What You Need To Know About The Different Types of Big Screen Television?

We recently decided to install a home theater in our new living room. As we planned our new system, we faced a variety of choices when it came to display technology.

An obvious choice was a flat panel display, using plasma or advanced LED technology. These displays are very popular, and their prices are decreasing all of the time. They are bright and very responsive -- perfect for viewing movies or sports. Flat panels also come with many connection options, making them easy to integrate into a variety of home theater systems. Their chief drawback is price -- while small to mid-sized units are very reasonably prices, the largest units are astronomically expensive. We are looking for the largest display possible to duplicate the theater experience , so the price of the largest flat panel displays made this choice less attractive.

Another option is rear-projection displays. These units were very popular until flat-panel displays came down in price. Nowadays, these units are only available in very large sizes as this is the only size range in which they still have an advantage over flat panel displays. While not as bright and sharp as the best flat panel displays, rear-projection units can perform quite well. Because many of these units tend to be older designs, though, they tend not to have many connectivity options. Their main disadvantage is their packaging -- rear projection displays are very large and heavy. While it might have been possible to integrate such a large piece of equipment into our living space, it would not have been easy and would have necessitated compromises in other areas. So this technology was not very appealing to us, either.

We finally settled on front-projection technology -- a ceiling-mounted projector utilizing a wall-mounted screen. This solution performs about as well as a rear-projection system, but for less cost making it the most reasonably-priced system when screen size is taken into account. Additionally, the best-selling units come with a variety of connection options. Additionally, we intend to use a retractable screen to make our living space more versatile, an option that is not available with the other two technologies. The chief disadvantage to these systems is their sensitivity to the environment -- rooms with a lot of natural light can cause the screen to appear washed-out. We plan to address this by careful placement of the projector and screen in relation to the windows in the room; later, we may also add some sort of light-reducing curtains or window treatment.

With a bit of planning and careful shopping, we expect that our home theater system will rival that of our local cinema house!

What Type of New Technology Television Do You Have?

  • LCD/Plasma/Flat Screen
  • Rear Projection TV
  • Front Projection TV
  • None of the Above
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Comments 4 comments

Oscortega profile image

Oscortega 5 years ago from California

LED is the way to go.


formosangirl profile image

formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

Thanks for your comment. My husband is a huge movie buff, and he's currently building the wall-shelving with the big 8' wide screen in mind. I am letting him live his dream.


Oscortega profile image

Oscortega 5 years ago from California

That's very Cool of you.

I actually install and design custom home theaters for a living. And I've come across many wives such as your self who've supported their husband with the gift of a Home Theater.

I am a huge movie buff also :)


formosangirl profile image

formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles Author

You have a really cool job! You make a lot of people happy.

It's actually a win-win situation. He's building me a huge built-in shelving so that we can finally have storage (11.5-foot ceiling), saving me a lot of $$$. More importantly, he is building me a big Buddhist alter that will be behind the screen. This will look like a miniature version of my Buddhist community center. He is hoping that we'll be able to tele-video with his family in Louisiana, since travel is so expensive nowadays, especially for families to fly. I am hoping that I'll open my house up for meeting, social functions, etc.

The bottomline is that he is enjoying the entire carpentry (planning how to tuck away the cables) and installation. He recently tested the circular Crutchfield speakers that he built into the ceiling. I wasn't around to hear it, but he was so happy with it. It will take some time for the big reveal. He's only 1/3 done with the shelving, and he's going to send Carl Champly a picture when he is done because he learned all of the techniques from his DIY show.

Thanks again for commenting.

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