Following is a comparison of LCD (LED) TVs and plasma TVs. In 2015, the last remaining plasma manufacturers (Panasonic, LG and Samsung) exited the market. However, thousands of plasma sets are still in use and much loved.
The two display technologies differ greatly. LCDs shine light through color filters, whereas plasma generates the colors by igniting phosphors (see flat panel TV
, LED TV
and plasma display
Plasma sets are much heavier and require a very secure mounting.
Glare from lights, lamps and sunlight are an issue. Plasma TVs reflect light like old CRTs, however, some have more glare than others. The same goes for LCD TVs.
The General Opinion
The consensus from showroom sales reps who watched TV day after day was that plasma offered the best and most natural image, especially in sets 50" and up. However, LCD sets are lighter and use considerably less energy. OLED, the latest display technology, has the best of both (see OLED
Bad Pixels, Image Retention, Burn-In and Buzz
Stuck pixels on LCD panels show up as persistent, tiny pinpoints of light, which may be annoying. If found early on, manufacturers have been known to replace the set.
Plasma TVs were subject to image retention and burn-in, which are faint images that remain on screen due to static material displayed for long periods such as channel logos. Image retention was temporary, but burn-in was permanent and occurred when the same content appeared for hours on end, especially in the first days of use. However, newer plasma TVs continuously rotated the image one or two pixels, making them less susceptible to burn-in. Another issue with plasma was a possible buzz at altitudes above 6,500 feet.
Glare Maybe Yes
Weight Lighter Heavy
AC Power Lower Much higher
Colors Rich Richer
Blacks Good Blacker
Contrast Good Better
View Angle Fair Excellent
Speed Fast Fastest
LCD vs. Plasma
LCD uses liquid crystals, color filters and a backlight, whereas plasma uses gas and phosphors (see plasma display
). See LCD vs. OLED