What is the Best TV to Buy – Plasma or LED LCD?

A few years ago, Plasma TVs were much more expensive than LED LCD TVs. Now that the prices of Plasma TVs have dropped and aligned with LCD TVs, I’m often asked, which the best flat panel TV– Plasma is or LED LCD TVs.  Home theater purists often believe that the picture on a Plasma TV is more natural. Other people prefer the brightness and energy-saving features of an LED LCD TV.  While it’s best to compare Plasma and LED LCD TVs by viewing them in a store, it is likely that you’ll be choosing a TV from online.

There used to be big differences in Plasma versus LED LCD TVs. Plasma TVs were heavy and thicker than LCD TVs. They ran hot and used up much more energy than LCD TVs. Images would burn into the screen so they were unsuitable for gaming. It’s important to dispel some of the beliefs about Plasma TVs and LED LCD TVs to help you choose the right big screen for your family.


TV Buying Guide from Barbara Gonzalez:

● Plasma TVs are not bigger and heavier than LCD TVs.

While Plasma TVs were originally over 5-inches thick and weighed nearly 100-pounds, today they are much thinner and closer in size and weight to LED LCD TVs of a comparable size.  The Samsung 55-inch 7000 series LED weighs about 54 lbs. and is 1-inch thick.  The 51-inch Samsung 7000 series Plasma is 1.5-inches thick and weighs 61 lbs. Yes, it is a little thicker and heavier but if you get real about it, it’s only half an inch. The extra half-inch is certainly not enough to make the Plasma model too big to fit in the same spot as the same size LED TV.

● Burn-in isn’t as big a problem on Plasma TVs as it was when they were first sold.

One of the biggest problems with Plasma TVs has been a phenomenon called “burn-in.”  When an image is static on the screen for an extended period of time, the pixels can retain the image. A color, word, or object could be permanently burned into the screen, looking like a ghostly background on your display. In the past couple of years, Plasma TVs have a feature called orbiting pixels, and technologies for reversing burn-in.

● If you expect to use laptops, tablets or video games, an LED TV is a better choice.

Still, if you choose a Plasma TV, be careful not to leave the TV turned on for long periods of time with a static picture like the mirrored display of your laptop’s desktop, tablet’s home screen, or a video game with a background that doesn’t change.

● Plasma is still better for sports.

Faster refresh rates on LCD TVs have improved their ability to display fast-moving sports or action movies. Still, there can be a trace of ghosting that gives the appearance of blurry action. If you’re an avid sports fan (and watch sports other than baseball), consider a Plasma TV.

● LED LCD TVs are only slightly better at energy savings.

Since 2010, Energy Star compliance has brought down the energy use of a Plasma TV. In fact, research shows that you will probably save only $13 a year by watching the same amount of TV on an LED LCD TV compared to Plasma.

● The lighting of the room and where you sit can help you to choose which type of TV to buy.

If your TV room is bright with a lot of windows, choose an LCD LED TV as it can stand up to the glare. A Plasma TV will give you a better picture if you will be sitting to the side rather than straight on to the center of the TV.

Summing it up

It is best if you can visit a store to see whether you prefer the picture of a Plasma or an LED LCD TV. If that’s not possible, consider whether you like to watch sports or play video games –Plasma for sports, LCD for video games. If your room is bright choose LCD. If you like a natural picture choose Plasma and if you enjoy bright vivid colors, go for an LED LCD TV. Whichever you choose–happy viewing! - Barb Gonzalez ~ The Simple Tech Guru

Read Barb’s Recent Blogs & Guides

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