Are you still using that dated old “tube” television set? Are you drawn to the electronics section at your local Best Buy where you walk slowly down every aisle fantasizing about watching an action packed thriller on one of those crisp, gorgeous devices? Are you baffled by the price ranges, and confused over the qualities? If that’s what’s keeping you from buying the television of your dreams, it’s time to do your homework. The two biggest questions about the television market today is, “what’s the difference between the plasma television versus the LCD?”
There are a few important things to compare when deciding which type of set to purchase. Plasma TVs are the current size champions, particularly when comparing TVs that consumers can easily purchase. Screen size, viewing angle, screen refresh rates, burn-in or stuck pixels, and product life-span are all areas that you want to pay close attention to when shopping.
When comparing the plasma television versus the LCD, start with size options. With a plasma, screen sizes range from 32 inches to 63 inches. Larger plasmas, like a 103 inch unit, are in production, but are still expensive for consumer use. The LCD sizes range from 13 inches to 45 inches. As with plasma, there are larger LCD TVs made, like a 100 inch display, but they are not readily available or affordable at the consumer level. Moving on to viewing angle, LCD TVs have the advantage here, but by a small margin. Your viewing experience is not going to be ideal at 160 or 175 degree angles. LCD TVs used to have a problem in this area, primarily because LCD’s were originally meant for single person computer monitors. Plasma displays refresh and handle rapid movements in video well. LCD TVs were originally designed for data display, and not video.
In essence, refresh rates had to be improved. LCD TVs with refresh rates below 16 ms or lower (5-15 ms) show very few noticeable artifacts. LCD TVs are now available with refresh rates as low as 5ms. Plasma TVs can suffer from burn-in produced by static images. After extended periods, stationary images “burn in” and produce an after-image ghost which remains permanently on the screen. With technologies such as ‘pixel orbiter,’ new plasma TVs have addressed burn-in and significantly reduced the issues of older models.
LCD TVs do not suffer from burn-in, but can have what they call, “retained pixel charge” which may also produce ghosting. Stuck pixels are also possible with an LCD display. Taking into consideration the latest plasma technology, this is less of an issue than ever before. If you plan to use a plasma TV for video gaming, some games with permanent ‘dashboards’ may still cause burn-in. Check user-manuals for available solutions by model. Another option to weigh when comparing plasma television versus the LCD, is the life span.
Plasma TVs have a reported half life of 30,000 to 60,000 hours. Half-life is the time it takes the lamp to fade to half its original brightness LCD TVs also have replaceable backlights, but the expense of replacing one when the time comes may be greater than simply replacing the entire TV Both Plasma and LCD technology should more than adequately satisfy most consumers.
The average tube has a half-life of around 25,000 hours. If the average American household watches an average of four to six hours of television a day, even a 30,000 hour lamp would give you easily over 16 years of use. Fortunately, when comparing plasma television versus the LCD, They are both great options, so find the one that suits your lifestyle.