Currently, the two most popular and widely available types of flat screen television are 'plasma' and 'LCD' (liquid crystal display) televisions. An addition to LCD technology is the LED (light emitting diode) television, which is more accurately called 'LED backlit LCD television'. Here are some of their more important features and differences.
For many viewers, the main advantage of these new technologies is that they can be manufactured to a much larger, but also much thinner, size, than old-fashioned small screen televisions, making them ideal for wall hanging, rather than sitting in their traditionally reserved space in a corner of the living room. Of the different types, plasma screen televisions are usually thicker and heavier than LCD and LED televisions.
Plasma screen televisions have impressive contrast, from deep impenetrable blacks to dazzling whites. Their image quality is superb in terms of sharpness and colour too, and their 'film-like' quality of image is considered a major plus by buyers. LCD televisions lagged behind in this area until LED backlighting technology was used to improve picture quality. This has been successful, and the best LED televisions now rival plasma screen televisions in terms of contrast and colour, although, many viewers find the picture quality slightly less natural looking than that of plasma TV screens.
Plasma tv technology has the edge when it comes to displaying fast motion on the screen smoothly. The earliest LCD televisions were seen to be weak in this area, as fast motion caused 'ghost trails' and other unwanted effects. However, recent advances in LCD technology have seen great improvements in this area, and most, if not all, of those unsightly effects are no more, especially in models advertised with a high 'refresh rate' of 120 or 240 Hz.
Plasma screens have the edge here too. The picture looks good whether viewed straight on or from the side. LCD televisions tend to suffer more from this effect. Where a TV is going to be viewed by a large number of people from all different angles, plasma televisions are the better choice in that situation.
LCD televisions are currently the leaders in this area, especially those with LED backlighting. Power consumption with LCD and LED televisions is significantly reduced compared with that of plasma televisions of a similar size.
Prices, of course, will vary depending on the quality and functions of any particular model. However, LED televisions tend to be more expensive than LCD televisions, given that they are essentially LCD televisions with added LED technology built in to improve overall picture quality.
Obviously, the various manufacturers of flat screen televisions will have taken different steps to produce the best specifications possible for a given price range of model, so, the only way to make any useful judgement when deciding between individual models using these different technologies is to see them side by side in a shop. Anyone considering making a purchase should pay attention to how impressive the displayed images look in terms of smoothness, contrast, sharpness and colour, not only from a position directly in front of the screen, but also from a variety of viewing angles.
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