television sets of the three. The concept actually began in 1964 when the orange-and-black monochrome PLATO system for computers was developed at the University of Illinois. The plasma televisions recognizable today first hit the market in 1997, when Fujitsu, Philips, and Pioneer all launched products that year.
Many companies have ended their production of plasma televisions, where companies like Panasonic continue to improve upon the technology.
The advantages of plasma television include:
- No high-angle degradation and a wider viewing angle than LCD.
- Virtually no motion blur due to higher refresh rates
- Superior contrast ratio due to deep black color production
The disadvantages of plasma television include:
- Potential for screen burn-in
- Gradual decline of brightness in older models
- Does not come in models smaller than 37 inches
- Heavier and uses more electricity than LCD and LED
The technology for LCD screens has been around since the 1980s, where they began appearing on laptop computers. But by the time consumers started asking for flat-screen televisions, plasma already had a foot in the door. However, when the demand for high-definition started in the late 1990s, LCD began to catch up to plasma in the marketplace, eventually outselling plasmas during the 2007 Christmas season.
The advantages of LCD television include:
- Perform well under almost any lighting; less glare under strong light
- No screen burn-in
- Larger range of sizes to choose from, 13 inches to 65 inches
The disadvantages of LCD television include:
- Blur caused by fast motion on the screen
- More expensive at higher aspect ratios than plasma
- No true black, so less spectacular contrast
LED televisions are not actually true LED. They are actually LCD televisions backlit by the light-emitting diodes. There are three types of LED televisions: RGB dynamic, which allows the LED lights behind the screen to work independently; Edge which is lit around the screen instead of behind; and full array, which can not backlight areas of the screen independently.
The advantages of an LED television include:
- Much lower power consumption than plasma or LCD
- More advanced picture quality than LCD
- Non-reflective screen
The disadvantages of an LED television include:
- More expensive
- LED lights do not age uniformly, grid may age at different rates