Thursday, February 8, 2007

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

LCD: Liquid Crystal Displays have fast become one of the most popular types of flat panel displays. Multiple manufacturers have helped drive down the price of LCD's. Large LCD's are still fairly expensive but the price is being driven down thanks to entry level LCD's sold at retailers such as Costco. LCD's gained popularity in the personal computer market and eventually transitioned over to home theatre in the early 2000's.


  • Slim
  • Light weight
  • Esthetic appeal
  • High resolution
  • LCD's have made huge strides in performance, particularly over the past couple years. Black levels have improved, refresh rates are now becoming fast enough to help reduce ghosting and image artifacting. Contrast ratio's are also improving and in some cases, on par with plasma technology.
  • LCD's have a backlight which allows light to "bleed through" at all times. This is why these displays have the vibrant and sharp picture qualities that separate them from every other display type. However, for this same reason, this hinders the black, white and color reproduction. This vibrant look is very evident in HD Animation sources which can look 3D at times.

  • Black levels still plague LCD's when compared to CRT or plasma.
  • You still pay a pretty penny for the top of the line LCD's.
  • Color banding, motion artifacting(pixelation when things start moving), lack of a full range of colors prevent LCD's from producing a realistic picture when compared to CRT's.
  • Because LCD's work with a back light, uneven lighting of the panel can accentuate or "highlight" banding. When you first turn on or off an LCD, you can see the backlight at work before the picture comes on. This backlight is part of the reason why LCD's don't produce the best blacks; there is always light coming through even when the pixel is turned off.
  • Previously limited viewing angle has now improved to 170 degrees.
  • Input lag still prevent LCD's from being an optimal choice for gaming although this is continuously improving and not so much of an issue in the high end models.
  • Suffers from "dead" or "stuck" pixels which cannot be resolved once it happens. This is seen as regular wear and tear, even on warrantly plans.

Recommendation: Sony's KDL-46XBR2 is hands down the top of the line LCD as of February 2007. It is also available in the 40", 52" and now 70" sizes. An optional black bezel is also available for an additional cost. The 70" version is the first HDTV to have the HDMI 1.3 standard. Performance, picture quality and asthetics all hold their weight making this the LCD to beat. But do bear in mind that you pay a premium for the Sony Brand.