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Myth: Plasma TVs are better than LCD TVs

Whether plasma TVs are better than LCD TVs is a highly debated issue. When buying new flat screen televisions, this subject causes much disagreement.  Listed below is a simple and unbiased guide to help you make a decision. The right choice of television can be made based on the various criteria listed below.


1) Screen size

  • Plasma TVs: These usually have a screen size ranging from 32 inches to 65 inches.
  • LCD TVs: These televisions range from 13 to 46 inches. However, there are a few manufacturers that offer bigger sizes as well.
  • The winner? Plasma TVs hold a distinct advantage in this area.

2) Thickness

  • Plasma TVs: These TVs can be as thick as 3 inches.
  • LCD TVs:  Some models can be as slim as 2 inches.
  • The winner? Whilst the difference in thickness may be negligible, LCD TVs still have an advantage over plasma when it comes to appearance.

3) Viewing angle

  • Plasma TVs: Plasma TVs have a viewing angle of up to 160 degrees.
  • LCD TVs: These televisions usually have a viewing angle of up to 165 degrees
  • The winner? Whilst LCD TVs may seem like the winner in this area, a wider viewing angle is available only with high-end models. Even lower-end plasma TVs have wide viewing angles.

4) Burn-in

  • Plasma TVs: Static images can create a ‘burn-in’ in plasma TV screens. After a long period of time, static images ‘burn-in’ and create a ghost-like after image.
  • LCD TVs: LCD TVs do not have burn-in issues.
  • The winner? LCD TVs are a better choice. However, there are plasma TV models that have addressed this burn in-issue and improved considerably because of it.

5) Screen refresh rates

  • Plasma TVs: Since these TVs were designed to display fast moving images, they have better refresh rates. They handle rapid movements in video fairly well.
  • LCD TVs: While there have been improvements made in newer models, LCD screens were originally made for computers. This leaves a slight trailer effect when displaying fast moving images.
  • The winner? Plasma TVs perform better than LCD TVs in this area.

6) Colour saturation

  • Plasma TVs: Each pixel (tiny unit on the screen surface) on plasma screen TVs has individual components of red, blue and green. These three colours work in conjunction with each other to reproduce colour very accurately. It can produce 16.77 million colours and there is no other technology that can match this achievement.
  • LCD TVs: These televisions create colour by manipulating light waves with the help of liquid crystals. This makes it very difficult to maintain the accuracy of colour. The advantage that LCD TVs possess is that they have a higher than average pixel-per-square inch density. This gives rise to rich colour information.
  • The winner? Plasma TVs have the edge over LCD TVs when it comes to colour saturation.

7) Contrast ratio

  • Plasma TVs: Average plasma TVs offer contrast ratios of up to 3000:1.
  • LCD TVs: These generally have a contrast ratio of 1000:1, although the contrast ratio for these TVs is calculated differently.
  • The winner? This aspect is debatable because both varieties have both strong and weak points.

8) Life span

  • Plasma TVs: On average, plasma TVs have a life span of 25,000 to 30,000 hours. This works out at 3 years of continuous TV usage before the brightness fades.
  • LCD TVs: These TVs have an average lifespan of up to 60,000 hours. This works out at 6 years of continuous TV usage at least. LCD TVs can also be repaired by replacing bulbs if there are backlight issues.
  • The winner? The better televisions in this case are LCD TVs.

The ultimate winner of LCD vs. Plasma is up to you, but keep these 8 criterions in mind before you make a purchase decision.

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