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Buyers Guides > Portable LCD TVs

Take a look at 3wisemonkeys range of portable TVs

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Technology has moved on apace in recent years, such that the choice when it comes to portable TVs is no longer limited to the bulky CRT or "Cathode Ray Tube" models that were the norm just a few years ago. The development of Plasma and at smaller screen sizes, LCD or "Liquid Crystal Display" technology, has led to the development of compact, portable TVs capable of operating from mains power, a 12-volt or 24-volt power supply or from rechargeable batteries.

It is customary to categorise portable TVs by the visible screen size in inches, measured diagonally and portable TVs, nowadays, are typically available in screen sizes ranging from 7" and upwards. The larger the screen size, the higher its resolution or the number of individual picture elements or "pixels" of which it is composed and the wider its viewing angle and the easier a portable TV is to view. This can be important, for example, if a portable TV is to be shared, for example, by children in the back seat of a car, but a larger screen size does inevitably lead to an increase in the overall physical size and weight of the TV.

At the smaller end of the scale, for example, the August DA701C features a 7" TFT or "Thin Film Transistor" LCD screen with a native resolution of 480 x 234 pixels. The DAC701C includes analogue and digital "Freeview" TV tuners and is capable of operating via its own integral rechargeable battery, a car adaptor or mains supply. Slightly larger, with a 10.2" TFT display, overall dimensions of 12.5" x 7.9" x "1" and weight of 2.2lbs, is the Nextbase SDV1102 model. The SDV1102 is actually one of the thinnest portable TVs currently available but nevertheless offers a native resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and an integral top-loading DVD player. Larger still, with a 15.6" TFT display and designed specifically for use in kitchens, caravans, boats and other confined spaces, is the Sovos SVKTV15 TV/DVD player. This again offers analogue and digital TV tuners and a multi regional DVD player, but also features a "flip down" design so that it can be folded away to a size of 17.4" x 10.6" x 2.2" when not in use.

Portable TVs, even at the smaller screen sizes, are now significantly brighter and have higher contrast ratios than their CRT predecessors, so can be viewed under most ambient light conditions without glare or "washing out". They are also small enough to be hand held in some cases, or to be mounted unobtrusively on a table top stand, on a wall, or even beneath a kitchen cabinet, for example, so they can be accommodated in the smallest viewing space without having to specifically design that space around the TV. Many portable TVs are also more than portable TVs per se, supporting CD, VCD and SVCD along with DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW and the multimedia formats, JPEG, MP3, WAV, MPEG4, DivX and so on. This means that they can double as fully featured portable media players, as well as portable TVs.