Thursday, January 10, 2008

So Your First Flat Screen TV is going to be which, Plasma or LCD?

It would appear that latest and most prestigious in house fashion accessory for the home is the Flat Screen TV. The decision has to be what sort of Flat Screen TV to get? OK are you going to go with a Plasma TV (older technology, been around since 1964) or do you go with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) for the Flat Screen TV?

It seems a lot more than a mere 80 years since television moved beyond being a mere �electromechanical information system� to the broadcast medium that we know it to be today from humble black and white now through to the latest in multi colour Liquid Crystal Display /Flat Screen TV sets. It is perhaps difficult to believe but when questioned about essential personal items worth keeping, quite a few people listed their TV sets as an essential item.

Much like the conventional approach to driving a car and our understanding of how the Internal Combustion Engine works (or not depending on your point of view) very few people understand entirely what happens behind the screen of a TV or do they? The term television may refer at one point specifically to a television set yet also at the same time be used as a term to refer to the medium of television broadcasting itself.

As in most industries, along with technological development and innovation has arisen a large range of technical descriptions and phrases that if the truth be known confuses most people.

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?

Quite often confusion reigns here as to what exactly we are talking about and the use of terms can be misleading such as TFT, LCD and Plasma etc, all used and are similar but not the same.

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 is a telecommunications system for broadcasting and receiving moving pictures and sound by means of digital signals in contrast to the more established analogue systems which is effectively the transmission of signals used by analogue (traditional) TV.

So in basic terms, how does a Digital TV differ from a more conventional one? Let us look at this whilst analysing one of the newer LCD TV�s available.

The LCD TV that we shall use for our illustrative purposes here is the B&O Beovision 8.

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

The first item we need to consider is the Screen Resolution of the TV In this case it refers to the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed.

Next up is whether the TV is Hi-Definition Ready and what does this mean? By Hi Definition Ready we mean that is the TV is ready and suitable to take advantage of the latest Hi Definition TV pictures that more and more programmes are being broadcast in.

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.

In this case we mean SCART Plugs and sockets and their usage. SCART stands for �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. The High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a licensable audio/video connector interface for transmitting uncompressed digital streams between digital audio/video sources such as set-top box, HD DVD Player etc.

The Beovision 8 is a 26in LCD TV and the prices for these are around 1800 pounds sterling or 2900 US dollars. The screen resolution is 1366 X 768 and with regards to being HD Ready the answer is yes. The Beovision has 2 (2 RGB) scarts and the type and number of Multimedia interfaces the Beovision 8 uses is HDMI and 1. The type of Tuner for this TV is Analogue and the Beovision is available from specialised outlets only.

So how would we rate the B&O Beovision 8?

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 8, and closely tied in to the picture quality is the sound quality and our score for this would be 8. Another useful aspect to review is the availability and number of relevant connections and our score here would be 6. As far as overall features are concerned we would give it 6 and the final individual verdicts would relate to the ease of use and overall value for money and our scores here would be, 4 and 6 respectively.

Finally our overall opinion would be this is definitely one to consider if you don't mind paying a huge premium for the appearance and looks

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.

No comments: