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The Pros and Cons of TV Technologies: LCD, DLP, CRT and Plasma

Since the first sparks of TV invention and electrons occurred in Philo T. Farnsworth’s Hollywood apartment back in 1927, the television has undergone space-age advancements in technology. Gone are the days of black-and-white screens, rabbit ears and, most recently, analog TV signals. Today, most households are watching TV on one of four television sets: LCD, DLP, CRT or Plasma, and each one offers its own set of pros and cons.

Although plasma screens were first developed back in 1964, it wasn’t until the 21st century came around that their popularity increased and their cost decreased. The plasma TV has earned the title as the world’s first flat-screen TV available to the public, and this has given these TVs an edge in the market. In fact, most plasma televisions sets are 4” or thinner, which makes them ideal for a TV lift cabinet. It was Pioneer that made the first flat-screen for the public audience. And consumers continue to choose plasma TVs because they can display fast action unlike any other television, which is a must for HD sports and action films. They don’t “ghost” images and offer the most vivid colors and deepest blacks. However, they use more energy than an LCD screen and are subject to “burn-in” if a still image is left on the screen for too long. They are also very heavy and fragile, making them difficult to move and install.

LCD TVs are rising in popularity because they are becoming thinner, in relation to plasma screens, and yet bigger in screen size. LCD TVs started as a technology for wristwatches and calculators, but their usefulness in the TV market is still being uncovered. LCD TVs have no risk of burn-in and are light, making mounting on a pop-up TV cabinet a breeze. However, they tend to be more expensive, have a narrow viewing angle and a lower contrast ratio than plasma screens.

DLP TVs were first developed in 1987 by Texas Instruments, but they never received the attention that LCD screens and plasma TVs have achieved. DLP screens use electronic chips that direct tiny mirrors to display images. They measure in thickness somewhere between a flat-panel and traditional TV, but they are more cost-effective than a flat-screen and have no risk of burn-in. They can also last over 80,000 hours. However, sometimes these sets produce a rainbow viewing effect and cannot be mounted on a wall.

CRT televisions have long been the “standard” in TVs. Their technology first existed in the late 1700s, and today nearly every household has at least one CRT TV. They are extremely reliable, but their only downfall is their size. They take up precious floor space and are very heavy. A 34-inch CRT can weigh as much as 200 pounds! And they are certainly not suitable for a TV lift cabinet or wall-mounting.

It’s clear that TVs have come a long way in 90 years, but even clearer is that they have no intention in slowing down in terms of technological advancements.

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