Technology > Personal Tech
Big screen: Liquid crystal display
Thin TVs with thick, rich colors and crystal clear images.
April 20, 2004: 2:03 PM EDT
By Ted C. Fishman, Money Magazine

NEW YORK (Money Magazine) - If you intend to use your new wide-screen monitor for lots of video games or Net surfing, or as a display for a computer that doubles as a home entertainment hub, an LCD screen will give you the clearest presentation in each instance.

Samsung LTN406W  
Samsung LTN406W

Flat-panel LCD screens offer all of the enticements of plasmas -- including sleekness -- while generating images in which colors appear lusher and with higher contrast. The effect is that pictures have a finely carved, 3-D quality that some buyers will find beautiful but others may find harsh and artificial.

Big Screen TVs
Glass tube: The bargain box
Rear projection: Family room theater
LCD flat-panel: Entertainment hub
Plasma screen: Movie lovers paradise

Samsung, which makes its own LCD screens as well as those for several big brands, produces one of the largest LCD monitors on the market. Because the 40-inch wide, 3.4-inch thick Samsung LTN406W automatically adjusts what you're viewing to match the screen's resolution, this set is great for watching TV, exploring the Internet or playing video games. Plus, its picture-in-picture feature lets you watch Lara Croft -- the movie and the game -- simultaneously.

About LCD flat-panels

Liquid cystal display flat-panels are the most expensive sets when measured by cost per square inch. Yet LCDs have the sharpest picture and are the only TVs that can workably double as high-resolution computer screens.

LCDs are growing in size. Unlike flat-screen plasma TVs, which are easier to manufacture in large sizes, LCDs are easier to make small. LCD screen size, however, is creeping up, with a 45-inch one on the horizon. But figure on an equally steep price increase -- expect the larger-size LCDs to start at $20,000 full retail.

As with the screens of laptops, images on LCD TVs can differ depending on your viewing angle -- direct is best. That makes them ideal for long rooms rather than wide ones.  Top of page

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