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You are probably familiar with LCD or Liquid Crystal Display being used as computer monitors. HDTV LCDs are very similar but at much larger screen sizes and much more expensive. LCDS have millions of little elements that are either turned on or turned off to generate a RGB or Red, Green and Blue color. If an element is turned on, the light is merged with other elements in a cell to generate color. This process presents a very colorful high resolution image.
LCDs display near perfect HDTV images at their corresponding resolution. Most LCD TVs have a native resolution of 1,280x768 pixels. This is a great resolution to display 720p (progressive) HDTV. LCDs are completely flat which gives much better image geometry then CRT screens for example. There are also no screen flicker effect that some CRTs at higher resolution may produce. This will reduce or eliminate eye strain.
Probably the best feature of LCDs is their weight and size. Even at large screen sizes (30" or more) they weigh very little and are usually very thin. This allows you to hang the entire LCD on your wall just like a large framed picture. And if you, like myself, tend to rearrange your tv room often, this will be a huge benefit to you.
LCDs are also very energy efficient do not have the radiation emissions compared to a CRT. This is why you often see LCDs used in cars such as minivans. You can easily run an LCD off of battery power. Although LCDs are much more expensive you will save on your electric bill which may cover the extra cost depending on how often you use your television.
Since LCDs are purely digital, you can easily hook your computer to them. This will give you a very excellent computer image to work with. If you want to watch movie, it is as simple as pushing a button on your remote. Most LCDs (and TVs for that matter) come with picture in a picture feature. Imagine surfing the net while watching your favorite sporting event, in total High Definition. LCDs are the main reason you now see many media center PCs advertised.
A disadvantage of LCDs is the viewing angle. The perfect image will be displayed to the person sitting right in front of it. If you view it from an angle the image will probably not be as bright and clear. However, this is being improved all the time and most higher end models give you a very nice large viewing angle. When shopping for an LCD HDTV or monitor you will want to take note of its viewing angle. You will also want an LCD with a high contrast ratio.
Another disadvantage of LCDs is when displaying lower resolution signals such as normal analog broadcasts or a VHS signal from your VCR. Since LCDs use a pure fixed resolution, you will notice a blockyness type effect on these lower resolution signals. Even when viewing standard digital television (SDTV) you will probably see the compression artifacts. For these reason I only recommend an LCD if you will be viewing EDTV such as 480p output from your DVD player or a pure HDTV 720p or higher signal.
As I said earlier, the largest disadvantage of LCDs are the price. This is why most LCDs on the market max out their screen size to about 46-52 ". But if you wanting the best image at the smallest weight and size, then this is the type of HDTV for you.
Here are some examples of LCD based HDTVs:
What to look for when purchasing an LCD HDTV
When shopping for an LCD based HDTV there are few features or specs you will want to look for. These are as follows:
Latest LCD HDTV reviews
More LCD HDTV Resources
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