Sunday, March 12, 2006

LCD vs Plasma? Or SED?

Over the last two years, flat panel television display sales have been growing by 100% year-on-year. Plasma displays were (next to the iPod) the 'big' Christmas present in 2005, and healthy sales are reported in the first quarter of 2006.

Plasma was the first technology used for large flat panel displays. Initially they were obscenely expensive, with picture quality and viewing angles significantly worse than conventional CRT (cathode ray tube) screens. However, the technologies have been refined to bring the prices down and the quality levels up.

Over the past couple of years, plasma's ascent has been challenged by LCD (liquid crystal display) technology. This is the technology used for laptop computer displays, and your mobile phone's colour display. LCDs are cheaper, brighter, more durable and stay bright for longer. Their disadvantage is that they don't display movement as well (although modern LCDs are conquering this).

However, just when you thought the decision was Plasma v LCD, a third technology has been announced. The technology is called SED, which stands for surface-conduction electron-emitter display. And this week, Toshiba and Canon announced that the first SED flat panel TVs will go on sale in the fourth quarter of next year.

The panels have a reputation for delivering clear and vivid images because their light-beaming technology is similar to that for old-style cathode-ray tube TVs. SED panels are also thinner and consume less energy than LCDs and plasma display panels.

If your old telly has died, good-quality plasma and LCD screens have never been cheaper. But if it has a couple of year's life left in it, it just might be worth waiting!


Skep said...

Technology is developing SO quickly now it's unbelievable... SED? Wow. Looks like I won't be buying my big telly just yet.

TR said...

I'm just glad to point out you mispelt reported in the first paragraph.

here's the 'e' you'll be needing, then...


brett jordan said...

Thanks TR, I've corrected the error.

BTW, I assume you mean misspelt?

Here's the 's' you'll be needing then :-)