LCD’s use fluorescent lighting, LCD televisions always have their backlight on when the TV is on. This results in a brighter picture which allows for easy viewing in a well lit room. LCD’s are immune to screen burn-in so they are well suited for computer use. Traditional LCD televisions are available in sizes as small as 15 inches and as large as 65 inches. Refresh rate is a term that is relevant to LCD. The refresh rate refers to how many times per second the on-screen images are re-drawn. All LCD have a rate in multiples of 60 ie 60, 120 and 240. The faster rates help combat motion blur.
LED uses a liquid crystal display the same as LCD. The main difference is the way the display is lit. LCD uses fluorescent lights to light the LCD panel while LED uses Light Emitting Diodes to light the display panel. LED panels use two different methods: edge lit or back lit. Edge lit, lights around the edge of the display which allows for slimmer LED panels. Back lit places the LED lights behind the panel this allows for better contrast and black levels.
Advantages are a better picture, thinner display panel and are more energy efficient.
16:9 is the most popular choice for a home theater projector. Recommended resolutions for the 16:9 format home theater are 1280×720 and 1920×1080 ie. 720p / 1080p lines of resolution.
Contrast is the most important measure of quality in a home theater projector. Contrast is the difference in brightness between the brightest and darkest parts in an image. The greater the difference, the higher the contrast.
Dark rooms provide the best viewing for home theater projectors. If you don’t plan on having a dedicated media room, take whatever steps you can to eliminate ambient light and reduce reflections off the walls and ceiling.
High-contrast gray screens help to improve black level when there is ambient or reflected light in the room.
Projectors start around $500 and up. The least expensive ones are the 720P models. They display DVD and Blu-Ray extremely well. That cap is closing with 720p and 1080p close to the same price point. The 720p projectors will have more features and generally higher contrast, while the 1080p projectors will have the benefit of higher resolution, but are lacking in extra features. Which one you choose is a question of what’s more important to you, features or resolution.
Replacement Lamps usually cost $200 to $400. Projectors have a maximum lamp life, generally around 3000 hours.