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Selecting the right type of HDTV screen

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There are three types of high-definition television sets for the home: cathode ray tubes (CRTs), plasma, and liquid-crystal displays (LCDs).

Flat screen sets are usually 6 inches thick or less. They are what most people envision when they think of HDTV.

* CRTs are the best of any technology, according to tech expert Stephen Wildstrom, but they are big and heavy. Sony's 40-inch, the biggest CRT made, weighs 304 pounds and is 26 inches deep.

* There are two problems with plasma screens, says Wildstrom. Though they have been known to last up to 20 years, there can be reduced picture quality after 10 years.

The second problem is that a static image held on the screen for a long time, such as a channel guide, will leave a ghost image behind called "burn in." Sometimes it fades after a few hours, but severe burn-in can be permanent. It's a problem when showing conventional TV on a wide screen plasma set. If you use only a center square of the screen, the edges are subject to burn-in. The image has to be stretched to fit the screen's dimensions, causing distortion.

* LCDs don't have the problem. Their picture quality is approaching that of plasma, though the top size is just 40 inches.

It can't hurt to wait before you buy a new big screen. Prices are falling as manufacturers using new technology will produce less expensive sets.

Long Island Technology Articles > Selecting the right type of HDTV screen

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