Flat Panel TV Buying Tips: Plasma or LCD?
Both plasma and LCD televisions have been out for a while, giving manufacturers enough time to work out the kinks, improve the product and lower the price point to make it affordable. Surely by this time, there is a clear winner in the next-generation TV wars — either plasma TV or LCD. Not so. Both types of televisions have advantages and disadvantages, making the best flat panel television a matter of choice.
Plasma TV Benefits
Plasmas are the clear choice for gamers, offering a superior visual quality. The larger screen sizes really make games come to life; color depth and tracking time are superior to LCD TVs. The plasma TV’s superior image display makes it easier to recreate the picture quality of movies in your own home theater. Additionally, plasma technology often makes on-screen motion look smoother, resulting in a more natural viewing and gaming experience. In contrast, LCD TVs sometimes render fast-moving images as blurry, compromising the viewing experience of action films and sporting events and making fast-paced games a little more challenging.
Burn-in — persistent images displaying on screen when the TV is off — is largely a thing of the past, so one of the major drawbacks to plasma has been overcome. The superior viewing experience of a plasma television comes with a price tag that not all consumers are willing to pay. Finally, it’s hard to find a plasma for casual viewing that’s less than 42-inches wide — and the units can be heavy. Not all viewers may want to transport and mount the television without help.
LCD TV Benefits
Eco-conscious consumers may want to choose an LCD television since it consumes less power. There’s less of a screen glare, which makes your favorite movies look just as good no matter the time of day. If size is a concern for you, you’ll also find LCD TVs available in smaller sizes — particularly below 42 inches. Other benefits of an LCD include:
- Fairly high pixel resolution at affordable prices
- Lighter in weight than the average plasma TV, making wall installation easier
- Sharper images than in plasma televisions, making for an enjoyable gaming and film-watching experience
LCD televisions work well for the casual viewer who wants to watch sitcoms after work. The TV performs decently for gaming and movie-watching — better sharpness than in plasma units but periodic motion blur — but has not caught up to the superior viewing quality of the plasma. That said, LCD televisions are making strides and the image quality is improving. You can get a very good image quality for a more affordable price by choosing an LCD television.
Before you buy, be honest with yourself about how you’ll use the television. If you watch films occasionally and mostly catch the news on your TV, a low price may be your top priority. If you have marathon gaming nights with friends, you’ll prioritize quality over cost. If you fall in the middle, then you may prefer to shop around. Next, visit local stores to see both plasma and LCD TVs in action, compare screen sizes and price tags and begin to narrow down your options. Both televisions offer a high value, so you can’t go wrong with either choice.
Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.