Why a Plasma compared to an LCD?

Plasma TV’s are a large design but very slim, the images being smooth, crisp with black and dark colors being displayed very well. This differs a lot when it comes to comparing a Plasma Television to your old CRT TV, which stretches out far behind the actual display. Even by looking at a Plasma TV for a few seconds, will give a instant first impression that these are something very special compared to what you have been using up until now.

LCD designs, technology and feel are increasingly as rapidly as Plasma technology, if not more. LCD’s are becoming very popular as an alternative to a Plasma. A LCD Television outlives a Plasma and CRT TV due to how they work, as well as also being used as a monitor for your PC or console.

The advancement in technology has also meant that LCD’s are also as thin as a Plasma Television with recent advances giving much wider viewing angles without the picture fading if you are sitting at an angle from the screen. You may remember using previous PC Monitors where the image would fade if you moved to the side of the monitor for whatever reason. This is now becoming increasingly less common. With a common viewing angle of 170 degree’s, this is become one of the standards people are expecting when buying a new Television.

Comparisons of an LCD and Plasma
Plasma Television Sizes mainly range from 42” to 50” where as LCD Sizes mainly range from 26” – 32” but at the time of writing, 40″ Televisions are becoming available. With Plasma sizes being larger, you obviously get a larger picture but an LCD usually has a higher resolution, which is the number of individual dots on the screen making up the picture. With picture sizes increasing, it is advisable to sit around 3 meters away from a 40” Television so make sure your front room is big enough for this.

Brightness and Contrast
There are levels of brightness and contrast which show the level of these areas but do not mean much to many people but to describe the differences would be that a cinema screen produces a contrast ratio of about 500:1, a Plasma produces this at about 3,000:1 – 10,000:1 meaning a Plasma can show very dark blacks and dark colors.

A Plasma Television has a glass front, so the brightness does look brighter but is misleading due to the fact that if you put types of TV next to each other, they both look the same. In rooms with bright light already, a LCD does produce a better picture due to it not reflecting as much light as a Plasma.

How Long Will Each Last?
A Plasma has a estimated life of 60,000 hours where as a LCD average is 60,000+ hours and keeps on going. The life of a Plasma TV was quite short until a short while ago, but as with many things the technology has caught up and now a Plasma lasts a lot longer. If you do the calculations, a Plasma would have to be on for 5 hours a day for 27 years before it was to be replaced, so either way both a LCD and a Plasma are level on the life expectancy front although a Plasma will fade over time, a LCD will stay as bright as the day you purchased it.

Viewing Angle of Each TV
Plasma has a Perfect Viewing Angle no matter where you sit whereas a LCD could be affected if you sat to one side of the tv so a viewing angle of 170 degrees or more is recommended.

Latency – How fast can the picture be displayed without Ghosting
Ghosting is where the image is redrawn but you see a slight delay in it changing from one image to another. With a Plasma this does not happen, but with a LCD it could show a slight blurry image with fast movies or images. These days a LCD has a response time of 12ms or 8ms so this issue is becoming more rare by the day.

Screen Burn-in
This is where the same image stays on the screen for a period of time, and leaves a faint reproduction of it when the image changes. This was originally the case with CRT Monitors and TV’s, which is why screen savers were designed. With a Plasma Reproducing Color A Plasma can show color very accurately, but can flicker slightly. A LCD on the other hand won’t flicker but cannot show black as well as a Plasma.

Power Usage
A Plasma uses on average about 250W for a 42” screen whereas a LCD uses around 150W for a 42” screen

Even though the above points for both the LCD and Plasma debate can sound a little daunting, the actual watch ability and picture quality are fantastic. Even the cheaper TV’s are so much better than a CRT they maybe not worth worrying about. At the end of the day, it is down to the individual on what they want to spend and what make to buy due to the top quality technology in either of the two types of TV. Whichever you buy, they are a fantastic addition to your home


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