In this piece, we'll systematically run through the pros and cons of each type, and explain some of the most common spheres you need to look at that will help you make useful and informative comparisons when you're shopping. You'll learn everything you need to know to figure out which flat-panel type is right for you. Considering your budget, taste, environment and not compromising the quality this piece would help you make inform and helpful decision.
You would agree with me that both the LCD TV and the Plasma produces great image quality, both in pictures and motion. But here are the key aspects you need to watch out for when comparing these two great works of technology.
LCDs are dazzling when it comes to brightness, which proves it’s never usually a problem to see the action, even if your room is flooded with rays. It also helps to overcome the reflective coatings that manufacturers seem all too keen to put on their TVs at the moment.
Interestingly, plasma suffers from a lack of peak brightness, so while blacks are deep, whites aren’t generally as bright as on the best LCD TVs. This is usually a big dilemma particularly sunny days when it might be hard to see what’s going on.
LCDs consumes lesser power, probabilistically even a 42-inch set might use as little as 40 or 50 watts. The exact power usage will depend solely on the image being displayed, the power of the amplifier and other things including Wi-Fi. LCD TVs, though, are by far the cheapest of any kind of TV to run.
Interestingly High power consumption is another problem of plasma TVs. Although modern plasma TVs are more efficient, but they still use several times more power than an equivalent-size LCD TV.
The prevalent benefit of plasma in most people’s eyes is the richness of its black level. Since each cell is lit independently, a plasma TV can fabricate a black image (or small areas of black) by applying no current to those cells. By contrast – no wisecrack intended – LCD TVs look much greyer.
Even direct-lit LCD TVs aren’t lit per-pixel, so cannot match a plasma TV for black levels. LCD TVs struggle is creating deep blacks. Despite what manufacturers may tell you, it isn’t possible to perform local dimming in the same way that direct-lit LCD TVs can. In other words, the whole picture can be dimmed, but not small portions.
Another issue of LCD TVs (because of the LCD panel) is narrow viewing angles. Viewing angles depend on the type of LCD panel used. LCD TVs with poor viewing angles typically lose saturation when viewed from the side, where colors might change wholly or invert.
Similarly, because each cell is self-lit in the plasma TVs, viewing angles tend to be much better than the vast majority of LCD TVs. You can sit 45- or even 80-degrees off centre and still see the same rich colours as you would if you were sitting directly in front of the set.
Motion handling has always been a strong point for plasma TVs. Because of the way pictures are created on the plasma TV, there's no lag or ghosting, and motion looks very natural and crisp. So if clear and close to-life on-screen motion is a high priority for you, you should definitely consider a plasma.
For LCD TVs, motion handling has been more of a challenge because of the way they create the pictures. But many of today's LCD TVs are better equipped to display fast motion without blur. If you want smoother motion with an LCD, look for a model with a 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rate. These sets include sophisticated processing that can virtually eliminate motion blur.
The judgment between the two technologies is largely down to your preferences, since neither is a clear winner over the other. If you want the best image quality, and aren’t bothered about the electricity cost, a plasma TV could be the way to go. It’s also a good choice if you – for some reason – can’t sit directly in front of your TV, thanks to the wide viewing angles.
If running costs, thinness and brightness are more important, an LCD TV will appeal.