Buying a Television: LCD Plasma or CRT which to choose?

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Choosing a new TV may prove a daunting experience. With so much technical information coming from so many media sources it can often be difficult to make the right choices. In this guide we will try to offer simple explanations for the different types of technology that appear in today's televisions. The main types of TV are CRT, Rear Projection, LCD and Plasma. We will offer a short explanation for each different type and then outline the advantages and disadvantages of each. In a final summary we will make clear and consice recommendations depending upon your own personal needs. Here at weston-electronicworld we will endeavour to make the process of selecting the right type of product for you simple.

Let's start things off then with a brief description of the different types of Television currently available in the UK.

The Basics

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube).  Often referred to as 'conventional TV', this is the familiar technology that has been around for more than 60 years and until fairly recently was the only type of TV available. This type of TV uses a screen made from glass which continues inside the TV. This makes the TV very deep. It is also heavy as the glass has to be quite thick.

Rear Projection TV. This technology works by creating a smaller image and then projecting it onto a plastic screen.  Older models often use 3 separate miniature CRT's converged onto a mirror which then reflects onto the screen. Newer models use LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology to derive the smaller image before again projecting this image onto the main screen.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). TV. You will be familiar with this type of  display as it is widely is such things as calculators, digital watches and microwave ovens etc. The technology involves using the liquid crystal to interrupt and control the flow of light. This makes for a very compact design. Manufacturing processes, however become more difficult with very large LCD displays.

Plasma TV. This type of display works using a gas made up from free flowing ions (electrically charged atoms) and electrons (negatively charged particles). Using electrodes, photons are generated and converted to visible light. As with LCD the design is compact and relatively lightweight.


Advantages and Disadvantages.

Now lets look at the pro's and con's of each type of TV.

                                    Advantages                                     Disadvantages


                             Very cheap bargains available              Old Technology, soon to be obsolete

                                  Cheap to repair/replace                                   Big bulky and heavy

                                           ---------------                                              Will date very quickly


Rear Projection     

                               Relatively cheap for size                              Deeper than LCD/Plasma

                      Often not a heavy as CRT models             Some models have poor viewing angle

                                         ---------------                                     Can be expensive to repair



                        Modern Technology                                       Moderately expensive

                        Uses less power then CRT                             May be expensive to repair

                       Flat Panel compact design                                   ---------------

                        Reliable                                                               ---------------

                       Wall Mountable                                                   ---------------



                    Modern Technology                                     May be expensive to repair      

                    Flat Panel compact design                         Fragile-should be kept upright         

              Very large screen sizes available             Tuner box may be separate to display

                     Viewing angle good                                        Expensive to buy

                      Wall Mountable                                                   ---------------



Making your choice depends on a number of factors. Your available budget, the size of your room in relation to your viewing distance from the TV and the space and desired location of where you want it.

If you can't afford LCD or Plasma then CRT or Projection will be worth considering. However eBay has a lot of bargains.

Generally speaking Plasma TV's are only available in the larger sceensizes 40" upwards, conversely LCD's as a rule only go upto this size. But bear in mind the speed that technology is changing. Research and development is constantly having an effect on technology quality and price.

If you require any more information, you can always email us through eBay via "Ask the Seller a Question" in our Ebay listings.

We hope this guide has been useful.







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