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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

LCDs Vs Plasma TVs

Before Purchasing it would better to take all information about the product. So if you are looking for tv first take a look Difference between LCD's and Plasma TV's

LCDs Vs Plasma TVs
As long as we can remember people have debated; what is the best HDTV technology? Sure every technology has it downsides, but when we are talking about picture quality above all else, which is the best? In the past people would debate LCD vs Plasma which really left us scratching our head because at the time the smallest Plasma was 37" and the largest LCD was 32". Well those times are over and many LCDs and Plasmas are the same size -- well almost the same size, while Plasmas are 37", 42", 50" and 60" LCDs are 32", 40", 42", 46", 52" and a host of other sizes. There is little doubt that LCD has more sizes available and arguably more detail, it also costs more, but we aren't talking about size here, we're talking about picture quality. Plasmas have been able to boast better blacks and better colors than LCD, but in recent years LCD technology has made leaps and bounds in this area as well as the new 120Hz models, which begs the question do Plasmas still have better blacks and colors than LCDs? Sure they are susceptible to burn in and many are only 720p vs 1080p, but most ISF engineers agree that accurate colors and black are more important than resolution. We thought that a quick trip to the big box stores would help clear things up, but we noticed something very odd, while they carry the top of the line LCDs, they only carry the very inexpensive Plasmas, so of course a $4000 52" LCD will look better than a $2000 Plasma, right? But would it look better than a $4000 Plasma and if so why do the big box stores push LCD so much? The one thing we do know is that this debate is far from over and that when shopping for a TV it is important not to get to so caught up in the technology that you forget to look at the picture.

Manufacturing details
Flat TVs are created using two different technologies: plasma and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The foundation of the plasma TV is over a million tiny glass cells that are charged with a mixture of neon and xenon. Behind these cells are colored phosphors, which are chemical compounds that emit light when energized. Each cell has three phosphors; one red, one blue, and one green. When activated by an electrode, the plasma cells emit invisible UV light. The UV light strikes the red, green and blue phosphors on the back of the display and thus creates the pixels that form the image you see on the screen. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology works differently. Liquid is suspended between two transparent panels. Within the liquid are crystals that, when activated by voltage, re-position themselves so that they either allow the light to pass through the panel and or block the light. This process is similar to turning on and off a million light bulbs. Fluorescent tubes behind the panels supply the light source. Both the lit and unlit crystals create visible pixels that cumulatively compose the image on the screen.

Pros and Cons of Each

Brightness in LCD and plasma screens is typically expressed as candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Typically, plasmas are listed at 500-700 cd/m2, but independent reviewers say that that the brightness of plasma is closer to 100 cd/m2. Conversely, LCD TVs typically get a brightness rating of 450 cd/m2, again when measured independently.

Contrast Ratio
Contrast ratio is the measurement of the brightest white against the blackest black that the TV can create. The higher the contrast ratio, the easier it is to discern details on the screen. Current plasmas measure contrast ratios of up to 3000:1. However, independent reviewers believe that measured in real world viewing situations, contrast ratios for plasma TVs drop to approximately 200:1. Conversely, LCD TV contrast ratios range from 350-450:1 when measured using the same realistic standards.

Color Saturation
Color saturation describes the amount of grey in a color. The more grey, the lower the saturation. Plasma has the advantage over LCD in the area of color saturation because of it's method to light blocking. Plasma is able to completely turn off pixels when not in use, so that no stray light dilutes the colors. The way LCD technology works means that there is some stray light and therefore obtaining true color is difficult.

Screen Size
Right now, the plasma market offers TVs as big as 60 inches, and no plasma TV is available smaller than 32 inches. LCD screen sizes range from 13 inches to 46 inches, and because of manufacturing innovations, larger models are becoming available every year. Look for LCDs to catch up in this area soon.

Viewing Angle
Historically, plasma TVs have had a larger viewing angle, at about 160 degrees, when measured against older LCD TVs. However, the newer model LCD TVs have viewing angles up to 175 degrees.

Burn In
Burn in is what happens when an image stays on a plasma screen for an extended period of time. LCD's are not at all susceptible to burn in. While Plasma TVs are vulnerable, some newer plasma TVs have added features that combat it.

Typical plasma TVs have a life span of 20,000 to 30,000 hours, which equates to at about 20 years of usage if you have the set on for 4 hours a day. The lifespan of an LCD TV is typically 50,000 to 60,000 hours, or about 40 years running 4 hours daily.

Response Time
Response time is the amount of time, measured in milliseconds (ms), that it takes for a pixel to go from active to inactive and back to active again. Lower numbers mean faster transitions and fewer visible image artifacts. Plasma TVs were made to handle rapid movement on the screen more effectively. They can have response times as low as 15 ms. LCD TVs started as PC displays, and so the need to show fast movement wasn't critical; somewhere around 25 ms. LCD manufacturers have been steadily improving their response times as the demand for fast moving, full motion video has increased. Newer model LCD TVs can have response times as fast as 16 ms.

Power Conservation
Because the crystals in LCD TV do not produce light, the technology is labeled as "non-emissive," which means it does not give off radiation like the CRT. Cold cathode light sources, like fluorescent tubes, which use only a little power, are used to illuminate the image. LCDs also use less power than plasma televisions, because plasma requires powering hundreds of electrodes to stimulate the phosphors.

More Updated Information

Plasma and LCD TVs have finally hit their stride. Major electronics stores have all but phased out the old CRT televisions, relegating them to the unseen corners. Meanwhile, hordes of consumers are forced to make choices between two new technologies that they know little of. Of course you have the helpful sales associates giving out their advice. But without background information they may be able to take you for a ride. They may sell you something not quite right for you, or may forget to mention possible alternatives if they don't carry them.

So, below we have created an LCD TV versus plasma comparison guide to help navigate the differences between the two technologies. We have also included a column for front projectors, which are an option frequently ignored by major electronics retailers.

Power Consumption is another comparison of interst to consumers. LCD TVs typically spec lower for power consumption than an equivalent size plasma. Projector power consumption varies more from unit to unit, with brighter conference room projectors requiring more power than smaller portable projectors. In November of 2008, new Energy Star ratings will be upgraded from 1998 standards. Many people are not aware that TVs go into a "stand by mode" rather than turning off completely. In this mode, energy is still being drawn. New standards will include power consumption in stand-by modes for a more accurate measure of energy efficiency
I hope this information has been helpful in your search for the perfect display technology. Go now and shop!
Specification Information for plasma Lcd display click here

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