What is the contrast ratio of a television?

How many times didn’t you hear about contrast ratio when it came to a new TV? There are so many contrast ratios in all these different types of television sets, but is there really such a big difference?

The idea created by TV manufacturers is that a higher contrast ratio means a better image quality. You will see that there are HDTVs today that brag with a contrast ratio of 3.000.

000:1. And since picture quality is something that an average buyer gets excited about when buying a new TV, seeing such a great number has a great influence on their decision. What they don’t know is that that number has only the purpose to impress.

What is contrast ratio? It refers to the difference in the amount of light between the darkest shade of black and the lightest shade of white that appears on the screen.  So actually this is what contrast refers too, the contrast between these two shades. When you look for example at a black rock, on some TVs you will see just a dark colored chunk. But as the TV gets better the pores and details of the rock start to appear on screen. This detailing is also influenced by the contrast ratio of the television.

There are two types of contrast ratios: static and dynamic. The two are different and when it comes to dynamic contrast ratio, the numbers are a little bit exaggerated to create a good impression.

When it comes to accuracy the static contrast ratio is the best, though it generates much smaller numbers. This is the real contrast ratio though because it states the difference between the two shades at any chosen time, unlike the dynamic ratio that shows the contrast between the darkest and brightest at separate times generating number such as the 3.000.000:1. No TV can actually support this contrast.

Because there is no industry standard on the market the manufacturers are able to show any numbers they want. This is creating a big controversy because the ones affected are the ones who don’t know the difference and they are paying almost double for a TV with enormous dynamic contrast ratios and the same static contrast ratio as cheaper TVs.

So the next time you go buy a new TV you can use this knowledge and choose wisely.

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