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LCD Rear Projection HDTV

The second most popular HDTV type is LCD Rear Projection. Like CRT Projection technology, the image is projected on the screen from a smaller source, in this case an LCD panel. This is not to be confused with a full LCD HDTV which the screen is the complete panel. Unlike Rear Projection CRT technology, the LCD based projection television works by passing light through a transparent Liquid Crystal panel or chip which is made up of millions of pixel elements that are projected through magnification lenses and mirrors to the screen. The LCD chip is very small compared to the projection tubes used in CRT Rear Projection TVs. Due to their smaller size, LCD Projection sets tend be much thinner than their CRT counterparts.

Although not as small and lightweight as a pure flat LCD panel, LCD Projection sets do offer a very nice pure digital image that can be as large as 70", if not more. Although you can not hang these sets on a wall, they are thin and light enough to be moved and placed just about anywhere in a room. They also do not cost nearly as much as their pure LCD brothers. However, they do have the same disadvantages. They tend to not downgrade to lower resolutions which may make these types of broadcasts look pixilated or blocky. Obviously, if your main video source will be pure HDTV, then this will not be a problem for you.

Another great feature of LCD based HDTV sets, is that they are not prone to magnetic effects that CRTs have. This means, for example, the screen will not warp or change color by placing a speaker next to it. They also require much less energy, which will be nice on your electric bill. And the image will usually have near perfect geometry.

As with pure LCD TVs and monitors, these also have the advantage of higher contrast and brightness capabilities. But, they are also plagued with the viewing angle requirements. However, technology has improved on this so much, that viewing angle may not be an issue on higher end models. When shopping for an LCD Projection HDTV, please note the viewing angle that is advertised. You will want to purchase a model with large viewing angles, brightness and contrast ratios.

One of the most disadvantages of LCDs is the now somewhat rare problem with "bad or always lit pixels. This occurs when a pixel element on the LCD is either burned out or constantly lights to a single shade of color causing a sometimes annoying dot on the screen. This is especially trouble some on projected screens. As LCD technology improves ,this problem becomes less of an issue.

As already mentioned, the main advantage that projection based LCDs have is large screen sizes with a similar quality image of a pure LCD flat panel, but at a much lower price. If you are looking for a great HDTV picture and can afford to spend a little bit more than a similar CRT based projection television, than this is definitely the HDTV set for you!

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What to look for when purchasing an LCD Projection HDTV

When shopping for an LCD based HDTV there are few features or specs you will want to look for. These are as follows:

  • HD Tuner Built In - This is a large benefit if you would like to pick up the HDTV signals in the air from your local broadcasters. However, if you will be using a cable or satellite provider, this may not be needed.
  • Downgrading Capability - LCDs are pure digital and can display undesired images when displaying video from a lower resolution then HDTV or EDTV. You may want to consider a model with an advanced signal downgrading quality ability. This may be called Analog to Near HDTV technology.
  • Multiple Inputs - As with any HDTV you will want plenty of inputs for all your devices. You will want a television set that can handle at least two component or DVI/HDMI video inputs and two to three s-video or composite inputs for lower resolution devices such as video game consoles.
  • Audio System - Audio System - You may also want to search for model that has a nice internal virtual surround sound audio and speaker system. Your decision to purchase an additional audio system depends on what you expect to be using the projector for. If you're going to be using the system exclusively for gaming, higher quality sound might not be worth the extra investment; however, if you're going to be working your way through the list of action movies, you'll definitely want the best sound system available to you. If you are also purchasing a home theater system, then this may not be an important feature for you.
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Amazon.com - Offers one of the largest selections of Rear Projection LCD HDTV's at the lowest prices. You will also find Home Theater Audio Systems, DVD and VCR Players and Recorders, DVD Movies and everything else you could ever need for your HDTV experience.

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