The Lowdown on LCDs
Liquid crystal displays, commonly known as LCDs, are composed of a number of picture elements consisting of liquid crystal molecules held in between two sets of transparent electrodes. When the electric charge which runs between the two electrodes is charged, the liquid crystals react in a certain way to give a picture. That is to say they move and twist in different ways to create the colours that are seen on the screen. A light source has to shine through the LCD for you to be able to see the picture.
LCDs have a number of advantages. One of these is that the displays tend to be very high resolution. It is common, for example, to find many displays which have HDTV resolutions. These high resolutions ensure a high picture quality and so give you a great viewing experience.
Another advantage of these displays is that they are energy-efficient. Research shows that HDTVs take very little electricity to run. As an example, it has been shown that the LCD expends 30% less power than a plasma display of the same size. So you will save a lot of money with a LCD since it uses such a small amount of electricity.
Another benefit is that most LCDs can also work as computer monitors, so that you can avoid buying another monitor for your PC. They are also very easy to connect up to the PC – all you need is a standard PC video cable and you can connect the two.
Yet another advantage of LCDs is using them for playing video games. The problem with these types of games is that they are known to create images which get burned permanently into the phosphors on your screen. This is not a problem usually caused by LCDs, as they have a separate backlight, instead of creating light from phosphors. This means that the LCDs retain their stylish look for a long period of time.
LCDs can also easily handle progressive-scan sources, such as those on DVDs and HDTVs. This is because they don't display pictures using an electron gun which scans lines across a screen. Instead the displays use millions of minute transistors which are usually controlled by "brains" within the display.
Although LCDs are advantageous in these ways, they also have a number of drawbacks. One of these is that they tend to be more expensive than other types of displays. Another disadvantage is that they are poor at producing black images - instead of black, the images tend to appear in various shades of grey.
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