Keep Your Television Technology Under Control
The world’s major manufacturers seem to be engaged in something of a television technology arms race…or rather, every year the sets on offer get bigger, claiming to offer better colours and brighter images, sharper blacks, greater definition, and (most recently) better connectivity with the internet.
So, if you don’t know an LCD TV from an LED TV, or think that plasma is something that comes in your blood rather than from a television in Curry’s, here’s a bit of a guide to keeping your television technology under control.
The fundamental difference between LCDs, LEDs, OLEDs and just about any other acronym you can think of is to do with how the image on your screen is lit. The lighting is done with something called a diode, which is basically a very small lightbulb. The better the lightbulb, the better the image, and the more efficient it is, the more you’ll save. OLED is the best technology, but by far the most expensive.
LED and LCD televisions have a fair amount of overlap, and to be honest, the casual user (the one who doesn’t go to the effort to make sure their television is set up perfectly in their living room) isn’t going to notice enough of a difference to justify the major price differences.
Definition does make a big difference, anyone who has seen an HDTV will notice that there is a marked difference between the quality of the images, just as there is a big difference between digital and analogue. If you don’t notice this, try watching a DVD from ten years ago and see just how far the cameras have come, the images look noticeably dated and this is down to colours (which we’ll discuss next) and definition.
These days, the best televisions come with super high definition, which effectively means even more pixels crammed onto the screen and some of the very latest models have hardware inside which can upgrade an average image into an amazing one. Settle for a good high definition model and you’re sure to be satisfied.
Coupled with definition is the issue of colours. The human eye is astonishingly sensitive to colouring, and some estimates place the number of colours we can see at 10 million (that is to say we have the sensitivity to distinguish between that many different colours). At the moment, even the best televisions can’t quite replicate even half of that number, but the technological gap is closing rapidly.
Still, a good high definition television with modern backlighting will be sufficient for most viewers, although, if you love nature programmes, you might notice the difference from having more colours available.
The amazing thing about televisions is that each generation of sets seems amazing, and we can’t see how it can get better until it does. With the market moving fast, if you’re buying a new television, it’s not worth spending lots and lots of cash, because the technology will have moved on in a couple of years. The best advice is to go for a good, solid High Definition display with an LED element, and you’re sure to be on the right lines.