Shopping for the Best HDTV: LED, LCD, Plasma TV
There are numerous factors to consider if you want to get the best HDTV. One of them is the display technology. Since humongous CRTs are extinct, and thick HDTVs are beginning to wane, most HDTVs today are offered in three display technologies – LED, LCD, Plasma TV. Those who are shopping for a new TV might be confused which kind of TV to buy.
When HDTV was a rising technology, Plasma TVs were the most popular and the most preferred because of their superior display quality. As the competition became stiffer, energy-efficient LCD TVs also became popular and less expensive. Over the years, LED TVs also flourished because of their unmatched energy saving features. However, LED TVs are very expensive. If you are shopping on a budget, LED TVs are not ideal.
The Main Differences between LED, LCD, Plasma TV
LED, LCD and Plasma TV technologies are largely different, specifically in terms of how each type of screen projects light.
As the name implies, LED TVs use Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to project the display. LED TVs have high energy efficiency.
LCD TVs, on the other hand, use Liquid Crystal Diodes (LCDs) though the liquid crystals themselves do not illuminate on their own and therefore require another source of light. That is why there are regular LCD TVs and LCD TVs lit by LEDs or known as LED-LCD. Conventional LCD TVs utilize cold cathode fluorescent lights or CCFLs to project the display screen. CCFLs are also present on CFL lights and fixtures, which use charged gas for illumination.
Meanwhile, Plasma TVs use phosphors, which can create the display on the screen from its own illumination even without the backlight.
What Makes A Good LCD TV?
Most LCD TVs have a specified number of pixels on the surface screen, so if you want to find a good LCD TV, be sure to get the highest pixel count. For example, a 23-inch LCD TV has 720p to 768p resolution. This pixel range makes a good LCD TV. Also, most of the larger LCD TVs measuring about 40 inches or more have 1080p resolution, which is ideal if you want to enjoy blu-ray videos. LCD TVs also offer minimal flare and come with uniform brightness throughout the display.
What Makes A Good LED TV?
As mentioned above, LED TVs are designed differently from TVs with conventional fluorescent backlit systems. A good LED TV requires lower power, comes with better color saturation, and unlike an LCD TV, no mercury is used in the backlight system. It is ideal to choose an LED TV that uses Full Array Backlight technology, since it provides minimal or no light leakage especially in dark display. While there are LCD TVs with Full Array Backlight technology, LED TVs with this feature are generally thinner and require lower power consumption. The backlight technology represents a more advanced technology in bringing LCD TVs to a performance level equal to high-end Plasma TVs.
What Makes A Good Plasma TV?
Good Plasma TVs are noted for their premium-grade contrast ratio, which is defined as the luminance of black and white. To put it simply, it is the level of how black the black shades in the screen are. This is important especially for videophiles who want deeper shadow details. Although many manufacturers of LCD and LED TVs claim that they have standard contrast ratios, only Plasma TVs have the superior level for this category.
Factors to Consider in Choosing the Type of HDTV Display Technology
There are several factors that you must consider in choosing the type of HDTV Display Technology. This includes brightness, contrast, clarity of picture, thickness of the screen, cost-efficiency, and, of course, the price. It is ideal to get an HDTV that is not too expensive, very thin, can project displays even when the surroundings are too bright, and can use less than a watt of power. Today, this is quite impossible, but numerous manufacturers of LCD and LED TVs are beginning to work on providing TVs with all these features. Although LED TVs are leading in this category, HDTVs with LED backlight usually cost more than HDTVs with CCFL backlight. Meanwhile, LED HDTVs are becoming the standard for high-end HDTVs, and Plasma TVs are now less expensive compared to LED TVs but a bit more expensive compared to HDTVs with CCFL backlight.
While the thickness of the screen is not the most essential factor to consider, it is the most noticeable feature. A slim TV is not only stylish but also space-saving, since it can also be easily mounted on a wall. LED TVs are the thinnest today and Plasma TVs come in second while LCD TVs are considered the thickest. Meanwhile, Plasma TVs are heavier compared to LCD and LED TVs.
LED, LCD, Plasma TV – The Final Verdict
It all boils down to your budget. If you have a limited budget, LCD TVs are ideal but they cannot match LED TVs and Plasma TVs when it comes to screen size and resolution. Meanwhile, Plasma TVs are not too expensive, but they may consume more power to provide a cinematic experience. Lastly, LED TVs are the way to go if you can afford them.