Monday, June 18, 2007


lcd vs plasma..??

lcd vs plasma...

Plasma displays
uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and hence to create the picture image. In other words, each picture element in a plasma TV display acts as a miniature light source. More on plasma displays can be found in our article: How-it-Works: Plasma Display Panel.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current passes through the liquid crystals, they change the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the applied voltage – as a result of which, more or less light passes through the polarized glass to reach the face of the display. LCD panels do not generate light - rather they filter or subtract light generated by a back-light source to create the image on the panel surface. More information on LCD displays can be found at How-it-Works: Liquid Crystal Display Technology.

It is not the scope of this plasma vs LCD comparative guide to go into the actual details of how these different display technologies work. After all, what matters in the end is not what is going behind the screen, more important is how these different display technologies perform as a television screen.

At the same time, one cannot but keep in mind that it is these same differences that give each of these display technologies, its strengths and weaknesses, and that therefore render one more suitable than the other under certain circumstances.

Plasma vs LCD TV – Which flat-panel display technology is right for you?

We apprroach this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis by taking a detailed look at three main areas of concern, namely 'price and size', 'picture' related issues, and 'functional' considerations.

We believe that this approach should help better bring out the main differences between these two technologies, and therefore, make it easier to determine where either of these display technologies fit best.

Plasma vs LCD TV: Size and Price

Size ADVANTAGE: This depends on screen size in that when it comes to compare plasma vs LCD TV sets, both technologies are playing on level ground though you have more available options within the plasma TV domain for screen sizes greater than 50-inch. This is partly explained by the fact that though production costs and retail prices have come down for both technologies, yet plasma still has the edge as far as production cost and capacity go.

On the other hand, at the smaller screen size end of the spectrum, i.e. 37-inch, LCD is the dominant technology while anything smaller than 37-inch implies LCD if what you want is something stylish and slim (at under 4" in depth).

Price ADVANTAGE: Here, the playing field is leveling at a fast rate. Up to very recent, plasma was the obvious choice for all screen sizes where collision between these two technologies occurs; this is no longer the case.

In general, plasma still leads by a good margin only at the bigger screen sizes - 50 inch and upwards - with this pricing advantage getting more pronounced as one approaches the 60-inch diagonal. But then, against this higher price tag, LCD HDTVs come with more pixels per display panel.

At the smaller end of the screen size (37-inch up to 44-inch), the price advantage when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets, starts to shift more towards LCD TVs since even though plasmas and LCDs are practically selling at the same price tag, LCD TVs delivers more pixels for the same screen size.

Plasma vs LCD TV: Picture Considerations

Overall Picture Performance ADVANTAGE: Here our thumbs up in this plasma vs LCD TV comparative analysis go to plasma televisions even though both technologies are extremely close in terms of overall picture performance.

In other words, both plasma and the latest high contrast TFT-LCD flat panel displays are capable of producing excellent picture quality - with bright, crisp clear images, high contrast levels, and excellent color reproduction. This means that both technologies are suitable as a TV screen, but...

Plasma TVs still have an edge over their LCD counterparts when it comes to displaying deep blacks - thus enjoying better contrast and detail in images where lots of dark and light content is being shown simultaneously.

Generally, Plasma color richness and naturalness will prevail in rooms with controlled lower to normal lighting, while LCDs will be better in brightly lit rooms due to their inherent anti-glare technology.

Plasma vs LCD TV Viewing Angle ADVANTAGE: What used to be a clear advantage for plasma displays is becoming more and more a non-issue especially with the latest generation of LCD televisions, however...

Do not always assume that viewing angle is no longer an issue when comparing plasma vs lcd TVs, especially if the viewing angle is not specified. The tendency – in particular with the cheaper LCD TV sets from unknown manufacturers - is that the deterioration in picture quality with off-axis viewing is more accentuated with LCD than with plasma displays.

Our advice: It is always best to check especially when buying some cheap 'unbranded' LCD TV. If you are buying online, check first the return policy, and opt only for a reputable brand. Buying online is cheaper and safe, but ensure that you follow the recommendations detailed in our Online Buyer's Guide.

Viewing Distance ADVANTAGE: This is a non-issue when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets in that none carries any advantage as long as you are within normal viewing distance for your screen size and your viewing distance is more than approximately 9 feet away from your TV screen. More on viewing distance can be found in our article here: TV Viewing Distance.

However, the pixel size and shape of an LCD panel renders a smoother picture than an equivalently sized plasma panel for the same pixel count. This means that if you have a too short TV viewing distance, an LCD television may render itself a better option as its pixel structure is less visible.


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