The concept of TV viewing has changed completely and climbed to a new level. Existing CRT or Cathode-Ray Tube televisions are fast being replaced by flat screen TVs. If you are planning to dispose of your old CRT TV, it is likely that you will be overwhelmed by the choices available in the market, in terms of not only the brands but also the technologies. The biggest question is which TV to buy; LCD or LED or Plasma. Most manufacturers offer models in each technology. Each technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. To make a choice, you can compare important parameters for all three.
What are Plasma, LCD and LED?
Till now, we are all used to watching our age old CRT TVs. Viewing your favorite programs on flat TVs give you an altogether different experience. Obviously, you will be curious about what is LCD or LED or Plasma.
LCD TV :
The most common of all the three, LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display since it made of liquid crystal technology to display images. These liquid crystals between the display panels of TV get activated, when electric current passes through.
Though manufactures lure the buyers by promoting LED TVs as new technology; the fact is LED TVs are actually LCD TVs with an enhanced feature. LED TVs use similar liquid crystal diode technology, but they use LEDs or light-emitting diodes to back-lit the TV while an ordinary LCD has CCFL for back –lit.
Though Plasma TV offers far better pictures, they are way behind in popularity as compared to LCD TV. These TV are based on completely different technology. They create picture from gas (plasma) that is stuffed with neon and xenon atoms. In addition, millions of electrons and electrically charged electrons collide and neon and xenon release photons of light when electric current is passed on.
Parameters to Compare
Now you know the technology on which these TVs operate; now it is time to compare some important factors to help you decide which TV to buy.
#1. Contrast Ratio
The picture quality of a TV is largely judged by its contrast ratio. The contrast ratio of a TV refers to its ability to reflect the high-contrast, white and black, areas on the screen. The best TV is the one that clearly differentiates between shades of black. Plasma TV undeniably has the best contrast ratio since each plasma cell gets turned off in the darker areas. While normal LCD TV just slightly dims itself, LED TV does better as its individual LEDs go into off position in darker areas.
#2. Viewing Angle
Viewing angle for a TV does matter as picture should look equally good from any angle you view it. Viewing angle is the angle at which you can watch an image on the TV. Plasma TV wins race for this parameter, followed by LED TVs. When LCD TV is viewed at odd angle, there is loss of color and detail.
When an image stays there for too long on the screen such as a channel logo, it gets etched on the screen permanently. This condition is called burn-in. However, it is not that serious an issue as it can be reduced if contrast ratio is kept at less than 50percent for the first 100 hours of viewing. Moreover, most plasma TVs have burn-in reduction feature.
Though color quality of pictures on your TV is very important factor to affect your choice, all three types really do well on this point.
Individual plasma cells can refresh themselves at faster rate and fast motion sequence is possible. Though LCD and LED TVs lack here, they are doing better with introduction of ‘HZ’ factor.
#6. Power Consumption
Since power consumption is an important issue, it is better to choose one with better energy savings. LED TV is the most efficient TV when it comes to power consumption, followed by LCD TV. Plasma TV consumes large amount of power to light its every sub-pixel.
Price tag of a product is the biggest factor that affects your decision to buy it or not. LED TV is the most expensive TV around as in some models its prices are more than double that of LCD TV.
Before summing up, have a quick look at the upside and downside of each type of TV.
|Plasma||Wide Viewing Angles, High Contrast Ratio||A slight tendency for burn-in, low resolution levels, reflective screens|
|LCD||Wide options in terms of size, high resolution than Plasma TV, no issues like Burn-in||Limited viewing angle, contrast ratio is relatively poor than Plasma TV and costs are too high for larger panels|
|LED||Ultra slim design, contrast ratio is far better than that of LCD TV, best energy efficiency||Size options are limited, not available in small sizes, limited viewing angle and most expensive of all|