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Plasma vs. LCD or is it Myths vs Lies

by gabereyes / November 11, 2007 3:36 PM PST

So I got bored and did a google search on Plasma vs LCD.

Wow I never heard so much crap in my life and its still all about bashing plasma, One said that plasma bulbs dim over time, what bulb are they talking about I didnt know plasma TV's used a bulb, a second one stated that most people can hang there own LCD TV's but should get a professional to hang there plasma because they are harder to install, they use the same type of mount and mount the same way, Ive mounted both and its the same drill both ways.

Then everyone talks about room lighting, and how a plasma is only good in low lighting, what is low lighting? is it only one window and one light 60watts only, the fact is every person has had a CRT TV in the room at one time and plasma and LCD are brighter then a CRT TV and no TV type look good in direct light, everyone says that they have a bright room but I have never went to a house that was brighter then a retail store, so what is all this low lighting only all about.

next is the glare issue dont buy a plasma because of the glare, but its ok to buy an LCD with a glassy type screen, most living rooms have one or two walls with windows so you should have a 25%-50% chance of having glare from a window, so why is 80%-90% of people concerned about it? I have no idea.
but what about my lamp? well lets think about it you are watching TV not you lamp so maybe you should move it.

and the list goes on and on.
plasma's uses to much power.
they run hot.
they are not as sharp.
they burn in.
they dont last very long.
they are too heavy.
you cant lay them down.
they leak gas.
you have to refill the gases.
you have to replace the bulbs.
my friend said dont buy them.

So I dicided to make a list for LCD TV's
dont buy an LCD because
they leak liquid
you have to replace the crystals
they are to lite and can fall over
they cant do a deep black level
they dont have good colors
they loss image quality at an angle
you have to replace all the bulbs at one time.
they have motion blur
the lie about there contrast or dynamic contrast
the lie about there refresh rate and viewing angle's
they are only good for still images not motion
they are harder to install
they dont work in cold climates

and the name is too long, Liquid crystal display, and the new light-emitting diode Liquid crystal display, wow that a hard to say fast five times.

I think this should be a simple thing
do you want a TV with a good black level and colors look at a TV with a glossy screen (LCD or Plasma), if you dont want glare look at a TV with out a glossy screen but it will most likely not get good blacks and/or colors.

Or size could make the choice easier, if you need a 37 inch or smaller, and if you need a 58inch or bigger.

everything else they say about LCD and Plasma is just really not that important and/or BS.

sorry I needed to vent on this subject.

thanks for reading

Message was edited by: admin to correct spelling in subject line

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by stuntman_mike / November 12, 2007 1:10 AM PST

very funny post.

I have said it many times. It is amazing how many lies and misconceptions there are about plasma technology. A lot if it stems from the salespeople at electronic retailers. I don't know if it is because they are stupid (very likely) or because they have better margins with LCD TVs (also likely) or both (most likely), but it is just annoying.

The stupidity just filters down from there to the consumers. I have had friends who have quoted many of the stupid things in your post, right down to the leaking gas one lol. I had to re-educate them on plasmas and I have made a point of doing that on these very forums even though I don't own a plasma myself. I just can't stand to see people be scared off of something that they want because people lie to them.

Then you have the LCD drones that proliferate not only this site but are everywhere. It's like they only know 3 letters. There are great LCDs out there but there is no definitive TV technology out there right now, and if there was, I am not sure that LCD would be it. And that is coming from someone that loves the Samsung 71F series.

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Plasma vs LCD
by gene190 / November 14, 2007 11:30 AM PST
In reply to: Lol...

First off, I'm no expert on either Plasma or LCD TV's. However, I did buy Plasma TV a couple of years ago paying over $1500 for it. I had trouble from the start. The first one I brought home refused to work at all. When I returned it to the store they hooked it up and it wouldn't work for them either. They replaced it immediately.

The new one played for about two months when it quit. I got it repaired OK. I had a one-year warrantee on it and it lasted 14 months. I called support and they told me Sears repaired them. That's not true at least it wasn't then. I called a local repairman and was told the computer went out of it. He said I would be better off buying a new one. It's going to be a long time before I invest in another Plasma TV. Good luck to anyone investing in one.


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Bad luck
by fnash / November 14, 2007 7:38 PM PST
In reply to: Plasma vs LCD

Dude, you probably had bad luck from a bad manufacturing run of a product. That doesn't make plasma bad, just your luck. I own both LCD and plasma TVs and love both. I've had no problems from either one. With the maturity of the technologies these days, the biggest things to worry about is getting what looks good to you and fits your budget. Otherwise, who cares if it's LCD or plasma. Also, if it's available, get the extended warranty. That goes for any large TV, including DLP and tube sets. It's relatively cheap insurance and peace of mind.

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Bad Luck NOT bad plasma
by mynx626 / November 14, 2007 11:31 PM PST
In reply to: Bad luck

I agree. I had a terrible first experience as well, but now - I'm VERY happy with the Panasonic 42PX75U. I purchased it from B&H Photo for $1049 and it came with a 3-year MACK in-home service warranty for $179. Total price delivered was $1371.92.

Research your purchase - read reviews and find out what MODELS of plasma TV's people are having success with and you truly can find a great TV that won't have you calling for service every other week =O)

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Plasma vs LCD Television
by JCipo / November 15, 2007 6:16 AM PST

For a number of years, if you wanted a large flat screen, plasma was the best call. However, some of you who don't even own a set are mixing facts with myths.
The plasma uses a lot more energy then an LCD. Plasma units are prone to fail at a greater rate, check this with Consumer Union if you don't believe me. LCD units have improved so much that they (like Samsung) have contrast ratios that match plasma (4000 to 1 and higher) which makes for a great picture that can be seen on an angle.
The real issues are as follows....
If you want your flat screen repaired get an extended warranty on either type. If you have money to burn and like playing Russian roulette then forget the extended warranty.
If you want to see a beautiful picture, make sure you are using the HDMI connection.
If you want to see a picture after Febuary 2009 make sure it has a special built in tuner that will allow you to receive the digital signal that will be the only signal broadcasted after this date. I believe it is called a Quam tuner.
There is also a formula which I can't recall at this time that states, if you sit too close to a flat screen you will lose resolution. So if you sit 4 feet away from a flat screen, the best size would be a 26 inch or smaller.

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another half truth
by spadasoe / November 15, 2007 12:33 PM PST

quote "If you want to see a picture after Febuary 2009 make sure it has a special built in tuner that will allow you to receive the digital signal that will be the only signal broadcasted after this date"

In actuality, this is only true with over the air analog broadcast that is transmitted, Cable providers will still broadcast non digital signals. So if you still use rabbit ears, you will be out of luck

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Started to get concerned
by vattan2005 / November 16, 2007 11:58 AM PST
In reply to: another half truth

quote "If you want to see a picture after Febuary 2009 make sure it has a special built in tuner that will allow you to receive the digital signal that will be the only signal broadcasted after this date"

'In actuality, this is only true with over the air analog broadcast that is transmitted, Cable providers will still broadcast non digital signals. So if you still use rabbit ears, you will be out of luck.'

Thanks for that. I was starting to see red as I read through that! Whew! I use neither LCD nor plasma. My Mitsubishi CRT TV is fabulous and I am not about to give it up. Because I hope top continue watching it way beyond 2009!

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Digital vs Analog
by SkywayTraveler / November 27, 2007 1:19 PM PST

Chill! It doesn't matter WHAT kind of a TV that you have after 2/09. If you have a digital tuner, you're good to go. If you have an analog tuner, as in the "older" sets, you simply insert a converter box that will be available in droves at a cheap price.

If you are old enough, you can remember that we had to get UHF converter boxes for our TV sets that only had VHF tuners. They were cheap. It's not a big deal. Don't lose any sleep over it.

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Plasma a higher failure rate - ck Consumer reports for fact
by astrobuf / November 15, 2007 12:52 PM PST

Do check Consumer Reports. The November '07 issue announced that the best TV they have ever seen is the new Panasonic 50" 1080p Plasma set. In fact, CU was positivly giddy about the quality, performance and value of PDP TV's.

The old canard that PDP's draw more power is pure junk. It is based upon the simple assumption that build plate power labels equal actual power consumption. Let's take a simple physics lesson here to dispel this myth.

Plasma TV's only draw power when they make light. When a pixel is black, no power is drawn. PDP TV's do indeed draw more peak power, a displayed image with a high average pixel level, say a computer software display would draw much more power on a PDP than on an LCD. On the other hand, we are talking about TV's here and the APL for typical TV is around 35%, for movies it is <25%. In these circumstances a PDP actually draws less power than would an LCD!

LCD TV's draw power all the time. The back light is always on (or at least flickered to try to control blur) and the LCD xtals modulate that light transmission. LCD's work a bit like having a TV made up of a bunch of tiny venetian blinds. When they are closed, just a little light leaks through (just as they do in your home on a sunny day, the leaked light is why LCD's cannot make black. It is also why an LCD cannot make a very bright picture element such as a sunlight glint. This inherent limitation to the contrast ratio is why LCD's produce images that are a bit artificcial.

In summary, the difference in power consumption is not worth consideration if you are talking about TV and Movies.

LCD's will always do poorly in dark room contrast ratio, it is a function of their transmissive nature.

PDP's will always be poorer in bright room contrast ratio, simply because they lack a front polarizer and have reflective phosphors.

LCD's will be poorer in viewing angle and image blur. It is an intrinsic problem inherent with the way LCD's shutter light. Fix the viewing angle and you will make th eblur problem worse and vice versa.

With my money, I stick to LCD TV's for 3X" class displays. For a home theater, you cannot beat a Pioneer or Panasonic PDP and Samsung is catching up fast!


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nice post astrobuf
by scorcher409 / November 15, 2007 9:20 PM PST

Quite technical but I absolutely agree

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by Soddy / November 20, 2007 9:25 AM PST

astrobuf: I assume (being igornant) that the abbreviation PDP refers to Plasma. I looked everywhere to find what the abbreviation is for and found none. Otherwise, thanks for the detailed explanations. Harold

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PDP = Plasma Display Panel
by Pannylover4ever / November 20, 2007 12:34 PM PST
In reply to: PDP

No ignorance involved, there are enough acronyms around to keep everyone guessing. Here is a reference for it though:

Someone smarter than me said once, "Ignorant people make statements, Smart people ask questions".

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myths and facts
by scorcher409 / November 15, 2007 9:16 PM PST

*yes, plasma do use slightly more energy than LCds. I don't think it is enough reason to make my decision.
*Tier 1 Plasmas or LCDs are very reliable. Disposable LCDs and Plasmas by name brands that are here today and may be gone tomorrow will probably be prone to repair issues. ( You get what you pay for)
*Published contrast ratios are meaningless go spend some time and look at the TV. Make sure you get that remote control in your hands and adjust to your preference.
*HDMI is important especially when you have a long run from your components or using a 1080P device such as a HDDVD or Blu Ray otherwise the diffenece may be much less than you have been lead to believe. It is very convienent just 1 wire.
*a Qom tuner is to recieve unobstructed High Def cable through the cable line. If your set doesn't have one you will always need a cable box if you are a cable user. You will probably pay additional fees for the rental, most of us have them anyway.
* February of 2009 you will be able to see a picture if you are a cable or satellite customer ( HD boxes they have already provided are recieving digital signals and converting it to analog for your current HD TVs that have no HD tuners) you may have a letterbox picture and burn your TV screen if it is not widescreen and is a technology susceptable to burn in.
*If you use an antenna you want a TV with an ATSC tuner, this is a HD over the air tuner.
* If you are buying a 1080P TV, measure the height of the screen and try to position your seating appoximately 3 times that measurement. This formula is so your picture will appear smooth. This may be too close for some people and may be too far for others. I guess that is why some people sit in the front or back row of the movie theatre.

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I think you missed a few facts here...
by Pannylover4ever / November 16, 2007 2:24 PM PST

Responding to JCipo above.

You must not have read your Consumer Reports you are quoting since you are actually dead wrong. According to my latest issue:

1. Failure rates of LCD's and Plasmas are about the same, less than 3%.
2. CU recommends NOT buying the extended warranty due to the fact that in the unlikely event you need to get your set repaired, the cost was usually less than the extended warranty cost.
3. Contrast ratio and viewing angle have nothing to do with one another and plasma still is significantly better there (also in CU).
4. The HDMI connection makes almost no difference unless you are using a HD-DVD or BluRay player, or some upscaling SD-DVD players since many DVD players do not pass anything higher than 480P through the Component ports. On a cable or SAT box, the difference is barely perceptible, except for those people who feel they need to justify their new $100 HDMI cable.
5. The tuner is irrelevant for the vast majority of people who get their HD via Cable or SAT. Only people with rabbit ears need to worry about the tuner, and if your LCD or Plasma has a tuner built in it is a ATSC tuner that is digital and is for OTA (Over the Air) broadcasts only. The NTSC broadcasts are being phased out. The PRO screens out there (Like the Panasonic PRO models) are displays only and don't have a tuner, they need a Cable or SAT box or an external tuner to see anything.
6. No matter how far or how close to the screen you sit, you do not loose or gain any resolution. There is a formula that SMPTE came up with that recommends you sit double the diagonal size from the screen as the optimum viewing distance . For a 42" screen it is 84" or 7 feet. You can see the formula here:

I think the intent of the forum here was to bust myths, not confirm old ones and create new ones, so lets stick to the facts.

Hope it helps....

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I'm losing resolution
by drhesqiq / November 16, 2007 10:47 PM PST

Just a note to follow-up on a great post; you can spell, arrange words into a coherent sentence, are adventuresome with your grammar but when you are, there is plenty of punctuation to see you through. It was so refreshing and informative that I came off it truly enriched. There is one thing, however, that I wanted to note: Is it the TV or me that lose resolution when we are too close together?

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The is no resolution lost or gained...
by Pannylover4ever / November 17, 2007 2:43 AM PST
In reply to: I'm losing resolution

In respone to drhesqiq above.

You don't loose or gain resolution when you get close to the screen. Resolution is a fixed number of dots your screen has to display viewing material. Your house doesn't get smaller when you walk away from it and it doesn't get bigger when you walk towards it, you just see things farther away or closer.

When you get close enough to the screen you start seeing the pixels that make up the picture. Most screens are designed with a certain viewing distance in mind. Computer screens have to have a higher resolution since you tend to sit about 2 feet away.

Every plasma and LCD screen will look good with material displayed in its native resolution at 2x viewing distance. You won't really start to notice lack of resolution until you pass the 60" mark.

Just the other day, I was looking at a 58" 720P screen a few feet away at Costo, and it still looked very good. So until you start getting past 58", 1080P is not an issue since you won't see the difference if you sit 2x screen size away.

The commonly recommended SMPTE optimal viewing distance recommendation for HD screens is 2x diagonal screen size. Viewing distance preference however is subjective depending on the person watching, some like to sit closer than 2x and some like to sit farther away.

If you like to see what resolution you need for your viewing distance, the information is available here in great detail:

Hope that helps...

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B&H Photo
by scrushmaster / November 16, 2007 3:48 AM PST

They buy stuff from out of the country, sell it as a U.S. model, then give you a 3 year warranty through a 3rd party warranty company. The manufactures do not cover most of their units due to them being from other country's. Good luck!

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IMO For Plasma's aren't as good as a Liquid Crystal Display.
by CaspersAPBT / November 20, 2007 12:07 AM PST
In reply to: Bad luck

First off I work for a Major Retailer and I KNOW for a FACT (Just in Devo's or Fixes). Return's And/Or complaints that Plasma's are nowhere as "Hassle-Free" as an LCD. Yes both look great Plasma a little brighter, a bit heavier (At least the Sony's) than the LCD's, but both get the same 90 degree viewing angle. And BOTH are VERY nice TV's.

But again just from what I've Personally seen and heard from customers themselves I would NOT be buying a Plasma ANYTIME soon.

And Yes I also agree that some store employee's do NOT know anything. I had an emplyee ask me where to buy or send in the tv when it runs of of Plasma (Obviously thinking it was filled with Plasma) because the customer wanted to know! TRUTH!

And if that's BAD LUCK with two's tv's. I DO NOT think so. And honestly you are NOT supposed to lie a Plamsa on the screen down as you can an LCD. Now ask yourself (Do the people in the warehouse make sure they screen are ALWAYS up when there is a 6000 piece truck that night.

The answer is NO! So if it WAS bad luck than chances are he got it from a retailer like the one I used to work at before. We would keep Plasma's Face down in the warehouse for MONTHS!

I also do not like Projection TV's DLP's. But yes a 1080p Plasma and a 1080p LCD IF PROPERLY maintained and BOUGHT from a good retailer WILL last you years.

And ALWAYS buy the EXTENDED warranty, ALWAYS! What's more $400.00 for 4 years or a nice brand new TV at around $2,000 - $7,000.

Again in my OWN opinion!

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IMO For Plasma's aren't as good as a Liquid Crystal Display
by astrobuf / November 20, 2007 12:33 AM PST

A Sony PDP, there is no such thing in the US, save for some old low res SD grade junk. Tragically, Sony has made a number of bad decisions and does not actually make any main stream TV product anymore. The PDP's they do sell (in Asia) are actually made by Hitachi and the LCD's are made by Samsung, go figure out why people still think they are a TV leader!

As to durability, check the latest Consumer Reports, PDP and LCD TV's both feature low trouble rates, on the order of 2-3% for major brands such as Samsung, Pioneer and Panasonic.

Finally, re: extended warranties, this is a bad bad bet. CU again rejects them as the TV's are now reliable enough that it is not a prudent investment. New main line PDP's are closer to $1000 these days. A $400 maintenance contract is ridiculous.

If you really are a TV salesman, you need to get a better grasp of the facts to be of service to your customers.


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Re:IMO For Plasma's aren't as good as a LCD
by Pannylover4ever / November 20, 2007 12:06 PM PST

I have to concur with astrobuf on this one. The data simply doesn't support what is being presented.

The price point for 42" to 58" plasma screens is around $1k to $4k, you have to go to 65" or higher for anything close to $7k, not a screen everyday consumer would buy for sure.

We have to separate the plasma problems people have posted here into name brands and no-name brands. Almost all the posts here mention Vizio, Toshiba, Dell and other second tier brands as having problems, or screens that are several years old. That is well before the 7th and 8th generation screens came out, which addressed most of the initial concerns, like burn in and lifespan. Current screens are 10th and 11th generation and are rated at up to 100.000 hours.

The only name brand mentioned (a burn in issue), a Pioneer, was a store display, left with a DVD menu on for weeks and months on end, not a typical consumer setup.

So most (or all) plasma problems brought up so far have been second tier brands, store demos, floor models or old technology. Hardly representative of current technology.

CU 12/2007 issue reports the failure rate for Panasonic plasma and LCD screens the same, 2%. Pioneer plasma, along with the LCD leaders Sony, Sharp and Samsung are at 3%. Samsung Plasma is 5%. Dell LCD failure rate is 11%. So the name brand leaders in LCD and Plasma screens are tied at a failure rate of 3% or less.

Extended warranty's are hardly ever needed, and cost more than the first repair, so as such are a waste of money.

If you compare apples to apples here, the facts simply don't favor either technology reliability wise.

As far as Sony, they were simply making too much money on the Trinitron CRT's to be bothered with the newfangled LCD and Plasma technology. When they finally woke up, they were so far behind that they had to have Samsung make the LCD panels for them.

I used to have a Sony 36" flat CRT along with a Sony VCR. After their quality went down the drain, everything got replaced with Panasonic, the screen, the DVD player and the DVD recorder/VCR.

They are trying to make a comeback, but it is slow going.

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The plasma must be upright myth....
by Pannylover4ever / November 20, 2007 12:29 PM PST

Forgot to address the last plasma issue people mention for all the wrong reasons, the "you must not lay the plasma screen down flat" issue.

While it is true that this is recommended, it is not due the the reasons listed. There are no liquids or anything that will settle wrong like an air conditioner if the screen is laid down flat. The reason why you are not to lay it down flat, is due to the weight of the glass panels that make up the screen.

The glass panels are heavy and fragile, and as such can crack when only held by the screen frame. Same reason you see all those glass transporting vans and trucks around the city transport glass vertically, glass is more fragile when laid flat. Same reason why your glass table is a half inch thick, and weighs 300 pounds.

If like the salesman stated, your screen was stored for months flat and survived, then no damage was done and your screen survived. If the screen arrives cracked, it didn't survive.

Another reason why reputable online retailers have you unpack the screen, and inspect it, before you sign for it. And maybe also a reason why buying from a small reputable store is a smarter choice, than saving a nickel at the Megalomart.

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by tvolkes / November 18, 2007 2:08 AM PST
In reply to: Plasma vs LCD

You didn't mention the brand.... Cheap make perhaps?

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by attlfrank / November 18, 2007 3:00 AM PST
In reply to: Brand???

awsome picture,,but lie I said burn in

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Bad Manufacturers not Bad Luck
by Masyanlah / December 15, 2007 1:46 PM PST
In reply to: Plasma vs LCD

In Malaysia, for budget LCD TV/monitor, LG good enough; for PLASMA get
PANASONIC, really good after sales service. Get HP you'll get surprise free gift namely "STARTPAGE" TROJAN in the driver cd.

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by tagurrit / November 15, 2007 2:49 AM PST
In reply to: Lol...

One of the replies to this post mentions LASER TV so I went to Wickipedia and found out about Laser TV and they say it'll be fall of 2007. OK it's fall of 2007 where are they? Anyone seen one? Are they 25% less and 50% better than LCD and Plasma?

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Laser TVs
by scorcher409 / November 15, 2007 10:39 AM PST
In reply to: LASER TV??

I believe Lasers will be used in DLPs as alternative to Lamps or LEDs. There has been a delay in the release of this technology and I know of 1 manufacturer planning on releasing the technology next year 2008/2009. I'm sure others are also going to follow.

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by astrobuf / November 15, 2007 12:55 PM PST
In reply to: Laser TVs

Hmm, have you noticed the number of vendors who are throwing in the towel on projection TV of any kind. There is no money to be made in tis business, so there will be no development. The LCOS and DLP vendors are fleeing and hoping to find ways of making money by putting a projector into your cell phone.

Laser TV, it will work as well as did SED!


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DLP/ LCOS vrs smaller flat panels
by scorcher409 / November 15, 2007 8:34 PM PST
In reply to: DLP and LCOS TV

The advantage that Lazer TV brings is a 4" to 5" deep case. and being projection you will be able to get a 70" screen for under 3K. The New York Times had an article several months ago that predicted that 50% or so of the households would have a 70" TV in their home in a few years. Sounds like a risky prediction but include me in that 50%, I will buy a 70" 4 to 5 inch deep DLP in a heart beat (I'll have to get rid of my Wall Unit). They still provide the best value / DLP doesn't burn / and they have greater capabilities such as 3D capable.
I just pulled up all the reviews on this website for every TV that the editor has ever reviewed, number 1 was a small sony TV, then 2 50" plasmas and then it was a 65"DLP. There is no doubt that flat panels are dominating the industry's demand however projection TVs don't compete with Flat Panels because DLPs are designed to be big, It is like compaing a SUV to a sports car. They are different and have different places in the market. I own 2 plasmas in my bedrooms. 1 LCD in the Den (very bright room) 2 DLPs 1 in the family room and another in the basement. These are the real work horse TVs in my house. Football could not be better than on a 73" screen. It is the same as when I go to the theater, the quality stinks but just after a few minutes I'm settling back becoming enveloped in the plot of the movie. Size dominates quality always.

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by kulanb / November 17, 2007 10:16 AM PST

(L)ight (A)mplification by (S)timulated (E)mission of (R)adiation

Sorry if I'm being anal, but it's an acronym and ztimulated is not a word.

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by tagurrit / November 17, 2007 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: LASER not LAZER

Actually LAZER is a noun in its own right. LASER is the correct term for a device that emits coherent light but LAZER is a brand name (for an open roadster sports car produced by Panther in 1974), a rock group and a commune of the Hautes-Alpes d

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