Find the best plasma TV based on how you plan to use it

Some items have just one purpose. For example, car batteries just power vehicles. But televisions are used for more than purpose. They're for TV-viewers, movie buffs, gamers and sports fanatics. Plus they're sometimes used as a computer monitor. So which TV is best for you? It depends on how you're going to use it.

Any television will work perfectly for those who only plan to watch TV shows. LCDs come in a large variety of screen sizes, providing flexibility based on room size. LCDs aren't great in dark rooms, though. LED works well in all lighting conditions and produces rich colors and dark blacks like a plasma. However, if there's not much lighting in the room, do you know what is the best? Plasma TV. Plasma works well in no or low light situations. High-definition television is one option to enhance TV viewing. Here's a tip: Look for the highest vertical resolution, which tells you the total number of visible lines from the top of the screen to the bottom. The greater the vertical resolution, the greater the definition. A 720p HDTV is great for TV-viewers. Keep in mind that the majority of TV shows are not available in high-def, though.

For movie buffs, gamers and sports fans

An HDTV is also great for movie buffs, but look for 1,080p, especially if you watch movies on Blu-ray. If you plan to have a lot of people over to watch movies with you, plasma is the best rated. Plasma TV has the widest viewing angle. What's that mean? Your family or guests can watch it from a variety of angles and have the same picture quality.

Gamers care about lag. A lag can cost you a game. So look for a TV that provides easy access to the picture preset mode and the ability to change it. With that, you can eliminate the delays between the gamer and the onscreen action. For years, plasma wasn't recommended for gamers because of the potential for burn-in if a gamer paused a game for a long time. Today's plasmas aren't as susceptible. In addition, most gaming systems offer screen savers. With a screen saver in use, a plasma will provide a gamer with the deepest blacks and rich colors. Another factor for gamers to consider when purchasing a TV is the number of input ports. The more, the better.

For sports, what's best? Plasma TV. On the market today, the 600Hz screen refresh rate is what to look for because it's suited well for anything fast moving, which means football, basketball and other sports. (That refresh rate works well for gamers, too.) The best plasma TV, for the money, will still be less energy-efficient than other types of TVs, so that's something to consider. An LED is the most energy-efficient. All TVs will work for TV and movie viewing and gaming. Before you purchase a new television, think about how it will be used most and then you'll know which will be best for you.

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