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A Comparison Of Plasma And LCD Televisions

Author : Jamie Simpson

For years, there have been advocates for LCD televisions and advocates for plasma televisions. They clash on a regular basis. Each side believes their type of technology is superior to the other and that the opposition is so inferior that they would not go anywhere near it.

The truth is that LCD and plasma televisions both have their own advantages and disadvantages. The way their technologies work, each type trades off one feature for another. In the end, it will always come down to personal choice. However, there are definable and factual differences between the different types of televisions that can help in making that choice.

First, it should be understood how the two types of technology actually work. Plasma televisions employ incredibly small plasma lights, essentially equivalent to a fluorescent light, pressed between two pieces of glass. Through a complex and very controlled distribution of electricity, the display turns on red, green and blue lights in order to form a picture.

LCD displays, or liquid crystal displays, use liquid crystals pressed between two polarized transparent plates. Light is passed through the panels and crystals and electricity applied to control which crystals will let what amount of light through in order to form an image.

One advantage of a plasma television is that because of how their technology works, it is possible to have very deep and rich blacks and other dark colors. This leads to a better contrast ratio. They also have a slightly higher tacking rate, meaning they can change their pixels faster than an LCD television. Finally, a plasma television usually has a wider viewing arc.

An LCD television has the advantage of higher resolutions because of the technology. An LCD display also will not suffer from screen burn. They tend to use less power than a plasma television, sometimes half as much. LCD televisions are also lighter and may have a longer lifespan than plasma. LCD televisions have drawbacks as well. Because of how the screen is lit, it is difficult to render true, dark blacks. This leads to slightly less contrast. Tracking is also a little slower than plasma. The other disadvantage is that there is always the possibility that a single pixel could burn out on the screen, leaving a black or white ever present dot. This cannot be repaired. Instead, the entire screen must be replaced.

Plasma televisions have the disadvantage of using more power than an LCD television. They also run the risk of image burn, where the screen image is shown for too long and 'burns' into the screen. A plasma television also gets very, very hot when running. They are also much heavier than LCD televisions because of the glass panels and can suffer from glare in bright rooms.

The price difference between the two types will depend on the size of television. Smaller televisions under 42" are far cheaper when using LCD technology. However, plasma is much cheaper for screens that are larger than that.

In the end the decision will have to be made based on the environment the television will be in, personal preferences and budget needs. Both types of televisions provide an excellent image and will operate for many, many years.

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Submitted : 2011-02-21    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 394