Although the multitude of abbreviations among TV technologies may make you think this relative newcomer is just a marketing gimmick, LCoS which stands for liquid crystal on silicon is actually worth a look. Like LCD TVs, LCoS sets have pixels with crystals that twist and untwist in response to electricity, filtering light passing through them. Unlike LCDs, the crystals are grafted onto a silicon chip. The advantage? Smaller pixels and less space between them, all of which adds up to better picture quality. The disadvantage? LCoS sets can be rear- and front-projection models only, whereas their LCD cousins are best known as sexy flat-panels.
More than a few manufacturers including Philips, RCA, and Toshiba have dabbled in LCoS TVs over the past few years, but many have abandoned the technology, citing a high number of duds that come off their production lines. Notable exceptions are Sony, whose highly praised SXRD (Silicon Crystal Reflective Display) models use a very specific type of LCoS tech, and JVC, whose D-ILA (Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier) TVs are LCoS variants. Although LCoS sets have traditionally cost more than like-sized TVs with different tech, a typical 50-inch LCoS HDTV today lists for about $3,500.
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