The type of television you purchase is going to be entirely dependent on what sort of attributes you’re seeking. Are you looking for a high contrast ratio with deep colors and an improved response time, or you more concerned with longevity and resolution?
For starters, both plasma and LCD television appear the same, but function quite differently.
Plasma TV Advantages
In particular, plasma TVs allow for contrast ratios up to 5-million:1 and higher, which translates to improved colors, blacks, and whites-and therefore a better image. Plus their enhanced response time is more compatible with Blu-ray and DVD discs that host ultra-fast action scenes. This means there will be no unwanted blurs, especially as you might see while watching sports on an LCD. Mind you LCD TVs are catching up with the introduction of 120Hz to 240Hz TruMotion technology.
In addition, a plasma TV offers improved viewing angles, meaning you can view the screen from either the right or left without seeing a distorted image. The most signature advantage is that plasma TVs are much less expensive, and therefore available in whopping sizes up to 63″ and beyond, whereas a similarly sized LCD would cost tens-of-thousands of dollars.
All these traits combined make a plasma TV make suitable for at-home, theater-like entertainment systems. Suffice it to say, a plasma unit can better reproduce the detailed intricacies of a quality film.
LCD TV Advantages
LCD TVs, on the other hand, sport much better resolutions. Many models available on the market now offer resolutions up to 720p or 1080p, meaning more pixels on the screen. Plus LCD TVs tend to weigh less and use less power, making them a more optimal choice for consumers on a budget. Mind you the initial price of the purchase could potentially offset any potential future energy savings. Note also that LCDs can last approximately 60,000 hours, which is more than lower-grade plasma models, though premium plasma TVs are quickly catching up.
Also keep in mind that LCD TVs are catching up to plasma TVs in terms of quality via the use of LED backlighting technology, which mitigates the problems with contrast experienced by previous-generation televisions. They still have several years to go before they’re up to par with the 5M:1 rates offered by plasma, but still.
The signature improvement that an LCD TV offers is reduced susceptibility to screen burn, wherein an image is permanently ‘burned’ onto the screen after having been left on for too long. Ultimately this means LCD TV owners will spend less overall money on future repairs and replacements.
The Bottom Line
Both plasma and LCD TVs are great for at-home use, but each offers different advantages and disadvantages. If you’re seeking an ultra-large television, for instance, then you’re better of pursuing a plasma TV. If on the other hand you need something small, compact, and with a high resolution, you should opt for an LCD TV instead. One last thing you should keep in mind is that plasma TVs tend to work better in the dark, while LCD TVs work better in the day.