External looks are decidedly deceiving when you are standing on the showroom floor looking at the two side by side. Both of the televisions are flat and thin, but they use different engineering to bring you the same results.
How a Plasma TV Works
Plasma TV engineering use the same basic technology as the fluorescent light bulb. The screen is made up of of cells. In each cell two glass panels are set-apart with a thin gap filled with neon-xenon gas and then sealed in the form of plasma when it is produced. This gas is then electrically charged at precise intervals when the Plasma TV is turned on. The electrically charged gas then moves through the red, green, and blue phosphors (A phosphor is any material that, when exposed to radiation, emits visible light ), creating a television Picture. These phosphor cells ( red, green, and blue phosphors) are called pixels.
Although Plasma television technology eliminate the need for the bulky picture tube and electron beam scanning of traditional televisions, because it still employs the burning of phosphors to generate an image, Plasma televisions still suffer from some of the drawbacks of traditional televisions, such as heat generation and screen-burn of static images.
How a LCD TV Works
LCD TVs use a different technology.
LCD panels are made of two sheets of clear material, are then polarized, and glued together. One of the layers is coated with a specific chemical compound that contains the separate liquid crystals. An Electrical charge is then passed through the crystals, allowing the crystals to either let light through or block the light and this creates your image.
LCD crystals do not produce light on their own , so a light source, much like florescent bulb is needed for the LCD to produce a visible picture.
Different from the old style TV or a Plasma TV, there are no phosphors that have to be energized, less power is needed and less heat is generated than a Plasma or old style CRT television. Also, there is no radiation emitted from the LCD screen.
Plasma vs LCD
Plasma over LCD ADVANTAGES:
1. The availability of Larger screens.
2. Deeper blacks for a Better contrast ratio.
3. Clearer color and saturation of the colors.
4. Good motion tracking, very little or no motion lag especially with the faster moving images.
The DISADVANTAGES of Plasma vs LCD are:
1. Plasma TVs are more sensitive to the burn-in effect of static images. It is similar to when you stare at a bright light and then close your eyes and you can still see the light. It goes away but it can be a pain in the butt.
2. Plasma TVs create more heat than LCDs, because of the light needed for the phosphors to create the images.
3. Does not work as well at high altitudes.
4. Shorter screen life span (about 30,000 hours which equals 8 hrs of viewing a day for 9 years). The good news is, screen life span is improving to as high as 60,000 hours because of improvements.
LCD ADVANTAGES over Plasma are:
1. No burn-in effect of static images.
2. Uses less power so it operates at a Cooler temperature.
3. No problems at higher altitudes use.
4. There is an increased image brightness.
5. Longer screen life (about 60,000 hours – Most likely all you will need to do is replace the light source, not the whole thing).
6. Weights less than a Plasma TV so it is easier to mount on a wall.
DISADVANTAGES of LCD vs Plasma televisions include:
1. Less of a contrast, you don’t get the deep blacks of a Plasma for that crisp clear picture.
2. Doesn’t track motion well (fast moving objects may be a little jittery) – But, this is getting better with the new design of the 120Hz screen refresh rates in top-end LCDs.
3. Hard to find the larger screen sizes. But they are starting to show up on the market at the higher prices.
4. LCD TVs usually cost more than same-sized Plasma TV, However the price of the LCD is coming down due to increased production.