LCD vs Plasma TV?

What’s the scoop on LCD and plasma screens? If I were to get one or the other (hypothetically speaking!) just for playing DVDs and Xbox, would one be better?

Are there still screen burn-in problems with the newer models? What should I know?

(The full scoop is that I’m moving in 3 weeks, taking on a roommate in a new apartment, and together we might have the funds to invest in a TV set. The living room is only about 15x15 feet, so the TV can’t be TOO monstrously huge.)

LCD is higher quality, but you can get a bigger screen for your money with a plasma. I hear tell the plasma’s burn though…I’d really like to know how common this is. Or how easily it happens.

I always tell people that I prefer LCD. This is mainly because, to me, plasmas don’t look all that great. They look awfully fuzzy to me, especially when there is a lot on the screen and everything is moving very fast paced.

But hey, maybe I’ve been seeing shitty plasmas?
Oh yeah, someone said that if an LCD bulb burns out, that it costs a lot to replace, but I personally don’t know of anyone having this problem.

Plasma burn-in is pretty much eliminated, these days, and it wasn’t a particularly big issue in the first place, more of a minor possibility that had been blown out of proportion.

I don’t know much about LCD TVs, but I know that I wouldn’t get one myself, as they have contrast ratio and angle of view problems. Meaning, from some angles the colours wash out and change, and even looked at face-on, the blacks aren’t as dark as they ought to be. These issues are being dealt with in every new model that is released, though, so it may be much less of a problem these days than I fear.

My LCD doesn’t look bad even when viewed from an angle. Then again I’m not that worried if things don’t look 100% perfect. I don’t think there are any problems with burn in any more. I think that the newer TVs keep the side bars from burning the screen.

Aren’t LCDs cheaper now? I paid $1800 last year for a 37", now it’s something like 1200. From when I look it seems the LCDs are cheaper then the plasma.

Plasma, if it’s prepared.


The newest generation of LCD screens has impressive black tones as well.
The angle is still a bit of a problem though.

I have a current gen LCD (Sharp Aquos) and am very pleased with the black levels. Of course, its not as good as my direct view HD CRT, but certainly much better than last gen (and hard to notice now). Off axis viewing if fine, too.

However, I believe at a recent expo several manufacturers demoed multi-wavelength backlit LCDs that will be in production by year-end. These are supposed to have superb contrast ratios and solve the black issue entirely. If you’re willing to pay a premium, I’d say wait a few months.

Generally speaking, compared to plasmas, LCDs are:

smaller (although 52" sets are available now)
cooler (tempwise)
use less energy than a plasma
are “better” for HD (they are fixed-pixel to a native screen 1080 resoultion, and suffer no screen geometry issues)
don’t burn in


may require bulb replacement (MTF is usally around 10,000 hours…so most people are unlikely to need to)

don’t resolve deep blacks as well

may lose contrast when viewing at oblique angles

are generally poorer at displaying SD content

My understanding is that Sony and a few other manufacturers are beginning to phase out plasma production. Its more expensive than LCD so their margins are lower, and most of the LCD shortcomings can be addressed with newer manufacturing processes, whereas plasma is fairly mature and unlikely to get much better. I’d chose with LCD.

I have to say, I liked the look of the LCD much better anyway. I’m still not sure how feasible any television purchase will be, but I’d rather be armed with some advance information.

Have you looked at DLP? Pretty much the best of both worlds. No burn-in, true black, can be viewed from any angle, and I think the price is between LCD and plasma. They are a bit bulkier (though still smaller and lighter than a CRT,) but AFAIK that’s there only downfall.

Refresh rates are said to be a problem on LCDs if you’re a gamer. Robert Heron, who used to be on The Screensavers can now be found at and he’s got a lot of indepth reviews of the various TVs there.

There’s also a few LED DLP machines coming out now. Cheaper than LCD for the size, and are supposedly quite good.

I saved up all my pennies and in Feburary bought a 50" plasma.

I went from store to store and looked at a bunch of sets, plasma and LCD. Finally, I took the same DVD two stores, one or the other that I knew I’d be buying from. I watched the same scene from the DVD on about 6 different models in my price range. This one Hatachi plasma seemed to be my favorite, so I bought it.

I read all the stuff in the magazines, and blah blah blah, just like buying a car. There are pros and cons for everything. This one seemed right to me.

But they’re too deep to hang on a wall…
Me, I’m a projector guy.

For a reference point, my son just bought (I picked it up from the store today) a Samsung 40" for $1298.

This is true for cheap, older LCD screens.
The new Samsung series for instance is very well suited for gaming.
I have a Full-HD Samsung 40 Inch LCD set which has stunning black, incredibledeep contrasts and a very fast refresh rate.
DLP is a nice alternative, but it is inferior quality, after all you are basically looking at a blown-up image.

That was my question…do LCD and plasma options both come flat and wall-mountable?

Yes, they both are flat, but some don’t come with the wall-mount kit.
For my Samsung there is an optional wallmounting kit that also has a little motor in it so you can tilt without getting out of your chair.

Well, I do plan to game with it — Xbox for now, and Xbox 360 if I ever get around to getting one.

I’d also like to get a progressive scan DVD player, but it just occurred to me last night that I should special-order a region-less DVD player that can play US, UK, AU/NZ and Japanese DVDs. That sounds like it’d be pretty fun. :slight_smile:

Ooo. I also drool over the ones that rise up out of one’s bed footboard.