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Take the mystery out of High Definition Monitors and TV with this HDTV guide.

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Get-in2 this TigerDirect Showcase of their best priced computer monitors and flat screen home HDTV displays are shown below in our dynamic window shopping ecatalog. From this single page you can shop by Brands and screen sized for all the discounted flat screen HD monitors for your home or office computers.. Hit the shopping link to refresh the available product database that gets an automatic daily price update.

What You Should Know about modern day HD-TV's, LCD and Plasma flat screen computer and home entertainment displays, and the resolution choices and cabling required to enjoy it. Bookmark this monitor resolution guide page for reference.
How To Pick Your Best TV Type?
Several important factors determine the quality of your HDTV picture.  So how do you find a picture you like?
  • TV TECHNOLOGY
    As you probably already know, there are several TV technologies available.  LCD televisions are thin and lightweight with a high-quality picture, even in brightly lit rooms.  Plasma screens are heavier than LCDs but may deliver a slightly picture in dark rooms with more intense colors.  DLP TVs offer brilliant screens, but are thicker than LCDs or Plasma.
  • RESOLUTION
    Think about TV resolution as the number of pixels contained in one "frame" of a television show or movie.  More pixels in each frame will give you better picture detail.  720P and 1080P are the two most common resolution standards for HDTV now.  With about 1 million pixels in each frame, 720P provides a vivid, high definition picture. 1080P offers the highest level of HDTV quality with over 2 million pixels in each frame, creating even greater picture details.  While broadcast is mostly limited to 720P, 1080P is the standard for high definition disc players like Blu-Ray.
  • CONTRAST RATIO
    Contrast ratio is a number that measures the difference in light intensity between the brightest white and the darkest black on the screen.  In general the higher the contrast ratio number, the better the image quality.  Most times, you will find Dynamic Contrast Ratio specified, but be sure you are comparing the same type of contrast ratio.
  • CONTRAST ENHANCEMENT
    Another way to improve contrast ratio is with contrast enhancement technology. Most of the time, this uses back lighting to improve apparent contrast.  This is especially helpful in dark rooms, as it helps your eyes adjust to the best light levels.  This dynamically improves contrast, resulting in deep blacks in darker scenes without losing fine details in shadows and other dark areas of the picture.
  • BIT COLOR
    Another important contributor to picture quality is what is called "bit depth".  This is the size of the number that is used to assign colors on the screen.  The higher the number, the more displayable colors will appear (see the image below).  Of course this is only true if both the display processor and the panel support that number of bits!


More Bits = More Colors

What Is High Definition And How Is It Different From Standard Definition?
High Definition or "HD" is a technological leap forward from standard definition, with up to 6x the picture resolution, so that what you see is sharper and more realistic.  Regular TVs and the TV channels you watch at home are typically in standard definition (unless you watch HD channels).  DVD are also in standard definition.  Standard definition (480i & 480p) is lower quality than high definition.  Many older TV sets are standard def, and can only show standard def content (programming).  Many new TVs are called High Definition TVs (HDTV).  They are capable of showing high def content in: 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, all high definition formats, but 1080p provides the highest picture quality of them all.



A Quick Guide To TV Definition Terms

HDTV -
(High Definition) television monitors reveal either 720 progressive (720p), or a minimum of 1080 interlaced lines, known as 1080i. An HDTV will show 540 lines at a time. These resolutions create extraordinarily sharp, lifelike images as well as the truest and most vivid colors ever seen on a television screen.
EDTV -
stands for Enhanced Definition Television. EDTV monitors display at least 480 progressive lines (480p). Because EDTV shows more lines simultaneously than SDTV, its pictures are sharper, richer and more realistic.
SDTV - Standard Definition TV is what’s rapidly becoming old-fashioned television. Although SDTV offers a decent picture we’ve grown accustomed to, it features up to 480 interlaced lines (480i), but can show only 240 of them at any given time. Although SDTV produces a sharp picture and good color, its performance is dramatically inferior to HDTV or EDTV.
For More Information - Visit Our Guide To Plasma & LCD TVs
How Compatible Is HDMI?
HDMI is fully backward compatible with PCs, displays and consumer electronics devices incorporating the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) standard. Both HDMI and DVI were pioneered by Silicon Image and are based on TMDS®, Silicon Image's powerful, high-speed, serial link technology. HDMI supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC HDTV standards and supports 8-channel digital audio, and with 5 Gbps of bandwidth, HDMI can accommodate future enhancements and requirements. Because HDMI was designed specifically for consumer electronics applications, it offers an array of additional consumer enhancements. As digital content can manifest itself in a variety of sizes, resolutions and formats, HDMI-enabled systems will automatically configure to display content in the most effective format. In addition, if implemented in a specific device, HDMI enables a single remote point and click, allowing manufacturers to deliver home theater systems that automatically configure from a single command from a remote control -- turning on or off the components necessary to view a DVD, listen to a CD, or watch cable or satellite TV.

What is the difference between HDMI 1.3 and HDMI 1.3a, or 1.3b?
For consumers, there is no difference between HDMI version 1.3 and 1.3a or 1.3b. These minor revisions to the specification typically relate to manufacturing or testing issues and do not impact features or functionality in a specific product. In addition, HDMI Licensing, LLC is actively working with manufacturers to reduce confusion for consumers by de-emphasizing version numbers and focusing instead on product features and functionality.

How can I identify which HDMI products support a specific feature, such as DVD Audio or Deep Color?
The key for consumers to remember is that HDMI has consistently enabled a variety of the most innovative new technologies (whether they are DVD Audio, SACD, 1080p/60, etc.). However, in many cases, it is up to each manufacturer to choose which features to implement in any given product. The manufacturer can choose the mix of features that makes sense for its customers and products. So, customers must choose devices that have the features that they want (instead of focusing on which version of HDMI is implemented by the device.). Consumers interested in confirming whether a particular consumer electronics product supports DVD-Audio or any other feature over HDMI are urged to review users’ manuals and product reviews, or check with manufacturers directly.

What Is Firmware Upgradeable?
Many of today's electronics product are designed for today's standards.  Yet like personal computers, they have advanced capabilities that will let them be upgraded for use with new technologies and standards.  The ability to upgrade the firmware of an electronics product allows you to extend the useful lifespan of the device you purchase, and be able to expect support for many (if not all) of the emerging new standards.

What is the difference between Active HDMI and Passive HDMI?
There is no active or passive HDMI in the HDMI specification. These terms apply to cables. Active cables have built-in electronics to enable long cable runs, and typically these cables require a power supply. These cables use active electronics to help push the signal farther than typical passive cables.

About HDTV Viewing Angles
The Viewing Angle of any TV is an important specification.  The wider the viewing angle, the more enjoyable your experience.  Viewing angles above 150° means you can view your TV from a reasonable range - from the front and off to the sides.  However, viewing angles above 170° are best!  Many of today's Plasma and LCD HDTVs offer viewing angles of 178°, and their images do not suffer from degradation at very high viewing angles.   LCD TVs were originally designed for a one user experience, as a computer monitor, but the technology has kept pace with the demands for ever increasing viewing angles, and most offer excellent viewing experiences.  Between LCD and Plasma; Plasma TVs have the advantage, but by a small margin.

Viewing angles are not an issue with projectors because the light source is coming from in front of the screen, and not from behind. However, the surface on which you project (screen or wall surface) may have a slight impact on viewing angles, so it is important to choose the best screen possible.

LCD Monitor & TV Cleaning Tips
Technology Knowledge, Information, and Resources: Technology News, Information Articles, Product Manuals, How To Guides, Brochures and Fact Sheets, Computer Glossary, and Technical Encyclopedia

TechTip: Cleaning Your LCD Monitor or TV
Now that you have your new LCD Monitor or Widescreen TV, it is important to use the right products to clean it.  The wrong cleaner can damage the surface of your display.  However, there are many new cleaning products on the market designed especially for LCD displays. We recommend using a soft, lint-free cloth and a special LCD cleaner.  (You can also use a cleaner that contains any of the following:  Water, Vinegar (mixed with water), or Isopropyl alcohol).  BUT Do Not Use cleaners that contain any of the following agents: Acetone, Ethyl alcohol, Ethyl acid, Ammonia, Methyl chloride!  Important: Do not spray any liquids directly on the LCD screen. Always apply the solution to your cloth first, not directly to the parts you are cleaning. Always use a soft cotton cloth. Some materials, such as paper towels or old rags can cause scratches and damage the LCD screen.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR SPECIAL LCD CLEANING PRODUCTS »

Understanding LCD Display Dead Pixels
A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a thin, electronic flat panel used to display information and images. It includes monitors for computers, televisions, instrument panels, and other devices ranging from aircraft cockpit displays, to every-day consumer devices such as video players, gaming devices, clocks, watches, calculators, and telephones. LCDs are simply everywhere now.

Its major features and benefits are: lightweight construction (compared to Plasma displays); portability (in the case of smaller displays); the ability to be produced in much larger screen sizes than were practical for older Tube (CRT) displays; and perhaps most important, its much lower power consumption.

Technically, an LCD display is an "electronically-modulated optical device" made up of any number of tiny pixels filled with liquid crystals and arrayed in front of a light source (backlight) or reflector to produce images in color.  The earliest discoveries leading to the development of LCD technology date from 1888. Today, tube CRT displays are almost a thing of the past!

Unfortunately, from time to time, a new LCD TV or Monitor will have a problem pixel.  This is where the physical crystal actually is stuck or frozen in place.  However, don't panic, since these can frequently be fixed.

There are three basic types of problem pixels:

  • a hot pixel (always on, usually white)
  • a dead pixel (always off, black)
  • a stuck pixel (one or more sub-pixels (red, blue or green) are always on or always off)

To solve a problem pixel, it is recommended to let the display fully warm up (leave on for at least a full day) - this alone can fix many problems, as the display expands due to warming and can free the pixel.  Always try this before calling for help.  Next, call the manufacturer's technical support for other techniques that they might recommend - each manufacturer may have different solutions for their products.  There are also other techniques that you might try, but always be careful not to damage your display, as this might void your warranty. 

LCD Problem Pixel Policy
In the event that warranty service or an exchange is required, it is important to understand that every manufacturer has their own dead pixel policies, and that they should be contacted about solutions before requesting any exchange.  We want you to experience the best possible image on your LCD, so typically, an LCD TV or Monitor with 5 hot, dead, or stuck pixels would qualify for an exchange within the first 30 days of ownership after support efforts have been exhausted.  See the product warranty below for more information.

LCD Technology: Response Time - Enabling crisp full-motion video
With the recent widespread use of PC and online games, and PCs equipped with DVD drives give users more opportunities to see moving images such as those in 3D games or action movies on screen. This increase in motion picture content means computer monitors must be able to display not only still images, but moving ones as well. Manufacturers and IT publications often cite a fast response time as an indication that a display can play videos or games with little or no blurring. Hence, we would like to share with you what response time is, and how helpful it is in determining how well an LCD display (TV or Monitor) can portray moving images.  Click here for our Guide To LCD Response Times »

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