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FAQs about LCD Televisions

by Paul Sander

Widescreen LCD television on an entertainment center

When you're ready to make the switch to an HDTV for your entertainment system, an LCD TV may be near the top of your list. LCD televisions offer great picture quality and energy efficiency at a low price. While you shop, it may help to have the answers to some frequently asked questions about LCD technology and how it relates to home entertainment.

Questions about LCD Televisions:

  1. How long do LCD televisions last?
    Life span for an LCD TV is usually calculated by the number of hours of operation before the TV screen dims to half its original brightness due to a wearing out of the florescent bulbs that backlight the screen. Many LCD televisions advertise a life expectancy of up to 100,000 hours; and those estimates keep growing. OLED TVs have a much longer lifespan because LED backlighting can last much longer than florescent.

  2. How do LCD televisions differ from plasma TVs?
    Plasma and LCD TVs use two different screen technologies. Plasma televisions use phosphor cells, which glow to produce the colored pixels of the TV picture. Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) block visible light colors from passing through the screen, allowing only the colors through which produce the picture. The actual light source for LCD TVs is either fluorescent bulbs or an array of LEDs. LCDs are more efficient than plasma, but plasma often has a better contrast ratio and experience less motion-blur. Plasmas are also quite a bit heavier than LCD TVs.

  3. Can LCD televisions be used for computer gaming?
    Yes. LCD televisions are very similar to your computer's LCD monitor. The resolution capabilities of your LCD TV may not be as high as your computer monitor's capabilities, but it will be capable of playing HD-quality video and games. You can make the most of your LCD television as a monitor by installing an HD-quality graphics card with an HDMI output. That will enable you to play Blu-ray movies, on a BD-ROM drive from your computer, with your HDTV as well.

  4. Do LCD televisions require any maintenance?
    Proper maintenance will really extend the life of your LCD TV:

  5. Protect the screen from direct sunlight, which can prematurely age the pixels.

  6. Try to keep the temperature of the room between 70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

  7. Dust regularly and avoid using harsh chemicals, such as window cleaner, to clean the TV screen. When wiping down the screen, use a lint-free cloth and a half-and-half solution of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol.

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