The old “LCD vs Plasma” debate has been happening for a while now, but this could be a good time to revisit the topic. With HDTV the new technology, and with a load of new HDTVs in the shops, you might not know which is the best choice for you. In this article we will explore both sides of the argument, so that we can better understand the advantages of both. To begin with with, we will look at how LCD works, and then examine LCD’s benefits. Then we will examine how plasma teleivisions work, and also take a look at plasma’s benefits. I will then end the article with a summary of the main points, to help you come to a decision about which type of TV you want to buy.
How Do LCD Screens Work?
LCD means Liquid Crystal Display. These “liquid crystals” are not actually liquid at all, but the way they behave is more similar to liquid than solid, and this is why they are called liquid crystals. They are kind of somewhere between a solid and liquid. Like a solid, they can remain in one place, but they can also move and change shape like a liquid.
To generate a picture, LCD televisions utilize the same kind of polarizing technology as sunglasses. At the back of the screen is a large bright light projecting forwards. In front of the light is a horizontal polarizing filter blocking all light waves apart from horizontal ones, so that only the horizontal light can get through.
The screen is made of many little liquid crystals. Sitting behind each pixels is a trasistor controlling the amount of electricity through the crystal. Each crystal is twisted, and placed in front is a vertical polarizing filter only letting vertical light pass through. When electricity passes through the liquid crystal, it straightens out, preventing the flow of light, but when this electrical current is turned off, the crystal will twist and let the light out vertically.
LCD: the Good
– Great for displaying static images.
– Amazing colors.
– No screen burn-in or flicker.
– Comes in a large range of sizes.
– Endurance – L.c.d. screens can last as long as 100,000 hours!
– Incredibly energy efficient.
Disadvantages of LCD
– Not so good for smooth fast scenes.
– When the backlight gets older, the white balance of the LCD screen can become inaccurate.
How Does Plasma Work?
A plasma screen has many tiny glass chambers that contain “plasma”, made of xenon and neon. Each of these chambers has behind it a set of colored phosphors: one red, one blue, and one green. When energized, these plasma chambers give off a type of invisible light when hits the different colored phosphors, causing them to generate visible light.
Plasma: the Good
– Processes truly digital image sources well.
– Ideal for fast action.
– Amazing contrast.
– Available in larger sizes than Liquid crystal display.
– Less expensive, especially with larger models.
Disadvantages of Plasma
– Prone to burn-in (not good for static images)
– Brightness of screen slowly fades with as it gets older (however, this occurs very gradually, over a long time).
– Uses more electricity than LCD.
LCD vs Plasma: Which Should You Choose?
So, which do you choose? LCD or Plasma? The best way to decide is to consider what you will most likely be using the TV for. If you’re looking for an extremely big TV that will give you extremely smooth action scenes, then Plasma is the one for you. This is especially the case if you enjoy watching fast action movies or if you’re an avid .
But if you’re more concerned about vivid colors, longevity, and energy efficiency, and you’re not really into the fast action films or the games, then LCD is a better choice. This is particularly true if you’re planning to use your TV for viewing any static images, for instance if you wanted to plug in your digital camera and browse through your photos, or if you wanted to surf the internet on your TV (some LCD TVs have an internet TV mode).
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