The battle between plasma and LCD televisions continues. When entering into any large electronics store, you’ll notice that these two screens are constantly on display. LCD televisions tend to be more expensive than plasmas. Yet, the price of a LCD screen is not always justified.
Plasma televisions manufacturers, on the other hand, have worked out earlier kinks. Today’s plasmas offer excellent picture quality and reliability. When shopping, try to view both an LCD and plasma television side-by-side in order to see the true difference. Each type of screen has its drawbacks, though plasma comes out ahead of LCD in most instances.
In order to produce an excellent picture, a television must have decent black levels. Unlike LCD screens, plasma televisions are not backlit. This results in deeper blacks. When watching a movie, you will notice the difference between plasma black levels and LCD black levels. Notably, LCD screens cannot achieve the same deep blacks that a plasma screen can achieve.
Another reason why plasma televisions are superior to LCDs has to do with viewing angle. When viewing a screen from an unusual angle, an LCD screen is harder to view due to color changes. This is not the case with a plasma TV that can be viewed from many different angles. Lastly, LCD screens tend to blur when an image moves quickly. While watching a movie or television show, LCD viewers may experience a blurred image.
LCDs have some advantage over plasma screens. To start, LCD screens tend to have higher resolution. This may make a difference (though slight) when watching a movie or television show. In addition, LCD screens are lighter than plasma screens. This is an important note for those seeking a slick and thin screen (plasmas tend to have some bulk).
Eco-enthusiasts will be happy to know that LCDs take less power than plasma screens. Some argue that this results in a television that lasts longer. However, newer plasma screens are quite competitive with LCDs when it comes to longevity.
Those who are not plasma fans tend to insist that these screens can suffer from something called “burn-in.” Burn-in occurs when an image has been left too long on a plasma screen. The result of a still image on a plasma screen can be a permanently mark.
When plasmas first hit the market, burn-in was a major problem. However, newer plasma screens do not suffer from burn-in susceptibility frequently. When burn-in does occur, a burnt image usually leaves a screen within a matter of days.
Which Screen to Purchase
While LCD is an interesting concept, plasma televisions are still the better buy. LCD screens are (at the time of this writing) still largely in the development stage. Thus, these screens have various problems including a “too bright” picture. Plasma screens, on the other hand, offer a relatively solid buy.
These screens produce excellent black levels, are viewable from every angle, and no longer have the problems they once had. No matter what kind of TV you purchase, keep in mind that newer flat screen TVs won’t last as long as older tube televisions. These screens were built to last 3-4 years, though some may last a bit longer.