What is an
An LCD TV is a thin panel TV capable of hanging on the wall or
sitting on a stand. It is comparable to Plasma only in the fact
that it is a flat TV technology.
What does LCD stand for?
Liquid Crystal Display.
How does an LCD TV work?
LCDs work completely different than plasma TVs, though they look
very similar. The primary light source behind an LCD display is a
bulb, which can be replaced, which shines through the screen. The
light from the bulb is cast through a panel which diffuses the
light across the length and width of the screen, through the
liquid crystal solution, which is located between two clear
panels. The purpose of the solution is to either allow the light
from the bulb to pass through, or to block its transmission, and
the brain behind this decision is the TVs computer, which sends
different electrical signals into the liquid crystal solution
telling it to turn tiny section "on" or "off." This process
happens so quickly that your eyes can't tell the difference: many
times per frame. Manufacturers are always working on speeding this
process up, and the faster these pixels can turn on and off, the
better the overall image looks to the user.
If the light is allowed through in one particular section, it
shines through a colored filter to turn sub-pixels either red,
green, or blue, which, depending on which colors are on or off,
produces the images that we see. If you have read the Plasma TV
section, than you know that plasmas create the color in each pixel
by illuminating a phosphor which, when energized, produces the
correct color. Since LCDs produce the correct color by shining
white light through a color filter, there is no chance for burn-in
(the phosphors in plasma TVs are responsible for burn-in, so if
there are no phosphors, there is no burn-in). This is a very
attractive benefit of purchasing LCD technology over plasma. You
can read our comprehensive Plasma Vs. LCD article for an in depth
comparison between the two flat screen technologies.
Can an LCD TV hang on my wall?
Yes. LCD TVs are one of two dominant TV technologies (Plasma TV is
the other) that are designed to hang on your wall like a painting.
Almost all LCD TVs will require an additional wall mount in order
to hang on the wall, many different types of wall mounts are
available from Display Haven. There are basically three different
types of wall mounts available; flat wall mount, tilting wall
mount, and an articulating arm. Flat, obviously, holds the TV very
flat to the wall and provides little to no space behind the TV
consequently allowing for very little or no vertical tilt. Flat
wall mounts provide a very low profile look and hold the TV close
and tight to the wall. Tilting wall mounts hold the TV fairly
close to the wall but hold the unit our far enough to allow for 10
to 20 degrees vertical tilt (angled up or angled down). Tilting
wall mounts are recommended for those of you who intend on
mounting your LCD TV in a higher area, where a down tilt is
required. An articulating arm is a bracket that mounts to the wall
with an arm extending from it that will hold a display up to a few
feet out from the wall, while also allowing a large amount of
maneuverability in several directions (up, down, in, out, right,
left). There are several variations of each model, these are only
the basic styles. A Display Haven sales associate can help you
determine exactly what type of mount will suit your particular
Most LCD TVs come with, or have available, a table top stand that
will allow the TV to sit upright on a flat surface if wall
mounting is not desirable for your application.
Can an LCD TV display High Definition signal?
Yes. LCD TVs that are High Definition capable can easily display
1080i and 720p high definition signal. LCD TVs are available in
Standard Definition Format (SDTV), Enhanced Definition (EDTV), and
High Definition (HDTV). So, if you goal in buying an LCD TV is to
be able to view High Definition broadcasts, then you need to make
sure that the LCD TV you are looking at is an LCD HDTV.
For more on SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV see our Learn more about Digital
What is the lifespan of an LCD TV?
50,000-60,000 hours. Just to give you an idea of how much time
that is, you could watch TV for six hours a day for the next 27
years before you capped 60,000 hours of TV viewing time. The
upside to LCD Technology is that once you have reached the 60,000
hour lifespan you can easily have the backlight bulb replaced. For
around $200-$300 a service center can replace the burned out bulb
in your LCD TV.
Can LCD TVs have “burn-in” issues?
No. LCD TV technology, unlike plasma TV technology, is not
susceptible to image retention or “burn-in”.
Can an LCD TV double as a computer monitor?
Yes. LCD TVs incorporate the same technology as the LCD computer
monitor you are most likely using to view this website (assuming
you are using an LCD monitor – thin). Many LCD TVs come with VGA
and DVI inputs allowing for easy connection to a Mac or PC. In the
case that you wanted a computer and a HD Receiver hooked to the
same LCD TV you would plug them both into the TV and then
oscillate back and forth between the two inputs to use each
Are LCD TVs thinner than Plasma TVs?
It’s pretty well tied in this area, Plasma and LCDs are very
similar in depth. Both LCD TVs and Plasma TVs range from 3”-5”
thin. If you add a wall mount to either of the units you will be
adding depth to your setup. Some of the lowest profile flat wall
mounts are around .5”-1” deep, and consequently that will add that
much depth to your wall mounted LCD TV setup.