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LCD Vs. Plasma Buying Guide

Sep 10, 2008
Flat Panel Televisions have forever changed the way we experience video at home. From the space you can save with their sleek designs to the excellent picture quality they deliver, Flat Panel TVs offer great benefits compared to the traditional tube televisions.

Flat Panels can be mounted to your wall because of their thin and lightweight design. They can also give you a more consistent picture across the screen from top to bottom because of their perfectly flat screens. You can get a much more accurate picture on a flat panel compare to a tube television because they are digital displays, so they work by illuminating a grid of pixels. These pixels are made up of three sub pixels, which are for the color red, blue, and green. Because of this, you can have millions, or even billions of possible colors that can be displayed. The biggest drawback of buying a flat panel TV is the price associated with it, though as with almost all electronics the price is rapidly falling.

Currently Flat Panel TVs come with either an LCD or a Plasma screen. Choosing the right type of flat panel can make a significant impact on your enjoyment of the TV. It is important to think about how you will be using the flat panel before making a purchasing decision.

Below you will find a few questions our product specialists recommend our customers to think about before purchasing a flat panel television.

How big of a screen size do I want? If you plan on getting a screen less than 40 inches, then LCD is your only flat panel option. This is because Plasma TVs generally are not created in screen sizes under 40 inches.

The screen size you get should depend upon how large the room you plan to place it in is and how far you plan to sit away from it. We recommend that you sit anywhere between 1 and 2 times the size of the screen. For example have a 48-inch (4 feet) TV; the optimal viewing distance would be between 6-10 feet away.

How bright is the room I plan on placing the flat panel in? If you plan on putting the flat panel in a bright room that doesn't have blinds, than you should consider getting an LCD flat panel as their screens are less reflective to light giving you less glare.

Will I be viewing things with static (still) images on the screen? Watching programs or playing video games with a static image on the screen (like a news ticker) for long periods of time can leave you vulnerable to burn-in with Plasma televisions. This isn't an issue for LCD TVs. Though, if you plan on mainly watching movies with no static images, you should consider a Plasma TV to get more life-like colors than most LCD TVs can offer.

Do I care about the energy efficiency of the flat panel? LCD Televisions are usually much more energy efficient compare to similar Plasma TVs.

Do I want rich, warm colors displayed on the screen? Plasma TVs give you richer and warmer colors than most LCD TVs do. This makes the colors displayed on the screen more life-like. Plasmas also give you much deeper black levels.

Both types of flat panels give you excellent picture quality, and give you a much better viewing experience than would a traditional tube television. However, as we've discussed above, one type will usually fit a persons needs better than another based upon that persons TV watching/using habits.

Definitions:

Burn-In: When a monitor is left for long periods of time with one stand-alone image, the image can permeate.
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