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Optical transmittance of a 90-twisted nematic liquid crystal cell inserted between crossed or parallel polarizers is neither sensitive to the molecular twist sense nor to the exchange between the extraordinary and the ordinary birefringence axis at the input face of the cell. In this article, the equivalence between a twisted-nematic liquid crystal cell and the combination of a retardation wave plate and a polarization rotator is fully exploited to understand the physical origin of these ambiguities. We determine, in a simple way, cell parameters by means of standard cell transmittance measurements when both crossed and parallel polarizers are rotated simultaneously. We show that this procedure, which is subjected to the aforementioned ambiguities, can be completed by additional polarimetric measurements. In particular, we demonstrate that the twist angle, twist sense, retardation, and the rubbing direction can be univocally determined by experimental measurement of the Stokes parameters of the light transmitted through the cell at one wavelength. Laboratory results corresponding to a commercial liquid crystal display panel are carried out.