In the race to compete for your hi-def TV dollars, there are three main contenders: Plasma vs LCD vs LED. Of these three, only LCDs and plasmas have made any serious inroads into the market, as LEDs are still struggling to make their way into the mainstream. Once you’ve settled considerations of budget and decided how much you can spend for a hi-def TV, the question is, which to get? This article will make the case for the benefits of LCD TVs and explain to you why you should buy one vs. a plasma TV.
- Price. While both LCD and plasma TVs offer sets with comparable full 1080p display capability at larger screen sizes, LCD TVs offer a wider range of affordable choices in screen sizes ranging from 37” and above. In fact, experts have said that if you plan to get a Blu-Ray or Upscaling DVD player for your home entertainment system, LCD TVs are the more cost-effective choice as you can get a 37” to 42” LCD with 1080p native pixel resolution for a lower price than a comparable 42” plasma TV. And as a minor plus, LCD TVs are generally lighter than plasma sets, making them easier to install.
- Better viewing experience. This is actually a selling point for both LCD and plasma TVs, which have flat screens. You can watch TV from virtually anywhere in the room, since LCD TVs have a viewing angle of as much as 160-degrees, meaning you get a clear picture even if you’re seated 80-degrees off-center. However, plasma TVs have long touted their better viewing angles, but the price differential may make this slight advantage less of a selling point for buyers. And newer, high-end LCDs claim to have viewing angles comparable to plasma TVs. Plus, LCD TVs generally look better in brightly-lit rooms than plasma TVs since there is less glare from the screen.
- Longer life span. The average lifespan of an LCD TV is around 60,000 hours, longer than a comparable plasma TV. If you watch TV for an average of eight hours a day, your LCD TV would last around 20 years before you would need to replace it. Some manufacturers have claimed a lifespan of as much as 80,000 hours for their LCD sets but these are under controlled conditions and thus, such claims should be viewed skeptically.
- Less electricity consumption. Plasma TVs generally use more electricity to produce their picture than LCD TVs, increasing the cost of operating them. Some tests have shown that a 52”-55” inch LCD TV consumes less than half the electricity used by a comparable 50” plasma TV. Adding to the plasma TV’s increased energy consumption is the fact that it generates more heat than an LCD.
- Less susceptibility to burn-in. Burn in is the common term for image retention or ghost image, in which images are burnt onto the screen. This has been a common complaint for owners of plasma TVs for a number of years, although improvements in technology have addressed the problem in newer models. LCD TVs, however, have no burn-in susceptibility.