Although Plasma and LCD flat panel televisions seem to be all the rage these days, they don't offer offer the best bang for the buck in very large screen sizes. As a result, the rear-projection TV (also referred to as an RPTV), with its lower pricing yet high performance, can be a great option for the consumer, bridging the affordable screen size gap between large screen TV and separate video projector/screen setup. The following article outlines the technology and basic elements of a rear-projection television. g+

The cathode ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun (a source of electrons) and a fluorescent screen used to view images. It has a means to accelerate and deflect the electron beam onto the fluorescent screen to create the images. The image may represent electrical waveforms (oscilloscope), pictures (television, computer monitor), radar targets and others. CRTs have also been used as memory devices, in which case the visible light emitted from the fluoresecent material (if any) is not intended to have significant meaning to a visual observer (though the visible pattern on the tube face may cryptically represent the stored data).

The DMD chip is probably the world's most sophisticated light switch. It contains a rectangular array of up to 1.3 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors; each of these micromirrors measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair, and corresponds to one pixel in a projected image. g+

The cathode ray tube is the oldest living television type currently sold in stores. Granted, it's not the same television Ward and June Cleaver let the Beaver watch. Over the years, CRTs have evolved and undergone some radical design changes. This holds true to the early 21st century as the digital era is primed to become the standard for the next few generations of couch potatoes.

A large screen, flat panel LCD TV is a major purchase that merits careful consideration. Find a television that fits your budget, room and lifestyle. Are you looking for a family-friendly TV to entertain the kids, or are you craving a high-detailed behemoth to transform your living room into an in-home theater? Do you watch sports, or is your LCD TV destined for rapid-fire, high-octane gaming? If you can answer these questions, you will be able to narrow the field more easily and make a purchase that will leave you more satisfied. g+
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