The great television debate

The great television debate

If you are looking for great technological debates of the 21st century, you don’t have to go that far. iPhone vs Blackberry, XBOX vs Playstation, Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD and PC vs Mac. There is however, another pressing argument that shows little sign of going away – plasma or LCD?
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Sport and fast-action movies tend to look their best on plasma screens

The great television debate is one that is asked in technology forums more than any other. In one corner, you have the LCD advocates who claim that the longevity, efficiency and brightness of LCD screens make them the perfect choice whilst in the other corner; the plasma TV fans argue that when it comes to pure picture quality, plasma screens win hands down.

The debate doesn’t look as if it is going to die down any time soon, especially now that LED TVs are about to step right into the middle of the argument.

So if you are looking to replace your television set, what exactly do you go for? Well, in many respects, it depends on what you want from your television set.

LED TV's are incredibly slim

Where plasma arguably has the edge is in fast moving, high action video. The refresh rates on plasmas have historically been significantly faster than on their LCD rivals, although LCD TVs have managed to close the gap somewhat. On that front, plasma is generally considered to be the better option if you are a fan of action movies, live sport or anything else that involves fast moving images. If a screen can’t keep up with the speed of the action, such as a football being hit at full strength by Wayne Rooney, you may find that you have a slightly distorted view of the action.

Of course, if you are watching the football, there’s a chance that you’ll have a few friends around for the big match at the same time and here that plasma outranks LCD and LED again. LED televisions offer a very narrow viewing angle and, although the technology is being developed constantly, they aren’t conducive to groups of people gathering round the screen. LCD’s are better but they still can’t trump plasma screens.

The ability of plasma TV’s to show colours more accurately, particularly shades of black, and the fact that plasma technology is usually found in larger screen TVs, such as this Samsung 50in plasma, makes them the screen of choice for many.

But before it starts to look like we’ve got a downer about LCD or LED TV’s, we’ll stick up for their respective strengths. Firstly, LED TV’s are incredibly slim. If you are installing your television directly to your wall, LED screens certainly have a huge advantage in the style and practicality stakes.

LCD is considered better for prolonged use

LED screens, such as this Samsung 40in LED TV also offer significant benefits when it comes to energy consumption. Independent tests by Which? magazine found that a 40in LCD screen used, on average, more than 13% more energy than a 40in LED screen, whilst a 42in plasma would, on average, use a staggering three times as much energy as a 40in LED.

LCD screens, like this Sanyo 42in LCD TV have their merits as well, particularly if you aren’t using your screen for fast paced action films or high-speed sport. For general TV viewing, and certainly for computer use, LCD is considered to be the better option thanks to its less intensive screen glare.

In simple terms, there is no outright winner in this battle. LCD and plasma both had their fans and now there is another technology muscling in to make this a three-way fight. If you are looking at a new TV, have a good think about what you are using your screen for, where you are mounting it and what size you are looking at. Apply those factors to our guide and hopefully, you have found the answer that you have been looking for.


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One Comment

  1. Posted by Mushroom on April 18, 2011

    Wow, will be popping down soon to have a look.