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Bigger ,Sharper, Better

LCD displays are fast becoming the new rave in electronics because of the heightened viewing pleasure it affords avid television viewers.
By Entrepreneur Staff |

It's a well-known fact that Filipinos love watching television. The average Filipino household spends roughly 21 hours of viewing a week, according to a study by research firm Growth for Knowledge (GFK). Because it's their national pastime, Filipinos are receptive to advances in television technology, the most recent of which is the introduction of the liquid crystal diode (LCD) displays. LCDs are fast gaining ground as the television set of choice for a majority of Filipino consumers because of its bigger screen, improved picture quality, and power saving features. Winston Lim of Abenson, a retailer of LCD television sets, predicts that LCD will outsell other screen types by 2009.

The popularity of LCD technology is also felt on a global scale, with the technology earning a 75.3 percent share in 2005, according to research firm DisplaySearch. Manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sharp have also increased their production capacity to cope with worldwide demand.

LCD technology and its applications have been around for some time. You can find its simplest form in calculators, digital clocks, and radios while advanced applications are found on laptops, televisions, and digital billboards. LCD technology is primarily the means for displaying the visual output. LCDs are composed of different layers of glass, liquid crystals, and a variety of filters to produce an image or a video. With a variety of LCD models available in the market, the typical criteria for evaluating these electronics include its response time (how fast the display can change, preventing "image artifacts" to be shown on the screen); resolution (the amount and sharpness of detail the screen can show relative to its display size); matrix type; brightness and contrast ratio; color support; and its ability to interface with multiple electronic devices.

Today, CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) technology still dominates the television market but the advantages of LCD clearly make it irresistible for the avid viewer. LCDs may cost more than CRTs, but they are also known to consume less power than the traditional televisions, giving you savings on your electricity bill in the long run. And LCD price tags will go down when production economies of scale is reached.

One nifty feature that shines in an LCD display is its Picture-in-Picture (PIP) function, which is ideal for people who'd want the ability to switch between two programs anytime by displaying the alternate channel through a small window on the screen. Some LCD television even allows you to surf and watch TV at the same time.

Of course, as technology improves, so does the need for different devices to work together seamlessly. Unlike CRT units that require special adaptors to accommodate different electronics, LCD televisions have support for almost all interfaces, so you can use your digital camera, mp3 and DVD players, gaming devices, and even compatible memory sticks. With LCD televisions typically offered in bigger than average screen sizes, it just might be the centerpiece of your digital lifestyle.

LCD televisions, of course, are not limited to home entertainment purposes. More than ever, the value proposition of having LCD displays for commercial and industrial use has become compelling that more and more businesses are using them for monitoring and marketing purposes. Samsung recently released 40- and 46-inch LCD displays with built in Windows XP operating system. Using Samsung's Magic Net technology, it can display movies, documents, and pictures without the need for a computer.

Most recently, retailers have realized the potential of big-screen LCD televisions as part of their merchandising displays. This trend is noticeable in shopping malls where a big screen LCD monitor showcases the latest advertising campaigns. The LCD screen gives retailers and outdoor advertisers the aesthetic boost to capture the market's attention more effectively, while saving them time and money for not having to take down and install new content like the traditional billboards require.

Airport Terminals and other high-traffic public areas also benefit from placing an LCD display as a complement to their existing information systems because it enables them to disseminate constantly changing data faster. This is particularly true for people checking flight schedules, weathers reports, and even the latest headlines.

With prices going down and some key features readily available in the market, it's no wonder that LCD will eventually dominate and influence the already strong television culture in the Philippines, whether it would be used for personal or commercial purposes. Bigger is definitely better.

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