LCD vs LED vs Plasma 2013: Cost and Longevity
Plasma televisions are about 350$ cheaper on average than a LED TV of the same size. LCD TVs are cheaper but they are only available on smaller sizes because manufacturers only make a CCFL backlight on their lower end models. The next graph shows the average price by size for plasma, LCD and LED televisions.
You can check out a dynamic version of that graph here, where all 2013 models are shown.
In the earlier years of the technology, the life span of a plasma TV was really bad. Burn-ins were occurring frequently: leave the television open on a still picture and it will stay there forever. Burn-ins occur when the phosphor in a cell of a pixel wears down. This problem has been greatly reduced now by the manufacturers with the help of technologies like cycling the pixels if it detects a still image and improving the quality of the phosphor. In newer models, only temporary image retention can sometimes happen. The image retention is not due to phosphor wear as for burn-ins, but to a residual charge that dissipates over time in a cell. It normally goes away by itself after a few minutes of watching TV.
LCDs suffer a lot less from that problem and it is what made them very popular during plasma's early years. The most likely component to break on a LCD is its backlight, the cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). LED TVs offer an improved expected life span over the LCD TVs because a small LED light will last a lot longer than a CCFL tube.
What about the advertised life span? Most TVs are now advertised with a life span of 60,000, the equivalent of 6.85 years of continuous playing. Of course, this is a made up number from the manufacturers, they did not test a model for 7 years before selling it. That number is usually made by extrapolating a stress test on the assumed worst individual component of the television, tested separately. Comparing the advertised life span between television is not worth much.
Have a question?
Ask your question here, or send us directly an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you find the best television for your own needs and budget.