Rear-projection TVs (RPTVs) are great if you are considering a large-screen TV (40 inches and greater). The basic idea of RPTVs is to combine a projector and a screen into one box. The projector casts the image on the rear of the screen. You see the image when you look at the screen head-on.
Photo courtesy Panasonic and Matsushita Electric Corporation of America
CRT Rear-projection TVs
CRT rear-projection TVs use three cathode ray tubes to shoot red, green, and blue onto a projection screen. These huge beasts have long been a staple of home theaters.
Photo courtesy Sony
A 53-inch CRT rear-projection TV
Front Projection: CRT
When you are looking for screen sizes in excess of 100 inches, it's time to consider front projection. Not a TV in the true sense of the word, front-projection TV (FPTV) works like the projector you see at your local movie theater. A separate projection device casts the image onto a dedicated screen on the adjacent wall. If you are looking for a true home theater and you have deep pockets, this is the way to go.
Photo courtesy Silicon Light Machines
Front projection is an excellent choice
when you need a huge screen.
Some lower-end front-projection models don't produce a bright enough picture to view it in a fully lit room, and you'll have to dim the lights to get a good view. The lumens value indicates the brightness of the projected picture; the higher the lumens number, the better.
CRT Front-Projection TVs
CRT projectors combine three cathode-ray tubes in one box to fire red, green, and blue light to create the image on the screen.