The battle between plasma and LCD screens is one consumers have followed since the beginning of HDTVs, but recently it seems to have died down. If you’re looking for a new TV, how do you know which technology to purchase? Big screen TVs are a large investment, and many people stress over getting the best quality at a price they can afford. Recently this battle has had an emerging victor, but the years long war definitely isn’t over yet.
LCD technology has improved and is now becoming better than plasma, but it wasn’t always this way. Plasmas haven’t totally lost yet quite yet, either. Several years ago, plasmas were a clear victor in terms of picture quality. Plasmas have always had the ability to display deeper black colors and thus achieve a higher contrast ratio. Plasma screens are more subject to glare, so they aren’t as good for use in an area with a lot of windows, but many manufacturers are taking measures to lessen the glare. Plasmas have also traditionally dealt with fast moving images better, but LCDs are catching up. Plasma screen TVs tend to be larger and use more energy, a disadvantage that would be worth it for improved picture quality.
LCDs have improved drastically since the HDTV market first went big. The invention of LED backlighting is in large part responsible for the improvement. This has only really been used in the past few years, but is becoming very popular. LED backlights are still very expensive, but the flagship LCD TVs all use them. LEDs allow for local dimming, which allows the TV to adjust parts of the screen to be very bright while others are extremely dark. LCDs with this technology exceed plasmas in contrast ratio. They also use drastically less energy and are much thinner. Cheaper LCDs are still lacking behind their plasma screen competitors, but the high end LED backlit LCDs are way better, and are getting cheaper quickly. LEDs use an incredibly small amount of energy, and are much smaller, allowing for thinner, more environmentally friendly TVs.
If budget is no obstacle, a nice LCD TV will be your best option. Top of the line LED backlit LCD TVs offered by most manufacturers feature Internet connected apps and 3D content. Plasma screens take the middle price category, offering great picture quality at reasonable prices. At the cheapest end of the line, fluorescent lit LCD TVs offer decent technology at low prices.
Many companies, like Toshiba, make a variety of TVs at every level. LED backlit LCD TVs are improving so quickly that in a few years they’ll be both very cheap and extremely high quality. If you aren’t immediately in the market for a new TV, you may want to wait and monitor new models available from LCD makers. Currently, you’ll find many models with feature compromises allowing for access to good pictures at affordable price levels. Compare different TVs, and actually look at them yourself to find how you like a TVs picture quality.