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LCD vs Plasma Television









I listen to people griping about the TV they bought and how they should have gotten another because LCD is better than Plasma, DLP is better for gaming...blah blah blah.  I`ll begin here by saying in the end despite what anyone says, its a personal preference.  I thought I would go over this before reviewing TVs.  LED is a new option and hyped up over the previous options while the debate between LCD and Plasma still goes on.  Lets handle this.

Now before we do we should get some facts out of the way about the new technology.  LED tv is a LCD tv but with better blacks, colors and contrast. Thats right!  For those of you looking, they are just more money for the above features.  Now OLED is a whole different story.  Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compounds which emit light in response to an electric current. This layer of organic semiconductor material is situated between two electrodes. Doesn't that just sound expensive?  This option really isn't consumer viable yet to the masses so.......


 PLASMA Technology




Plasmas are built of many tiny cells located between two panels of glass hold an inert mixture of noble gases (neon and xenon). The gas in the cells is electrically turned into a plasma which then excites phosphors to emit light.





The Plasma Myths :
* They experience burn-in.  This is not true. as I understand it, this was the case years ago but manufacturers have improved the technology since then.
* They have short life spans. this is also not true as modern day plasma’s can give you 30.000 – 60.000 hours of life. (depending on manufacturers)

Plasma problems :
* As Plasma Technology uses glass screens, they are suceptible to reflection.  So if you cannot control the light with blinds, drapes or whatever.  Dont put a plasma in that room
* They have to be conditioned. None of us actually do this, but for the first 100-200 hours you should keep the brightness and contrast levels way down, and then after those hours, optimize them for your usage to get best results.
* Greater power consumption

LCD Technology



LCD panels are fairly simple to understand. The signal comes in and, as with a CRT, the signal from the video controller is decoded and understood by a display controller on the monitor itself. The controller has two things to control - the electrics of the pixels and the light source.

The actual image on a TFT is made up of a matrix of pixels. Unlike with CRTs, there's no complex equation of dot pitch and image area to try and calculate - the native resolution of the monitor is simply the number of pixels contained in the matrix. If it's a 17" monitor, chances are there are 1280 pixels in the matrix horizontally, and 1024 vertically.

The backlight itself is a cold cathode. Depending on how expensive the display is, there will be either a single cathode at the top, or one at the top and one at the bottom, or two at the top and two at the bottom for optimum brightness and clarity. These cathodes are diffused through a layer of plastic and then through multiple layers of diffusing material of the kind you might find on a flashgun diffuser for photography.


The Good :
* LCD recently appear to be more cost effective than plasma’s.
* They are usually lighter and slimmer.
* Matte finish which enables you to watch tv in a room with lots of windows and lots of lights.
* LCD whites should be better than those on the plasma’s as well(a result in the difference of technology-that I am not convinced of).
* They are better for gaming as well.
* Less power consumption

The Bad :
* They tend to struggle in fast motion.
* Compared to the plasma’s they are weaker in blacks, contrast and motion blur. Allegedly, images are less smooth and you get better shades of grey in plasma’s.   (or as I would state it....  Non High Definition sources will undergo a cheap-ass up-conversion because the image is somewhat smudged...for lack of a better word).
For those of you who refrain from reading, these guys can explain the technologies :)



As you can see here, there are several goods and bads on both sides.  Now I own an LCD TV 40" a Plasma 50" and a 50"DLP TV.  As a result I have a personal opinion on the matter.  Plasma by far is the best picture for High Definition Sources.  I find that LCD I prefer for upconverted or regular DVDs and regular cable TV etc(pretty much anything 720P or less).  I say this because it really appears to smudge out the imperfections somewhat compared to my plasma for things that aren't in High Def.  On the Plasma, imperfections in the source (like standard definition cable tv) are much more obvious. End of the day, Manufacturers of both LCD and Plasma state their lifespans are essentially the same, 30,000-60,000hrs(again, depending on the manufacturer).  So, besides power consumption and the reflective screen of the glass screen that plasma has, your opinion of the pictures and the price are the only things left. 

DLP(Digital Light Projection)?  This technology while some would say is outdated...I find it is still valuable for the same reasons I find LCD is valuable playing Video Games, and watching less than High Definition material.  However, realistically I would hope nobody would buy one today with the options available which are much smaller and have many more features.  Again, this is my opinion on the matter.
Regarding prices.  I really dont know what has caused fluctuation in the pricing but it appears LCD is more then Plasma is more...you can always find a good deal.



You could read hundreds of peoples opinions on the matter and this will remain Entirely a Personal Preference.   Buy it test it out and return it, test them all out and keep the one that you like.  Sure you can use facts to guide your decision but look at it yourself, everyone has different opinions on the matter.  Make your Choice!