Home Theater Display Technologies Compared - dummies

Home Theater Display Technologies Compared

By Mark L. Chambers

Part of Apple TV For Dummies Cheat Sheet

What kind of TV will you choose for your home theater? You can spend as much or as little on a televion as you wish. You could log into eBay or Craigslist and find a used CRT TV for around $50, or you could spend several thousand dollars on a top-line plasma TV — the choice is yours. The following table goes through the various home theater technologies with some basic specs for each.

Technology Name Relative Cost Typical Maximum Size Pros Cons
CRT Very inexpensive 40 inches Great color quality, no viewing angle problems, can display
1080i HDTV
Bulky, mediocre image detail
LCD Average to high 52 inches Thin, lightweight, low power, good image detail, handles most
HDTV signals
Mediocre color quality, limited viewing angle, blurring or
ghosting on cheaper sets
Plasma Very expensive 70 inches Thin, lightweight, great image detail, great color quality,
handles all HDTV signals
Fragile, slight chance of burn-in, brightness degradation,
sensitive to high altitudes, limited viewing angle
Rear-projection Average to high 60 inches Good to great image detail, good to great color quality,
handles most HDTV signals
Bulky, may require adjustment and maintenance, limited viewing
angle, requires a dark room
Front-projection Average 200 inches Good color quality, handles most HDTV signals Requires a separate wall or screen, mediocre image quality,
requires a dark room