LCD TV vs Plasma TV
Plasma TV Vs LCD TV
If you are thinking about getting a flat panel tv, you are probably asking the question LCD or Plasma. Visually LCD televisions and Plasma televisions look very similar and both are capable of turning in a great performance. But that is where the similarities end. It is important to understand that LCD and Plasma are completely different technologies.
Until recently the choice was easier. Plasma tvs definitely had the edge over LCD tvs in terms of performance, althought they were more expensive. The choice was therefore pay less and get a not so good LCD television, or pay more and get a high performance plasma tevevision. Things are getting harder now as LCD technology is improving all the time and prices are dropping. LCD tvs are now competing with Plasma tvs on their own ground.
Plasma TV Vs LCD TV – The Differences
What are the differences between LCD and Plasma television?
A plasma display consists of two plates of glass between which are sandwiched hundreds of thousands of tiny, gas filled cells. These cells are filled with neon gas and coated with phosphor, making them, in effect, rather like tiny flourescent tubes.
Each plasma cell can be individually energised with an electric current, causing the gas to release ultraviolet photons. These photons cause the phosphor coating of the cell to radiate visible light. By switching the cells on and off in the correct sequence, 1000s of times a second, the picture is formed.
In fact, each cell, or pixel, consists of 3 cells, giving off red, green or blue light. By varying the relative intensities of red, green and blue different colours are formed.
Unlike a PLasma TV, the pixels of an LCD TV dislay do not give off any light themselves. A liquid crystal solution is trapped between two sheets of glass and the whole display is illuninated with a back light. Varying the voltages applied to the pixels controls how much light from the back light reaches the screen.
Plasma TV vs LCD TV – Which Is Better?
There is no definitive answer to this as which is “better” depends on how you rate factors like price and performance for a given screen size.
Plasma tv prices and LCD tv prices have converged a lot recently but plasma still has the edge at larger sizes. For small screen sizes LCD is the dominant technology so the plasma vs lcd debate does not really exist. In the mid-range sizes the prices become broadly similar.
Plasma televisions still have the edge over lcd televisions but the difference is diminishing all the time. Because of the back light nature of LCD televisions, LCD tvs do not display deep blacks so well so the contrast capabilities of LCD are not quite as good as plasma.
If you are using a plasma tv in a room with lower lighting levels then this difference will be more pronounced, but in normal conditions the plasma vs lcd issue again becomes almost a non-issue.
Viewing angle used to be an area where plasma tvs scored over lcd tvs but again this distinction is diminishing. It is, however, still important to check the specifications of the tv you are thinking of getting or better still, to give it a test viewing in the shop.
One last difference to consider when looking at plasma vs lcd tvs is screen resolution, or number of pixels per inch. Except at very large screen sizes, LCD televisions offer a higher pixel count than their plasma tv counterparts. In mid-range sizes, therefore, where prices are similar, this could tip the balance in favour of LCD televisions.