The most popular TV technology today is LCD. LCD TVs come in many sizes: from smallish 13″ ones to huge 70″ and larger ones. Although 32″ seems to be at the sweet spot now, 40″ and 42″ LCD TVs will take the spotlight in 2008, mainly because top brands will have lower-end models that dip below $1000. LCD TV wasn’t always popular. Just a few years ago, it was plasma TVs. Remember Gateway when the company introduced 42″ ED plasma TVs for just $1999? That was big news back then. Of course, now, you can get a 42″ HD plasma TV for just $999. For 50″ and larger TVs, plasma TV still has the edge in price but that won’t be for too long. But I’m not interested in either LCD TV or plasma TV. My interest is in liquid crystal on silicon or LCoS. LCoS-based rear projection TVs to be a bit more revealing. And to be ultra-precise, my next TV will be a 55″ Sony 3-chip 1080p SXRD rear projection TV. I will give you three reasons why.
1. Thin might be in, but is a waste of money. Unless you are intending to put your LCD TV or plasma TV on the wall, paying for thin is a waste of money. Although the display might be thin, the base needs to be fairly deep to prevent it from tipping over. For 40″ and larger sizes, you want a pretty sturdy base. Another reason why thin is a waste of money is because you will most likely put it on top of a table or furniture piece that is significantly thicker than the TV. The reason for this is simple: most if not all A/V equipment that will connect to your thin over-priced TV will have a depth that is 2x to 3x more. These include DVD players, A/V receivers, Blu-ray and HD-DVD players, game consoles such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, etc. So why do you need your TV to be thin?
2. EMI. Electro-magnetic interference is everywhere and the most come from when the microwave is on, but next to that is when your large TV is on. We, as in folks that live in the US, live at a time when 40″ is about the bare minimum size of a living room TV. In addition to that, I have kids, who love to sit or stand right in front of the TV and exposing themselves to all that EMI. Since kids will be kids, I want to get a TV that has minimal EMI. And guess what? Plasma TV is known for very high levels of EMI. LCD TV has much less, but rear projection TV is significantly less than both.
3. UHP. Ultra-high-performance lamps. Yes, these go out every 3-4 years and, some say, is a pain in the butt to replace. Add to that the $200-$300 price tag on one of these and a TV that uses a UHP bulb sounds downright expensive. Well, I want to look at this differently. A CCFL or LED backlight will last 50,000 or more hours before brightness levels drop to 50% of original. That turns out to be a very long time. So what happens when your TV’s brightness falls to a point where you don’t like it anymore? You can’t do anything. You can possibly find a company that can replace the backlight unit, but that is very unlikely. Most likely, you’ll need to get a new TV. And that will cost you quite a bit more than $300. With a UHP-based rear-projection TV, you can basically get a brand new TV every 3-4 years for just $300. I like that.
There is another reason why I want Sony’s 55″ SXRD TV. Soon, it will come below the $1000 mark. And that’s a great value for a 1080p 50″ TV. Sony’s LCoS implementation in its SXRD technology is a gem. Although many of you might disagree with the reasons I put forth, one of my goals is to maximize the return on my investment. Thin is nice, but is way overpriced and in most cases (unless you’re putting it on the wall) is not even a useful feature.
[tags]Sony, SXRD, Rear Projection TV, RPTV, 55″, LCoS, Liquid Crystal on Silicon[/tags]