One exciting feature emerging in the world of
LCD HDTVs is the 120 Hz refresh rate. What
does this mean, and what difference does it
make on the screen?
Many LCDs today have a refresh rate of 60
Hz. This means that the image on the screen
is refreshed 60 times a second. That’s a
wonderfully fast refresh rate, but it can result
in motion blur in fast-moving scenes, such as
sporting events and movies.
A faster refresh rate can make the picture
smoother in such scenes. An LCD with a 120 Hz
rate refreshes the images at twice the speed
of one with a 60 Hz rate.
Watch for “ 120 Hz” to become mentioned
more frequently in discussions about hot
specs for LCDs.
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In many cases, these sets are only a few inches deeper than an LCD or
plasma set of the same size. Rear-projection models can represent an excellent bargain if you want a large screen. The lamps used in these models
will have to be replaced when they get dimmer, typically after a few years.
The lamps can cost $200 to $300, which adds to the cost of ownership. But
these sets use less energy than other TVs in this size category, and a new
lamp restores the TV to an almost new condition.
Projectors. The other choice is a projector. Once limited to high-end home
theater installations costing five figures or more, high-definition models are
now available for less than $2,000. You do need to be able to control room
lighting, but a projector can give you an enormous image at a reasonable
price. Projectors use lamps similar to those in most rear-projection HDTVs.
They need to be replaced every few years, depending on usage.
So how do you decide?
The best advice is to look at the sets for yourself. Pay close attention to
the black areas of the images. Crisp, sharp blacks bring all images to life.
Although studying specs is important, the best advice is to use your eyes.
Do your homework on various manufacturers and ask advice from friends
who already have an HDTV. Look at the room where the HDTV will be placed
to see how big you can go. Size and budget are big factors.
sizes and can
Some are not
than a flat-panel HDTV.
KEEPING THE BIG
NEW SCREEN CLEAN
A COMMON QUESTION for HDTV owners
is how to keep the new big screen clean.
Big screens attract dust, which can dull the
picture. However, keeping them clean requires
very careful handling. The problem stems
from the fact that many plasma and LCD TVs
have a special antiglare coating that can be
damaged by the wrong cleaning materials
For information on your specific model, the
first step is to check the user’s guide or the
manufacturer’s Web site.
Here are some guidelines for keeping your
1. Unplug the power cord from the wall or
surge protector before cleaning the TV.
2. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove dust from
the TV screen. Do not use an abrasive
material such as a paper towel to do this.
3. Don’t use liquid or aerosol cleaners unless
they’re specially intended for this purpose.
4. For tougher dirt or fingerprints, proceed
with caution. Some manufacturers say you
can use a slightly damp cloth with mild
soap to lightly clean the screen’s surface.
Others say you should never use anything
but a dry cloth. Check your user’s manual.
5. Do not press hard on the screen while
cleaning it. A