Plasma and LCD TVs are the latest trend in home entertainment. Both offer unrivalled picture quality and resolution, while doing away with the bulkiness of the older rear-projection technologies. But with all of the hype surrounding these two types of televisions, what is the difference between them? Although they look- and are virtually priced- the same, they are not.
There differences are found in the way in which they display their pictures. Plasma TV technology is made up of hundreds of thousands of little pixels, each capable of displaying red, green, and blue colors. A plasma monitor often consists of two panels, which are filled with an inert gas, such as xenon or neon. When the pixels are excited by pulses of electricity, the gas becomes liquid, thus generating light. This light in turn then illuminates the pixels, causing them to display the appropriate color to form a picture.
LCD panels function in a very similar manner. A panel of thin-film-transmitters, or TFT, sends electricity to cells filled with liquid crystal. When the cells are struck by the electricity, the liquid crystals allow light to filter through. Unlike the pixels found in plasma TVs, LCD monitors create color by blocking out the appropriate wavelengths from white light.
So which is better? The answer to this question depends upon what you plan to use TV for. Do you just want to use it to watch movies and television? If so, then a plasma TV might be best, because they are capable of a higher better color saturation and contrast than their LCD counterparts and for displaying moving images. If you plan in spending a lot of time showing digital photography or plan on using the monitor with your computer, then a LCD display might be better suited to these purposes.
Both plasma and LCD technologies each have their advantages and disadvantages and your decision should ultimately be based on your monitor's application.