Plasma vs. LCD vs. LED

How it works simplified:  Plasma TVs are made of tiny pixels filled with gas.  When these gases are electrically excited, they give off either a red, green, or blue light.  These pixels are controlled by a processor capable of completing this process thousands of times per second.  By varying the intensity of the charge to the each pixel, you can create all the necessary color combinations.

Myths:

Plasma TVs will only last a few short years.  False!  New plasma TVs will last as long as any other TV on the market.  Their color will tend to fade over the years, but the difference will be unnoticeable to most viewers.

Burn-in on plasmas is a great concern.  False!  Burn-in is a condition where an image can be seen on the screen when the picture is dark or off.  Although plasmas can suffer from burn-in theoretically, new displays have technology to reduce the risk to almost nothing.  As long as viewers watch a variety of programs that utilize the entire screen during the first 100 hours of use, burn-in won’t happen.  It probably wouldn’t happen even if you didn’t.  It was most common when several consecutive hours of video games were played.

Pros:

Best black levels on the market.  Black levels will determine the details of dark images.  Dark movies such as “The Dark Night” and “Harry Potter” look much better on a plasma than on any other set.

Smoothest picture.  Plasmas don’t suffer from the “jitters” like LCDs and LEDs do.  Plasmas are great TVs for sports fans.

Very affordable.  Technology has come a long way making it easy to find an affordable plasma TV with great picture quality.

Cons:

Plasma TVs are power hungry.  Even though plasmas are much more energy efficient than they used to be, they can still use two times the electricity that an LED TV uses.

Plasmas tend to be more reflective than LCDs.  For this reason, they can be hard to watch in bright rooms.  Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to combat this with varied outcomes.  Some do well and others… not as well.

Plasmas are not as bright as LCDs.  If you have a bright room or watch a lot of daytime TV, plasma may not be the choice for you.

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