Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Next to audio capability, the most important element in home theater, is, of course, video. Large-screen direct-view televisions are an affordable way to go. However, if you‚Äôre looking to invest in a fancier model, front-projection and rear-projection sets are also available.
Direct-view sets are conventional TVs, the kind most viewers know well. They have cathode ray tubes and a phosphor coated screen. The tube restricts the size of this kind of TV. In fact, the largest direct-view TV on the market has a screen of 40 inches. Image contrast is an important factor to consider when comparing direct-view TVs. If the set has a darker screen, you‚Äôll get a superior picture. This is because the contrast between light and dark will be more pronounced. Sets with flatter screens also provide a better picture, because distortion and glare are minimized.
A direct-view set can be purchased for about $300.
Viewers interested in larger screens should consider purchasing a projection television. Because projection TVs don‚Äôt employ cathode ray tubes, there are no limitations with these models where size is concerned. These TV use projection screens, and they produce a picture through the use of three cathode ray tubes. The tubes divide the video signal into colors (red, blue, and green). The three tubes project onto a mirror in the set. The mirror then sends the color image onto the screen. Shoppers can purchase rear-projection models with 45-inch screens for about $1500.
A front-projection TV functions in a manner similar to a rear-projection set. A front-projection set is somewhat like a film projector, though. The operating system of the set is not stored in a traditional TV case. Instead, the TVs cathode ray tubes are kept in a single unit. The TV image is projected onto a fabric screen, which means that there is almost no limitation on screen size. 200-inch screens are available. Projection TVs can be hard to set up, and they work best in a darkened room. They must be installed at the proper distance from the screen, and the cathode ray tubes have to be set up properly. Viewers who are considering the purchase of a front-projection set should keep in mind that these TVs are designed to operate in a designated home theater space rather than a den or living room. Front-projection sets cost around $7,000.