HDTV Blog.Steals n' Deals.Best Priced.Shop HDTV's.Shop Accessories.HDMI Cables.HDTV Science.Resolution How?.Articles & News.
Main.LCD Reviews.Best Rated TV's.TOP 10 TV's.Compare LCD.Compare Plasma.LCD vs Plasma.LCD Basics.Plasma Basics.

LCD Television Basics

Learn How LCD TV’s Work

Don’t buy a LCD Television before reading this first!

LCD Television BASICS (Liquid Crystal Display)

Ok let’s cover some of the basics here. A Liquid crystal display is used in lots of devices. Most common devices that use LCD displays are clocks, microwaves, car stereo systems, and yes HDTV’s.

Life-span  (How long will an LCD TV last?)                        60,000 - 80,000 Hrs.

If your looking for an HDTV to last a good while than LCD is a great way to go! Most LCD HDTV’s are rated for 60,000 hours, up to 80,000 hours depending on the manufacture and rated life span of the bulb. Most LCD HDTV’s will last longer than a Plasma TV. An LCD HDTV will usually last as long as the bulb inside the TV. Just like any bulb dims over a period of years, so will an LCD HDTV Bulb. To calculate the years figure out how many hours you watch per day and multiply that by 365. Then divide that by the rated hours of the LCD TV you have or the one your going to purchase. Assuming your electronics, circuits, and microchips out last the LCD panel your LCD TV should be rated around 60,000 hours.

What will you be using your LCD Television for?


What are you going to be doing with your HDTV? Movies, video games, watching basic TV or an alternate computer monitor?

Whatever your needs are will determine what features are more important  than others. If you are going to be watching mostly High Definition movies & gaming then screen resolution, refresh rate, response time and contrast ratio should be some of your considerations. If your going to be using your HDTV for basic TV viewing then you might be more concerned with screen size and price. If your going to be using your HDTV for an alternate computer monitor you might be more concerned with it’s input options, screen resolution and aspect ratio. But whatever your heart desires there is an HDTV solution out there to fit you need and budget. We will help you get there!

Specifications you need to know!

Okay, Lets get our first glimpse at what Specifications are going to be a deciding factor in buying your new HDTV.

Aspect Ratio

Most LCD HDTV’s come in two different aspect ratios 4:3 and 16:9. Depending on what you will be using your HDTV for should determine what aspect ratio you decide to go with. 4:3 is your standard viewing size “regular  TV size” 16:9 is your wide screen size “movie screen dimensions”. You can make your decision based on a few factors. If you have an entertainment center that is designed for a TV with a 4:3 aspect ratio you will have to sacrifice screen size if you want to put a 16:9 aspect ratio HDTV in that same entertainment center.  If you are planing to upgrade your entertainment center when you upgrade your HDTV then you should decide on what size TV you want first and then find a entertainment center or HDTV stand that is tailored fit to your new HDTV. Keep in mind that most HDTV’s on the market are 16:9 aspect ratio. So finding exactly what you want in a 16:9 aspect ratio is more likely.


If you decide to stay with your current entertainment center then you should measure it and shop your new HDTV according to you size requirements.

Native Screen resolution most manufactures offer 2 different types of Native Resolutions 1080p (Progressive Scan) which equates to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels “This is the way to go if you can afford it”, next in line is 720p (Progressive Scan) which equates to 1280 x 720 pixels. Most HDTV channels broadcast in the last 2 resolutions listed, 720p or 1080i is the standard broadcast formats for most cable, direct TV™, and satellite feeds, the deciding factor should include your price range and what type of media you will be viewing.

Refresh Rate is the rate at which the signal refreshes per second. The faster the refresh rate the sharper the action and the image will be in fast paced media such as football, action movies, etc. If your mostly going to be using your new HDTV for TV shows than a lower refresh rate will be fine. But for you gamers and High Definition action movie fans a refresh rate of 60 Fps to 120 Fps “Frames Per Second” will be more desirable because the higher refresh rate keeps the image transition looking smooth.

Response time is another very important factor you need to consider. Response time represents the amount of time it takes for one pixel to go from active “black” to inactive “white” and back to black again. It’s the speed at which an LCD panels crystals “twist” to block and allow light to pass through. This process is measured in (ms) milliseconds, the lower the number the faster it can change between active (black) and inactive (white) Pixels. Another words the lower the milliseconds, the  lower the response time. The clearer the picture will be on the screen. You gamers, sports fans & action movie fans should go with a lower response time. Slower response times range around 20 milliseconds, faster response times are usually around 8 TO 2 milliseconds. This millisecond factor can impact your purchase price by inches or miles. Shop for a happy medium based on your needs and budget.

Contrast Ratio is the measurement used to show the difference in light intensity between the brightest white and the darkest black.


Example: Contrast ratio will read something like, 300:1 or 500:1, and can even go as high as 10000:1 and getting higher as technology advances! The higher the contrast ratio “left number” the blacker the blacks will be to whites and will result in fewer areas that look gray but are suppose to be black. Remember this is an important number but you should always judge by your eyes. Simply put, what looks good is good! And use the contrast ratio as a guide to get started in the right direction.


I would suggest determining your price range first, selecting your desired screen size second. Then go to your local HDTV store and view your desired screen size, Doing this will assure you get the right size HDTV with the best looking picture for your budget! Remember a good balance between HDTV features is the smart way to go! Check out our expert review matrix for great combinations of features, prices, sizes Etc.

Viewing Angle of your LCD is a factor, not as important as most other factors, but a factor. I would suggest not making this a big deal, you can usually sit at least 72 degrees off the axis and still see a perfect picture. Although most manufactures state that there viewing angle is much more than this you will notice little decrease in color saturation, brightness and contrast in the picture. Most LCD’s of today are pretty much equal in this arena. But the question is will you actually need it?