Television Guide

There are so many new products and technologies arriving on the Home entertainment market, and buying a simple TV can become a real challenge! Our team of Home Entertainment experts knows their LCD from their plasma, and would be delighted to assist you in your purchase when you visit us in store. In the meantime, we have put together this guide to help you decide which product type would better suit your needs.

Plasma vs LCD

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. LCD TVs have a slightly longer life span and can use less power than Plasma screens. They can also double as computer monitors with their ability to display very sharp images.

Plasma TVs are very large and thin, with high contrast ratios, smooth images and superb colour reproduction. With a HD ready display you can watch films in movie theatre quality.

Performance and Picture quality compared:

Screen Brightness: LCD TVs can appear brighter than plasma TVs, but both technologies are capable of producing a level of brightness that is in excess of what is necessary in normal viewing.

Contrast ratio: Historically LCD TV panels have had a poorer contrast ratio than Plasma TVs. Although new advances in technology have improved the contrast ratio on LCD, they are still lagging behind what is available on Plasma.

Colour : Plasma TVs have very high colour saturation, and images will appear more vivid and vibrant than on an LCD. Higher range and more costly LCD screens are now claiming to show a spectrum of colours as close as Plasma screens.

Screen surface: LCD TVs are available with matt finish screens which reduce glare whereas Plasma TVs have a reflective screen.

Screen Burn-in: for Plasma tvs a prolonged displaying of non-moving images, graphics or text, such as a menu bar, channel logo, or news scroll a permanent ghost image can be permanently burned on the screen with a darkened appearance. LCD screens aren’t affected by burn-in.

High Definition TV

How do I get high definition programming?

In order to enjoy high definition programming you must subscribe to a HD provider such as Sky HD. In addition you will be required to purchase a HD set top box, such as a Sky HD box, and subscriptions to receive the HD channel line-up.

What is the difference between 1080HD and standard 720 HD TV

The key difference with these models is the screen resolution: the more pixels used the better the standard of picture. There are two different types of 1080 HD TV – 1080i and 1080p.

• 1080i televisions use an interlaced scanning system meaning each odd line of the picture is displayed, followed by each even line, and the resulting image is not as smooth as a progressive feed.

• 1080p televisions use a progressive scanning system which display each line on the screen simultaneously. As a result the image displayed suffers less apparent flicker than 1080i.

1080p, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Full High Definition”, offers the best picture available however requires a 1080p source such as Blu-ray to achieve this picture. The current highest broadcast standard available is 1080i, and this is set to be the case for the foreseeable future.

What does HD Compatible mean?

This term is given to displays that can accept HDCP protected content through HDMI or DVI inputs, but don’t meet the resolution requirements and have to down-scale the picture to display it.

What is the difference between the flat screen technologies ?

LCD and Plasma TV’s actually use different technologies to display images. Both flat panel technologies can be hung on the wall and can produce unbelievably realistic images.

High Definition technology relies mainly on the number of lines of pixels that the TV has to ‘draw’ the picture: this is the resolution. The higher the resolution, the better the picture quality.

What makes a TV HD Ready?

This means this TV meets a set of requirements needed to show protected High Definition content. An HD ready TV must have HDMI or DVI connectivity in order to accept a digital signal from the HD receiving equipment, as well as an analogue Component (YpbPr) connection. It must also be able to handle the 720 or 1080 video formats.

Why do I need a HD Ready TV?

In order to enjoy high definition programmes you must have a HD Ready TV. Sky and some other channels have already started broadcasting in high definition. All HD Ready TVs will also work perfectly with standard broadcasts, so don’t be concerned if you haven’t yet invested in a high definition source such as Sky HD. Purchasing an HD Ready TV is a way of ‘future proofing’ yourself.