Home: ForBestAdvice - Lists HDTV Technology that is the cheapest to operate and most green

Best Green HDTV Technology
HDTV Technology that uses the least energy
LCD, Plasma, DLP Energy Use


We all want to use less energy whether it be to reduce greenhouse gases or to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  This article helps you decide which type of HDTV to get based on energy consumption. Sets considered are  liquid crystal displays (LCD), digital light processors (DLP) and  plasma TV screens at  720p, 1080p, 1080i and other combinations.

Types of HDTV Technology:

DLP: (Digital Light Processing) A data projection technology from TI that produces clear, readable images on screens in lit rooms. DLP is used in all types of projection devices, from data projectors that weigh only a few pounds to large rear-projection TVs to electronic cinema projectors for movie theaters.

DMD "Digital Micromirror Device" a spatial modulator on a "chip" similar to digital memory.  The DMD covered with hinged, microscopic electromechanical mirrors, one for each pixel on the screen. A 1280x1024 resolution DMD has more than a million "micromirrors," which tilt 10 degrees forward or backward, acting as light switches. Each mirror is 16 micrometers square, and all of them fit on a CMOS chip the size of a postage stamp.  Tilt the mirror one way and the pixel is "on."  Tilt the mirror the other way and the pixel is "off."  Gray scale (gradations in color) is achieved by modulating the time the mirrors spend between on and off.   For a one-chip projector, color is achieved by beaming red, green and blue light onto the DMD chip sequentially. The light source is usually a mercury vapor lamp shining through a spinning color wheel or from three LEDs.  LED based DLPs offer longer life and can save power since less energy is lost to heat making light with LEDs compared to lamps..  

DLP lamps wear out and cost about $300 to replace.  A DLP display is cheaper to buy, inch for inch, but when you add in the extra electricity and replacement bulb costs, an LCD display of the same size can cost the same over the lifetime of the display.  The LCD has the added benefit of being "greener."

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LCD: (Liquid Crystal Display)  is a display technology that uses rod-shaped liquid crystal molecules that flow like a liquid and bend light in the presence of an electric field.  When no electric field is present (unenergized) the crystals direct light through two polarizing filters that allow the natural background color to show. When energized, they redirect the light to be absorbed in one of the polarizers, causing the dark appearance of crossed polarizers to show. The more the molecules are twisted, the better the contrast and viewing angle.

Because it takes less power to move molecules than to energize a light-emitting device, be it LEDs or lamps in DLP TVs LCDs are "greener" thus better for saving energy and the environment.  LCDs replaced the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in digital watches in the 1970s and LCD displays replaced CRT (cathode ray tube) displays for PCs in the 2000s.  LCDs are slowly replacing DLP and Plasma TVs  as larger screens get more cost effective.

The light source in an active-matrix LCD monitor is a flourescent bulb, which emits white light through a polarized glass pane behind the liquid crystal solution. To achieve a full color pallet on your LCD display, each pixel is divided into three subpixels-red, green, and blue. The RGB subpixels are created by subtracting certain wavelengths with filters. By exploiting a combination of red, green, and blue subpixels of various intensities (or gray scales), a single LCD pixel triad can reproduce approximately 16.8 million colors.  Future generations of LCD displays may replace the
flourescent light source with an even more energy efficient LEDs.

LCDs use a non-reflective screen which is a significant advantage in a bright room

Plasma:  Plasma is one of four states of matter (solid, liquid, plasma and gas).  A plasma display is a flat-screen "gas discharge"  technology that uses tiny cells lined with phosphor that are full of inert ionized gas (typically a mix of xenon and neon). Three RGB (one cell has red phosphor, one green, one blue) cells make up one pixel . The cells are sandwiched between x- and y-axis panels.  A cell is turned on by charging the appropriate x and y electrodes. The charge causes the gas in the cell to emit ultraviolet light, which causes the phosphor to emit color. The amount of charge determines the intensity, and the combination of the different intensities of red, green and blue produce all the colors required.  The plasma technology is similar to the way neon signs work combined with the red, green and blue phosphor technology of a CRT. Plasma monitors consume significantly more current than LCD-based monitors.so they are not nearly as "green" or good fo rthe environment.


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