Friday, October 16, 2009

Things You Should Know Before Buying A Plasma Or LCD TV Set

Plasma and LCD are both high-definition television sets. In the same size and price range they are comparable in performance. Any noticeable drawback in either set only a year ago has been corrected in the latest models, bringing the performance of both sets to par, except in these features: the Plasma is fragile, heavier, uses more electricity and requires a technician to install.
  • The Plasma TV creates pictures by plasma gas filled with xenon and neon atoms and millions of electrically charged atoms and electrons that collide when the set is turned on. The collision increases the energy level in the plasma causing the xenon and neon to release photons of light.
  • The LCD, short for liquid crystal display, creates pictures by two sheets of polarizing material with liquid crystal solution between them. When the set is turned on an electric current passes through the liquid causing the crystal to align, so that the light cannot pass through them. Each crystal acts like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking it.
  • The typical screen size for the Plasma ranges from 32" to 63" diagonally, though there are now larger sizes up to 103". Typical screen size for the LCD is in the range of 13" to 65" diagonally, though there are now larger sizes up to 108". The LCD small size makes it a better choice for a kitchen TV set.
  • The angle at which one can sit and view an image without distortion is comparable on both sets: 178 degree for Plasma and 175 degree for the LCD. The burn-in produced by static images was once a problem for the Plasma, but new models have corrected it.
  • While the Plasma has a slight edge over the LCD in brightness and contrast levels, it reflects much of the light in its environment, putting it at a slight disadvantage in brightly lit areas. The LCD also once had problem with displaying fast moving action like sports, but with the introduction of the motion-blur reduction technology, the new models of LCD no longer have that problem.
  • The LCD performance is not affected by changes in air pressure regardless of the altitude at which it is used. The performance of the Plasma is affected at 6500feet and higher.
  • Both television sets have an approximate life span of 50,000 to 60,000 hours. This translates into 5 years of useful life when usage is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. For a typical family use, both sets could last for 27 years.
  • The resolution of the set determines the amount of detail in the image. A 1080i resolution breaks down to 1920 horizontal pixels by 1080 vertical pixels, and it is the minimum resolution necessary to enjoy high-definition programming. However, the trend is toward the higher resolution signal of 1080p, because it supports the resolution of the Blu-ray Disc video.
  • While a 720p resolution, in either 1366 by 768 or 1024 by 768 pixels is adequate for viewing high-definition images, keep in mind that 1080i is the minimum resolution required to enjoy high-definition programming. Additionally, if you hope to keep your HDTV set for more than 5 years, go for the 1080p resolution signal.
In the end, whether you decide to buy a Plasma or LCD, will depend more on your experience with either set, or recommendations by your family or friends who have had such experience, and less on performance because in the same size and price range, the two sets are comparable in performance. The altitude at which the set will be used, and whether used mostly in lit or dark environment will also be determining factors.

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