LCD v Plasma Televisions – Which is better?

LCD or Plasma TelevisionLCD and Plasma Televisions are both very good technologies capable of displaying crystal clear high definition television pictures, but choosing between them can often be difficult, as they offer very similar results. But there are some slight advantages each technology has which will help you make the right choice.

To find if an LCD Television or a Plasma Television is right for you, you will need to decide what activity is the most important to you. By activity, we mean whether you will be mostly watching television programmes, watching DVDs or Blu-ray Discs, or gaming. You can then make an informed choice about which one might suit your needs.

Depending on your needs, you may need to think carefully about what you want and although in most cases the difference will be slight, you may have to be prepared to make a slight compromise. These views are general, and some brands and models of televisions will be better and worse than others, but here is a quick guide to what television to buy for your circumstances:

  • Mostly Watching DVDs or Blu-ray Discs:
    If you’re a film addict, and watching movies is the main purpose of your television, then your best bet is probably an LCD television. They excel when the quality of the signal is good, whether you have a normal DVD player, or a Blu-ray player. However, the difference is slight and many people think a Plasma television offers a slightly more ‘filmic’ quality. Either way, the connection really needs to be HDMI or component to get the full benefits, and this is a definite requirement if you have a Blu-ray player.
  • Mostly Playing Games:
    If you’re a gamer, then an LCD television is your best option. The precision of the picture and the speed at which the image data is processed all helps to ensure the gaming experience will be superb. If you have a newer games console such as a Playstation 3 or XBox 360, you will again need an HDMI or component connection to get the best out of it. Plasma televisions although perfectly acceptable are not capable of processing the signal as quickly as LCD.
  • Mostly Watching TV Programmes:
    This is where is gets difficult as both LCD and Plasma are equally good:

    • Even the latest LCD televisions can have a tendency for the picture to look a bit ‘noisy’ when the signal quality is not quite good enough and can affect some channels more than others. Any deficiencies in the quality of the signal you are getting through your aeriel or satellite dish will be much more obvious on an LCD than they would have been on a traditional CRT television. If you watch a lot of TV programmes in high definition, then your problem is as much of an issue.
    • Plasma televisions are often seen as a good compromise for people who want a good all rounder. They are generally more forgiving of a poorer quality signal than LCD televisions. They generally only come in 37″ or greater these days, so are not ideal if you want/need something smaller.

Environmental Issues

Reducing our individual power consumption is important for everyone and you should also consider this when purchasing your home entertainment devices. LCD currently uses less power than a same size plasma television, although some manufacturers are managing to reduce the power output of plasma.
If you are replacing your television you should also consider the waste impact of scrapping it. If it is in good working order, consider giving it away to someone or selling it on so it gets recycled and reused.

Don’t forget CRT Televisions!

CRT is not a phrase often used, but we are talking about the good old ‘cathode ray tube’ here i.e. a ‘normal’ television! These have been perfected over many years to give a great picture for a variety of purposes so really excel at regular television programmes. Although you cannot buy them new these days, you can still get hold of a very good quality television for under £100 on ebay and classifieds and make a very wise purchase. The best CRT television still holds its own against the best LCD television, so if you have a good CRT television, make sure you compare the quality of a new LCD before you buy to prevent any disappointment.

Where to buy LCD and Plasma Televisions

There are of course numerous places to purchase televisions, both online and on the High Street. Some of our favourites are below:

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