Thursday, January 10, 2008

Plasma or LCD, Which Choice For Your Flat Screen TV?

Flat Screen TV are the latest must have fashion accessory for the home. Of the many and varied types of Flat Screen TV available (and there are) which one do you purchase? Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Plasma, TFT what do you go with and purchase?

From its origins as a humble electromechanical information system and early Cathode Ray delivery systems to the broadcast medium we know it to be nowadays, television has travelled along way to get to the multi dimensional full colour Liquid Crystal Display sets /Flat Screen TV of today. The many benefits that most people derive from TV have made it indispensable in their lives.

Highly complicated yet when reduced to its basics quite frighteningly simple in execution the process of the television broadcast is one that very few people actually understand entirely or do they? From a grammatical derivation originating in a mixture of Greek (�tele� meaning far) and Latin (visual meaning �sight�) the word television roughly translates as meaning �far sight�.

Like most forays into a technical arena nowadays it is very easy to get confused by the wide range of technical phrases and terminology in use within the industry today.

Now would be a good idea to concentrate purely on the digital aspect of television, its latest developments formats and bandwidth issues in use and exactly what all this technical jargon and terminology actually mean.

So how would you describe Digital TV?

Here quite often we see the terms TFT, LCD and Plasma being bandied around as if they are the same yet though they may be similar technologies LCD and Plasma Screens are very different in practicality.

In a nutshell Flat Screen TV�s can either be Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) sets or can be Plasma screen but the two are different.One of the major differences between the two technologies probably lies in the fact that with LCD TV�s because the main technology used is TFT (Thin Film Transistor) by and large the screens are able to be much more energy efficient and potentially much smaller and more mobile.

Digital Television very much came to the fore in the late 1990s and is a technology that appealed to the television broadcasting business and consumer electronics industries as representing opportunities for increased financial development whilst at the same time providing a much cleaner and faster product and service for the end user.

So what is it exactly that we have to look out for with a Digital TV? Using one of the newer LCD TV�s available will help us actually go through what all of this terminology actually means.

The LCD TV that we shall use for our illustrative purposes here is the B&O Beovision 7-40.

It is essential that we are familiar with the following key items of information.

Firstly we have to understand the phrase Screen Resolution and all of that implies. Here we refer to the exact number of pixels that can be displayed in each dimension.

Whether the TV is Hi-Definition Ready would be the next thing to look at. Hi Definition TV essentially makes a TV picture in a quality format that is at least four times better than conventionally available at present.

We would need to look next at what types of connectors are used to connect the various peripherals that go to make the entire Digital Package work.

We are referring here to the exact nature and number of the Scarts Sockets and Plugs in use. Here the definition of SCART refers to �Syndicat francais des Constructeurs d�Appareils Radio et Television (SCART).

The final item we would look at would be what is the nature and number of the High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMI) being used. Here High Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMI) refers to the audio/video connector interface that transmits the uncompressed digital streams of information between two or more digital components such as a HD DVD Disc player, a Blu-ray Disc player, a Personal Computer or Video Console.

The Beovision 7-40 is a 40in LCD TV and the prices for these would be in the region of 7470 pounds sterling or 15000 US dollars. The resolution of the screen is 1366 X 768 and with regards to being HD Ready the answer is yes. The Beovision has 3 (3 RGB) scarts and the type and number of Multimedia interfaces the Beovision 7-40 uses is DVI and 1. The type of Tuner for this TV is Analogue and Digital and the Beovision is available from specialised outlets only.

So how would we rate the B&O Beovision 7-40?

The most obvious place to start with as far as TV's are concerned would be the picture quality and our score here would be 10, next we would look at the sound quality and our view of this would be 10. Another useful aspect to review is the availability and number of relevant connections and our score here would be 8. With regards to the overall level of features, our view would be 8 if we then take a look at the ease of use and overall value for money then our scores would be, 6 and 6 respectively.

Finally our overall opinion would be the performance of this TV it has to be said is pretty fantastic but a similar performance can be had for a fraction of the price and therefore giving much greater value for money if you know where to look elsewhere.

Remember that all the prices we use in these reviews are very much designed for illustration purposes only and in some cases you may well find the actual price cheaper but also in some cases, more expensive.

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