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Thread: LCD, LED, Plasma and then 3D what affects what?

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    LCD, LED, Plasma and then 3D what affects what?

    I am getting to the stage where I am going to upgrade my ancient TV for a flat screen to be HD ready when it happens.

    I am not too much into 3D because besides giving me a headache and making my eyes water, I think it is a passing fad.

    What is the difference between LCD and LED and Plasma?

    remember I am a 'Technodatyl' so easy English words will be appreciated.

    I have an inkling that they are all Plasma and are lit by LED or other systems.
    I surmise that LCD stands for (Liquid Crystal Display?) is that different to plasma?

    Then most importantly, list in sequence which system is likely to be cheapest, last the longest and use the least electricity? so that the little old man I am can make an informed choice.
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    I recommend LED TV - it comes HDMI ready, probably has 3D - which is not the same as the crap glasses you use at a movie theatre, these are actually active 3 D glasses which receive a signal from the TV to enable a view which is something you have to experience. Having 3D with HDMI is really something to enjoy. I must be honest, I have only view the one movie in 3D with HDMI called the life of PI, and I tell you what, that imagery is really something that you have to experience.

    The LED really refers to the back lighting, and the screen is LCD anyway. And being LED is the most power efficient and the lightest in the range.

    Best is to experience the TVs at your local shop, and see which is the fancier one that you like.

    Watching sport in HDMI is really great, the colours are so clear and the image is so clear.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Type of Screen
    Simple explanation for the screen type: CRT is a coating on glass which fluoresces when bombarded with a stream of electrons. Plasma is a lot of very tiny coloured lights. LCD is one large flat white light shining though a set of tiny dots which can be opened and closed, each of these has a colour filter - light is mostly a fluorescent tube bent around to make one solid light (like a thin neon tube zig-zaging across the rectangle). LED is usually the same as LCD, only difference is the large light behind is flatter and more efficient - tends to be LED (Light emitting diodes). The VERY expensive LED (or "true" LED screen) actually uses these as the coloured lights and throws away the LCD part - then it starts working similar to Plasma.

    A more technical description:
    • CRT (Cathode Ray Tube): The old bulky TV's.
    • Plasma: Each dot (pixel) is 3 very tiny lights (similar to a fluorescent tube) - one red, the 2nd green and the 3rd blue. Depending on the signal for that particular pixel, the brightness between the 3 gives the colour. This used to be extremely expensive, but since around mid 2000's a much cheaper way of making them was found.
    • LCD (Liquid Crystal Display): Each dot has 3 panes which let the light through from a light source (in this case a large fluorescent tube array / neon tubes) - each of the 3 has a filter over it (red/green/blue). The amount each of these 3 gets opened determines the colour. The panes work the same way any LCD does - i.e. the same as a calculator-display.
    • LED (Light Emitting Diode), the normal type: Exactly the same thing as a LCD screen, only difference being that instead of the light behind being made by fluorescent / neon tubes (which take space and become hot) these are replaced by more efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).
    • You do get "true" LED where it works like a plasma without back-lighting, but using extremely tiny LEDs instead of the microscopic fluorescents - though these screens are exorbitantly expensive (especially when they're large). You find some newer smart phones using this technology (e.g. Apple's retina display).


    Resolution/Definition
    Simple explanation about the "definition", or "resolution": Normal TV (like from SABC) is the same as the old VHS tapes. SD (Standard Resolution) is the same as DVD's. HD is what you get from Blue Ray discs (usually).

    HD (High Definition) simply means that there are more of these pixels over the surface of the screen - you can get HD in any of the above (even in the old CRT).

    As a means to figure out how many pixels you'd need - say you have a digital camera. Have you ever got those photos printed out? If so how many Mega Pixels was your camera? Try having it printed to a page the same size as your TV and see when you start noticing dots of colour as opposed to a picture. The larger your screen and the closer you sit to it, the more pixels you need to get a clear picture instead of a blurry bunch of dots.

    E.g. to put into same measurement as you get for digital cameras:
    • Old TV (at least since SA started showing colour TV): around 320x260 pixels (VHS/VCD quality) = 83200 = 0.08 Mega Pixel
    • SD (Standard Definition - DVD quality or sometimes called 480) has around 720 pixels from left to right and 480 from top to bottom (i.e. 720x480 = 345600 = 0.3 Mega Pixel).
    • HD-Ready can mean it's actually SD but will accept HD video by down-scaling it so it fits on the SD screen. Though it might also mean it's what's known as half-HD ... see next
    • Half HD, or also called 720: 1280x720 = 921600 = 0.9 Mega Pixels
    • Full HD or 1080: 1920x1080 = 2073600 = 2.07 Mega Pixels
    • These are usually suffixed with p/i - p (progressive) means it changes each line of the screen for every frame of the video. i (interlaced) means it changes every odd line for the 1st frame, then every even line for the second - you get some which work on each 3rd line. P is always better, but i isn't "too" bad if you really need to save on cost, though I'd suggest you test and see first.
    • You get even higher than this, but would only be needed for stuff like cinemas or extremely large screens (i.e. measured in several meters across). And even if you have one of these, no Blue Ray disc or HD signal will give you those resolutions, so your screen will use multiple pixels to represent one dot. Some standards are UHD (Ultra High Definition) 4K (2160) and 8K (4320).


    All that said, most channels in SA are not HD. Even the "HD" channels on DSTV is actually the 720 (half HD). The only time (at present in SA) where you'd be using a full HD to its maximum would be if you're playing a full HD Blue Ray disc (note these can also still be 480 or 720) or a full HD (or better) video file from a PC. Overseas you do get some places where full HD is the norm, and even some where you get UHD 2K/4K - but don't hold your breath for us just yet - lots of infrastructure needs to be set up before they can broadcast at these resolutions.

    3D
    3d simply turns some pixels on for one eye and others for the other eye. How it splits them is usually supplier dependent. Some use special glasses which are polarised (left might be vertical and right horizontal). Others use glasses which blank out between frames so your left eye sees only the odd frames and the right only the even. Some newer screens are stating they're glass-less 3D - working similar to those plastic pictures you used to get in Lucky-Packets where the picture changes if you tilt it (i.e. one eye sees one side of the picture, the other sees the other side). Though this last one sometimes makes it very difficult to see the image correctly - you might need to shuffle around a bit to sit in the correct spot.

    A very old version of this was using coloured filters on the glasses (red and blue) - that also went the way of the dodo, so you might be correct about it being a fad.

    Usually a 3D screen can be used like a normal 2D by simply turning off this splitting of pixels, but the other way round (i.e. take a 2D DVD and try to play it as a 3D video) tends to be extremely problematic. Usually if it wasn't photographed as 3D (i.e. 2 separate cameras taking pictures at different angles like your eyes do in real life) chances are the picture will be blurry and/or cause head-aches. Even if it was taken as true 3D then it depends on the distance between the cameras and their focal lengths - if these are too far from a normal eye's real-life specifications the picture would look weird / blurry and could also cause head-aches. And then you do get that some people simply find that any 3D causes issues - that's a physiological issue (either to do with their eyes or the way their brain interprets what their eyes "see").

    I'd suggest 3D only if you're one of the less unfortunate who can actually handle 3D, and also only if most of what you're going to watch is recorded in some decent 3D. Unless you can find a 3D screen for the same/lower price as a similar 2D (other specifications being equal) AND you can turn its 3D off - this I don't think is possible, it would be like getting more for less (which no business would be willing to do for their customers).
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    My HISENSE TV, you can turn on and off the 3D at will.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    I have a smart led 3d hd tv.
    The only thing I know is that it isnt smart.
    The rest works ok though.
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
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    Get the cheapest LED LCD TV you can find and the most expensive UPS [like the one you use with a desktop pc] you can find. They dislike power dips.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newBix View Post
    Get the cheapest LED LCD TV you can find and the most expensive UPS [like the one you use with a desktop pc] you can find. They dislike power dips.
    I would rather say the lowest cost LED TV you can afford.

    Just remember the price of TVs drop as new models come out, but, the exchange rate will trip you up on a latest brand TV.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Bronze Member iLLuDeano's Avatar
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    Depends on what you want to use it for. if you want to browes YouTube etc, take a smart TV. If you really enjoy movies and thats all you watch, get 3D. If you just use it for a hour every night to watch the news, maby one episode of a series etc etc. Take plain LED, it's the cheapest and looks just as amazing as a TV with Smart and 3D. See the reason why TV's are so smooth is because of the Hrtz, (Framerate)

    Newer models run 200htz, that is waaaay over the top! In fact, many cameras don't record that quality so you will just see some lag on the screen in between movements of actors on screen. So a 6 series samsung and up will have higher htz. I specifically bought a 5series @ Dion Wired and it runs 100htz, now THAT looks awesome and it's just right to support almost any series or movie without seeing how crap the quality of camera's where that they used. That is just my opinion/ About 3D, in most cases the quality of the TV is so good you can actually see the digital aspectys of movies (Refering to The Hobbit) I hated it on a 7Series Samsung, I could see how "Fake" everything looked.

    Another thing, if you like your sport, a 7Series would be awesome! Then by all means go 200htz. Although, sport might be the only thing that looks ok on high tech screens like that.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    It must be 10 yrs or longer since I bought a TV so my thechnology is also as old as me and the dinosaurs.

    So it looks like I need to get LED but I now have questions about HD!

    If I get full HD will the local TV broadcast show normally because they are not HD yet? and must I get a new DSTV Decoder to accommodate HD?
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    The TV has HDMI, VGA and RCA inputs to it, so if your equipment is not HDMI compatible, they will use the RCA connectors. Use the VGA input if you want to use a PC. Any equipment which is HDMI, will have an HDMI output. You then select the input channel to view on the TV via the menu.

    You do not need a new decoder for your TV, but I strongly recommend you get the latest decoders, to watch the sports channels and some movies on the HDMI quality. The decoder automatically modifies the signal on the HDMI output accordingly.

    Just be weary, you require a special HDMI cable to connect to your TV, sometimes they supply one, but it may only be 1.5m long. You do get longer ones, but do cost a small fortune though.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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