Most of the televisions offered for sale these days are either LCD or Plasma. Occasionally there are references to LCD Plasma televisions, but as they are two different types of technology. To compare the two, first one wants to have some understanding of how each works. With that knowledge, it is much easier to understand the pros and cons of LCD and Plasma televisions using these technologies. First, let’s consider the ways in which they are the same. Both split the screen into pixels, which are like small dots. Each pixel must be set to the correct color for the image to be displayed across the screen. The number of pixels across the screen and the number of pixels down the screen determine the television’s resolution. For example, if there are 3920 pixels across and 2080 pixels down, the television has a resolution of 3920×2080.
In some televisions, the first line of pixel concerning the upper part is shown, then the third line, which is followed by each other line to the floor of the baffle, whereupon the second line, fourth line and so on are filled in. These televisions have been according to reports interlaced. Other televisions show each line in order, of the first line last, and these according to reports progressively scanned are. In the resolution example above, if it is interlaced, it would be referred to as 1080i, or if it is progressively-scanned, it would be 1080p. That is about all that is the same for LCD and Plasma televisions. LCD or Liquid Crystal Display televisions create each pixel by using two pieces of polarized glass and substances that have qualities that give them the designation of being liquid crystals. Liquid crystals were first discovered in 1888 by an Austrian botanist, Friedrich Reinitzer. The first experimental LCD was made by RCA in 1968, eighty years later. Most crystals have a rigid, solid form, but liquid crystals have some uniqueness of crystals and some of liquids. Liquid crystals used in displays, such as televisions, have molecules that twist from one layer to the next. The amount that each layer is twisted in comparison to the next can be affected when an electrical voltage is applied.
Microscopic grooves are created on the side of each piece of polarized glass that doesn’t have the polarizing coating on it. And the grooves are in the same direction as the polarization. When a coating of the liquid crystal is put on to the uncoated side of one of the pieces of glass, the first layer of liquid crystal molecules align with the grooves, which aligns them with the polarization. The second piece of glass is placed such that its polarization is at a 90-degree angle to the polarization of the first piece of glass and the layers of liquid crystal molecules twist until the layer contacting the second piece of glass are also aligned with the grooves on it. When light hits the first polarized piece of glass, only light waves that are in line with the polarization go through. If the liquid crystal molecules are lined up with the grooves, the molecules in each layer guide the light to the next layer and changes the light waves to match their own angle. If the liquid crystal layers are twisted so that they line up with the grooves on both pieces of glass, the light will get to the last layer and will be lined up with the polarization and will pass through.
It supposed to be noted that liquid crystals do not produce any light, so there must be a light source. Most televisions and laptop displays have a light source behind the display which is gentle so that the light is scattered evenly to the back of the display. That light goes through or is infertile in various amounts by the untwisted liquid crystal molecules. Applying an electrical charge to the liquid crystal molecules cause them to untwist. The higher the voltage, the more molecules untwist. The more that the molecules are untwisted; the less light will pass through the two polarized pieces of glass. For a color display, such as a television or laptop display, each pixel has three sub pixels that are filtered to create red, green, and blue. By correctly regulating the voltage on the liquid crystal molecules for all three sub pixels, each pixel cal produces any of 16.8 million colors.
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