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What is the best plasma screen tv for you?

Updated on May 7, 2009

Before you Buy:

Before you go to the store to purchase a new tv set you need to make sure that you gather all the facts before you walk into the store to make such a big purchase. Some of the employee's in the store work on commission and therefore will pressure you to purchase one type of television because the higher the cost of the tv the higher the commission that they will make off just that one purchase. You should make sure that you know what all the technical terms are in order to assure that you are going to get the best possiable purchase. Some of the salesmen will be able to get you some facts about what is the best and what is the best option for you but some are just out to make themselves a quick buck. Just be sure to do your homework as you would if you were to purchase a new car. When spending a large amount of money you will always want to make sure you get the best for your dollar.

The difference:

When you are looking at tv's the first thing you need to know is that there is a difference between Plasma and LCD screen tv's. The main difference is that these are two different types of competting technologies that will achieve the same effect. The simularities are the same brightness and picture clear clarity and the astounding color saturated picture quality. They come in the same type of packages, The same 3.5 to 5 inch depth flat screen casing. Another simularities is the cost of each set. The LCD is catching up to the plasma screen because they have started to make them in larger screens and therefore is another positive when choosing which one to go with.

The difference in the two is the way that they process and display incoming video/computer signals. The plasma flat screen tv consists of tiny little individual pixel cells which allow electric pulses to be transmitted to excite rare natural gases called xenon and causing the pixels to glow  and produce light. The lighting will illuminate the reds, greens, and blue phosphors contained in each cell to display the proper sequence of light. Each individual cell is a little tiny florescent light bulb where once instructed by the rear electrostatic board which contains software that will instruct which bulbs light in which order to produce a picture on the tv set. If you look at the plasma screen very closely you will be able to see the rows of red, green and blue bars and will also be able to see the black bars that separate each. A flat screen LCD allows a picture to be displayed by the same technological background whether it is placed in a large screen picture tv or a projection set. A matrix of little thin film transitors will supply a voltage to liquid crystal filled cells that is sandwhiched between two sheets of glass. Once the sheets of glass are charged with electronic voltage the tiny crystals untwist to an exact degree and will trasmit a white light generated by a lamp behind the screen for flat panel tv screens and for projection screens it is supplied by the chip. With the LCD the monitors reproduce the colors by blocking out particular color wavelengths from the white light until it is left with just the right amount of light to display the picture. And it is the intensity of light permitted to pass through this liquid crystal matrix that allows a lcd screen to display all sorts of variations of colors and gradients of colors.

Picture Quality:

The plasma screen is better suited for rooms with low to normal lighting sources and will be better viewed in such rooms as bedrooms and living rooms with not a lot of natural sunlight or that do not have large amounts of lighting or lamps. This will allow for a better viewing of tv.  In situations where there is large amount of sunlight or that have high lighting sources the LCD screen is better. This is true in cases such as in breakfast nooks and in kitchens and rooms that have large windows or high lighting. Airports use LCD signage because of the high quality of lightage.

Plasma screens wins out in the level of picture quality in 4 out of 5 cases. The plasma screen is better in the event that you have a room with such poor lighting that you will find it more pleasant to watch the tv with the plasma because of the way the lighting is distributed through the plasma screen.

In the case that you are hooking the tv to the computer it is better to have a LCD screen monitor as it displays the pictures through the static and vga input very well. With more full color detail and display and no picture burn in and and no flicker. However the number of pixels displayed is much higher on the lcd screen per inch than any other display technologies. So the lcd monitor is better at displaying high levels of data at one time with a high level of clarity and precision. Because of this factor is highly more likely that people who use high levels of gaming will also more than likely choose to use a lcd monitor becuase of the high levels of graphics.

The plasma screen is getting better at the burn in tactics and better in the signal strength for computer signals and transfers also. There is still alot of issues with each that you choose to use and will want to make sure that you purchase a commercial grade plasma if you intend on using high levels of computer usage and such.


In the playback category the plasma screen is better suited to play back images fast and at high levels of playback. This is so because of the high levels of contrast. There is still some products whose playback lags behind becuase of their second tier product status. In this case the phosphorlag which is dragging from brights to dark.

There has been some improvements in the case of the lcd over some time but there is still a sense that they need to pick up. They still suffer from a slight trailer effect where the image is slightly out of step as the playback.In the sense that you are watching a sports event the lag can be seen by the slightest eye.

In cases of high altitudes the advantage is with the lcd screen as it is not affected as the plasma screen such as on airplanes. The high levels of altitudes dont effect the lcd screen as the high levels of altitudes do with the plasma screen. The performance is that in the increase and decrease of air pressure that lcd screen is better and well suited for such circumstances.

In the plasma screen the tiny particles or cells inside the screen is actually natural gases as described above and therefore is more likely affected with the increase in air pressure and the decrease of air pressure as well. With the sudden increase and decrease the plasma screen will start to buzz which will then be transmitted through the tv set. The noise that can be heard can be described as the buzzing of an old neon sign.NEC has since made some plasma screens that can be used up to 9500 feet.

Lifetime Longevity:

When it comes down to the length of how long the tv will work it has been proven that each set has it own time line. In the most part each tv will work for about the same amount of time as the other.

The lcd screens have been rated to last for about 50,000 to 65,000 hours and the matter of fact is that the lcd screen will last as long as the backlight will last. When and if the backlight goes out some models have the bulbs that can be replaced rather than having another tv bought. If the backlight becomes too used it has been known to cause some effects on the unit and will sometimes need to be re-calibrated to adjust the lcd monitor or sometimes you may have to purchase a whole new unit. That is the only bad thing about the unit but any type of tv after a certain amount of time will more than likely need to be replaced.

In the plasma screen over a certain amount of time the gases inside the tv will cause the tv to dim and will essentially get dimmer and dimmer as time passed by. There is no way to refill these gases and essentially you will need to just replace the set. As with the lcd screen it has been said that the plasma will hold about the same amount of life as the lcd screen right about 60,000 hours of tv viewing. That in its self is a long time of tv viewing. This would mean that your tv would have to be on a continous amount of time to burn out the picture.

Burn In With the units.

When it comes down to the burn in with both of the screens the lcd is less as likely to have a burn in with the picture as the plasma screen is. This is also known as ghosting. In this case it is the premature aging of the cells inside the unit do to the nature of twisting with the crystals.

In the plasma screen it is more likely as the unit is used that the burn in will cause the etching of the colors being displayed into the glass display unit. Depending on the anti burn factor with each manufactor depends on the length of time it will take for the burn in to take notice. Most manufactors will tell you about how long it would possiably take to affect your unit or the unit you are seeking to purchase. This is one question you will want to make sure you ask before you make this purchase. Due to the most recent improvements made by the manufactors it has expanded the amount of time it will take to cause a burn in.

Size and Cost:

When it comes down to purchasing a new set you will need to know that all tv sets are measured by going corner to corner diagnally. Both units are being made more available in higher dimensions and will increase to become more and more available as more and more sizes are being added every year. However the plasma screen is leading in this category by a great deal. You will need to know that the larger the unit the more it will take to power the unit. It is said that a unit with 65 inches will require around 675 watts to power the unit. The 42 inch will require around 330 watts of usuage. However some manufactors have created units that are now more effective in the areas of power causing the unit to then become more effective.

The materials used for LCD's has proven that it will catch up in time to the plasma screen. In the next year or so we will begin to see great improvements made as the technology becomes better and better over time. In the larger LCD it is proven that due to faulty transitors it has become hard to not have pixel defaults.

When it comes to power consumption.

When it comes to the power consumption the lcd is ahead. Because a lcd screen used backlighting it then does not require as much power to run the tv unit. A lcd unit will require about half what a plasma screen requires to run. The reason behind this is that the plasma screen requires that each and every pixel be powered that you see on the screen even the dark ones. Even though the manufactors have started to manufacture more and more screens and have improved how much power that they will require it is still said that each unit of 32 inches the plasma screen will infact need to run on about 1/3 more power than the lcd screen will need to run. This is just one thing you will want to keep in mind also.


The lcd screen will have a higher resolution for the same size comparasion as a plasma has. The lowest resolution for a 40 inch LCD screen is 1366 x 768 which is then easily HD resoluted to around 1080i ir 720p. A 42 inch plasma screen that is considered to be of HD quality has the resolution of around 1024 x 768. While this is in fact not true HD quality it is close enough that you will not notice a significant difference between the two. Because of the better quality of pixels it is expected to cost a tad bit more for the lcd screen as it is to purchase a plasma screen.


As you can see it is overall hard to establish which unit is better suited for you. You will need to consider all facts when purchasing a unit and will need to consider what type of enviroment you will be needed this unit for. Look at all situations and look at and consider all types of rooms that this unit could be used in. Which ever the case and the circumstance it will be obvious that the right choice is in your hands and you will be making a big decision as either unit is costly to buy. I hope that my article is of help to you and that I didnt bore you to death.


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