Home Theater: Which Flat Panel TV is Right for your Space?

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Here we are a little over one month removed from the Super Bowl, and with the start of March Madness I’ve begun thinking about my flat screen HDTV. Some of the folks we sit with and present our basement finishing system to, are looking to convert their basement into a TV room or in some cases a full blown Man Cave!

So many things need to be considered when designing space for a home theater. For some the most important piece is the TV itself. I came across this informative Buying Guide in PC World Magazine and found some great points:

Preferred Technology: LCD vs. Plasma?

In last couple of years changes to LCD displays give them more flexibility with the lighting of the action on the screen. In years past Plasma displays more effectively handled scenes that were heavy in blacks because the technology was able to adjust how and when brighter colors were displayed. LCD now has the ability to adjust accordingly with LED-backlit technology. This approach has also made the LCD’s thinner and reduced the amount of heat they throw off as well as the energy used.

Early Plasma displays had issues with “burn in”. This was in part due to the amount of energy sent to the phosphors that could cause that area of the display to overheat and produce the burned in image. The amount of heat used in today’s plasma displays has been reduced, that is not to say that burn in is not possible but perhaps less likely.

Choosing the Correct Size TV

Choosing the size of your TV could also play a role in the technology you end up going with. Anything smaller than 42″ would have to be an LCD as it is not practical to manufacture plasma displays less than 42″.

Your budget will probably be the biggest factor in determining the size of your screen, but you want to also consider the seating arrangements of the room. As a rule of thumb your seating distance would optimally be no closer than one and a half times the screens diagonal size. Using this formula, with a 42″ screen you should be about five feet away from the display. At the end of the day I believe it all boils down to budget.

Do you agree? What has been your experience designing your home theater?

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