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The Year of the Flat Panel -- 2006

Christmas and the Holidays are quickly approaching. What will be the hot technology gift this year? My guess is that this is the year of the flat panel displays. It amazes how quickly new technology replaces old technology. As soon as the prices hit a critical mass point, it is like an atomic explosion occurs and everyone has the new technology. We are on the verge of a new revolution in PC and Television viewing. It begins with the benchmark 42” flat panel dropping in price to below $1,000.

Flat-panel displays are thin and light weight. They are also longer than a conventional Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) style monitor they may be mounted on a wall or more often placed on a table or cabinet.

Flat panels create images by lighting a fixed grid of pixels. Each pixel (picture element) can be red, blue or green. Color and brightness are controlled at the red, blue, green pixel elements making displays of millions of colors possible. The more colors, the better the picture.

The resolution of a flat panel is expressed in the number of pixels. They range from PC monitor resolution of 1024 horizontal by 768 vertical, 1920 by 1080 depending upon physical screen size. The scan may be an interlaced (i) scan or a progressive (p) scan. A progressive (p) scan refreshes the entire image every scan cycle. Progressive scans provide a better picture with little image ghosting. Because flat panel displays are just that flat and they make pictures with pixels, there is no picture distortion like that found on CRT monitors.

Flat panel monitors can be plasma displays, Thin Film Transistor (TFT), Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) or Digital Light Panel (DLP) displays. TFT and plasma flat panels are viewable at wide angles from side to side. They form a picture by using fluorescent like light using a phosphor coating similar to CRTs. Images can burn into the screen and the display dims over time. TFT technology is used mostly in PC monitors and Plasma, LCD, and DLP technologies are used in Television monitors. Plasma TVs weigh less than the old CRT TVs, but more than LCD or DLP TVs.

LCD panels pass light through a liquid crystal and projecting it on a screen to make images. Similarly DLP panels reflect light using tiny mirrors to make images on the viewing screen. Because they project images both have a narrow angle - straight on (limited side to side) viewing. There is no image burn-in with LCD or DLP flat panels, but a light bulb costing $200+ needs periodic (one year plus) replacement.

The TV monitors can be HDTV ready, but a separate HDTV tuner is needed to provide the video input. Check the flat panels interface types (composite video, s-video, VGA, and others) to make sure they support your PC display adapter or the Television components into which they will be plugged.

Which flat panel is best? I own a bunch of TFT monitors (some are quite old and are still working well), a 42-inch plasma panel, and a 50-inch LCD TV. I can definitively say I like every one better than the CRT it replaced. Because image quality is subjective, you determine which flat panel looks best for you. Then it is a question of size and price.

There is also delivery. My 50-inch LCD TV could not be delivered for several days, delivery would cost $50, and it had to remain vertical so as not to mis-align the LCD. Consequently, I had to rent a big van to load up the panel and transport it home. (Instant gratification and no TV at home push one to such drastic measures.) Fortunately, the LCD flat panel was light as a feather compared to the 250-pound behemoth it replaced. The two-hour van rental was only around $35.00.

Within two at most three years most all CRT monitors will disappear. Flat panels have arrived!


Link to Flat panel display

P. D. Moulton and Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server computer support, and virus & spyware removal. Dial-A-Nerd repairs PC (s), computers, networks, removes viruses & spyware and upgrades slow computers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. DialANerd provides immediate remote access as well as fixed price computer repair, network repair, virus & spyware removal services at its local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair shop. Repair completion is typically 24-hours to 48-hours. Dial A Nerd recovers hard disk data and saves your data. Each hard disk is tested for errors for free. Dial A Nerd makes a fixed disk image, recovers and saves your data for about a 90% of the desktop computer, laptop computer, and netbook PC (s) serviced. Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair business provides fast PC repair, computer repair, desktop computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, and virus & spyware removal services with a warranty. Dial A Nerd works on many PCs including Sony computers, Gateway computers, Hewlett Packard computers, Compaq computers, Toshiba computers, Emachines computers, Clone PCs, and Dell computers in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD). The Dial A Nerd mission is delivering the best quality, affordable cost effective PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, desktop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, virus & spyware removal, home PC repair, printer configuration, PC - desktop computer - laptop computer - netbook computer performance optimization & speed up service. Homes and small businesses with limited IT service and IT support budgets in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) hire Dial A Nerd.


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