Long gone are the days of single television homes. In today?s household, the Smith?s are not gathered around the bulky television that sits on the living room floor watching ?Happy Days??mom is at the center island in the kitchen chopping vegetables in sync with Rachel Ray; dad is in the den cheering on the Lakers as they take on the Knicks, complete with surround sound; Suzy is tuned into the latest episode of ?The O.C.? while doing homework in her bedroom; and Timmy, tucked into his bed, is watching ?Finding Nemo? for what must be the hundredth time.

People?s love for television has reached a fevered pitch as families now have TVs in every room of the home. Concurrently, consumers are replacing their traditional televisions with stylish flat screens that complement each room?s design.

Television Trends

Analysts predict that liquid crystal display television (LCD TV) shipments will grow more than tenfold over the next five years, with production reaching 36.7 million units in 2008, from 3.6 million in 2003.1 Three main trends will drive this growth:

DTV and HDTV ? The FCC has mandated that by May 2006 all broadcasters must transmit digital television (DTV) signals, which is having dramatic impact on television purchasing decisions. Since DTV and high-definition television (HDTV) are delivered digitally, they virtually eliminate signal interference, enabling broadcasters to offer television content with sharp, movie-quality pictures and digital surround sound. Consumers want to take full advantage of these and other enhancements through a DTV/HDTV-ready large-screen display such as LCD, plasma or rear projection TVs.

Convergence ? As these consumers become savvier, their living rooms are becoming more tech savvy, too. The explosion of digital content and the popularity of home networking are blurring the lines between computing and entertainment. This trend has consumers demanding larger screens than traditional PC displays to enjoy the benefits of digital content?from family photos and home movies to video games and MPEG files.

ROI ? But before they buy, consumers are investigating their options based on cost, feature set and preferences. The new flat panel displays provide consumers with solid value or return on investment (ROI)?prices are economical, the displays deliver theater-like visual experiences and product life spans exceed those of traditional televisions.

As technology continues to be enhanced, the value of LCD TVs will also grow. While consumers are attracted to LCD?s affordable price tag and sleek design, it?s really the space energy and health advantages that make LCD the preferred choice. LCDs come in many sizes, however, their flat panel designs are not only lighter, they also take up 75 percent less space. Additionally, LCDs require less voltage and consume up to 70 percent less power. Because they display sharper images and are typically ?flicker-free,? LCDs are easier on the eyes?a definite plus for anyone with vision concerns.

Home Applications

As display technology continues to evolve home entertainment, one thing is certain – LCD TVs give every room in the house multiple options for optimum views. In fact, according to iSuppli, the most popular sizes of TVs in 2004 ranged from 27 to 35 inches. iSuppli predicts that this year, the range will be between 30 and 42 inches.2

Kitchen ? For a cook, counter space is valuable, so the ViewSonic N1300 with wall/under shelf mount would be key. Priced at $499 and weighing only 8.5 pounds, the 13-inch LCD TV features a traditional 4:3 aspect ratio, and delivers 450 nits of brightness, a 640×480 native resolution and a 500:1 contrast ratio to display the latest cooking show in vibrant color.

Home office/den ? As more people choose to work virtually, dens are becoming home offices, making dual purpose displays a requirement. Equally versatile as a desktop LCD computer display and an ultra-thin TV, ViewSonic?s 17-inch N1750w offers a wide-format desktop theater experience with HDTV capability, precision scaling, image processing and a powerful 20 watt audio system. Available at an ESP of $599, the N1750w includes a built in NTSC tuner and additional ports to add a digital camera, DVD player or gaming console, making the office chair the best seat in the house.

Bedroom? In the bedroom, it is important to have a television with a wide viewing angle to ensure the picture doesn’t get distorted when viewed from the bed, a chair in the room or from the bathroom vanity. Available for an ESP of $999, the ViewSonic N2750w quickly transforms a bedroom into a 27-inch wide-screen theater with high-definition picture quality. A high brightness of 550 nits and contrast ratio of 600:1 are ideal for home entertainment, such as watching HDT, DVDs, gaming or viewing digital photography, while a 1280×720 optimum resolution provides vivid graphics.

Living room? ViewSonic?s largest LCD video display, the 40-inch N4050w offers superior performance features and supports all data sources and video signals including HDTV. Its 1280×768 native resolution, 600:1 contrast ratio and wide-viewing angles of 170 degrees combine with 3D SRS surround sound system to make it easy for users to enjoy high definition video and high-fidelity audio from virtually anywhere in the room.

The ways in which consumers are integrating TVs into the home are as varied as the households themselves. In the highly competitive flat-panel market, homeowners can take solace in the fact that there undoubtedly is a LCD TV available to meet their specific needs and the performance demands of a variety of digital content. So, pick a room, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

1 iSuppli/Stanford Resources, Riddhi Patel, senior analyst, ?FID 2004 Conference.?
2 The San Francisco Chronicle, “TVs Bright Future,? January 9, 2005.