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Plasma vs LED vs LCD TVs

Updated Feb 15, 2014 By Cedric Demers

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.

Plasma
Plasma TV Plasma TV
Samsung F5300 Plasma TV
  • Best for dark rooms
  • Cheaper
  • Best blacks
  • No motion blur
  • Not suitable for rooms with windows
  • Occasional temporary image retention
  • Bulkier
  • Slight buzzing noise
LED
LED TV LED TV
LG LN5400 LED TV
  • 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
LCD

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 best LED TV for the money that we tested this year is the Samsung H6350.
While the best plasma TV for the price that we reviewed this year is the Panasonic ST60, it is now out of stock almost everywhere. The Samsung F8500 or the cheaper Samsung F5300 are great alternatives.

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.

Plasma LED
Picture
Quality
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
Colors Good Good
Motion Blur Best Great
Cost Average Cost for 40" 450$ 645$
Longevity Good Best
Average Yearly Electricty Cost for 40" $11 $8
Form Average Thickness 2.5" 1.8"
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
A lot of people are wondering why LED TVs sell more even though they don't have an as good picture quality. Most people have bright living rooms, not a dedicated dark room. LEDs perform better in this kind of environment because they can get significantly brighter.

Questions

Mar 19 2013
I am looking for a 60 - 70" for living room with lots of windows. I watch sports and some movies and will be mounting it on the wall. My concerns are glare, motion blur and TV thickness. Cost is not a main concern. How do I choose between plasma and lcd?
Due to your room full of windows, go for an LED. It will be a lot brighter than a plasma and with less glare (check out the reflection pictures of the 2014 models that we reviewed). Motion blur will not be an issue if you go for a top model.
86
Nov 30 2012
Why does a LED TV looks so much better in a store than a Plasma TV?
The lights in a retail store are usually really bright, so to compensate and sell more TVs, the store brings the brightness of their TVs to the max. A very bright TV in a store will make it "pop", which translate into increased sales. Because Plasma TVs cannot be as bright as an LED TV, they will often look fade in comparison to an LED TV in a store. Keep in mind that in a retail store environment, you cannot see the LED TV biggest flaw: poor blacks. Once it is in your living room at night and you turn down that brightness, you should start seeing the difference.
51
Dec 04 2012
Are burn-ins still an issue with Plasma TVs like it was at the beginning?
Permanent burn-ins are not an issue anymore. However, temporary ones can still occur (as shown here). If you will have a heart attack every time a logo stays on more than 5 seconds, buy an LED TV instead.
42
Apr 02 2013
If plasmas's have better black levels and picture quality compared to an led tv, why aren't more people opting for the plasma technology? In my country, like just as the rest of Asia, 9 out of 10 of all TVs sold is an led/lcd. Even on the internet mostly everybody is talking about whether to buy a 46" lcd of x company or y company and there is absolutely no mention of plasma TVs. Agreed, there are fewer companies and fewer sizes available, but why not go for a 50" plasma instead of a 46" led which one could get for around the same price?
Picture quality is not the top priority for most people (even if this is what they claim). The truth is, LEDs have a good enough picture quality for the majority of people. LEDs are thinner and creates more of a wow factor in a retail environment due to their higher brightness. Also, LEDs are a lot brighter so more suitable for a normal living room setting (plasmas are better for basement type rooms). Plasma is more affected by image retention and even though it is very rarely permanent, it does scare people off. For all these reasons, LEDs are indeed the best choice for 90% of the population. Plasmas are more for videophiles.
42
Nov 30 2012
I can't stand the poor blacks and the poor backlight uniformity of a LED, but I am also afraid of image retention on a Plasma. What should I do?
Unfortunately, only the very high end LED TVs can offer blacks and uniformity that are close to Plasma TVs, but even them are not perfect. You should not be as much worried about image retention issues on a Plasma, it does happen from time to time, but it will usually go away within minutes.
25
Jan 10 2013
What is the difference between neo-plasma and plasma? Is neo-plasma better or LED TV?
Neo Plasma is Panasonic's marketing name for their new plasmas panels introduced since 2009. It is present in their top 3 models for 2012: ST50, GT50 and VT50. They have better blacks than their standard panels, but a few people reported an increase occurrence of temporary image retention on them. As for if it is better than LED, you can just consider Neo Plasma as a Plasma TV and follow this guide.
25
Dec 06 2012
I do not want to think about it, which one should I get?
The majority is opting for LED, so this is your safest bet. It should satisfy almost everybody.
21
Mar 25 2013
What is the risk of leaving a plasma ON all the time compared to an led? I'm looking at a 50" Panasonic plasma because I do a lot of gaming, so I want the 600hz refresh rate. Ambient lighting is not a big problem. I also do not want to watch a movie and it feel like I'm watching a soap opera, I want it to look and feel like an action packed movie, I don't want it to seem like I'm standing there IN the movie.
Both a plasma and led TV could end up with image retention if it stays on all the time. Plasma will be worse though, so if you intend to do that you should go for an led. About the soap opera effect, you can always turn that option off if you do not like it.
20
May 16 2013
I keep seeing that the Samsung PN60F5500 plasma has a pentile display and is not true full 1080p. Is that true and should I steer clear of that display?
Pentile display is not as bad as it seems. Yes, it doesn't have the full resolution with all colors, but it does with the important ones. Unless you are sitting really close to the TV, you will most likely not see the difference. We haven't seen the PN60F5500 yet in person so cannot comment on if it is pentile or not, but the PN51F5500 that we tested was not pentile (see the close up of the pixels in our review).
20
Apr 16 2013
I am looking to get a new TV for my new home. I currently have a 50" plasma which I put in the bedroom. I am looking for at 65" or 70". I like plasma but the cost seems to get pretty high at that size. Any thoughts on Vizio versus Sharp for the larger sizes? I watch a lot of financial news and movies.
Vizio and Sharp are more barebone TVs with limited extra features. They are a great value overall especially for the size. They may not have the best picture quality (except for the Sharp Elite series), but it should be more than enough for the average person. As for the comparison between them, it will mostly depend on the actual model being compared.
15
Apr 18 2013
I have a living room, no overhead lighting, and two normal size windows. Was considering an LG - 50" Class 1080P 600Hz Plasma HDTV. We mostly watch movies, little T.V. Thoughts?
It depends on the actual model number and price. Usually though, for a plasma, Samsung and Panasonic offer better price/quality ratios than LG.
14
May 03 2013
I love the realistic image quality of high-end Panasonic Plasma and I watch movies most of the time. Unfortunately, the new 65 inch TV I intend to buy is for my living room with lots of windows. Would I be disappointed with the latest Samsung LED?
It depends on how picky you are. During day time, you will more likely prefer the Samsung LED. At night though and when watching dark scenes, you could be bothered by the far from perfect blacks. If budget is not an issue, check out the Samsung F8500 plasma. Its blacks are very good (although not exactly like the Panasonic VT60), but it can get even brighter (almost as bright as LEDs).
13
Apr 21 2013
I am really leaning towards a Panasonic Plasma, maybe the ST60 series, for my dark basement living room. I was talking to a tv repairman today, he advises against plasmas, claims they run hot and have shorter lifespans than LEDs. I do watch a lot of dvds and on some weekends the tv stays on pretty much all weekend, especially in the winter and anytime the weather is wet or cold outside. I would like a tv that can make it ten years, would I be foolish to go with plasma? Not necessarily opposed to LEDs, just know plasmas give the best picture in dark rooms like mine.
They indeed run significantly hotter than LEDs. Technically, plasmas do have shorter lifespan than LEDs, but in practice it wouldn't matter. Both should last over 10 years and they are more likely to break from either accidental causes (like moving it) or electrical component failure (common to both) than the actual panel wear. Unless, of course, you intend to leave it on 24/7 (like airport monitors).
12
Jul 13 2012
What about OLED TVs?
The OLED technology has the potential to dominate all the other technologies. It has all the convenience of LCD/LED, with the contrast of the plasma. Unfortunately, it is not widely available yet. Only very big and very expensive OLED televisions are currently available to general public. We will update this guide once it reaches a more mainstream market.
11
Feb 04 2013
LG Cinema Screen 47LM6700 vs. 47LM7600 and 47LM8600. Is there a remarkable difference between these models to be taken into account?
Yes there is a difference, but it is not something we would qualify as remarkable. It mostly depends on how you value your money vs a slight improvement of quality. Unless you are very picky, go for the 47LM6700. If you are willing to spend more, your money will be better spent increasing the size instead.
10
Apr 16 2013
Basement/den needs a tv. Not much light. We watch a lot of dvds and often play video games. Also, the tv will be used for watching a variety of television programs. 50" or bigger. Price is a factor.
Because you have no window, you should get a plasma. Panasonic ST60 is one of the best price/quality ratio plasma available (or its 2012 equivalent, the ST50). If the price is too much for you, the step down version, S60, is also a good alternative. The main differences are no anti-glare filter, no 3D and a slightly less good panel (but still very good).
10
Apr 20 2013
I am looking to buy a TV for my basement that I will use for gaming, movies, and sports. I am hoping for a 50". Price is a little concern. What do I get?
It depends on your actual budget and preferences. Because it is for a basement, glare will not be an issue for a plasma. If there are no windows, you could even get one without an anti glare filter, such as the Panasonic S60.
9
May 25 2013
I have a Samsung 51 inch plasma tv that was recently hit and broken by a friend's child. I have had no problems with the tv otherwise and wouldn't mind buying the same tv, however, I'm worried about it being broken again easily. Are LED tvs any harder to break from an impact or are they all about the same?
They are about the same for resisting impacts, especially now that most LED TVs also have a glass panel. Older/lower end models have a matte screen which could behave differently to an impact (they are soft to the touch). However, I doubt any of them would resist to a big impact, they would just not shatter like glass. If you are really worried about that, you could always buy a separate protector (google search TV screen protector). They are not pretty but get the job done. Also, make sure the TV can't fall off your table by mounting it to the wall.
9
Sep 18 2013
Which Samsung TV is better F8000 or F8500 for a living room with windows?
Both are really good in their respective category. If you have a lot of windows in your room and watch TV during the day, I would go for the F8000.
9
Feb 25 2013
I just purchased a refurbished 26" flat screen TV. I really do not know much about it. Like, for example, whether it is a LCD or PLASMA TV. My question is how do I tell the difference?
On older models, an easy test is to touch the screen. If it is soft and bend, it is an LCD. If it is hard as a glass, it is a plasma. This test is only true for older models though, because now manufacturers sometimes put a glass panel even on an LCD/LED. In your case, it is most likely an LCD due to the size; there are very few plasma of that size, if any.
8
Feb 03 2013
I am told that the plasma TVs may need to be recharged. As you can see I am not really sure what I am talking about in that I am still using a Toshiba 36" TV. Any truth to the recharging? Thanks. Bob
No, plasma TVs do not need to be recharged. The phosphor in a cell of a pixel on a Plasma TV does wear out slightly over time. It cannot be refilled, but you shouldn't worry about that because the other electronics parts will die long before the phosphor.
7
Jan 10 2013
I live in a hot climate during the summer months which turns very cold in the winter months. Will this have an effect on a plasma tv and how long should I truly expect a plasma to last in these conditions? I heard heat affects plasmas.
All electronics are affected by heat and have a reduced lifetime if they get too hot. The reason you probably heard Plasmas are affected more by heat is that they generate more heat themselves than an LED TV. Most plasmas even have little fans inside to help dissipate the heat. If you room goes more than 40 °C (104 °F) for a Plasma or 50 °C (122 °F) for an LED, we suggest that you do not use your TV (it depends on the actual model though, some generates more heat than others). Leaving it turned off is not a problem above these. Using your TV under these temperatures will have little effect on the lifetime, the actual model will have a lot more impact. As for the cold, unless your room goes below 0 °C (32 °F), do not worry about it. The main thing that affects electronics in the cold is condensation.
6
Mar 25 2013
In the store, I noticed that moving panorama scenes freezing a little on LCD TVs (as on my computer). Is it problem with LCD TVs or it depends on content and in this case, there are no difference between plasma and LCD?
It depends what you mean by freezing. Most likely, you are referring to the frames in the video footage. This is caused by the content, so no difference between plasma and LCD. For example, a movie is normally filmed at 24 frames per second, which is clearly visible if you look for it. If you do not like that, some TVs support motion interpolation which creates fake frames to add in between to smooth everything (see the refresh rate article).
6
Apr 01 2013
I am looking for a TV for bedroom usage. I was thinking about 42 in plasma? Is this good a choice?
For a bedroom, a plasma is a good choice. TVs in a bedroom are mostly watched at night so the glare and lower luminosity of a plasma will not be a problem.
6
May 15 2013
I'm looking at the new samsung pn60f5500 plasma for my basement. Seems like a lot of people talking about Panasonic's but i've heard the Samsung are just as good for picture quality and have less image retention issues. Is that true?
Both are really good Plasma TV brands. You will not be disappointed with either of them. Panasonic do have better picture quality (mostly from the deeper blacks) but the difference isn't big. The same is true for image retention, it is more common on Panasonic but by only a slight margin. Choosing between the two brands is mostly splitting hairs.
6
Jul 30 2013
I live in a very hot climate. Does it effects led tv?
Because LED TVs do not generate a lot of heat, they are not different than any other electronics. This means you don't have to worry about it unless you put your TV in a very enclosed furniture.
6
Aug 06 2013
I want a 32" tv with a lovely crisp picture which one should I go for?
There are not a lot of options in the 32" size. If you will be watching it alone and directly in front of it (not at an angle), get the Sony R400. If not, the LG LN530B has a better viewing angle but less contrast.
6
Jan 25 2013
Which technology (lcd, led or plasma) is best for a TV used in a lobby?
Usually, lobbies are well lit rooms and not a dedicated TV area. You will appreciate a lot more the high brightness of an LCD/LED over the deep blacks of a Plasma in such environment. As for an LCD vs an LED, they are basically the same technology as mentioned in this article; they are just at a different price point.
5
Aug 01 2013
I have a living room 20ft length by 17.5 wide, 9ft ceilings with 3 big windows on the left. I would like to mount the tv over the fire place, either a 65/75in tv. I'm leaning towards an LED but worried about viewing angle when we host parties. Do you recommend LED or plasma?
You should go for an IPS LED panel, they have a greater viewing angle (but at the cost of a lower contrast). You can found these in LG and Panasonic TVs. Samsung TVs offer better blacks, but they also have a more limited viewing angle.
4
Sep 08 2013
I recently bought a Dynex 60". Sound was terrible compared to my older sony 55". Are the speakers in all TV's now made for surround systems?
Almost yes. The problem is the manufacturers care more about the thickness of the TV than the sound. It is also a good way to reduce cost. If you really care about sound, you need to buy at least a sound bar.
4
Jan 12 2014
I have a 51" Samsung plasma (pn51e550) I believe. I bought it in 2012 and I'm wondering weather a 2013/2014 led might give me a better picture and better 3d. I use the set in my basement mostly watching movies, some sports and occasional ps3 game. Any thoughts? I have read recent reviews that don't give the Samsung the greatest reviews.
No, your TV is pretty good already, better than most LED TVs even of today (besides for 3D).
4
Jan 28 2013
The LG Cinema Screen 47LM6700 has a very attractive design for a television, glass from edge to edge. However it has no visible black TV frame like most other TVs in the market. Isn't this hampering the visual contrast in a day-lighted room? Is the reflective issue of its glossy screen a sufferable issue? By the way, your extensive clarification of LCD vs LED vs Plasma is extremely helpful for laymen buying a new and modern TV set!
It would depend on the color of your wall and the surrounding of the television. While I wouldn't say it decrease the perceived contrast, it does make your eye wander more because there isn't a clear separation of the picture. I am sure you will get used to it though.
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.
3
May 18 2013
I game a lot and am thinking of buying a 50 inch plasma Tv since it will be in my basement. Would image retention be much of a problem if I play around 5 hours at once every week and also watch movies, or should I get an LED since I will also be using it instead of buying a computer monitor for my gaming PC?
It depends on your actual unit, but you will probably notice some temporary image retention from time to time. Plasmas are great for gaming because they handle motion way better than LEDs, but you do have to live with the occasional retention. If you do plan on using it as a computer monitor a lot, we do suggest to go with an LED instead.
3
Dec 09 2013
What type of TV should I get for my living room with one big window and watch during the day and night?
Go for an LED. They get brighter and there is also less glare.
3
Dec 13 2012
I am planning to go for a passive >45" 3d led tv. Which one do you suggest?
The one with arguably the best performance to price ratio is the LM6700. If you want something a little more affordable, go for the M3D KD. Vizio is a little bit more a value brand than LG, but for the price they are hard to beat.
2
Apr 20 2013
I am looking to buy the new 2013 panasonic 47" Class SMART VIERA WT60 Series LED TV. I do a lot a gaming with my PS3. Will motion blur or anything else be a issue for gaming with the LED or should i go with panasonic 2013 plasma VT60? I know panasonic fixed a lot of issues from last years LED tv such as the black level uniformity.
If you really look for it, yes you can see some minor blur. Most people do not get bother by that though because it is not noticeable on normal viewing. The VT60 is a beast. Get it if you are even considering it and if it is within your budget, the picture quality is miles ahead of any LED. Its only real downside is the slight buzzing noise (common to all plasmas).
2
Jul 06 2013
I am looking to buy a 50 inch tv, and I cannot decide between plasma and led. I will be using it for movies and gaming (mostly in the evening).
Because you will mostly watch it in the evening, you should get a plasma. Glare and lower luminosity won't be an issue in the evening and the better picture quality would be worth it.
2
Sep 14 2013
Should I buy a Plasma if I am only going to watch movies at night?
Yes, plasma have a darker image so they are more suitable at night.
2
Sep 25 2013
Thanks for your advice here, it is very informative and useful. I've been saving for age to get a 3D 50" tv (Panasonic TX-L50ET60B was top of the list), but will use it more for gaming (an hour or so a day), and for movies (a movie or two a week). I occasionally watch tv, but not often. I wondered whether either the plasma or LED units are better for gaming regarding response times? I thought i'd heard that LED are sluggish and can feel 'disconnected' from the game? I use a 42" plasma at the moment which i'm happy with, and don't get bothered by an occasional image retention.
There are 2 things that matters for gaming: input lag and response time. Input lag is the time it takes for the picture to start appearing on the screen starting when the source outputs it. There is not a real difference for this between a plasma and an LED, it varies on a per model basis (check out our article listing all input lags that we tested). Response time is the time it takes for the screen to switch completely to the next frame (check out all our videos of motion blur tests for 2013 models). While plasmas are definitively better for the response time, the majority of people would not be able to tell the difference.
2
Sep 28 2013
I recently bought LG 47la6900. I love the TV for its features, except that CFL light in front of TV give rainbow reflections. Is this due to glossy screen? Do you know of any other LG/Samsung TV with same features but matte screen?
Check out our article about reflections. You will see that this is pretty common. All LEDs do this at various degrees.
2
Oct 16 2013
Are you saying that you can't watch a plasma tv with the lights on?
It depends on the model and how much lights. Entry level models do not have an anti glare filter, so they are really reflective. A small light is OK with them. Mid to high level models have very little reflections, but they still can't get very bright. These will work in a standard living room with a window. Check out the pictures that we took under lights to have an idea.
2
Nov 04 2013
I am looking for a 60 or 65 inch tv for my basement. I installed high hat lighting capable of being dimmed and have only one small window not near the position of the tv. I watch mostly sports and throw in some blu rays here and there. I don't care about features on a tv I never use them. I am only concerned with picture quality and keeping the price around or under $1500. I am thinking Panasonic plasma S60 or ST60, or a Samsung LED 6000 series?
If you are comfortable with the downsides of a plasma, definitely get one. It is perfect for a basement like yours with controlled lightning. As for which one, it depends on how you value picture quality vs size. The 65" S60 is about the same price as the 60" ST60. The biggest difference between the two is the anti glare filter. In your setup, it will make only a slight difference. The other noteworthy difference is in term of motion. While the S60 handles motion good enough for common people, the ST60 handles it better. So it is a tough call, but personally I would sacrifices 5" for the difference.
2
Dec 21 2013
Your review says the Samsung Plasma F4500 has a motion blur rating of 6.0 and the Samsung LED FH6030 has a motion blur rating of 6.5? So in this case the LED is better than the plasma? That's with or without the motion smoothing turned on? I was trying to decide between these two TVs. I'm concerned about glare on the plasma screen. I can close Venetian Blinds on the sliding glass door in the living room during the daytime, but some sun light will leak through between the blinds slats onto the back wall on the opposite side of the room from where the TV will be placed.
This is with the motion interpolation turned off. If you are concerned about glare, definitely get the LED.
2
Jan 02 2014
My house is an open floor plan design with the TV in the center. The sun rise on the back side which I has several average size windows and the sun sets on the front, which has tall long windows that beams sunlight. What TV is the best for this room situation?
You probably need a TV with a wide viewing angle and low reflections. Check out the LG LN5400.
2
May 28 2013
What are the qualities of LED over plasma which makes it costly than plasma? I am looking a TV for my living room which has windows. A 43in plasma is much cheaper than 40in LED but I am interested in buying the LED. What do you suggest?
The higher cost just means that the technology is pricier to produce in large quantities. LED is more suitable for rooms with a lot of windows because it usually has less reflections and the picture can be brighter. So in your case, you should opt for an LED if the price isn't out of reach.
1
Jun 13 2013
I use solar power for my energy requirements at home. My connection cannot withstand heavy energy consumers. Which TV can you recommend?
You should go for an LED if you are really tight on power consumption. The energy consumption is about proportionate to the size; the smaller the model, the better.
1
Jul 29 2013
I am looking at a 60" 3D HDTV. I am leaning to plasma. Since our TV is on 10-12 hours per day, can you give a ballpark percentage difference in power consumption between plasma and LED LCD (used in low ambient lighting and assuming same content, mostly off air SD and HD) ?
It would be about 185$ vs 60$ for an LED. Keep in mind though that is the worst case scenario of displaying really bright content on a plasma, because their power consumption change depending on the brightness of the picture displayed. Check out our calculator for more info.
1
Aug 02 2013
We are in Australia. Do you know anything about Hisense TV brand which offer a 3 year warranty?
Unfortunately, we do not cover HiSense. These kind of third party electronics usually buy their panels from the overstock of LG or Samsung of the previous years.
1
Aug 11 2013
I currently have a 42" 720p plasma from 2008. I want to upgrade to a 60+" from this year, but I'm having trouble deciding if I should settle for a low end, name brand plasma or spend extra for something like the ST60. Is it really that much better? Most review sites do a great job of comparing models of the same year, but it would be nice to have a section like "How it compares to models from 5 years ago".
Contrary to LED TVs, the plasma technology improved a lot in the last few years. The biggest improvement is in term of blacks. There is a noticeable difference between a mid end 2008 plasma and a mid end 2013 one.
1
Sep 12 2013
I'm looking to buy a 42" for a room with a lot of windows. I'm assuming LED would be the better choice, but any preference about which model or brand in that size?
Check out our reviews of TVs in this size. As a rule of thumb, Samsung and Sony offer great contrast but poor viewing angle. LG and Panasonic are the inverse, great viewing angle but poor contrast.
1
Sep 16 2013
In one of your responses to a question concerning sound, you recommended buying a "sound bar". What is that? I have found the sound quality in the new thin TV's to be extremely poor. What is the best way to obtain acceptable sound?
It is a compact form of a surround sound system. It is called that way because it looks just like a horizontal bar, that you usually put below or above your TV. The main advantage over a real surround sound system is the easier installation, just a box next to your TV compared to 5 speakers around you. Obviously, the sound is not as good as a real sound system, but it is a nice improvement over the TV built-in sound.
1
Sep 27 2013
Is a plasma ok with a lamp on? Nothing to bright but sometimes you can't always watch in a darkened room. The light would be in line or behind the plasma.
Usually yes. Check out pictures of all models that we tested with a light on here.
1
Nov 01 2013
I want to buy a TV specifically for gaming and for watching HD movies, I would usually keep it on for a long time as I want to connect my Mac with it as well. Energy consumption is not an issue, however, as far as plasmas go, I'm worried about the image retention you've mentioned, The lighting in the room can be controlled. How should I go about this?
If you want to use it as a computer monitor, you should opt for an LED. There are a lot of static content on a computer monitor (bar at the bottom and top for example), so it will be more prone to image retention.
1
Nov 03 2013
I am considering a 55" LED to be mounted 12 feet from where I will sit. I'm concerned that the picture may not be as sharp at the 75 degrees versus a 90 degree angle. Should I be?
It depends on the model. If you get a Samsung, it is border line. The colors will be slightly washed out at that angle. If you get an LG though, you should have no problem. Check out our videos of viewing angle here (although they are horizontals).
1
Nov 15 2013
I am looking to get a new TV for my living room, it's a one window room though it will have curtains and most of the time the TV will be used at late afternoon / night with some kind of dim background light. It will be connected to my Cable Box, PS3 and XBMC-PC with the usage being: 60% watching tv shows/movies from HTPC, 15% web browsing, 15% cable TV (mostly sports), 10% PS3 gaming. I'm definitely looking for something in the 60" range and i'm inclined towards PLASMA but still unsure. I don't care for SMART TV and such features since it's gonna be connected to a computer anyhow. My main concern is possible image retention and heat issues, with weight not being an issue.
Due to your usage, image retention shouldn't be a concern. It is mostly problematic when using the TV primary as a PC monitor. A channel's logo might stays for a few seconds sometimes, but nothing to worry about. As for the heat, a 55" plasma generates about 125W, which is in the small ballpark as a small desktop PC. If you want a plasma, check out the Panasonic ST60. Otherwise, as a rule of thumb any Samsung LED (like the FH6030) is good if you do not need a wide viewing angle (otherwise, go for an LG).
1
Nov 21 2013
We are considering both LED and plasma but don't know what to go for. Our budget is around $1700. Our living room is bright during the day, however mostly used at night. We watch mostly TV and soccer with a film or two at weekends. Leaning towards Samsung and Panasonic. Can you help us choose !
For that price, the best overall LED is the Samsung UN60F6300 and the best plasma is the Panasonic TC-P60ST60. Both are great for their type, so it really depends on whether you want a LED or plasma. The ST60 has the best picture quality, but you need to accept the downsides of plasma which includes a slight buzzing sound and more prone to temporary image retention. Also, it doesn't get as bright as the Samsung F6300 (it has less reflections though).
1
Dec 06 2013
I'm concerned about viewing angle. We have an L-shaped couch and family members sit in various spots around the couch. Is this really a problem with LEDs?
It depends on the model. Check out our tests videos of the viewing angle of various LEDs here.
1
Feb 21 2014
I am thinking about buying an LCD or a plasma tv (75 or 80 inch) in my indoor pool room with at least 80% humidity. What do you suggest?
The maximum size for a plasma is 65 inch, so you will have to go for an LED.
1
Apr 14 2014
Do Sharp's four colour make any difference in any aspects?
It increases slightly the color gamut but most people won't see a difference in day to day usage.
1
May 20 2014
Why does your power consumption in the comparison say $45(plasma) vs. $15(LED), when your own power estimator says they should be ~$11 and ~$8 for a 40" display, respectively? Using your power estimator you linked above, it would take a 72" screen to get to the $45 annual cost stated for a 40" display in your comparison. Could you please update one or the other this to reflect the proper power consumption of these TVs?
Thanks for pointing this error. We forgot the table when we updated the numbers to 2014. It is fixed now.
1
Jul 13 2014
I am looking for a TV for outside plasma or led-LCD. My climate here in darwin Australia is similar to Houston TX.
Go for an LED, because it can get brighter. A semi-gloss finish will work also better for the reflections, so the Samsung H6350 is a good choice.
1
Sep 19 2014
I have recently purchased a second hand Samsung PS-42p3s plasma tv. It was purchased by the owner around 2006 end. Worried about it would last longer? It is running well now. What should I do so for its longevity?
Is there any image burn in/retention? If not, it could still run a few years. 8 years is already a long time for a TV though. But as long as you don't set the luminosity to the max, it could still be good for a few more.
1
Sep 25 2014
I want to buy a Samsung Plasma TV 51 inches. Is there a big diference in picture quality between PN51F5300 VS PN51F8500? I'm more concern about picture quality than any other features.
The difference is big. The black level is about the same, but the F8500 can get more than twice as bright. It also has an anti-glare filter and it flickers less. If you can afford it, you won't regret upgrading to the F8500.
1
Jul 10 2013
I have a basement which I have converted to a home theatre room, so no windows. I am trying to decide between the Samsung 75 inch led UN75F6400AF and a Samsung PN64F8500AF Plasma. Specifically trying to trade off the larger screen size with the LED vs the better picture quality with the plasma particularly in a dark environment. Mainly be watching Movies and sport and sitting 3.5 -3.8 meters away from the TV with no real viewing angle issues. Would it be better to have a bigger screen ?
Only you can answer this because it is a matter of personal preference. The picture quality difference is quite big, but for the majority of people, the F6400 is more than good enough. The difference in size is also quite noticeable. If you were using it in a living room, I would have said to go for the bigger one, but because you have a dedicated room, you should really take advantage of it and go for the best picture quality. The picture quality difference is even more pronounced in a controlled light environment.
0
Jul 22 2013
How do I find a TV that is 1080p/24 Compatible? I have a video camera that records 1080p at 24p frames per second (23.98fps) How can I be sure the TV I buy can display this video nativity?
Look for the specification called "24p playback" or "3:3 pulldown" (in the settings menu, it is sometimes called Smooth Cinema or CineMotion). Most 2013 models have this option now. Check our our article here for more info about this.
0
Jul 30 2013
What do you think of the PS64F8500 Samsung Plasma?
Its a very good plasma. Compared to the Panasonic VT60 (its main competitor), it is a lot brighter but its blacks are not nearly as good (still very good though). The F8500 also has a better smart TV platform.
0
Aug 08 2013
A clerk at my local TV shop claims that Panasonic TV's generally has higher quality parts than Samsung, thus indicating a longer life expectancy for the Panasonic. What is your view on this subject ?
That was true a few years ago. Samsung even got a class action lawsuit against them for cheap capacitors. Now, Samsung learned from their mistake and the quality is about the same.
0
Aug 26 2013
I currently have a 42" samsung plasma in my living room and i want to add a 2nd television to the same room so i can watch 2 games at once. Without money being an issue i want to purchase a 3d tv about the same size but no bigger than 50". Should i go with LED or Plasma? I watch a lot of sports and my living room is fairly dark due to my curtains and me blocking out the sun. What 3d tv would you recommend and should I go LED or Plasma?
Will there be a lot of people watching 3D at the same time? If so, get an LED with passive 3D (like LG). The glasses are a lot cheaper and there is no flickering, but the resolution is cut in half. Otherwise, active 3D is better on plasmas because they can refresh a lot faster, so there is less crosstalk.
0
Aug 26 2013
What is the best tv nowadays that focuses on picture quality and not smart features in a $1500 budget and 55 inch maximum.
It depends on your room and personal preference, but if I have to say one under $1500 and 55" it would be the Panasonic ST60.
0
Sep 15 2013
Bought a 42 inch plasma for the basement. It gets kinda cold in the winter. Will the plasma be ok down there?
It depends how cold it gets and if it is in used during that time. The operating temperature range is usually 50°F to 104°F (10°C to 40°C). The storage temperature -4°F to 113°F (-20°C to 45°C). As for humidity, operating: 10% to 80% and storage: 5% to 95%.
0
Sep 17 2013
I am looking to place a TV outside with some surrounding glare. Would you advise plasma or LCD?
For an outside TV, LED would be a better choice due to the high luminosity required. Check out our page on reflections to see pictures of all models that we tested under a bright environment.
0
Oct 05 2013
We bought an 72" plasma TV for our game room ( has only one window ) we have loved it. Recently the picture went out. 2007 model samsung, I have been told that I can purchase a picture tube and replace it myself. Is this a good idea or should I just break down and buy a new one?
Short answer: you can't fix it yourself, go buy a new one. A lot of things can cause the picture to go out, so it is hard finding the exact cause. Long answer: it depends on your knowledge of electronics. Do you know how to solder electronics components? Can you read a schematic? Could you figure out which exact component has failed given a multimeter? And most importantly, will you have fun learning and fixing it? For most people, it is not worth the time, hassle and risk. But if you see it as a hobby, go for it and have fun.
0
Oct 10 2013
I am looking for a 60inch TV for my firm's lobby area. I will be running advertisements, about us, meet our team, company logo etc, on the TV. It is not surrounded by windows but has lights. What is best Plasma or LCD/LED?
Definitely LED in this case due to lower image retention. Also, try going for a IPS panel (LG or Panasonic usually). It has a wider viewing angle which is useful in your setting. The downside is lower contrast, but you do not need good contrast in an office's lobby.
0
Oct 26 2013
I want to purchase a tv. I am very confuse. I don't know which one to purchase plasma or LED. I would be using it for gaming and watching movies at nights and morning. I have a lot of windows in my tv room and I live in a very hot country.
Because you have a lot of windows, go for a LED. It usually has less reflections and can get brighter.
0
Nov 10 2013
I am looking at getting a TV for gaming in my bedroom. I have curtains so light is not really a factor. I will be about 10 feet from the TV. Is a 50 inch too big? Is an LCD or Plasma better?
50" isn't too big for 10 feet (check out this article to know why). If you can control your light, go for a plasma.
0
Nov 12 2013
I am torn on which is better for me it will be primarily used for my computer and video games as well as sports events. I am looking at an led but am starting to lean towards a plasma.
If you will be using it as a computer monitor, you are better with an LED. It is risky to use a plasma in such a way due to image retention issues (a computer picture has a lot of static images, like the toolbar).
0
Nov 17 2013
How many hours or gaming (Black Ops 2) would cause serious image retention on a Panasonic 50 inch Plasma TV?
It is hard to tell. What will most likely happen is after a long gaming session (like 5+ hours), some HUD elements like the minimap or the ammo count will stays on the screen for a few minutes, going away slowly.
0
Nov 17 2013
Does the Samsung ps43f4900ar 3d plasma tv generate lot of heat or not? Is the heat unbearable if I sit near the tv? Can the heat be totally reduced if I decrease the bright level to the the minimum?
Worse case, at full brightness, displaying a white screen will produce 200W of heat on this TV. This is the equivalent of a small desktop computer, or a little more than 3 light bulb of 60W. If you reduce the brightness and watch normal TV, it is of course less than that.
0
Nov 22 2013
I have an LG 60PZ850, and despite being a bit of a dinosaur (manufactured in Sep 2011) I would love to hear your opinion in terms of its picture quality (standard + 3D), and how it was received when it was launched.
The picture quality was average for a plasma (still better than LEDs of course). 3D at that time was also average and compared to now it is below average. As a rule of thumb, LG plasma TVs don't have a picture quality as good as Samsung or Panasonic plasmas. However, if it is still working, I wouldn't buy a new one this year. While it would be an improvement, it is still somewhat in the same ballpark.
0
Nov 29 2013
Looking for a TV for our living room. It has four windows (two have blinds, the other two are 10-15 feet high without blinds) which makes me think a LED would be best. However, given that the room is awkwardly configured, i'm worried about the viewing angles of an LED. Will mostly be watching TV, sports, and the odd movie. Looking to spend around $500-700 Any advice?
If you need a wide viewing angle and have a bright room, check out the LN5400.
0
Jan 11 2014
I have quite a dim room with few lamps but no windows, should I get the cheapest plasma around 450$ 43inch or 40 inch led with that budget? The viewer is an old man with kinda blurry eyes.
For your blurry eyes, do you prefer a brighter display? If so, go for an LED. If you do not need a bright display, get a plasma, it has better picture quality.
0
Jan 24 2014
Why do TVs need updating via a USB device? I'm not to good with PCs and I worry if I don't update it, I won't get the best from my expensive new tv.
It is mostly due to legacy reasons from when TVs where not connected to the internet. Firmware updates are really rare for TVs so you are not missing a lot by not updating it.
0
Feb 02 2014
I have a Samsung UN65f7100 LED. What are the optimum settings for watching regular TV shows vs Blu-ray movies vs fast moving sports? I dislike SOE and cannot find the right setting for whatever I'm watching. Not sure what to set LCD clear motion or digital clean view, or noise filter. Also don't know what to set blur reduction and judder to. In particular, watching hockey is an issue. Often on TV shows, the audio doesn't seem synced with the lips.
For Samsung LEDs, we always set them in Movie Mode and the Warm2 color tone. If you do not like the soap opera effect, disable the blur reduction/judder option. Also, we prefer disabling any noise reduction processing, like the noise filter. These options 'soften' too much the image. If you set the same settings as us, you shouldn't notice any delay in the audio because most time consuming processing will be off, thus reducing the delay to a minimum.
0
Feb 02 2014
I want to buy a TV to my parents house! About 50" or 55". They are old and can't see very well, also, they like to watch TV on Sundays mornings, and every night with the lights on. A LED tv is a better option right? Which led has a good wide angle to watch as well?
Yes, go for an LED. If you want a wide viewing angle, go for an LG TV, like the LN5400. It has a considerably wider viewing angle than average and its main downside, the poor contrast, won't be an issue if they watch it in a bright room.
0
Mar 09 2014
I planned to get a TV for my play school, so which one will be better for kids led or LCD or plasma?
Go for an LED. It is more versatile especially in a classroom setting because it can get brighter and has less reflections.
0
Mar 21 2014
Does the new Samsung 40 inch 120hz model UN40H6350 provide better angle viewing?
We will test it soon in a few weeks, but we don't expect it to have a good viewing angle. All Samsung LED TVs suffer from this problem. If you want a wide viewing angle, go for an LG LED TV instead (or a plasma of course).
0
Apr 11 2014
Which is good for gaming on a ps3, plasma or LED?
If your room permits it, go for a plasma TV. It handles fast motion better.
0
Apr 13 2014
Plasma or higher end led TVs has a better colour reproduction ?
Plasma TVs, especially out of the box. Once professionally calibrated, the difference is minimal in most cases.
0
Apr 13 2014
If I want to watch 3D movie, which has a better 3D picture, plasma or led ?
It depends on the technology of 3D used (see our 3d article). For active 3D, plasmas are usually better because they can switch frames a lot faster. Passive 3D is only available on LED TVs.
0
Oct 07 2014
Something burnt up in the plasma in my living room and the picture is now "not quite right" for lack of a better description. I'm looking to replace it and am unsure how "bright" my living room is. The tv hangs on a wall at a 45 degree angle from the north wall with windows. It's never really hit with direct light. Thinking back, I can visualize sometimes where the view was likely too dark for the lighting in the room. We rarely watch movies, mostly watch sports (day and night on weekends)/sitcoms (mainly at night). Viewing angles would be within 45 degrees. Should I go for the plasma again (51" Samsung 1080p) or look at a Vizio like LED? Based on all the reviews for picture quality I was convinced of plasma. Am I underestimating the daytime pros of the LED and/or overestimating the night time viewing/sports motion cons of the LED? Any suggestions based on that?
This is a hard one. How happy were you with your previous plasma? The Samsung F5300 plasma reflects a significant amount of lights, so it isn't ideal in a bright room. For daytime viewing or even sports at night, an LED is more than good enough. Therefore, you should probably go for an LED.
0
Oct 17 2014
Amazing website. Thanks! Just wondering, why don't you cover Sharp TVs here?
Simply because we haven't had the time yet. Don't worry, we will get to test Sharp TVs in the future.
0
Oct 18 2014
What are your concerns / recommendations regarding mounting TVs over a fireplace that has a cast iron propane stove insert (that has a blower to better circulate the heat outward)? I'm planning to buy a 65 inch LCD TV and use a 2" slim wall mount. The top of the stove is 28" and the bottom of the TV will be 23" higher (51"). The stove comes 13" from the fireplace wall cavity and there is a 9" mantel (so the stove sticks out 4" more than the mantle). Therefore the front of the 3" thick TV will still be 4" back when flush (not tilted or swiveled). And what about potential damage to a sound bar on the mantle? Should I be so concerned about TV performance or longevity that I spend money on a warranty?
You should try measuring the temperature first at that place. The TV itself already generates heat. LED TVs are usually rated up to 122 °F. If the temperature above your stove is more than that, you shouldn't put an LED there. If it is hot but less than that, an extended warranty is definitely a good option due to the added risk.
0
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