HD TV is almost certainly the future of television. But for those buying a television set in today's market an unenviable task awaits. In the past it was easy to find the right set, today there is a plethora of options, each accompanied by jargon and technical specifications that are difficult to understand. The purpose of this article is to set out the four types of TV set on the market today.
The first type of television to look at is the direct view TV, also known as the tube set. Tube televisions are somewhat of a dinosaur in the technological market today. Many retailers do not even stock them as they have been superseded by more advanced technology. Typically this form of television is not able to show HD images and instead displays the standard definition broadcasts.
The downsides of this form of TV set are their cumbersome size and weight and the fact that they are rarely HD compatible; also they usually cannot be connected to a PC. On the plus side they are the cheapest of the four sets on the market today. This type of television is slowly being phased out and will soon be resigned to the technological scrapheap.
Another form of TV set that is available to the buying public today is the flat panel television. Flat panels can also be further categorised into plasma and LCD sets; understandably each have their own pros and cons.
Plasma televisions are some of the most hotly desired by customers. The benefits of this type of set are that they can be as little as three inches thick. They are also extremely adept as home cinema systems as they are available in extremely large screen sizes. Typically they are perfect for the display of HD signals, many coming in the 1080p format of display.
Problems with this type of TV however include burn in; basically this is when a screen shows a ghost image after a screen has displayed the same image for a long time, this usually occurs where a network logo is displayed. However prices for plasma TVs are falling and in the future they could well become the home cinema of choice.
LCD flat panel displays differ from plasma variants in a number of ways. Once again they are available in a large range of sizes and burn in is not a problem. In terms of downsides they are generally less adept as home cinema systems and the viewing angle can be narrow in some cases. However LCDs are consistently the most popular form of HD TV with customers for their affordability. In the future it is likely that prices will fall and this popularity will increase.
The final form of TV available is the rear projection TV. These large televisions can be an affordable way to get big screen power at a fraction of the cost. HD signals are viewable and the best models can match the displays of LCD and plasma varieties. On the downside they occasionally need a replacement lamp, they are larger than flat panels and viewing angle can be restricted. Rear projection sets are however a good value option.
Hopefully this article has highlighted the pros and cons of each type of television available on the market. It does not attempt to give a recommendation of which HD TV to choose but leaves the choice to the consumer.
For those not convinced by any of these variants it may even be worth waiting for further development of OLED technology, a display system that promises much to the customer nin terms of resolution, however any customer will undoubtedly have to pay a great deal for an OLED device.
Technology specialist Thomas Pretty looks into the types of HD TV sets available on the market today.