Plasma TVs are now priced within the reach of more consumers than ever before. However, they are much heavier then LCD TV’s of the same size. Not all plasma televisions are created equal. Picture quality varies from one brand to another. Today, most plasmas have excellent colour (including shades of black) and viewing angles.
However, some plasmas have lower resolutions than LCDs and LEDs of the same size. Higher resolution means sharper detail and smoother game graphics.
When plasma TVs first came out, many people warned about “burn-in” – that is, a network logo or other on-screen graphic getting “burned” permanently onto the plasma screen because the television it was left on the same channel too long. However, burn-in is now mostly a thing of the past, thanks to improvements in plasma TV technology. Today, most plasma TVs have a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours – or more than 17 years of heavy use!
Flat panel LCD screens are widely available and affordable in sizes 55” and lower. Larger sizes are still more expensive than similar plasma displays.
Picture quality has improved a great deal since LCDs were first introduced. However, they can never achieve “true blacks” because of light leaking through the pixels. New LCD/LED lighting technologies have made this almost a non-issue now. LCDs still boast much higher resolutions than comparable sized plasma TVs. And of course, there is no danger of burn-in!
Another problem used to be “response time” measures in ms (milliseconds)– the “drag” you might see when an image moves quickly across the screen. These days, many LCD TVs have better engines and other improvements, to help fix this problem. Refresh rates are now up to 240hz!
LED displays are slimmer in design, and use less power than plasmas or LCDs. In fact, they can offer energy savings up to 40%, compared with a similar LCD display.
Because they use light emitting diodes (hence the name “LED”), these televisions produce less heat, last longer and are considered more “eco-friendly” due to their mercury free bulbs.
The LED television’s slender design makes it very popular. Lightweight displays like these are much easier to install, and can even be hung on a wall with wire, like a painting. However, LEDs are the most expensive among all HDTV models and have narrower viewing angles. Few LED models come larger than 40”.