Friday, June 09, 2006
LCD displays started out small as and have increased in size and are now a rival to plasma sets in the 42 to 50 inch range. Picture quality is very similar. Plasma screens are prone to plasma burn with LCD screens being immune from this problem. Plasma burn manifests when the screen shows static images over a period of time ‚Äì video game screens, stock market reports, schedules, etc. Color reproduction is better with plasma televisions as colors are deeper and more vivid. Full-motion video is better in plasma because of LCD panel response time. This difference is fast disappearing, though, because technology continues to make improvements in this area.
LCD televisions are more expensive because they last longer ‚Äì 30,000 plus hours of viewing life. A plasma display usually provides between 20,000 to 25,000 hours of life. Technology continues to improve all things, and some of the newest plasma TVs boasts a 60,000 hour viewing life. If this difference disappears, there will be very few differences between Plasma and LCD sets. Sony has reduced their plasma television offers while Pioneer, Panasonic, and Fujitsu maintain their production and marketing efforts.
LCD TV sets are produced by Sony, NEC, Samsung, and Sharp ‚Äì 40‚Äù to 45‚Äù, with Samsung also producing a huge one ‚Äì 46‚Äù. This particular display is the first one to have a 1080 line native resolution and will have the capacity to show high definition television format. The biggest LCD sets and monitors for consumers are the 65‚Äù Sharp and a new Sony 82‚Äù recently displayed at a Las Vegas tradeshow.
Recently developed technology being offered is Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) previously used in cell phone displays and car stereo systems. Phillips, Samsung, and Seiko-Epson have prototypes using OLED. This technology is very attractive as it has its own light, requiring no backlight, and a better contrast. It has a wider viewing angle comparable to a plasma display. OLED uses about half the power of a LCD and is much thinner than either the plasma or the LCD. The refresh rate is much faster than traditional LCD so this will prove to be better for imaging. The OLED sets have fewer parts and can be manufactured easily. Ease and simplicity in manufacturing means that prices will probably be kept low.
Another new technology is Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display, SED, and the carbon Nanotube. Canon began research and development of SED in 1986, using a similar principle as Cathode-Ray Tube, CRT. The major difference is in thickness, with the SED being only 1-2 inches thick. SEDs have great color ‚Äì deep and vivid ‚Äì and a quick motion response. Contrast ratio is about 5 times that of CRT. This promises to be a quite popular because it is thin, low in cost, and requires minimal power.
Advanced technology in home theater and entertainment displays strive for higher performance, lower cost, and compact form. With the improvement in technology and lower costs of manufacturing, superior entertainment systems will easily be affordable to everyone.