Plasma vs LED vs LCD TVs
The most important decision when buying a new TV is the type of display: a plasma, an LED or an LCD TV. As shown by the pictures below, they all have their advantages. However, most people will prefer an LED TV unless they have a dark viewing environment.
- Best for dark rooms
- Best blacks
- No motion blur
- Not suitable for rooms with windows
- Occasional temporary image retention
- Slight buzzing noise
- Best for bright rooms
- Biggest seller
- Very bright
- Very thin and light
- Low power consumption
- Not very good blacks
- Motion blur on lower end models
- Backlight uniformity issues
- Limited viewing angle
We removed LCD TVs from the comparison because they are obsolete and practically the same as LED TVs. As explained here, an LCD TV has just a different light source behind the screen. The picture quality of an LCD TV is the same as an LED TV.
LEDs, while basically the same thing as LCDs, are the biggest sellers. Their picture quality are not as good as plasmas, but good enough for almost everyone. They also offer greater practicability and can get a lot brighter. The majority of people should opt for an LED TV. You should buy an LED TV, especially if your TV is located in a living room with a lot of windows.
Plasmas have the best picture quality hands down and are also cheaper. However, they are not very bright so they are only suitable for dark rooms. They suffer from occasional but not permanent image retention and have a slight buzzing noise on bright pictures. Go for a plasma TV if you want no compromise on the picture quality and if you will not have a heart attack each time an image retention shows up for more than 2 minutes.
The following table shows the major differences between a plasma and an LED television so you can compare them. Each difference is explained more in details in the next pages of this article.
|Average Viewing angle||70°||37°|
|Average Black Luminance||0.05 cd/m2||0.15 cd/m2|
|Average White Luminance||100 cd/m2||250 cd/m2|
|Cost||Average Cost for 40"||450$||645$|
|Average Yearly Electricty Cost for 40"||$11||$8|
|Average Weight for 40"||42 lb||27 lb|
|Market||Year introduced to general public||1997||2008|
|Sales trend||Slightly Up||Up|
|Range of sizes||Between 40" and 65"||All|
Summary table of Plasma vs LED TV comparison
Best LED TVs by Size of 20145 best 32 inch LED TVs
5 best 40-42 inch LED TVs
5 best 46-47-48 inch LED TVs
5 best 50 inch LED TVs
5 best 55 inch LED TVs
5 best 60 inch LED TVs
5 best 65 inch LED TVs
A matte screen has the advantage of reducing considerably the reflections, but it has a side effect of also diffusing the light emitted by the television. This diffusion slightly reduces the perceived quality of the picture, making it look more blurry and less sharp. This is why now most mid and high end TVs have a glossy screen. The amount of reflections will vary per model, but for most LED TVs it is very manageable. The problem is more present on lower end Plasma sets without an anti glare filter.
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