Flat screens encompass Plasma, LCD and TFT screens. These screens are available in a variety of sizes and each one differs slightly depending on the intended use, connectivity and picture quality that is required.

We have extensive knowledge and experience in flat screen displays and we can help to ensure you buy the right screen for your application.

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Plasma, LCD and TFT screens

- The smallest type of Flat screen is known as a TFT screen (Thin Film Transistor). This technology is most commonly found in any small flat screen display, such as a PC monitor or an in car TV etc.

- LCD screens (Liquid Crystal Diode) are the most popular choice for mid sized flat screen panels such as larger sized PC screens through to medium sized TV screens (LCD TV).

- Plasma screens then represent the most popular type of flat screen when discussing sizes from approx 42" (measured diagonally) and higher. (Please see our specialist sections for more information on very large displays)

As demand grows Plasma screens (that are historically larger in size) have become smaller and LCD screens (that are historically smaller in size) have become bigger and this is set to continue. The result will be not be a choice of whether to go for LCD or Plasma but a choice between which screen has the better picture quality based on Resolution levels, Contrast Ratios, Video Processing capabilities and screen size.

Plasma Vs LCD

Nowadays it's almost like splitting hairs when deciding which of these technologies is the better, both have unique traits and in our opinion if you need a small screen (32" or below) then go for LCD and if you need a larger screen (42" and above) then go for Plasma.

Picture Quality for Flat screens

Regardless of whether a screen is Plasma or LCD the picture quality will be dictated by the screen size and its 'Resolution level', 'Contrast Ratio' & 'video processor'. Just because a screen is bigger does not mean it has a better image quality!


The higher the resolution then the better the picture quality. Higher resolution means that more pixels have been used to create the image and the more pixels that are used, the sharper and clearer the displayed image will appear. As you increase the resolution of any display device the price generally increases too. Be aware of cheap brands that have high resolution and cheap prices as it probably means they have very average video processing technology so the picture quality will also only be average at best.

The number of pixels used to create any image is indicated by the number of pixels used in one horizontal and one vertical line for that particular display. (Eg, 1024 x 768)

Just because a screen is bigger does not mean that it has a better image quality, if a 32" screen has the same resolution level as a 65" screen then the image quality on the 32" will actually appear better as the same number of pixels are being used in a smaller area.

Typical levels of resolution

XGA: 1024 x 768 (pixels) : This is our suggested minimum level of resolution. PC's run XGA as standard and this level of resolution has become very popular in recent years.

SXGA: 1280 x 1024 (pixels) : We recommend this level of resolution when you need to display fine detail on quite a large screen.

UXGA: 1600 x 2000 (pixels) : This resolution level is very rare for flat screens but one day in the future this will probably be the norm!

Resolution levels go much higher than this but these but these are the most popular categories available today.

Contrast Ratios

Contrast is defined as being the ratio between the brightest and darkest areas of an image, or more simply, the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks on a display. Aim for a minimum contrast level of 1000:1. Generally, the higher the contrast ratio the better the display will be at showing subtle colour differences and fine details.

Screens for Business use

Commercial panels are designed for constant use. They are usually rugged in design and the emphasis is placed on making the display panel durable so as to maximise the useful lifetime. Commercial applications are varied and range from displays in meeting rooms through public information displays in train stations and in-store advertising networks. Commercial screens are also usually supplied without speakers.

Screens for Domestic use

Both Plasma and LCD screens that are designed for domestic use are still durable but the edges of the screen and any mounting equipment (floor stands, desk stands) are more aesthetically pleasing so as to suit home decor. Domestic screens are usually supplied with inbuilt speakers.

Mounting options

You can mount both LCD and Plasma flat screens in several different ways:

Floor stands:

Here the screen sits on a frame like structure so it is raised up from floor level to approx 1.5 Metres high, measured to the centre of the screen. This style of mount is more suited for business use and usually comes supplied with wheels for added flexibility so the screen can be moved between rooms.

Desk stands:

Here the screen sits on a small stand and then sits directly onto a cabinet or other furniture. Most flat panel screens are supplied with a desk stand as standard.

Wall Brackets:

Here the screen is mounted to a bracket that in turn can be mounted flat to the wall or on a pull out arm for added flexibility.

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