Thursday, April 24, 2008

Flat Panel TV Buying Guide:


* Plasma vs LCD *

comparing plasma vs lcd Flat screen technology offers basically two types of displays LCD (Liquid crystal dispaly) and Plasma (a gas charged method of lighting pixels). They look, alot, alike and sound alike... so what is the difference when plasma vs lcd? We have selected some of the main plasma vs lcd differences to help you navigate between the two. In this comparison page you will take a look at both technologies side by side, from screen size to shipping, so you will be able to determine which will work for best you.


Plasma vs LCD ...

Screen Size
LCD sizes start in the widest range. Typically 13 to 45 are the most common but some manufacturers offer LCD displays in up to 100 sizes. Plasma screen sizes, typically, range from 32 to 63. However, like with the LCD, some manufacturers are offering much larger sizes up to 103 if you can afford them.

Contrast/Brightness
LCD TVs are most versatile, and look better, in the typical viewing situations because they do not reflect light like the Plasma screens do. Because LCD TVs are backlit they naturally block outside light in order to create blacks and therefore fare better in natural lighting situations. Plasma pixel, technology produces a much brighter picture with more contrast between the blacks and whites (blacks are blacker and whites are whiter) than LCD technology because the pixels are either all off or all on. However, because of screen reflection, ambient light can nullify all the advantages Plasma has to offer. So consider where you will be viewing your display and the lighting situation that exists there.

Viewing Angle
LCD TVs have viewing angles of a few more degrees than Plasma. A typical LCD viewing angle is 175 degrees. That means you can view the picture from, dead center, up to 87 degrees on either side. The typical plasma viewing angle is 160 degrees. So the viewing angle is slightly less than the LCD.

Screen Refreshing Rates
Remember, LCDS were used, initially, for data display. The newest technology with LCDs have typical refresh rates of 16ms or less (the lower the number the better). This means that LCD TVs refresh as well as Plasma Tvs. Plasma TVs have been known, from the beginning, to have excellent refresh rates and, in the past, significantly outperformed the LCD TVs. However that has changed with newer technology and refresh rate differences for Plasma and LCD TVs are negligible.

Screen Thickness
LCD screens can be as little as 2 deep. Plasma can get as thin as 3 in depth>

Life Span
Life span for TVs are measured in half life hours. Your typical CRT TV(the ones we used before LCD and Plasma) has a half life of around 25,000 hours. Most LCD TVs have a half life of over 30,000 hours. Plasma TVs also have a half life of 30,000+ hours. That means: if you watched TV for 6 hours each day – it would take over 16 hyears to reach a half life of 30,000 hours.

Pixel Quality (or burn-in)
Newer technology LCD TVs do not have a problem with burn-in. But sometimes still have a ghosting effect because of abnormal pixel charge. Newer technology has reduced the burn-in effect of plasma TVs very significantly by use of “pixel orbiter. However, it is recommended that this be one of the issues you discuss with the retailer you purchase your set from.

Durability
LCDs are fairly durable sets, weigh less than Plasmas and are easier to install or mount than plasmas. Plasma screens are fairly fragile and very heavy compared to LCDs. If you are planning to mount a plasma on the wall – have plenty help or hire a professional. You will need it.

High Altitude
High altitudes do not affect LCD TVs because they do not have a gas that changes pressure with altitude. if you live at a higher altitude be sure to check that your TV is designed with high altitude specifications. Because Plasma TVs are gas charged significant change in altitude can affect the pixel performance because of the differing pressures in different altitudes.

Shipping
LCD TVs are fairly simple to ship. They are lighter than Plasma and do not require the same care as plasmas. So expect to pay less for shipping with a LCD TV. Plasma TVs are fragile and damage easily. Expect to pay more for shipping a Plasma because they, typically, have to be shipped by specialty carriers. If you are picking up your own Plasma set and installing it. Have plenty of help when handling your set.

Pricing
LCD TVs are quite a bit more pricey than Plasma when it comes to big screen (42 and larger). However, if you are looking at the smaller sets (13 to 32) then LCD is your best (and perhaps only) choice. Plasma TVs give you more “bang for your buck. But if any of the other considerations above are insurmountable, or if money is not an issue and you want the best possible picture, then LCD is the way to go.

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