LCD and Plasma pros and cons

Flat-panel HDTVs have taken over the television market. However, which type of flat-panel HDTV should you choose: LCD or plasma? Screens come in many different sizes, with the largest consumer panel topping out at about 70 inches. In this tutorial, we'll discuss which format works best for your living space.

Best value under 42 inches: LCD

The most common LCD HDTVs are no larger than 42-inch diagonal in screen size (although 52-inchers are becoming more popular). Avoid LCDs under 32 inches for hi-def playback, they are too small to offer noticeable performance advantages over the non-HD models. LCDs have the best value proposition in terms of quality, size and price for small to midsize sets under 42 inches. They are best suited to small apartments and bedrooms.

Best value over 42 inches: Plasma

Plasma HDTVs are available in sizes from roughly 40 to 60 inches. For panels 50 inches and up, plasmas generally provide better value dollar per inch. These TVs will work best in large rooms which can be easily darkened -- this is due to plasmas being typically more reflective than LCDs. The best options for display sizes over 52-inches are home theatre projectors and rear-projection TVs. However, rear-pros have been phased by most vendors here in Australia.

Plasma display composition

LCD uses sheets of sandwiched liquid crystal to form its display, with illumination provided by a fluorescent or LED backlight. Plasmas, on the other hand, activate tiny tubes of self-illuminating neon gas -- much like CRTs. This produces visible differences in picture quality, including deeper blacks, when compared to LCD HDTVs.

LCD pros

LCDs are thinner, lighter and easier to wall-mount, have adjustable backlighting, and are available in 1080p resolution at smaller sizes. Also, they better fill the spaces between pixels, avoiding plasma's screen-door effect.

Another advantage is that they generally more energy-efficient, thus easier on the electricity bill. However, this also depends on size, brand and standby-mode power consumption.

LCD cons

LCD's biggest flaw is motion blurring caused by slow-moving liquid crystals, although this is less of a problem now with ultra-fast response time and frame-rate doubling technologies (called 100Hz). Compared to plasmas, LCDs also have limited viewing angles and greyish reproduction of blacks.

Plasma pros

Because they don't use backlighting, plasma's have superior black-level reproduction. This provides more numerous shades of grey and makes dark colours more realistic. Plasma also looks good from just about any viewing angle.

Plasma cons

Plasma's biggest weakness is the screen door effect (i.e. noticeable space between pixels). Some models may also emit an audible buzz during normal viewing.

Although not seen as often in recent models, they can also suffer from burn-in or image retention. This occurs when a sharp defined graphics remains permanently onscreen even after changing channels.

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Brett posted a comment   

LCD is nowhere in the same league as plasma performance and benefits. LED is as close to replicating plasma as an LCD can get. And the new wave of 3D tv's are simply FAD. Having to watch TV with goggles on is stupid. Especially if you already wear glasses. I'd wait about 10 yrs until they get their act together and create actual depth in images without the need for googles too see the 3D properly.

I own a 42 inch Panasonic Viera plasma and it clearly has a better picture than any of my friend's/family's LCD's and othe brands of plasma's. Better usability too.


brett-o posted a comment   

i ♥ plasmas


karman posted a comment   

Screen-door effect is to be expected especially in an airport where the picture never changes, which is where the photo seems to have been taken. never had this problem at home. still sharper than lcd especially @ 1080p.


Wendy posted a comment   

WE have a Panasonic plasma and LCD is NEC what I notice with the LCD is peoples faces seem to move its like their face has another layer and it moves while back of it stays still.I always wonder if we have it adjusted correctly so we prefer the Panasonic Plasma


terry posted a comment   

Why use inches

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