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Plasma vs Led vs Lcd (Tv Comparison)

Updated on May 28, 2013

It´s always difficult to select a new TV, due to the several technologies and options available on the market. Plasma, LED, LCD, and 3D are some of the recurring terms used in the description of the screens of the devices, but what does all this means?

Digital signal

The first limitation the consumer will find is the presence (or not) of the high definition signal - "digital TV". If your city does not have broadcast in HD (High Definition) and you don´t want to spend money hiring an HD TV subscription service, then there is no need to invest in a very expensive "full of tecnology" TV.

Now, if the high definition signal is at your door (or if you intend to use the TV for watching new movies on DVD or, better yet, in Blu-ray), you must start researching for which TV to buy. It is appropriate, regardless of the choice, to get an equipment that already has a built-in converter for HD signals. Virtually, all newer models have it, but there are still some stores with older devices that do not.

High definition

Before start looking for a new TV, it is important to understand the difference between the resolutions of the produced images that the modern devices can achieve. There are two types of compatible high-definition TV´s: HD-Ready and Full HD (Full High Definition).

Strictly speaking, for an image to be considered "high definition", it must have at least 720 horizontal lines. The lines can be displayed progressively (all simultaneously for each frame) or interlaced (the even lines are displayed first, and then the unpaired, forming the two times framework). This originates the use of the letter p or i that usually goes along with the number that indicates the image resolution. The most common formats for television broadcasts are 720p and 1080i. Blu-ray discs use, in most cases, the maximum standard resolution adopted internationally, the 1080p.

These numbers, however, may not have correspondence with the resolution of the television. Among the HD-ready televisions, for example, the most common is a screen having 768 horizontal lines (which do not fit exactly at 720 nor 1080). In practice, these TV´s tend to "accept" (and convert to its own resolution) 720p and 1080i. On the other hand, 1080p can only be viewed in Full HD devices whose screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Anyway, whatever the model chosen, HD-Ready already represents a major evolution in relation to traditional transmissions. Analog TV reaches only 480 lines of resolution.

And in order to accomplish the maximum resolution,1080p, every elements - from the production of the image to the display on the TV - should use Full HD technology. Therefore, it is necessary to have a TV that can play the signal in high definition, and furthermore, it is necessary that the digital signal source also has maximum resolution, plus the content that must have been produced in full HD.

If you got this far, it's time to decide on which technology to choose.

Below I will explain the differences: Plasma vs Led vs Lcd

Plasma vs Led vs Lcd


This is the older technology in high resolution slim TV´s. The name - plasma - as to do with the working principle, which uses plasma (the fourth state of matter, basically a gas in which electrons are dissociated from atomic nucleus) to produce images.


The most obvious advantage is the cost. Plasma TV´s are large and comparatively cheap. But there are also other great advantages such as high refresh rate of the screen image (up to 600 Hz), which allows a more natural viewing of motions, and high level of brightness and contrast, compared with the LCD.


Plasma models consume more energy than all the others. Furthermore, the screens are more "sensitive". There is a risk, for example, to mark it for good (the so called "burn-in" effect) when the image gets frozen for a long time - something that rarely happens with the newer models. On the other hand, it is hard to find a Full HD Plasma (ie, one that has the maximum resolution adopted as standard) and that is not gigantic (50 inches or more).


LCD uses liquid crystal technology, the same as computer monitors, improved to give higher contrast, brightness and image refresh rate.


Besides consuming less energy than plasma TVs, LCD TVs do not have the "burn-in" problem and they have no screen size limitations: it is possible to manufacture smaller models (26-inch, for example) and also midsize screens already with Full HD resolution (up to 32 inches). With this, LCD´s give more flexibility and choice to the consumer.


The main weaknesses of LCD´s is the low refresh rate of the image and the difficulty of providing more brightness and contrast to the TV, despite improvements in recent years.


The most recent technology in terms of TV´s is basically a conventional LCD screen "illuminated from behind" by LED´s (Light Emitting Diodes). This new technology makes the other "thin" TVs look really "fat'': LED TV´s have thickness of about 1.18 inches, for models with up to 55 inches.


Sophisticated design, contrast and brightness much better than the conventional LCD´s, and low power consumption are the major highlights. It has a high refresh rate of the screen image (which is often expressed in Hz).


The price is still a little ''salty'' when compared with the previous screen technologies.


The future of TV is the 3D technology that shows images in three dimensions. There are two types of 3D technology available on the market: one that requires the use of 3D glasses to transforme the screen image to 3D (this is the most widely used on 3D televisions), and another that doesn´t requires the use of glasses, but that requires the user to remain standing in front of the screen.

What type of TV do you prefer?

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