Flat-panel televisions have become the norm. They provide high-definition picture quality in 1080p and 720p resolutions that old, bulky CRT monitors could never do. There are currently three types of flat panels, also known as flat-screen, televisions on the market. Liquid crystal displays (LCD), plasma and light-emitting diode (LCD). While they can all seem similar, each television has different attributes.
LCDs are a good choice for a flat-panel television when you're looking for one that is thin and lightweight. They come in a variety of sizes, and prices range from $350 for a 32-inch set to $3,000 for a 52-inch set as of April of 2011. A majority of LCD TVs are only 2 to 3 inches thick; some newer models are even thinner. Most LCDs have matte screens, meaning that they don't suffer from glare or reflection. Compared to plasma sets, LCDs are usually brighter, and there is no risk from a burn-in of still images. A drawback of LCD TVs is their limited viewing angle. With a number of LCD sets, you need to find just the right position in front of the TV to get the best picture possible.
If you're looking for a flat-panel television with an unlimited viewing angle, plasma televisions are a good choice. They're more expensive than LCD models, but they also come in larger sizes. As of April, 2011, it can cost $2,000 to $4,000 or more for a 60- to 65-inch set. Newer plasma TVs use less energy than older sets and use the same amount of power as an LCD. Static images that are played on a plasma TV for an extended period of time can have the risk of burning an after-image on the screen. While plasma TVs have glossy screens, making them susceptible to glare, they have an unlimited viewing angle that allows you to see the best picture possible from anywhere in the room.
LED television sets aren't any different from LCDs. In fact, they are just LCD sets that use LED back lights rather than a fluorescent one that regular LCD sets use. While they come in similar sizes as LCD sets, they are much more expensive. Like LCDs, LEDs have a limited viewing angle. One difference between LED TVs and LCDs is that they have more accurate colors and better contrast.
While not generally considered "flat-panel" televisions, front projectors certainly do have flat screens. The size of the screen is only limited by how big and wide your wall is. The cost for a 1080p model can be as low as $1,000 and even lower for 720p projectors. A main drawback is that they are only great at night or in a dark room. During the day or in any bright room, the picture gets washed out.
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