Advantages and Disadvantages of Plasma and LCD Screens

Prices of HDTV sets are falling rapidly and the experts anticipate that they continue to drop over the next years. Because of this there is a lot of interest in all of the types of TV technologies available right now.


If you are shopping around for a TV right now, you can choose among a large variety of flat screen technologies including Plasma screens and LCD screens. Each technology has its own advantages over the other.


Why choose Plasma?
Plasma screen TV's technology is based on exotic gases that can glow in different colors when different amounts of electric current are passed through them. For every pixel you seed in the Plasma screen there is a small pocket of gas that can be excited individually to glow at different wavelengths.


The result is an incredible range of colors that quickly reacts to changes of the images. Plasma screens re often easier to make in larger sizes than LCD screens and they are better at displaying fast action without blurring. However the do have a number of disadvantages. First of all the Plasma screens consume more than twice the amount of electricity that LCD screens do. Secondly Plasma screens aren't bright enough to function well in higher light levels and their brightness fades with time and use and third they also tend to produce and annoying buzzing sound if they are operating at altitudes in excess of six thousand feet.


Why choose LCD?
Differently than the Plasma screens the LCD screens are based on a special type of crystals that react to electrical current by changing shape (not changing color like the gasses in a Plasma screen). In a normal LCD TV screen, the crystals are arranged in a grid pattern and they are supported by a transparent film transistor. A transparent film transistor applies the current to each individual crystal in the screen and, depending on the voltage that is applied to the individual crystal it will change its shape in various ways to block out light coming from a fluorescent lamp behind it.


The crystals will not only block out light completely to make black, but they will also block out different wavelengths of light to let through different colors. Every crystal represents one pixel on the screen. Compared to Plasma screens the LCD screens have the advantages of being extremely energy efficient and they render a great “crystal clear” picture in a variety of light levels, and lend themselves well to displaying output from computers.


The disadvantages of the LCD displays are that they are slightly blurring when displaying fast movement due to the time that the crystals need to change shape. Secondly the LCD screens are not that good at showing very deep shades of black due to the amount of energy that the crystals need to block out the light completely. Luckily both of these problems are almost unnoticeable as the technology has advanced.


In conclusion
There is not right or wrong choice when it comes to picking either a LCD or a Plasma screen. It all depends on the size your want, the contrast of colors you need and the things (watching movies or using as a computer screen) that you are planning using the new screen for. Always be sure to test the screens before you buy them. You might even be lucky to be able to borrow a screen for a test in your own living room to make sure that it is the right choice.


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