RSS Twitter Facebook Digg Flickr YouTube

WHICH IS BETTER, PLASMA or LCD TV ?

Posted 06 September 2010 | News & Blog   

Good Bye, CRT TV !
Hello, Plasma & LCD TV !

This is a much debated and interesting topic and is actually quite simple … If you ask us at PLASMA LCD N PARTS & INSTALLATION, we will provide our customers with detailed knowledge on each type. That final decision as to what type of flat panel television to purchase (LCD or Plasma) is really up to you as both types have their respective advantages and disadvantages.

When choosing between plasma and LCD TVs, you’re actually selecting between two competing technologies, both of which achieve similar features such as bright, crystal-clear images, super color-filled pictures, and all come in similar packages 1.5 to 4 inch depth flat screen casing. Outward appearances can be deceiving when it comes to LCD and Plasma televisions, although both types are flat and thin. And to further complicate the decision-making process, price and size are two previous considerations that are rapidly becoming non-issues as LCD TVs are now being made in larger sizes and at competing prices with plasma. Despite their similarities, the two technologies are very different in the way they deliver the image to the viewer.

These are the most important features that the electronic world would consider when distinguishing between the two. PLASMA v.s. LCD.

CONTRAST / BLACK LEVELS

The main reason plasma has deeper black levels is because the gas cell structure within a plasma display is such that there is no light leaking between adjacent cells (or pixels). This enables a plasma TV to display deeper blacks. Plasma technology has the better picture quality in normal to low room lighting conditions and are better in 4 out of 5 picture quality categories. Plasma technology will almost always, without exception, triumph during night time viewing. LCD televisions are great for sunroom/breakfast room-type environments. Also, LCD monitors are generally better for public display such as airport signage and retail store signage due to the bright room light environment.

FAST-MOVING VIDEO PLAYBACK

While the LCD TVs have markedly improved in the last couple of years, especially with the advent of 120/240Hz displays, they still suffer from a motion blur effect which occurs when the individual pixels are just slightly out of step with the image on the screen.

HIGH ALTITUDE

LCD takes this one. The display element in plasma TVs is actually a glass substrate envelope with rare natural gases compressed therein. So at high altitudes (6,500 feet and above), an air-pressure differential emerges which causes plasma displays to emit a buzzing sound due to the lower air pressure. This noise can sound rather like the humming of an old neon sign. NEC has been effective in producing several plasma models that are rated to 9,500 feet. There is a reason LCD panels are the preferred visual display units for use on jets, helicopters, airplanes because LCDs aren’t affected by increases or decreases in air pressure. Their performance is consistent regardless of the altitude at which they’re utilized. This is not the case for a plasma TV.

LONGEVITY

Plasma utilizes slight electric currents to excite a combination of noble gases (i.e., argon, neon, xenon), which glow red, blue, and/or green. This is an essentially active phenomenon, so the phosphoric elements in plasma displays fade over time. Many manufacturers state a new half life of 100,000 hours which equates to just over 68 years if the TV is on 4 hours every day. While I am skeptical of this spec, I do believe strides have been made to nearly even the playing field against LCD TVs.

LCD manufacturers claim that their displays last, on average, around 100,000 hours. In fact, an LCD TV will last as long as its backlight does – and those bulbs can sometimes be replaced. Since this is nothing more than light passing through a prismatic substrate, there is essentially nothing to wear out in an LCD monitor. However, one nasty little known fact about LCD technology is that as the backlight ages, it can change colors slightly.

SCREEN BURN IN

LCD technology is not prone to screen “burn-in” or “ghosting” (premature aging of pixel cells) due to the nature of the technology’s “twisting crystals.” With plasma displays, static images will begin to “burn-in,” or permanently etch the color being displayed into the glass display element.

PRODUCTION SIZE AND COST

LCD and Plasma televisions are becoming more readily available in larger sizes even though plasma still leads the size battle by a great margin. Pioneer and LG produce 61″ plasma sizes while Panasonic has a readily available 65″ model.

POWER CONSUMPTION

This is not a very important issue, but worth noting. Because LCDs use florescent backlighting to produce images, they require substantially less power to operate than plasma TVs do.

PRICE AND VALUE

While LCDs have nearly caught up with plasma in the 42″ size, plasma still dominates in the larger size ranges. Plasma TVs have generally enjoyed lower pricing per size compared to LCD TVs.

COLOR ACCURACY

LCD TVs take this one as well. With higher contrast and resolution, LCD TVs reproduce colors by manipulating light waves and subtracting colors from white light. This is an inherently difficult template for maintaining color accuracy and vibrancy, though most LCD displays manage quite well. While color information benefits from the higher-than-average number of pixels per square inch found in LCD televisions, LCDs are simply not as impressive in color realism and tracking due to the difficult and somewhat manufactured process that they undergo to create color information.

VIEWING ANGLES

All flat-panel TVs have a great picture when you’re sitting directly in front of the screen. But if your eyes aren’t centered on the screen (you’re viewing from off to one side, standing up, or lying on the floor), you may notice that the picture looks less bright and vivid, and you might see slight changes in color.
What you should know about viewing angle:
LCD vs. plasma:
Viewing angle limitations are more of an issue for LCD TVs than for plasmas. Most LCDs use a fluorescent backlight that shines constantly; the LCD pixels act like shutters, opening and closing to let light through or block it. This shutter effect causes increasing variations in picture brightness as viewers move further off axis.

COMPUTER USE

LCD has no screen burn-in. Moreover, the number of pixels per square inch on an LCD display is typically higher than other display technologies, so LCD monitors are especially good at displaying large amounts of data – like you would find on an Excel spreadsheet for example – with exceptional clarity and precision.

Comments are closed on this post.