Are you looking to buy a new television but unsure what technology is best? Read our comparison guide to find out which technology will best suit your needs.
We will be comparing the three main television technologies currently on the market:
- Plasma TVs – Made from a sheet of tiny individual plasma cells that produce a picture when an electrical charge is applied.
- LCD TVs – Use liquid crystals compressed between two sheets of glass, an image is then created when electricity is applied to the crystals.
- LED TVs – Are similar to LCD TVs in that it uses liquid crystals but use a backlight made from hundreds of LEDs and not one single fluorescent lamp.
Below are some criteria you should take into account before purchasing a television.
Contrast ratio is the televisions ability to show the differences between dark and lighter areas on the screen. For example a contrast ratio of 2500:1 would mean the brightest white is 2,500 times brighter than the darkest black. The better the contrast ratio the better detail you will see on screen, especially in darker scenes.
LED TV’s have superb contrast ratios and are superior compared to LCD and Plasma, the technology means that the LED’s can be switched off in dark parts of the screen. The results of which are richer, deeper blacks and much brighter whites combined together within one single frame.
LCD televisions have a single liquid crystal display which means when the TV has to show dark areas, the backlight only dims itself making the blacks less contrasted.
Generally speaking Plasma TV’s have better contrast ratios than LCD. This is because the Plasma TV has individual plasma cells that turn themselves off on darker parts of the screen but unlike LED have less dazzling whites, making it less contrasted.
A viewing angle is the angle at which you can view the TV without any loss of contrast or colour. The greater the angle the better, it means that the televisions offers a greater experience no matter where you are sitting in the room.
Plasmas generally have better viewing angles than LCD or LED televisions. Plasma TVs images remain solid and colourful for viewers at almost any angle.
LCD TVs suffer from colour loss and detail when viewed from acute angles.
LED televisions offer a much wider viewing angle than LCD thanks its decentralized backlight distribution.
LCD televisions require a single fluorescent backlight to be lit. Whereas Plasma TVs require each individual pixel to be lit individually. The cost of running a Plasma TV for a year is 50% higher than an equivalent LCD panel.
LED televisions are even more efficient than LCD screens. Energy efficient backlighting allows LED TVs to consume up to 40 per cent less energy than LCD televisions! A considerable saving in energy bills over the year.
Plasma televisions have a very short life-span, the quality and brightness of a plasma screen depletes in a very short time. The lifespan of an LCD television depends on the life of its backlight bulb, generally speaking LCD televisions have at least 60,000 hours of playing time before image quality begins to degrade.
LED televisions have a massive 100,000+ hour lifespan expectancy before quality and brightness begins to reduce. Making LEDs the TV of choice if you are looking to buy for the long term.
Price vs Screen Size
If you are looking to buy a television with a screen below 42inch than LCD or LED is your best bet, they are similar in price to plasmas and offer a great image. If you are considering a larger screen above 42 inch than look into Plasma or LED, Plasmas will be cheaper but LED is a long term investment which will last longer than any other television. The quality of the image won’t deplete for years to come.