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Difference between LCD and Plasma TV

Parun Pereira Sep 30, 2018
One of the toughest decisions to take these days is buying the right television. Before choosing between LCD or plasma, it is important to know the difference between the two...
The main problem of CRT TVs is that they occupy a lot of space due to their bulky design. The advent of LCD and plasma TVs solved the problem of space, and also improved on many features that CRT TVs had, the most important being picture quality. This led to a boom in the production and subsequent sales of flat screen TVs all around the world.

Flat Panel TVs

Flat panel and high-definition TVs with superior picture quality are a norm these days! Flat panel TVs come in different types, with the most common among these being LCD TVs. However, in addition, there are some other types, namely plasma TVs and LED TVs, that have become the rage these days.
While it is very difficult to choose between plasma and LCD TVs, a few differences between them can help you decide which of these is the best for your home. Although the two have similarly thin and flat screens, the differences between the two are substantial.

Plasma TVs

Over the years, plasma technology has become increasingly popular in large HDTVs. Plasma technology uses a rectangular array of gas plasma cells, with electrical voltages that are precise, to create a crystal clear picture. 
In plasma TVs, the display is a wide range of rich colors, with a low-luminance black. In this technology, the pixels are individually lit, which allows you to attain a higher contrast ratio.


The main advantage of a plasma TV is the rich lifelike color reproduction and the wide viewing angles. The picture can be viewed from anywhere in the room without the quality of the picture deteriorating. Due to each individual pixel being lit, the light output is also perfect across the entire screen.
Plasma TVs also have a high contrast ratio, which is good for a superior high quality picture. Screen sizes in plasmas can be very large, going up to 65 inches. They produce deep rich color and brightness. Due to the high contrast ratio, the darkest and brightest part of an image is realistic in terms of appearance.
The display of the color black is vivid in plasmas TVs. They also suffer from the least amount of, or almost no noticeable motion blur, which makes watching fast paced sports and high-speed effects a treat.


Although the picture quality in this technology is astounding, the life of a plasma television is less as compared to LCDs. If the screen size is very large, wall mounting becomes difficult. These television sets use glass in their screen makeup, which can reflect light and make viewing problematic.
Moreover, glass screens are fragile and need to be handled with care. Screen burn-in too is one of the problems of plasma TVS, though this problem is slowly being overcome by manufacturers. Plasmas are also not as energy-efficient as LCDs. They are also troubled by high altitudes.
At 6500 feet or higher, plasma displays will behave erratically. They are best viewed in a darkened environment. In a bright room, viewing a plasma TVs can be a problem.


Liquid Crystal Display, commonly known as LCD, is popular among most users all over the world. It consists of layers of liquid crystal, sandwiched between two glass plates. The images created depend on the amount of electrical charge applied. LCDs are preferred by individuals for their sharp picture and low consumption of power.


In a room with lots of light, LCDs help in reducing the glare, which in turn makes viewing easy. The life span of these televisions is longer as compared to plasmas. LED-back-lighting in the form of 'direct' and 'edge' back-lighting, has significantly improved images in LCDs. 
Screen burns which result in ghost images, occur when an image is left for a relatively long time. This is a common problem with plasmas, which is not the case with LCDs. LCDs come in a large range of sizes, starting as low as 5 inches. They have a slightly better resolution than plasma TVs, though this is being overcome in the latest plasma TVs.
In the 42-inch range and below, LCDs are priced better than plasmas. They are also much thinner and sleeker than plasma TVs. They can be wall mounted easily, and are much more energy-efficient.


Viewing LCDs from different angles can be a pain, as images sometimes appear to be dark and hazy. This can cause a problem when large families scattered in different areas of a room view the television. The level of brightness in LCD is less compared to a plasma. 
The response time in these televisions is longer as compared to plasmas. Objects moving at a rapid speed exhibit a blur in this technology. Another drawback in some LCDs is the inability to display very low resolution, due to scaling limitations. Although LCDs are less expensive than plasmas, the features included are less as compared to their counterparts.
Although plasmas and LCDs have their pros and cons, they have become a part of our everyday life. It is advisable to refer to a buying guide before you set your eyes on a plasma or LCD. Because of their stylish appearance, relative ease of use and excellent image results, they have gained a prominent place in the world of television.
Although, the aspect ratio of most LCDs and plasmas come in a standard 16:9 format, other options are also available. The technology used in these TVs has benefited people in different corners of the world, by setting benchmarks in terms of appearance and picture quality.