At home, not everybody gets to view the television from the sweet spot, which is dead center. We tend to arrange our furniture around the television so that everyone gets a good view. Now this isn't much of a problem when you use a CRT, which typically has a very wide viewing angle, so even if you see it from the extreme left of right, the colors don't change much. However when it comes to LCD televisions, the panel used plays a very important role in the overall picture quality. Out of the different options available, IPS panels still remain the most popular and are being widely used nowadays in LCD TVs, a trend made popular by LG.
IPS is short for In-plane switching technology which was developed by Hitachi Ltd. in 1996 to improve on the poor viewing angle and the poor color reproduction of TN panels at that time. The main difference of IPS and TN panels is that the crystal molecules move parallel to the panel plane instead of perpendicular to it.
This change reduces the amount of light scattering in the matrix, which gives IPS its characteristic wide viewing angles and good color reproduction. Initial iterations of IPS technology were plagued with slow response time and a low contrast ratio, but later evolutions have made marked improvements to these shortcomings. Because of its wide viewing angle and accurate color reproduction (with almost no off-angle color shift), IPS is widely employed in high-end monitors aimed at professional graphic artists and now in LCD televisions as well. LG has been on the forefront when it comes to adopting this technology in their TV line up. You can now find most of their TVs right from a 32" all the way to 55" that sport IPS panels.
LG Display, originally formed as a joint venture by the Korean electronics company LG Electronics and the Dutch company Koninklijke Philips Electronics in 1999 is currently one of the main manufacturers of S-IPS panels. That is why LG is able to include them across their product line up at very competitive prices.
These panels don't stop at just TVs. LG's new E-IPS panels that were introduced in 2009 required lower power to operate. These panels are now used in the Apple iMac, iPad, iPhone 4 as well as HP's EliteBook 8740w. With prices falling drastically, IPS panels are being widely used in many consumer products, which is great for us consumers, since we get better colors and viewing angles without spending a whole lot.