The battle is still raging between Plasma and LCD over which is the best format to buy. Most people are looking for a TV that is future-proof, so what consumers really want to know is what, in the long run, is going to be winning format.
The answer to that isn’t yet entirely clear. Read on to find out why…
It’s hard to believe, but up until recently, the best viewing picture came from neither Plasma or LCD – it came from the old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) format, certainly when compared to LCDs and plasmas with a screen size under 32 inches.
However, consumer desire for bigger screen sizes and thinner, more aesthetically pleasing TVs meant that TV aficionados were willing to sacrifice a little picture quality in order to have a wider viewing area.
LCDs and Plasmas are Getting Better
Nowadays, both LCD and plasma TV quality has caught up with CRTs, which are now rapidly becoming obsolete. This is down to companies competing to bring new improved flat-screen technologies to the market to make their latest range the best yet.
With mass production, the cost of flat-screen TVs has fallen considerably too. These days, you get a lot more TV for your money.
What’s the Big Difference?
Let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between plasma and LCD before we look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) are comprised of two glass plates with a filling of liquid crystal. An electrical charge is applied via TFTs (Thin Film Transistors) at the back of the screen to create the picture.
Plasma screens consist of cells filled with a noble gas, such as Xenon. These gases have properties that enable them to glow when a voltage is applied and it is the application of this current that creates the picture.
So Which is Better?
Plasma has always been thought to produce a better picture than LCD in terms of depth of blacks and contrast, especially when viewing DVDs.
Plasmas also perform better at low light levels, typical of what you might find in an average home. This is because leakage occurs between pixels on a LCD.
That’s why LCDs tend to look better in stores as the lighting is much brighter and why it’s always a good idea to view any intended purchase in a room that simulates the effect of watching TV at home. Traditionally, plasma TVs have also been able to deal with fast moving images better.
However, this was all in the past. With new TV technologies, this is no longer the case. LCD TVs response times are increasing all the time, meaning much less blurring when watching fast-moving scenes.
LCD screens also have the advantage of a longer life span compared to plasma screens and don’t suffer from ‘burn-in’ or ghosting. But, this problem, again, is being rectified on newer plasmas so, in the end, there’s very little to choose between the two formats – the debate looks set to rage on. Or is it?
Are the OLED TV screens the next big thing?
Things are about to change again with the introduction of OLED TV screens. These screens consist of tiny, light-emitting diodes, which can display a picture that’s much better terms of brightness, contrast and sharpness than either LCD or plasma.
So, in the future, you may not even have to worry about plasma or LCD. Here are the guidelines on how to choose the best HDTV on your needs.