Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the difference between the various versions of HDMI v1.3?

    Answer: HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is a standard in the home theater industry that allows the transmission of a high definition video signal and multi channel audio over a single cable.  The previous standard, which is still in use required 5 separate cables to transmit the same audio and video between components. Read more...

    According to www.hdmi.org, from a consumer’s perspective, there is no difference between HDMI versions 1.3a, 1.3b and a.3c.

    “...These minor revisions (between 1.3a, 1.3b and 1.3c) to the specification typically relate to manufacturing or testing issues and do not impact features or functionality. In addition, HDMI Licensing, LLC is actively working with manufacturers to reduce confusion for consumers by de-emphasizing version numbers and focusing instead on product features and functionality.

    For Adopters, the latest HDMI Specification is v1.3a and the latest HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS) is 1.3c.”

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    What is DLP Technology?

    Answer: According to www.dlp.com:

    “At the heart of every DLP® projection system is an optical semiconductor known as the DLP® chip, which was invented by Dr. Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments in 1987.

    The DLP chip is perhaps the world's most sophisticated light switch. It contains a rectangular array of up to 2 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors; each of these micro mirrors measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair. Read more...

    When a DLP chip is coordinated with a digital video or graphic signal, a light source, and a projection lens, its mirrors can reflect a digital image onto a screen or other surface. The DLP chip combined with the advanced electronics that surround it produce stunning images and video that have redefined picture quality.”

    DLP Projection televisions require a certain amount of space behind the screen for the physics of projection.  As long as wall mounting isn’t required, DLP projection TV’s are a viable option to plasmas or LCD’s.   Because of the nature of the technology, DLP’s can be manufactured in much larger sizes than flat screens (up to 82” diagonally) and are usually considerably cheaper.  DLP is the primary technology used in projectors.

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    What is the difference between the various WLAN Technologies?

    Answer: At the heart of the modern home theater is the home network.  Increasingly, devices are being designed and manufactured with connectivity to the Internet in mind.  Content from the Internet such as music and movies are being piped directly to TV’s, DVD players, receivers and game consoles making an understanding of the home network critical.  WLAN delivers the internet to your devices and computers anywhere in your house, allowing internet surfing and content delivery in the living room or on the deck. Read more...

    According to www.about.com,

    “A WLAN typically extends an existing wired local area network. WLANs are built by attaching a device called the access point (AP) to the edge of the wired network. Clients communicate with the AP using a wireless network adapter similar in function to a traditional Ethernet adapter.

    Network security remains an important issue for WLANs. Random wireless clients must usually be prohibited from joining the WLAN. Technologies like WEP raise the level of security on wireless networks to rival that of traditional wired networks.”

    There are different standards that are present in the WLAN arena today, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n.  These standards tend to confuse most users.  At the heart of each standard is a different compression and transmission model that allows faster speeds and longer ranges:

     

    802.11a

    802.11b

    802.11g

    802.11n (draft)

    Data Rate (Mbps)

    ~54

    ~11

    ~54

    ~130

    Frequency

    5

    2.4

    2.4

    5

    Range (Outdoor)

    ~150 feet

    ~150 feet

    ~150 feet

    ~250 feet

    Interference risk

    Low

    High

    High

    High

    Price

    Expensive

    Cheap

    Moderate

    Expensive

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    What is the difference between plasma and LCD televisions?

    Answer: Outward appearances are definitely deceiving when it comes to LCD and Plasma televisions. Although both types of televisions are flat and thin, they employ different technologies in an attempt to deliver similar results. Read more...

    Plasma  Overview

    Plasma television technology is based loosely on the fluorescent light bulb. The display itself consists of cells. Within each cell two glass panels are separated by a narrow gap in which neon-xenon gas is injected and sealed in plasma form during the manufacturing process. The gas is electrically charged at specific intervals when the Plasma set is in use. The charged gas then strikes red, green, and blue phosphors, thus creating a television image. Each group of red, green, and blue phosphors is called a pixel (picture element).

    Although Plasma television technology eliminate the need for the bulky picture tube and electron beam scanning of traditional televisions, because it still employs the burning of phosphors to generate an image, Plasma televisions still suffer from some of the drawbacks of traditional televisions, such as heat generation and screen-burn of static images.

    LCD  Overview

    LCD televisions, on the other hand, use a different technology

    Basically, LCD panels are made of two layers of transparent material, which are polarized, and then "glued" together. One of the layers is coated with a special polymer that holds the individual liquid crystals. Current is then passed through individual crystals, which allow the crystals to pass or block light to create images. LCD crystals do not produce their own light, so an external light source, such as florescent bulb is needed for the image created by the LCD to become visible to the viewer.

    Unlike standard CRT and Plasma televisions, since there are no phosphors that light up, less power is need for operation and the light source in an LCD television generates less heat than a Plasma or traditional television. Also, because of the nature of LCD technology, there is no radiation emitted from the screen itself.

    Plasma vs. LCD

    The ADVANTAGES of Plasma over LCD are:

    1. Larger screen size availability.
    2. Better contrast ratio and ability to render deeper blacks.
    3. Better color accuracy and saturation.
    4. Better motion tracking (little or no motion lag in fast moving images).

    The DISADVANTAGES of Plasma vs. LCD include:

    1. Plasma TVs are more susceptible to burn-in of static images, but this is improving.
    2. Plasma TVs generate more heat than LCDs, due to the need to light of phosphors to create the images.
    3. Does not perform as well as LCD at higher altitudes.
    4. Shorter display life span (about 30,000 hours or 8 hrs of viewing a day for 9 years) than LCD. However, screen life span is improving to as high as 60,000 hours due to technology improvements.

    LCD television ADVANTAGES over Plasma include:

    1. No burn-in of static images.
    2. Cooler running temperature.
    3. No high altitude use issues.
    4. Increased image brightness over Plasma.
    5. Longer display life (about 60,000 hours - at which time all you may need to do is replace the light source, not the entire set). This can vary according other environmental and use factors.
    6. Lighter weight (when comparing same screen sizes) than Plasma counterparts.

    DISADVANTAGES of LCD vs Plasma televisions include:

    1. Lower contrast ratio, not as good rendering deep blacks.
    2. Not as good at tracking motion (fast moving objects may exhibit lag artifacts) - However, this is improving with the recent implementation of 120Hz and 240 Hz screen refresh rates.
    3. Although LCD televisions do not suffer from burn-in susceptibility, it is possible that individual pixels on an LCD televisions can burn out, causing small, visible, black or white dots to appear on the screen. Individual pixels cannot be repaired, the whole screen would need to be replaced at that point, if the individual pixel burnout becomes annoying to you.

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