LCD or Plasma Flat Panel TV?

For years, people have been ardently debating the merits of LCD TV’s versus those of flat screen plasma TV’s, with each side voicing their outspoken opinions about which model is superior and why. So, after all this time spent debating all of the technicalities of each variant, examining every minor nuance with an ultra-critical microscope of judgement, there must be some kind of consensus as to which type of television is superior by now, right? Well, the answer is, “it depends”. Each one certainly has its own respective pros and cons. In order to find the best fit for you, you must understand that it depends on what you will be using the TV for.

Gaming

Video games are more popular these days than ever before, and it is not uncommon today for gamers to shell out big bucks for fancy big screen TV’s to maximize the visual experience offered by today’s modern consoles. So which TV is best equipped to satisfy your gaming needs? To answer this question, it is first necessary to address a long-running misconception about plasma screen TV’s. Plasma TV’s are widely believed to suffer from what is known as “burn-in”. When burn-in occurs, it essentially means that pixels on the TV have been damaged. The reason for this phenomenon is the way phosphors in the television react to light, causing them to die faster than they should when not taken care of. While burn-in can happen, the risk of it happening in plasma TV’s made today is much lower than when they first started coming out. Plasma sets should also come with a user’s guide with instructions explaining how to properly break in the TV, which can still further reduce the chance of burn-in.

Both types of TV’s offer excellent visual quality, but plasma sets still have a slight edge in this regard. This is because LCD TV’s are unable to display true black. LCD TV’s have been closing the gap, but plasma visuals remain supreme for now. Since burn-in should be a non-issue now, the edge goes to plasma for gamers.

General TV and Move-Watching

If you’re not a stickler for having the absolute best image quality available, LCD TV’s have some advantages over plasma TV’s. For one thing, LCD’s typically last longer than plasma TV’s, although their lifespans are very similar. LCD sets are also less expensive and burn less power, so they save you even more money in the long run. LCD’s are lighter than equivalently sized plasma sets, making them more convenient to move.

Many advocates of LCD TV’s will have you believe that the recent innovation of LED backlighting puts them on equal footing with plasmas in terms of visual quality. It is true that they may be closing in to some degree, but when it comes down to it, plasma sets still maintain the advantage in this aspect.

Summary

  • Plasma TV’s are still the best choice for gamers willing to pay premium prices for the best visual quality money can buy.
  • LCD’s are closing the visual gap quickly, and may be a preferable choice for those who still want great visual quality at a cheaper price.
  • Burn-in for plasma TV’s is largely a thing of the past.
  • LCD sets are lighter, easier to transport, and easier on your electric bills.

Paul is writing for Quatrix Antennas, a Sydney based company, specialising in digital TV antenna installations.