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Flat Panel TVs and Monitors

Updated on January 20, 2013

The Dilemma of Choice

Your thin flat panel TV can grace your room by hanging on the wall like a piece of art, or it can sit on a trendy stand, catching everyone's eye when they enter the room, or just rest sedately on a table.

But the technologies that go into flat panel TVs, namely LCD and plasma have their own pros and cons, depending on the application.

LCD technology Popular Choice

Flat panel LCD TVs and flat panel monitors for computers use the same technology liquid crystal display which produces sharp and bright images in most lighting types.

LCDs shine light through pixel cells that have a red, green and blue component, but they cannot turn off certain pixels. Hence, the ability of LCDs to produce a pure black is less, which in turn has an effect on contrast levels. If the LCD panel is more than 40 inches wide, they are obviously more expensive than flat panel plasma TVs and rear projection TVs. But they are affordable when you look for 15-21 inch-wide screens for smaller rooms. Major manufacturers who make these are Sharp, Philips, Dell, Samsung, Sony, etc.

The main advantages of liquid crystal display panels are that they are lightweight, thin and do not consume much power. CRT or conventional cathode ray tube monitors are being used lesser and lesser because of the obvious advantages of flat panel LCDs over them. LCD displays are mostly TFT panels or thin film transistor LCDs, an active matrix. They have the property of high quality displays and smaller size, which is what makes them popular for many uses.

Plasma Flat Panel TVs

The other flat panel option - Plasma TVs - look very elegant and streamlined. You can choose the best from Sony, Pioneer, Samsung, Philips, and Hitachi etc. whose wide screens can be anything from 36 inches to about 70 inches.

These are renowned for their color accuracy and can be viewed from anywhere in the room. They pass an electric charge to cells filled with gas, which in turn respond with a burst of ultraviolet light to produce images; hence plasma TVs are said to be prone to the burn in phenomenon.

Flat Panel TV LCD Or Plasma Which Is Better?

Flat panel TVs have great advantages in terms of being thinner and lighter making them a better option in terms of flexibility in placement. The digital display quality is precisely controlled producing an amazing array of colors. They are immune to magnetic picture distortions, so you don't have to worry about putting them close to speakers that are not shielded. Flat panel TVs give you good image focus making straight lines look straight. About the only downside is the fact that flat panel TVs are costlier than conventional TVs. So thin is definitely in with both LCD and Plasma TVs. Plasma TVs are invariably larger than LCDs and have a wider viewing angle. In terms of brightness, LCD panels are better when lights are bright. Plasma TVs produce blacker blacks.

This is the time prices are getting more and more affordable, since prices for LCD and Plasma TV are decreasing quite fast.

Article written by Marc Crohn. For more information about flat panel TVs visit There you will find reviews of the most recommended websites.

Buy a Flat Screen TV for less! - on eBay

Here are just a few of the bargins you can find on eBay, all priced between $100 and $500.

Finding The Flat Panel Monitor of Your Dreams - by John Thompson

If you are still not on the flat-panel monitor bandwagon, you have got to be considering doing it soon. And, if not, then you should! Its the trendiest peripheral to own. It represents power, fashion and all things young and happening. Until you replace your CRT screen you wouldnt notice how much you detested that monstrosity! But before you spend your hard earned money, getting to know the object of desire will do you wonders.

Buying guidelines:

  1. Flat panel monitors use interfaces - analog or digital. The most up-to-date models have digital interface but an all-digital configuration costs a good deal more. If you are purchasing an analog flat panel, you should attach it with a digital interface to your video card with a digital out jack to mainstream the signal.

    If you are thinking about to buy a digital interface, you need to investigate its compatibility. There are several digital interface standards available today-Plug and Display (P&D) from the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), Digital Flat Panel (DFP) from the Digital Flat Panel Working Group, and Digital Video Interface (DVI) from the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG).

    The P&D interface is the oldest of the three criteria and chances are your new model wont have this convention. Support for DFP standard is seen across many hardware vendors. The DVI standard is the newer and the most popular. Do your research and whichever standard you chose, you need to match its ingredients that consists of cables and video cards!

  2. Pixel-refresh response time: In a LCD monitor, the time required to switch from light to dark objects or vice versa, is referred to as Pixel-refresh response time. If the response time is poor (more than 40ms), you may see ghosting effect, i.e., the image seems to remain longer on the screen than it actually is!

    Whereas in a text environment this would hardly matter, in a gaming or media centric environment the effect could be a deterrent. More inexpensive models give more ghosting than their costly counterparts. Also, pixel-refresh response time is not articulated on the monitors. You need to watch in detail to judge the performance of each model.

  3. Viewing angle: One trouble with a flat panel monitor is its viewing angle. Laptop users must have experienced this problem. Moving away from the monitor in any direction causes the display to appear black! Various models offer different viewing angles horizontally and vertically.

    Find the one better suited to your discretionary income! In any case, for a home PC, the viewing angle doesnt make much difference but if the monitor is going to be used for official presentations then it should have viewing angle of at least 120 degrees horizontal and 100 degrees vertical. Also, ask for add-ons like pivoting frames.

  4. Size: bigger is better, but with flat panel, remember 15-inch screen gives you the experience of a 17-inch CRT monitor. If you can shell out for 17-inch flat panel, by all means, go for it, if not, a 15-inch screen should not be a disappointment.

    Other things to check when buying a flat panel are guarantees and warranties. A three-year warranty is recommended. People change the monitor settings in stores and while purchasing; make sure that you analyze the piece adequately. You now have the basic information; all you need is time to check out the market!

    Check out the great selection of big screen tvs and flat panel monitors at our site today!


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