Poll: What's stopping you from getting a plasma?

LCDs dominate the flat-panel market. Why did you (or will you) choose LCD over plasma?

Despite countless reviews and articles proclaiming plasma TVs as having better picture quality, and costing less money, LCDs continue to dominate sales charts.

So the question is, why did you, or will you, choose LCD (or LED LCD) over plasma?

Despite what some say, the predominance of LCDs sales over plasma sales isn't quite as simple as it first appears. On a brightly lit floor, like at Costco, most LCDs will reject ambient light better, and appear to have a better picture. The sad truth is, in a home, plasma will actually look better.

This is because plasma TVs still have a better contrast ratio. There are a few local-dimming LED LCDs that compete will with plasmas, but these are the minority. Check out "LED backlights explained" and "Contrast ratio (or how every TV manufacturer lies to you)" for more info.

Then there's the long-standing rumors about plasma's longevity and reliability. First and foremost among these is "burn in," or when an image "sticks" on screen long after the image itself goes away. Though this isn't nearly the issue it once was, and is nearly always fixable, the rumors persist. Check out "Is plasma HDTV burn-in a problem?"

Then there's light output. LED LCDs are the brightest TVs you can buy, and can compete with any ambient light a normal home might have. Last year, though, we found that many plasmas had an anti-reflective coating that made them look better than comparably priced LCDs.

And still there's a myth out there that plasmas are an "older" technology, even though LCDs and plasmas are roughly the same age. Or the myth that plasmas are somehow "energy hogs" when the now-required Energy Guide labels all show plasmas only cost a few more dollars a year to run than LCDs.

Now, in fairness, there are many excellent-looking LED LCDs, but not enough, in the enthusiasts eyes, to justify the extreme sales imbalance.

What do you think? If you chose LCD, what pushed you in that direction?

Got a question for Geoff? Send him an e-mail! If it's witty, amusing, and/or a good question, you may just see it in a post just like this one. No, he won't tell you which TV to buy. Yes, he'll probably truncate and/or clean up your e-mail. You can also send him a message on Twitter: @TechWriterGeoff.

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