LCD versus Plasma
Television is considered as one of the greatest inventions of the 20 th century.
After television was introduced to the public, it soon took over the role that radio once
had in American families. Today, the average American household watches 8 hours of
television a day. The quality of television has been improving ever since it was invented.
People would always want to have a higher image quality on their TVs. High definition
televisions (HDTV) with high resolutions are starting to replace the older, traditional
standard definition televisions due to the demand for better quality. Now, the two most
popular models of HDTV at consumer level are the plasma TV and LCD TV. They each
have different features. In the end, both of them will replace the traditional televisions
due to their higher image quality.
What sets high definition televisions apart from traditional standard definition
televisions is the resolution. Higher resolution means that the image is less blurry and
sharper. Both plasma and LCD HDTV are capable of producing high resolution image
with better detail that could not be seen on a traditional television. The image qualities of
the two models vary slightly base on individual preferences. LCD’s generally have higher
resolution and brightness than plasma. On the other hand, plasma television could
produce excellent contrast and color that a LCD television could not because it suffers
from not being able to produce true, deep black. The reason of that is because there
would always be some light leaking from the pixels of the screen when the television is
on (Katzmajer, 2006).
The viewing angles on plasma and LCD are about the same. But on LCD
televisions, some color and brightness shifts could be visible when watched from a wider
angle, especially from above or below (Katzmajer, 2006). Plasma televisions don’t have
this problem as much as LCD.
Screen size is also an important factor that the consumers look for. Many people
choose to buy LCD’s over plasmas due to their lighter weights and thinness, while the
others choose plasmas for their bigger screen sizes. LCD televisions are a lot lighter and
slightly thinner than Plasmas, but are generally smaller in screen sizes. The maximum
sizes of plasma and LCD televisions today are both about 100 inches, but they are either
not readily available or too expensive for the consumer level. The most popular and
affordable sizes for LCD televisions range from 13 inches to 45 inches, while the sizes
for plasma televisions range from 32 to 65 inches, being the current size champions
(LCD TVs versus Plasma TVs, 2006). LCD televisions that have a size larger than the
current trend have a much higher price than plasma with an equal size. Plasma and LCD
televisions at around 40 to 42 inches both cost about the same (Katzmajer, 2006).
One major problem the plasma televisions had was that they have the possibility
to produce burn-in. A “burn-in” is a permanently after-image ghost on the screen causes
from stationary images, such as a network logo or subtitle bars, after extended use under
high contrast setting. But with the latest technology, manufacturers have come up with
methods to reduce burn-in. It has become a very minor issue now for viewers with
normal viewing habits. LCD’s don’t have this problem at all. Life span of LCD and
plasma televisions both last long enough to satisfy most customers (Katzmajer, 2006).
Plasma televisions’ life span has been improved over the years, making it just as long
lasting as LCD. Both the models now have an even higher life span than the traditional
With the increasing popularity of both plasma and LCD televisions, older
generation technologies will still be around for years to come. Cathode-ray tube (CRT)
TVs with high definition technology are still going strong due to their low price and
ability to create deep black. Old-fashioned rear-projection televisions with huge screen
sizes start from 45 inches to 65 inches sill have a couple years to live (Katzmajer, 2006).
They are heavy, bulky, but provide large screen sizes with decent image quality at low
prices. With the demand of higher quality and lesser space consumption, plasma and
LCD are definitely becoming the main trends of HDTV while other kinds of models
coexisting on the side. Better technology will keep improving current plasma and LCD
televisions to achieve an even higher quality. People will be able to afford high definition
televisions at a much lower price due to improving technology and competition between
manufacturers. In the future when higher definition disc format, such as HD-DVD or
Blu-ray, become common to the public, they would provide an even higher quality of
image combine with HDTV technology.
High definition televisions may not impact the society as much as the evolution of
color televisions, but they also provide a new level of viewing. They can produce sharper,
brighter, and bigger images than traditional televisions. People would choose to buy
either of them due to their differences in features. More and more cable or satellite
companies are starting to provide high definition channels that can be watched on a
HDTV. People are willing to pay more money for a higher quality television and a better
image source. Plasma or LCD television not only can provide a better image, they are
also much slimmer and lighter than traditional tube television. Few years ago when
plasma or LCD televisions still were not common to the public, traditional tube
televisions took away a huge portion of space in the living rooms because of their bulky
sizes. Now, plasma or LCD televisions are so thin and light that they can be hung on the
wall like a painting to conserve space. The technology changes the viewing behavior of
American families. With high definition televisions and DVDs, owners could turn their
rooms into home theaters, providing a similar experience of movie theaters. People will
be able enjoy a much higher experience of viewing than before without having to leave
their doors. Viewers no longer have to sit a few feet right in front the televisions because
of small screen size and blurry resolution. Now, they can just sit back and enjoy their
favorite TV shows on the huge and high quality screen of HDTV.
Television is one of the most important entertainment technologies in the United
States. Through a variety of services and programs, consumers can choose to watch a
huge range of channels base on their preferences. People can watch movies, sports, drama,
and all their other favorite shows at home. The more television the people watch, the
more desires they would have toward a better quality. A HDTV with a higher resolution
could provide a higher quality of entertainment also. People buy LCD or plasma
televisions to replace their older tube televisions to have a better viewing experience.
LCD and plasma not only provide a better image quality, they are also thinner and lighter
than tube televisions, and have a longer life span. The dropping prices of plasma and
LCD televisions and the increasing demand of high definition, made the two new
technologies more popular in market. Although they each have different features that set
them apart, both of them will coexist as the trend in the world of television entertainment.
Katzmajer, D. (2006, May 6). 4 Styles of HDTV. CNET. Retrieved November 3,
2006, from http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108443-1.html?tag=txt
(2006, June). LCD TVs versus Plasma TVs. Flat TV People. Retrieved November
3, 2006, from http://www.flattvpeople.com/tutorials/lcd-vs-plasma.asp