Plasma vs LED: Market
Year Introduced to General Public
LCD screens have been used in televisions for a long time now - since 1988. Sharp introduced the first commercial LCD television in 1988 at a size of 14". Due to size constraints and low refresh rate, it took LCDs until 2007 to surpass CRTs in worldwide sales.
While the size had already been present in the display industry, the first 42" television was introduced by Fujitsu in 1997. Plasma TVs enjoyed fast growth initially because they were much bigger than the current LCDs and had a faster response time. That growth stagnated quickly, though, and LCD sales surpassed Plasmas in 2006.
The first edge-lit LED TV was introduced by Sony in 2008.
A good way to see how a technology performs is to look at its sales figures and what others are buying.
LCD screens (both CCFL and LED backlight) account for the large majority of today’s worldwide sales. Plasma has seen some slight growth, but still represents only a small portion of all HDTVs sold (less than 10%). The increase is a bit surprising, given that a few years ago everyone thought plasma was dying.
There has been a major shift in LCD backlight technology since 2010. The LED backlight is replacing the old CCFL backlight, and now accounts for the majority of LCD screens sold. There was quite a buzz around full array matrix LED backlight in 2010, but now companies are avoiding it due to higher cost and marginal picture quality improvement.
|Plasma||Between 42" and 65"|
As mentioned before, it is very hard to build a smaller plasma display due to the constraint on the size of the cells. That’s why the smallest plasma TV available for purchase is 42". What’s more, the largest available is 65". On the other hand, LED offers the full range of sizes, from very small 20" TVs to extra-large 100" models.
This concludes our comparison of plasma and LED TVs. To figure out the best TV for your needs, you can check out our buying tool. Otherwise, you can go directly to our selection of the best TVs by size.
Best LED TVs by Size of 2014Best 32 inch LED TVs
Best 40-42 inch LED TVs
Best 46-47-48 inch LED TVs
Best 50 inch LED TVs
Best 55 inch LED TVs
Best 60 inch LED TVs
Best 65 inch LED TVs
- They are more prone to image retention (even if it is only temporary now)
- They do not get very bright and usually have more reflections, so they are not suitable for bright living rooms (which also makes them look bad in a retail store)
- They are bulkier
- Slight buzzing noise
- And most importantly, LED TVs offer picture quality that is good enough for the majority of people
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