Product Size and Cost

Although plasma is still in the lead for size, both plasmas and LCDs are becoming more readily available in larger sizes. Plasma has been and still is in the lead in terms of product size and product value. Even the ridiculously large plasma displays are quite reliable, and will be better on your pocket book than an LCD one. Pioneer, LG, Samsung and Panasonic all boast plasma TVs over 60” and the companies claim none of them have had the “kinks” found in most big screen TVs.

Large plasma displays will probably consume a lot more power  than you may be willing to pay for—like  675 watts for a 65 “display compared to 330 watts for a 42″ plasma. Even though plasma has the advantage of the lower price tag and product size, LCD is creeping up there to try to make it even with them. Production costs and retail prices have come down for both technologies giving LCD the advantage to up its game and lower its price tag, but plasmas can still be about 30% cheaper than most LCDs.

Power Consumption

LCDs are the “greener” option in this battle.  LCDs use florescent backlighting to produce images therefore requiring less power to operate than plasmas do. And just to emphasize thepower consumption difference: LCD TVs consume about half the power that plasma TVs consume. This because plasma requires a lot of electricity to light each and every little pixel you see on that screen—and that’s a lot. Plasma manufacturers have improved voltage consumption and are still working on more ways to make their plasma displays more energy efficient. Currently, they are trying to push the plasma TV consumption requirements to consume around a third more power for the same size display.

So which flat panel HDTV is right for you? Let’s put it this way…

If you like plasma HDTVs, then you like…

  • Rich, warm colors and deep black levels
  • Affordably priced displays—plasmas usually have lower price tags and have larger screen sizes
  • Wide viewing angles—plasmas are often considered to have better “film-like” viewing quality
  • Dull lighting in your viewing room—plasma screens are more likely to reflect room lighting, so it’s important to have control over the amount of light in your viewing room
  • Watching TV shows and playing video games for only a few hours at a time— with plasmas, although highly unlikely with current models, the possibility of screen burn-in still exists, so careful when watching shows or playing games with static images for more than 4 hours at a time.

Or

If you like LCD TVs, then you like…

  • To watch multiple, consecutive hours of TV shows or movies, and could spend days playing video games.
  • To watch daytime TV or movies during the day—LCD screens have a matte finish, making them pros at resisting glare and making it easy to watch TV or movies in a bright, day-lit room without much reflection.
  • To be green—LCD TVs are usually more energy efficient than plasmas.