LCD vs plasma vs LED TVs buying guide

Plasma vs LCD? What do the new LED TVs offer? We walk you through the process of picking up a new flat panel LED, LCD or plasma television.

This Samsung Series 7 television has LED edge-lighting to cut down on power consumption.

This Samsung Series 7 television has LED edge-lighting to cut down on power consumption.

A wide viewing angle is important if the television will be placed in a large living area or will be regularly watched by multiple people simultaneously — most of us will have family and friends around to watch the TV at some point!

In general, plasmas have better viewing angles than LCD and LED TVs, with their images remaining solid and colourful at wide viewing angles while LCDs suffer from colour shift and loss of brightness. This is not always the case, though, so it is best to compare panels directly against each other if possible. LED televisions have superior viewing angles compared to LCDs due to their decentralised backlight distribution.

Colour

Colour is an aspect that is largely independent of the television's type, relying on the processing technology independent to each manufacturer and specific screen model. However, it is important to note that plasma televisions can in theory produce brighter colours overall. LED-lit televisions using either a white or RGB LED backlight also offer a larger colour gamut than traditional LCD screens, due to an improved brightness source. Colour accuracy can be adjusted on almost all screens, whether you choose a plasma, LED or LCD TV.

Motion

There is much discussion as to whether plasma or LCD screens are better at handling fast motion — sports or action movies are a great example of video footage that moves across the screen at a fast rate. A plasma screen's ability to refresh each individual cell at a much faster rate than an LCD pixel refresh means that plasma panels have an inherent advantage in displaying fast motion free of blur and jitter.

New LCD screens can now update the image displayed 100 times per second — the often touted '100Hz' technology — which is double the standard 50Hz rate. This removes significant amounts of jitter from the LCD screen's image, resulting in a smoother and more visually pleasing picture. It is a great feature when watching sports where both the players and camera move often. The next generation of this technology doubles the refresh rate again to 200Hz but screens with this technology is not incorporated into all LCD TVs on the market.

At present, our tests reveal that plasma TVs are still superior in handling fast motion, but the motion-handling of LCD TVs has improved greatly over the last five years.

LED televisions use the same motion processing technology as LCD panels, with all panels currently on the market using 100Hz refresh rates. As LED televisions are leading the market in technological innovations, they will usually employ the latest generation of motion processing technology available, making them a good choice for watching fast motion video.

Power

Most LCD televisions require a single fluorescent backlight to be lit. Plasma televisions, on the other hand, require every sub-pixel to be lit individually. When you compare screens of equal size plasma televisions consume more power than their LCD counterparts. A 42in LCD consumes around 200 Watts in normal use while a plasma panel consumes approximately 300W. In a year of use this means the power bill for running a plasma will be 50 per cent higher than an equivalent LCD panel. Also consider the power-saving features of individual models — power-reducing features may make a plasma screen just as affordable in the long term.

Tags lcd tvshome entertainmentplasmaled tvs

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide

82 Comments

Anonymous

1

Is contrast really that important?

This is a very good review and very accurate. However, it seems that the advantages of LED backlit screens are being held up because of the supposed need to increase contrast ratios.

To dim the LED arrays and increase contrast one needs greater processing power and complexity, but I don't tend to agree that it's all that important - the pictures are very good anyhow unless you're a zealot for perfection. The other push that seems to be made for LED backlighting is to make the units very thin. Again, is that really important?

I'd implore more manufacturers to just get on with it and mass produce LED backlit versions of the CFL (fluoro) units; the power savings and reduction in hazardous materials compared to CFLs are far more important than endless push for contrast and thinness. Get them out there and then concentrate on the refresh rate instead.

The sooner this happens then the sooner LED backlit screens will be far cheaper to the great benefit of the environment. If they don't hurry up then OLED will beat them all anyhow...

Anonymous

2

Plasma vs. LCD

The reason I give plasma the edge is in the quality of non-HD programming. My regular standard Dish signal looks great on my Panasonic, while it looks horrible on LCD. I have no real desire to pay more for crappy shows, even if they are in HD. I'm perfectly satisfied with SD as long as it looks close to my old tube. You'll only get that with plasma.

Jonny

3

Thanks

Thank you for the excellent, clear and to the point article. It has really helped me in making a decision as to what TV to buy.

The only short-coming, in my view, relates to an issue that another commenter raised - what picture quality can I expect when watching non-HD content? A follow-up or perhaps just a comment on that would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous

4

LED vs LCD vs Plasma

I agree wholly with previous comment.

Manufacturers are making a mistake pushing edge lit LED TVs with Ultra thin screens. Its just marketing gone stupid - style over substance.

We don't need, nor even want, ultra thin panels.
I'd much prefer a proper LED whole-of-screen backlit (not edge-lit) version of one of the existing LCD models, preferably with a Japanese-made panel even if it is assembled in Malaysia (preferred) or China.
BTW, I have met only met one salesman so far who actually knows where the panels are made, so he will get my business.

Anonymous

5

Good One cheers

The article is very good and accurate. It would be better to have a section on Technilogy where you can explain each screen technology with the images if possible. This helps to understand the screens in depth.

Andrew

6

Burn in

All technologies suffer from burn in (from static text/graphics), including lcd. No current technology is exempt from this.

vid_ghost

7

LED VS LCD

I was in the market for a new TV i was looking at eithet the samsung 55" 6 series B or the samsung 55" 6 series Edgelit LED

They both looked great but the LCD looked 3D and the LED did NOT! i picked the LCD as the image was better it came with eithernet it could connect to the PC for streaming videos, music and photo's and go olnine plus the price was $500 less

For those of you who think LED is allot more power effient both are very close 55:” 60000 Edgelit LED uses an operational power consumption of 220w and the 55:” series 6 B CCFL backlit uses an operational power consumption of 250w for comparison the 52” series 6 A CCFL backlit uses operational power consumption of 290w and a 50” Plasma is at around 350w-500w ( Plasma TV's also double as a heater )

Winston Hsia

8

LCD vs LED vs Plasma TV

This article is very informative. I am so impressed that I will recommend it to my friends. Good job.

Anonymous

9

To me on a plasma an analog channel looks far superior that on any lcd or led thus making all uses on who ever you subscribe to.

Meehhh

10

Which one is the best at HD gaming LCD or LED or plasma???

Great article it gives you a general idea about the three systems, but i want a more details and having a table would be nice...

Anonymous

11

Re:burn in

wrong. I work a casino our tv's are on 24 hours a day 7 days a week even after 3 years the new new plasmas have no burn in. so basically take your head out your.....

Anonymous

12

Obviously you don't own a plasma, since you do not have a slightest clue of what burn in is. My Panasonic 46" plasma had burn in after 4 hours of PS3 playtime. Please do not post useless comments.

Michael

13

Plasma is King!!!

I own 2 Panasonic plasma's & one Sony XBR I would not trade my Pannies for nothing & as far as burn in on PS2 playing God of War 1 & 2 for 4-8 hrs at a time & also Grand Theft auto SA for even more hours Both have banners with the exception of God of War if your not fighting..Oh but wait the whole game is constant fighting! Yes you will have a ghost image but put a movie in or watch tv for a little while! you wont even notice doing that! Or let your screen banner roll on for 15 mins poof gone! I can deal with that but not when your playing fast games or watching fast pace movies & the screen is bright as hell for one second & goes black real quick & the LCD has a second of old picture frame left!
I have fallen asleep with a bluray screen menu on for about 8 hrs and it did not burn in!! Just don't do that for the 1st 100 hrs of new plasma!!

Oh yeah like this article says go to your big box store!! That does not mean Walmart and Best Buy is getting shaddy with their lies & demo's!
For instance I took my friend to look at HDTV's & was shocked at all the BS mainly power consumption what a joke who cares if you care your already have bad taste in cars...lol.I want picture quality & who cares how much juice it uses!
Well back to best buy! They were pushing their LCD/Led's & had all the plasma's off to themselves away from the Led's,They hide there remotes now to keep people from playing with the settings! Well I'm not a fool & I know how to work the buttons on a Panny Plasma so I did a quick fix & took it off Vivid but it does not come from the factory but on standard! that was an instant fix to a BS picture that was fixed to look like that with all of the settings on vivid jacked up higher then preset from factory! I mean when I got there the picture did look bad & the Best Buy people hid when I was doing a quick fix & put the setting's to cnet's best picture setting for that set! a couple of strangers were hanging out and also seen the picture after it was fixed & ended up buying it after seeing how LCD/Led's looked fake & looked like the people were CG! My friend purchased a Panasonic TC-P50G10 not from best buy that claims that Panasonic does not make a 46" Plasma & I knew better then that Oh yeah it's also TC-P46G10 and not the S series! You can get both from Amazon cheaper & quick! Both models are great but G10 series are better since they are THX certified! But in the end if you want a cartoon picture that will be so bright you might go blind with unnatural colors go with a LCD/LED but if you want a true color great looking natural picture with the best black levels & best graduation of colors i.e no color line bands! Buy a PLASMA don't learn the hard way from a friend as I did with my Sony LCD!

P.S if you have a plasma or planning on getting one GAME ON!!
Oh yeah Samsung Bluray players are junk too after 3 take backs I gave up & switched to another brand & life has been good now!! Thank God I did not buy a Samsung plasma...I almost did..!!

Anonymous

14

Black Friday Plasma

Well - this is a great article. I am looking at Black Friday sales ADs and am looking to refresh my 50" Sony LCD Projection TV that has developed blue and red spots for the third time (replaced under extended warranty thankfully that would have been $700). After spending about $3000 on the TV only 5 years ago I cannot believe the prices I see now espicially with Plasma TV's. 50" Plasmas bundled with BluRay for around $1000 - heck yeah count me in. And if the thing burns in at least Im not out $3000. My LCD Projection burns in about every 2 years, imager starts to melt and turns the picture blue.. nice feature Sony. And now hearing that the contrast and color is still better on Plasma than LED/LCD - I find it hard to justify the extra expense of LED/LCD even considering the energy efficiency.
Anyway - my 2cents..

Anonymous

15

I think your right led is a step backwards in my books the refresh rate is higher on a plasma and still better picture for $500 less

Anonymous

16

Plasma Burn-In

Burn-in: This occurs when an image such as a network logo or letterbox bars--gets etched permanently onto the screen because it sits in one place too long (In your case, the game you played most probably had the same constant background image and you played it for a long period of time within the first 100 hours of it's lifespan). In our experience, this issue has been greatly exaggerated. The burn-in risk is greatest during the first 100 or so hours of use, during which time you should keep contrast low (less than 50 percent) and avoid showing static images for hours at a time. Many plasmas also have burn-in-reduction features such as screensavers and pixel orbiting, or functions to treat burn-in once it occurs, such as causing the screen to go all white.

Plasma lifespan: Most plasma makers today rate their latest models as having a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours before the display fades to half brightness. On average, that works out to more than 17 years before the set reaches half-brightness.

Anonymous

17

My theory

After survying for few months , here is my theory:

Want cheap and good- Plasma

Want cheap but also want play game - LCD

Want Look nice and feel Ego - LED (ultra slim model)

:)

Anonymous

18

sony

If you pop the front off of your tv you will find 6 nobs. turn knobs to get rid of blue and red spots. its real easy.

Anonymous

19

don't listen to sony

That is really a dumb advise from sony.

Anonymous

20

plasma burn in

Iv had a panasonic 42" plasma for 3 years now. I have 2 young boys and my self playing the ps3, my boys sometimes play for 8 to 10 hours a day on days off from school and I have no burn in at all! I was really nervous at first about letting them play for more than 30 min at a time. Listening to all these claims of burn in were in my case a total joke! My nephew has a 50" samsung and its used just as much with ps3 and no burn in either. You must have a total garbage defective item and should have demanded a replacement.

Conroy

21

LCD; Plasma; LED TV's

The fact has surfaced that 3D is closer than we realise. So Whatever we choose at the moment we'll be behind bigtime in 1-3 years.
So my calculation tells me buy LCD now but be prepared for LED 3D soon.
Sport will be photographed using 3X the cameras, some software and experimenting, and Bingo. 3D.
Please comment.

Anonymous

22

TV Burn in

Burn-in does happen to tvs. For example if you left your ps3 paused for an extended amount of time while keeping your tv on it would most likely burn that picture into your tv permanately! I know this is true i have experienced it with my own tv.

Praktika

23

Clever Kids

I'm amazed at how long you allow your kids to watch a TV Screen for.... Do they know what fresh air and the good old outdoors is all about?

Get them out of the damn house!! :)

Anonymous

24

lCD Vs LED for travel

Still not sure which type I should purchase for my RV. I've looked at several articles, but none of have addressed my concerns. Is there any articles or suggestions were I can get my answer?

Anonymous

25

Burn in.

I bought a 42" Panasonic plasma tv about 12 months ago, and I have fallen asleep in front of it for hours at a time, repeatedly, while drunk leaving the XBOX paused or on a menu. No burn in apparent. I have seen this happen to other peoples TV's of other brands, so is it just certain brands who manufacture products with short life spans to make quick profit over a short period of time; with the average household watching 4-6 hours of television per day, or is this just a headf**k of technology to keep us busy until something more evolved comes along?

Anonymous

26

im a cable guy and have seen many tv's, old and new. there is so many variables to deturmine picture quality. from the size of the cable, to the fitting on the cable, to the tv itself. i used to be very scepticle on plazma tv's, but having seen plenty of modern ones, im really impressed. i have a lcd tv, and its good enough for me. led is great efficient technology, but i think is over rated for the price. if your a carefull viewer, i say go plazma, they are priced to sell. if your not really picky but dont want to worry about problems, i say go lcd. even though plazma technology has greatly improved, most of the comments on this site are image-burn related concerns. oh, and when you get your big new tv and you have the cable guy come hook up hd for you, not every channel and network is broadcasted in true 1080, so dont be suprised when not every channel looks perfect. ive hooked up FIOS and Comcast services, and this is true for both, in my opinion. like coke and pepsi, what ever looks better to you, go with it

Anonymous

27

If you think about it, plasma televisions have stayed the same since they have been released. Sure they have added coatings to the glass to reduce glare, and added a pixel orbiter function to reduce burn-in, but for the most part plasma technology has mostly stayed the same since it was introduced. That said, LCD televisions have been revised many times, hence LED technology. LED TELEVISIONS ARE STILL LCD TELEVISIONS. LCD technology is inferior to Plasma technology hands down as far as viewing performance is concerned. Power consumption is a different story. The only time to get an LCD is when altitude issues are present, or if you are worried about saving a minor amount of money per year. In some cases a Plasma uses twice as much energy as a LCD. I am excited for the new organic LED televisions to be introduced. They could blow everything out of the water with their flexibility. OLEDs could wrap around posts and be ultra thin panels, like a piece of thick plastic. The hardware would likely be a separate box for connectivity. I have been in the electronics industry for 15 years, and have seen almost every television out there in almost any configuration.

PS..... Please don't listen to the cable guys. Most are butchers and have almost no clue as to whats going on. Please go back to school, learn how to read and write, and then maybe you can post an intelligent response cable guy. Before you declare yourself an expert on "plazma" or anything else, you may want to check your spelling.

Please consult a trusted professional if you don't know what you are dealing with! If you have questions I will try to answer.

Anonymous

28

i never declared myself an expert, best buy salesman. i only posted my opinion based on what i have seen. alot of cable guys are butchers, but that doesnt mean i am. you sound like you know your tv's. good for you. you also sound like a real asshole

joe

29

Again......please just learn how to read and write! Or just stop posting.

Krackle

30

Interesting, also looking forward to the OLED tech. Think I will grab an LCD for the time being though. I just feel gaming looks better on them. Which is what i will be doing most.

p.s. i'd much prefer to share a beer with that cable guy than the salesman.

JB

31

I bought a Samsung 40" LED TV Series 8 in December, after carefully comparing with Sony Bravia LCD and Panasonic Plasma of the same size. The clarity of picture, refresh rate and low light contrast for the same BluRay Film (Batman, Transformers and Terminator 4) from the same BluRay Player; beat the others hands down. It is a 100/200Mhz the 200Mhz Motion Plus mode is available for action/sports movies (almost like available four wheel drive, when you need it). Anyway, just my 2cents.

juku

32

You should have defined "LED TV" as "an LED backlit LCD" near the start of the article, for all the people who don't realise this.
-
Now almost a year after this was written, I can easily buy a 42" LCD for $700! (vs your 37" for $1000) Gotta love falling prices...;)

Steve

33

I've read some very infomative comments here and many have helped reinforce much of what I thought I knew.

I'm in the market now for a new tv between ~ 42" > ~ 52" ; with the toss up between plasma and LED. What I would really like is some help with some brands.

Right now, I am looking at Samsung and LG for LED, and Panisonic, Sony, Samsung and LG for Plasma.

Does anyone have experience with these types and brands that could offer their insights?

Thanks for any and all comments.

BTW - We would not be doing much gaming if any on this tv.

Mick

34

This article was very informative. Some of the posting were also helpful. I believe since the big TV will go in the master bedroom suite, I am leaning toward the Plasma technology. My wife has a major concern about the heat that large Plasma screens may generate that eleveate the room temperture especially impacting summer movie watching months (when the reruns on TV get stale). Has anyone ever experience the room climate changes in bedrooms or small closed living rooms due to a large Plasma screen. Sorry, if you think this question is silly but I dont care about the power consumption but I would not like the Plasma TV to be a heat generator like a large lamp ...

Please advise.

By the way, I am wondering if before TV era when people read for entertainment and wrote letters to relatives (not emails), if literacy levels were higher for High School Graduates with spelling, grammar, prose styles, and impactful communication. I am amazed at how many people that use the internet to post in 2010, have deficits in basic literacy levels that may have graduated public/private high schools. This last generation or two does have a problem with education and also perhaps our culture of the arts with an emphasis on video and not literature, poetry, fables, tales, and legends. Perhaps the internet vast library is a pancea for people that no longer go to the public libraries.

Anyway, back to the point of plasma generating room climatic changes that are noticable. Please advise.

Mick

35

By the way, I count myself in that pool of High School Graduates that sometimes are challenged with the written word - my problem is not spelling but sloppy and lazy grammar.

Pardon my english

36

To Steve:

In my experience, LG is cheaper for the same quality, and has a very good response in the long time, I have used it in different products.

Sony may have a better quality (sometimes, sometimes just a little more, always better sound) but more expensive, and not such a long life as my LG stuff had. And I'm speaking in the long term, 10+ years.

I would not recommend Samsung, but just because I have always had bad luck with their stuff, even had to change a brand new TV after 10 days because of very weird malfunction. I'm not Saying that Samsung is no good, just that I always had problems with them, is just me not willing to bet on them anymore.

Haven't tried Panasonic, but just because LG always beat them by the price.

PS: I'm not an english speaker, just read something and wanted to help, anyway, people skills or education should not be dealt with such passion in here.

NEIL

37

need advise: is it true that as the screen size go up, and I am talking about 40" and above, plasma would give you a better picture than LCD or LED? I was in a store looking at 55" Samsung LED 3D TV but I was recommended a Panasonic 50" Plasma 3D instead, as picture quality is better at the size range, any knowledgeable people care to comment? Thanks.

cant decide

38

great article and comments by everyone-thank you

George Lucas once stated... 'sound was 51% of the experience' ... how much of this holds true today with HD technology?

im still using rear projection and im trying to figure out which one to upgrade to.

n

39

Nobody said anything about the size needed. In general, the people should watch the TV from a distance 6 x TV-height, or in wide screen (16:9) it is approximately 3 x TV-diagonal. So, if you want to watch from the distance of 3 meters in average, 40" - 42" TV is good. You can get even closer if you watch in higher resolution (HD). Be careful that on plasma (which is my favorite), you can't find Full HD TV with size less than 40- 42". It means if you have average distance of 2 m, 32" size is the most appropriate and plasma is too big or HD ready only (not 1080).
Additionally, the weight of the plasma could be also an issue if you want to mount the TV on the wall. Similar to the power consumption, plasma TV has approximately 50% greater weight than LCD with the similar performance.
I read somewhere that plasma has much better black color, but LCD has better white color. Because of that, plasma is better for dark room while LCD could be better in bright room. In order to solve the black color on LCD, very good processing algorithms are implemented (for example Sony Bravia Engines). But it makes the picture more artificial and far from the reality. (Make a comparison between photo taken with very good Nikon camera and same photo taken with mobile phone with poor optic and later processed by excellent Photoshop guru).
Generally, my suggestion is: if you want to buy new TV, define the budget and the size, and than the other performance requirements. If the size is greater than 37", start with plasma, if it is appropriate, go on, if not, consider LCD (including LED). On very big sizes (50" or more) I believe that plasma will be cheaper for sure. If for some reason you need 26" or 32", than LCD is the only available option.
Thanks to PC World for this nice article.

Tim

40

I had a pasma panasonic s1 series. It was stolen by some low life . It took me a couple of months to replace the television. I looked real hard to find a replacement and when it came down to it, I purchased the Panasonic g25 model. I looked at led tv's for a long time and there were a couple that caught my eye. As far as energy consumption goes led cost twice as much. Thats not much savings. The 2010 model panasonics were suppose to be a little better than the 2009 models. The g series were always a little higher end model than the s counterparts. The biggest improvement that I seen was the g25 screen has way less glare. the 2010 models are better at power consuption than the 2009 models. Every year they improve the plasma's a little. Now if i was going to buy a small one for the bed room I might get an led model.

anonymous

41

To n: the Meter Man: I have no idea what the meter equivalent is to feet, but I'm under the impression thatthe optium viewing distance for a 40-42" TV is 6 feet. Is that what you were saying?

anon

42

I'm leaning toward a 40-42" Plasma for the bedroom because of their greater color, image quality. No gaming on this one, but must have 120hertz for sports and action films. Plannng to follow the advice about the first 100 hours, etc. I'd like anyone's opinion and brand recommendations. Thanks.

n

43

To anonymous:
1 m is around 3 feet. (Sorry, I'm from Macedonia and I'm not familiar with feet, yards and miles). The optimum distance (I read it in one article, but also confirmed with my Panasonic Plasma TV) is 3 times the diagonal. For 42" TV, it is 3 x 42" = 126" (it should be around 9 - 10 feet or 3 - 3.3 m). Viewing high definition, it could be closer (6 - 7 feet for 42" TV), but I can't try and confirm it because most of the programs I can see are standard definition.
For anon:
For plasma, I recommend Panasonic (For example Viera P42G25 or P42S2). G series is better while S is cheaper, still very good, HD1080, 100 Hz with 600 Hz subfield.
For LCD, the competition is much stronger (Sony, Samsung, LG ...), but if you need 40-42" for sport, I strongly recommend plasma.
In the first 100 hours, don't leave the TV long time (for example 30 min or longer) with "pause" function or still images (from camera or Teletext). Also, you can use it with less brightness and contrast. And of course, read the User's Guide book :)

paul

44

I only want to spend$2500 and I have to have a large TV around 55 inches because the distance from viewing to TV is around 5 metres. The room is bright oand open and one side with two double y glass sliding doors and has no blinds or curtains. And the TV has to be wall mounted.

So with those constraints will I get best value from a plasma in terms of picture quality but possible negatives include refection, screen burn and wieght. It seems to me that you pay around 500-1000 extra for LCD/LED with equivalnt picture quality to $2500 plasma

n

45

Paul, in your case, I can't decide what is better. In bright room, generally LCD is better because it has better brightness, it's easier to mount on the wall and reflection effect could be more problematic on plasma. The last issue is the most important for me. If you want to enjoy during the day, check the reflection in the shop by viewing the TV from different angles in bright conditions especially when the picture on the TV is dark. Milliseconds and hertz are more technical data than something the eye will recognize. Both LCD and plasma will be good enough (speaking about the new models). The eye will notice the difference between 50 and 100 Hz, but not between 100 and 200 Hz if you watch the normal movie. Also, the eye will notice the difference between the contrast of 8000:1 and 50000:1 but will not notice the difference between 50000:1 and 200000:1. I want to say don't pay so much attention on technical data in which plasma is better. It is, but not so much. For me, having full HD (1080), no reflection, bigger viewing angle and similar things are more important than having 3 microseconds response or 2,000,000:1 contrast.
I have no idea about the prices, for that size, LCD could be expensive.

Superman00

46

Wow, you guys are amazing and this forum is great. I have a Samsung series 5 46 inch LCD panel, it was absolutely horrible to see that my panel, which i had purchased in September 2009, selling now for like half the price. Anyway im looking to purchase another panel, within the next 4 months. Definetly larger than my current 46 inch tv. I always thought that plasma was a cheaper option but from this forum it seems that i was uninformed. I would appreciate some suggestions regarding panels from Sony and Samsung that will allow me 3 Dimensional viewing. Perhaps Plasma, Lcd and Led. Thanks

Shantaram

47

Really , Really useful and interesting comments. Guys you not only saved me money but also saved me from making blind choice I was almost sold on LED TV from Samsung and was confused between Samsung 46 inch and Sony 46 inch so thought of googling. Thank you for this buying guide as well as useful tips. Plasma seems to be safe choice till LED matures as technology or something new comes in. Panasonic seem to be preferred brand for the Plasma from the comments above. G Series any recommendation.

M.S

48

I just got a New 46 inch LED and it seems quite quick and clear for games on ps3 and great for sports also. Great comments people, Its funny but i still think my tv from the 80s which is almost half a fish tank in convex has the best picture, and thats from any angle.

RoguePC

49

If a low budget is paramount, carefully consider all sources being sent to your TV. While 1080p is the buzzword these days (and the "eventual" future of HD), going down to 720p can save you big bucks and give you a rock-solid picture that everyone will love - especially at the 50" size.

For example: my living room setup contains a Nintendo Wii (480p) an Apple TV (720p) and my cable box (1080i). In the case of cable or satellite, be aware that it's the content providers that decide how programs are recorded and sent to your household. Most TV shows don't get the full, deluxe 1080p treatment - hence your nice 1080p TV is rarely being utilized to it's fullest in this regard.

Taking all this into account, my picture preference leans towards 720p plasma. All my sources look awesome, even the SD channels that my girlfriend loves benefit from this technology (even when compared to 1080p LCD). All sources become much smoother and lifelike, without any loss in sharpness. I like to think I'm picky, but most can't see any resolution difference between 720p and 1080p at normal viewing distance, 50" or smaller.

Right now, you can buy a reliable, new generation 50" LG 720p Plasma (Model 50PJ550) for less than $700 from Best Buy, Costco and Walmart! Wow. For the price... unbeatable. And with the money I saved, I will soon buy a 3D 1080p projector to go with my PS3 for a huge 120" dedicated gaming and Blu-Ray theatre. Overall, best bang-for-your-buck.

Skibum

50

Which is best for a sunny, well lit room--which could produce a lot of glare--LCD or LED? Any significant difference?

RoguePC

51

I think manufactures have confused people in their marketing of the LED feature. All LCD TV's are simply that, LCD. The LED is "only" in reference to the backlighting. The LED's replace the older CCFL technology in lighting up the screen from beneath the LCD. But major TV makers crazily tout LED in all their advertising, marketing and packaging. I believe this is misrepresenting the technology.

LED is "not" a new type of TV... it is simply a slimmer, more power efficient way of backlighting the screen. In the case of local dimming, it does enhance the picture too, but only in the more expensive TVs that offer this type.

As for glare... it won't make one bit of difference.

The Texan

52

For Steve and Anon, and anyone shopping who would like to read feedback on different brands & models: Go to the big sellers, (Amazon, etc.) and click on one or another brand you like. Then scroll on down to the customer reviews. I just found 79 reviews on a randomly selected 42" 720p Plasma Samsung.

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-PN42C450-42-Inch-Plasma-Black/dp/B0036WT3V6/ref=sr_1_5?s=tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1286316449&sr=1-5

You will find comments on everything from the sound quality to the customer service problems they've had. You can also find out how many people have had to return a brand new TV, and why!!

This whole "Buying Guide" has been an education in itself, and I thank the person who wrote it, and those who commented. Great!!

Dan

53

I would stay away from Samsung TV's at all costs. Their after sale support is horrible. Something that costs $150.00 to fix will cost over $1000.00 on a samsung. Why? because samsung won't sell you the little individual parts. They make you buy the whole damn tv display panel. So in other words, they set it up so that you have no choice but to buy a new TV. Stick to a manufacturer that has good after sale support unless you want to buy a new tv everytime some little thing goes wrong.

MichaelGOP

54

LCD's and LED's have the advantage of no glare on the screen. Eliminating that glare does more for viewing than resolution, contrast, etc. Not only does normal lighting not produce glare, but even a strong laser (tried for fun) pointed at the screen produces almost no reflection, nor glare.

haji

55

hi dude, i m going to buy a tv,but i m totally confused of different brands,different opinion from sales man . i m impressed of sony led ex700 40 " tv. can any1 help me out ,whether it is a good choice or i have to go for lcd tv's and i m not interested in plasma's. also can u give me some information about truemotion 100hours for some tv's,means it will loss color after 100 hours?

CallMeChaz

56

I will not purchase another Samsung product becasue of the screwing I got from them. After a massive, across the board failure on most of their DLP TV's they offered to make better this engineering failure. I got a written offer that they will exchange my 46" set for $850! I told them if I am going to spend that much it will not be on another Samsung--I can buy anyone's 46" set for around that. So much for standing behind your name. I guess that nice warm water trickling down my back was not a gentle summer rain.

FrankO

57

Great forum ...learnt a lot. I was dead set on a 55 inch Samsung series 7 LCD ...now I'll look closer at plasmas.
I don't want to play games on it or even watch it regularly ...it'll be set up for movie & sports mainly ....12 hours a week. So plasma might be best value. I'll probably walk into shop and change mind at the last second ...don't we all?

Wanda

58

You all confirmed my experience with a Samsung which had issues with dimming! I was happy with the picture but the dimming was annoying. Wal-Mart happily refunded my money, but it was disappointing that it was rated so highly by Consumer Reports. I am in the market again to replace that set but for now my old set is working fine. I am glad I had not sold it!

CR

59

All these Samsung haters? I have a 7 series 55inch LCD and love it!! Great picture awesome features, frequent updates, and easy to use. I did have a problem with my 6 series ( spider cracks in the frame). But after a second issue with the 6, Samsung called me and offered me the upgraded TV for FREE. Don't think Sony would have done that Just one persons opinion.

liz

60

Thank you for all the information but I just need some simplification. I am looking to buy a TV for my bedroom. I plan on mounting it on my wall approximately 15 feet from my bed. I am just a little overwhelmed with all this information. The lighting is not very bright in the room because I prefer to tun off the overhead and utilize a bedside lamp. So I think that may be important to know.

Can anyone offer any suggestions?
Thank you again for reading and posting to this request.

Mark

61

Great post. I too am surfing info for a 55" and I've been seriously looking at Samsung and Vizio LED/LCDs. I like many of the draws of the "apps" and Ethernet/Internet capability of these units, but most of those can be achieved from a BlueRay player. I may sway to the Plasma from the info posted here.

pbj

62

I am wanting a new TV for my living room. It is an open area that is fairly lit up during the day and is dark at night. I watch sports, especially football and gyolf, NCIS, 2 1/2 men, House and different movies I am watching from about 12-15 feet.I would like to know if I should purchase a plasma, lcd or led and what size.I am also interested in getting surround sound. I want an inexpensive surround

Net Tech

63

Bottom line is this, Plasma = Quality Picture with color and shading, also no pixel dragging which means there are no trails. LCD & LED which is an LCD with LED lighting. = Light wieght and less power consumption. Also has a limited viewing from side angles. Whic plasma tvs are way better at viewing from any angle. I had bought a sony plasma tv when they first came out about 6 years ago and paid close to six thousand dollars for it, and the tv is still one of the best pictures i have seen to date. I also have a panasonic plasma which i bought about two years ago and i have had no problems with it either. NO burn in even after hundreds of hours of playing xbox and falling asleep with it on pause. Im not trying to say i know everything about tvs but being a tech i am very informed about them. Being a computer tech working on lcd's i know they are prone to dead pixels and they dont last very long. the longest lcd i ever came across was 6 years old. So when it comes down to it, it is personal opinion on what you like. Do you like lightwieght and less power consumption? then buy a lcd-led. Or do you want better viewing and better colors and in my opinion a better tv in general. It's your call! Oh and P.S. just because the salesman at bestbuy or Joeshmoes TV's Say that its the best, don't mean its the best. They try to push whatever is new and they have the most of. Remember new does not mean better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Net Tech

64

Oh and i forgot, if you like watching sports or fast moving movies with car chases. Plasma is far superior over lcd or led. So i hope that helps you pbj!

miles long

65

Great information here! Thanks. I am a graphic designer/artist and my concerns are a little different than most. I am interested in color accuracy. A lot of the new technologies are focused on high contrast and dazzling color (I suspect that's for gamers) hence the colors look plastic ... skin tones are just weird. I use an old CRT Radius PressView for my design work because the colors on screen produce really accurate printed materials - WYSIWYG. As you might gather, I'm pretty picky. I've had some flat screens but I seem to prefer the warm, realistic tones of my old Sony XBR-CRT. I do watch a lot of sports and I don't want the trails and pixelation of some of the sets I've seen. I'm leaning towards 42" plasma. Any thoughts?

Ilava

66

For my opinion, CRT was renewed by the plasma technology. So if you're buying or planning to buy a new TV, I personally recommend a Plasma, because the color is the same as in the real world.

It is true that CRT is preserved the TRUE color and so the same with Plasma while the LCD/LCD-LED have an unrealistic color.

For Film or Movie I prefer the Plasma while the LCD is for gaming purpose.

RED

67

Thanks a lot! You have know idea how much this has helped me!

Giblet

68

I am looking at purchasing a 58" samsung 58C550 plasma HDTV can anyone tell me if that is a good tv, the kids will play games on it, and we watch some movies and alot of sports and racing

Torso718

69

At Giblet
Depends on what you are paying for it. Right now Wal Mart has a 50" Plasma for $598. Only 720p on the resolution but overall a pretty good deal (in my opinion).

Torso718

70

PS: Read Rogue's comments also as it pertains to the resolution between 720p and 1080i (#49). Of course I had to post on #69. YEEEAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Sharhonda

71

I had a 32" plasma tv in my bedroom and my husband decides he wants a larger one. My sister went shopping with me and I let her talk me into a 47" LG LCD. I'm not happy with the decision I made because I saw a 50" plasma that was calling my name with excellent picture quality and fabulous color which was about $150 cheaper. I've had the tv a couple of days and the picture sucks. I had to angle a certain way to get a decend look. The picture is kind of frothy or ashy looking--in other words not vibrant and clear. I'm thinking about exchanging for the plasma one. Who cares if the life span is shorter? For that price i'll just get another one in 5 or 6 years. I think its worth it to obtain the picture quality i'm comfortable with. My 2 cents!!!!

Tom

72

Can anyone tell me more about OLED's?
What are they? When will they be available?

Tom

73

Thanks for all the great info, very helpful. I had not considered plasma until now. How are plasma's lit?
I am considering a full array led also. Is local dimming a must for these?
Also am interested in the quatron from Sharp. Does anyone have any feedback about the 4th pixel technology? I have heard from some reviews that it is a marketing gimmick and from others that it kicks ass? If you where me would you go with full array aquas versus a edge lit quatron?
One last note: I am with the rest of these folks who have had big issues with Samsung. Spent big money on 52" and after 2 years of low useage it went out. Samsung does nothing but tell you that you have to replace the panel? After further reviews I find that it is a common occurance. Read reviews that are more than a year old..Most work well right out of the box
STAY AWAY FROM SAMSUNG

Kamz gumbar

74

PLASMA
Thanks a lot guys for such a wonderful forum....
I was going for 46" LED but now I'll go for Panasonic 50" Plasma!!

valerie dare

75

I purchased an Lg 50PS60 50" Plasma TV. Lots of perks, THX Cinema Certified, Clear voice, Aoto lighting, 2 engines to run, 600hz, too many to mention, the picture was so-o-o beautiful. This TV When blank after a year. After replacing three panels, & still not working, The repair man said that the whole panel & to more engines in the back need to be replaced. so I would have a new TV with no warranty if..... they agree to fix. They first said they waould replace it, now I am being told that they will do a comparrison & write me a check to buy another TV. I really dont like either solution. The repair guy said to switch from Plasma to LCD, which I am having a hard time within my mind, as I know I will be giving up picture quality, & the THX Cinematic Certification. I am hoping they willl take all into consideration all the time 2 months without TV, & spending time & gas going to pick out another TV. I was very happy with mine until this issue & found out LG outsources to several different countries & assembled in another. Want to find a "made in USA TV". Does that exists?

Candy

76

I like totally agree! LCD all the way I mean like I don't mind the Plasma but It like doesn't really tickle my fancy, you know?

brian

77

ill ask my mother inlaw and father inlaw...they seem to know it all and they r never wrong...

Ken Oxenrider

78

I have a 42 in Panny Plasma I bought in 2005, model TH-42PX50U. Well it finally quit today. The dreaded ten blink code on the red led on light. I have tried resetting it by holding the button in ten seconds and even unplugging it overnight. It came back on once and lasted about an hour and took another dump with added sizzling.

Still, my recommendation is for another plasma, even though I live in a motor home where the added power consumption and heat can be a problem. The picture was always awesome. The only gripe I ever had was this early model had only one HDMI input, no wifi, or usb inputs either.

I will upgrade to 1080p when I get the new one. Believe it or not, I paid about $3500 bucks for this in 05 and since I live in a motor home I broke my own rule and bought the extended seven year warranty. All that bouncing and rattling around. Hee Hee, The replacement warranty is still good I hope..... (Circuit City) If they try to fix it I will be PO'd for sure since I paid so much for a no questions asked 'replacement warranty' in the store.

JayKay

79

I see majority of people leaning towards Plasma TVs rather than LEDs but I understood that Plasmas are not recommended for video games at all. Is that true?

Also, everyone seems to be talking about the best possible picture, but are we talking about 3D or 2D?

I'm looking for a 55" TV with the 3D feature and I was recommended to go with Plasma for the best quality picture, but then again it was not recommended for video games.
I'd appreciate any suggestions!

btw. "brian" that was hilarious! :D

LtDan

82

F the cable guy! Get a plasma and just be happy! LCD is bad for most viewing, unless you have a very bright room. Go with LCD if you want to see everything blur!

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