Survey: Thinner is Better for TV Displays

The year's end brings with it the results of many consumer surveys, and another set of results has been announced by large-screen display market research firm Pacific Media Associates.

This survey, responded to by over 300 consumers, offers some insight into consumer perceptions about the popular choices in large-screen television displays. As the announcement points out, it is these perceptions, rather than objective performance measurements, that determine what consumers will buy, and they are therefore important for predicting how the market will be affected.

The study determined that the five most important reasons for choosing one particular display technology over another were price, reliability, picture quality, screen size, and overall set size. Data was gathered on reasons why particular technologies would not be chosen, and this revealed some interesting trends. Plasma was thought to be too expensive and somewhat unreliable, but to have high picture quality, and good screen size and overall size. LCD was seen as somewhat expensive, and to have higher reliability than plasma, but not as good picture quality, and a too-small screen. Rear projection, of unspecified technology, was seen as reasonably priced and reliable, but picture quality and set size were perceived as being somewhat inferior to the others.

It is not apparent in this announcement whether the analysis of rear projection displays went beyond this general designation, but several technologies are used for rear projection engines, including DLP and LCD microdisplays, to name two. There might well be differing perceptions of picture quality among the different rear projection engine technologies.

Some important general trends were revealed. Thinner is unequivocally seen as better. Plasma is seen as suffering from screen burn and short life, while LCD is seen to be inferior in display speed and color rendition.