Monday, July 17, 2006
Rear projection sets provide the big-screen experience and don‚Äôt require any kind of special set up. If you have the room, you can get a rear-projection set at an affordable price with a generous screen size and high definition (HD) compatibility. Both liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP) sets are available in a variety of sizes, with different depths. The average range is 40-60 inches, with a depth of about 15 inches. The maximum screen size for a rear projection DLP or LCD television is about 70 inches. Popular models include the Toshiba 52HM94 DLP Integrated HDTV and the Panasonic PT-50LC14 Widescreen HD-Ready Television. Most rear projection sets are cheaper than front projector models.
Rear projection sets do have drawbacks. Their viewing angle is somewhat limited. Glare can be a problem when viewing, and the aspect ratio of a rear projection set is not particularly desirable. The best viewing angle for a rear projection TV is a point directly in front of the set. If you view the screen from off-center, the color and brightness will be diminished. Before buying, try to find a set that will provide an angle of at least 150 degrees. Keep in mind that a rear projection set will take up some space in your living room, requiring about two feet of open space between it and the wall for air circulation.
As for aspect ratio, rear projection sets offer either the standard ratio of 4:3 or the widescreen ratio of 16:9. All conventional TV programming is in 4:3 format, but a great deal of new programming, including HDTV programming, is presented in widescreen format. When buying a rear projection set, you‚Äôll have to choose between ratios. You can compensate with the horizontal black bar effect, which will fill up a 4:3 screen and give you the proper ratio when viewing a movie, or you can stretch the image to fill the screen. But both of these methods lead to some distortion and a lessening of overall effect.
Despite these factors, rear projection sets are gaining in popularity. They‚Äôre a smart alternative to more expensive widescreen sets, like plasma TVs, for instance, and they do provide the widescreen experience with practically no set-up and little maintenance. All things considered, the rear projection set is a good choice for shoppers who want a big-screen set with a minimum of hassle.