In the past decade, rapid technological progress and a greater demand for high-quality digital imaging have led to dramatic advances in video display technology. The dominant technology currently used in most consumer product displays is the active matrix liquid crystal diode display (LCD). LCDs apply thin-film transistors (TFTs) of amorphous or polycrystalline silicon sandwiched between two glass plates. The TFTs supply voltage to liquid-crystal-filled cells, or pixels, between the sheets of glass. When hit with an electric charge, the liquid crystals untwist to an exact degree to filter white light generated by a lamp. This filtered light shines directly on the viewing screen or, in the case of projection televisions, is projected through a small chip that acts as a lens. LCDs that are capable of producing color images, such as in televisions and computers, reproduce colors through a process of subtraction, blocking out particular color wavelengths from the spectrum of white light until only the desired color remains. It is the variation of the intensity of light permitted to pass through the matrix of liquid crystals that enables LCD displays to present images full of gradations of different colors.
The nature and functioning of LCD displays present many advantages relative to other display technologies. The amount of power required to untwist the crystals to display images, even dark ones, is much lower than that required for analogous processes using other technologies, such as plasma. The dense array of crystals displays images from computer or other video graphics sources extremely well, with full color detail, no flicker, and no screen burn-in. Moreover, the number of pixels per square inch on an LCD display is typically higher than that for other display technologies, so LCD monitors are particularly good at displaying large amounts of data with exceptional clarity and precision. As a result, LCD TVs are considered the best display platform for video games, high definition television, movie special effects, and other graphics-intensive uses.
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