Television is an ever-evolving technology. The history of transmitting images over airwaves can actually be traced back to the late 1800s. In 1950, almost a million U.S. homes had a television set. We ve gone from black and white, to color sets; from boxy rear-projection sets, to cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs and finally to thin flat-panel sets. In 2007, to the surprise of many, liquid crystal display TVs (LCD) outsold CRT TVs, dominating the marketplace for years to come. Manufacturers knew they could not rest on their laurels and continued to develop bigger and better LCD TVs. Now we ve reached another point on the timeline where LCD TVs are starting to be phased out while light-emitting diode TVs (LED), the next evolution of LCD TVs, will be the next king of the marketplace.

The debate of LCD TVs vs. LED TVs comes down to older technology vs. newer technology. LCD and LED screens use the same panel essentially, but the TVs differ in the way they are backlit. LED TVs use a huge number of tiny bulbs to light the display. This is actually more energy efficient than LCD screens, which that uses a big backlight to light the screen. You can test this out yourself; if you put your hand a few inches from an LCD screen, you can feel the heat (energy) emitted from the screen. LED displays don t produce as much heat from the screen since they require less power to light up. Depending on how small your room is and how big your TV is, an LCD television display could probably raise the temperature in your room by a couple degrees (maybe that will be helpful in winter months).

The biggest advantage LCD TVs used to have was cost. However, advances in technology have made it easier to produce LED TVs en masse. LED TVs are now very comparable in price to the older LCD counterparts, and because they are thinner, lighter and more energy efficient, LEDs are winning the popularity contest.

What is the next evolution in LCD screens? Will we see 200-inch screens? Will we enter the fourth dimension? Smellovision? The future is a mystery, but you can rest assured that manufacturers will continue to evolve the technology of television.

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