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Choosing LCD Monitors:

When shopping around for an LCD monitor, its features, more than it's appearance, should be your primary concern. Do not be taken in by how good the LCD panel looks. To ensure that the LCD screen is worth buying, you should evaluate certain features carefully.

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LCD Dead Pixels

LCD, Liquid Crystal Display or Liquid Crystal on Silicon, has been around for some time. This technology can be commonly found in popular HDTVs, computer or laptop monitors and Sony's new PSP. But the downside to LCD screens is the dreaded "dead pixel" or "hot pixel" phenomenon.

What are LCD Dead Pixels?

Webopedia defines dead pixels or "hot pixels" as "a pixel on an LCD monitor that remains unlit, or black, when it should be activated and displaying a color. Each pixel on an LCD screen is made from three separate subpixels-one red, one green and one blue-that when combined form the colors that the users see on the monitor. A dead pixel occurs when the transistor that activates the amount of light that shows through all three subpixels malfunctions and results in a permanently black pixel. Dead pixels are rare and largely go unnoticed by the user."

Certain amount of dead pixels is considered acceptable by manufacturers. Sometimes, dead pixels don't occur with normal use; these monitors were manufactured poorly in the first place. However, dead pixels can also appear as a result of abuse. If you don't take care of your LCD screen, dead pixels are likely to happen.

Dead pixels are sometimes not covered by most manufacturers' warranties. Hot pixels take time to emerge, even if you LCD screen is brand new. If you are planning to buy your new LCD TV or LCD screen, you should study the store's Return and Exchange Policy to ensure that the vendor will allow you to return it if you are not satisfied or discover dead pixels after purchasing the LCD panel. Ask them specifically about a dead pixel. Since manufacturers give you no leverage, you rely totally on your vendor's policy in this matter.