Dispelling Misconceptions of Flat Screens

If you’re in the market for a new TV for your home theater, you are probably debating whether you should purchase a LCD screen or a plasma screen. Before you make your final decision, it is important to dispel some misconceptions about both types of TV screens.

Store Displays Don’t Reflect Reality

The typical electronics store displays TV sets under many bright lights, which can cause LCD screens to appear brighter than they actually are. Some people purchasing the LCD believing it to be of superior quality. However, the lighting advantage that the LCD has in the showroom disappears once it is placed in a regular home environment.

Longevity Issues

Contrary to popular belief, plasma TV sets don’t have gas within the screen that must be periodically recharged. It has never been necessary to charge a plasma TV. Both the plasma and LCD screens have a life expectancy of approximately 60,000 hours or 20 years.

Power Consumption

It’s true that plasma TV sets consume more power than the LCD, but manufacturers are working hard to close this gap. Plasma screens draw power based on the brightness of the image displayed. In contrast, LCD screens draw power continuously. You can adjust the brightness of the LCD’s backlight to decrease power consumption.

Consider How You Use Your TV Set

You can simplify your decision by taking the time to evaluate how you primarily use your TV set. The plasma screen may be a better option if you spend a lot of time watching movies. This is due to its higher color contrast and lower levels of black. The picture stands out more than it would on most LCD screens. Newer models of LCD screens come close to the picture clarity of the plasma screen due to the use of light emitting diodes (LED). The LED replaces the cold-cathode fluorescent backlight (CCFL) that was previously used to manufacture LCD screens.

You may want to consider the LCD screen if you watch a lot of sports or play games on your TV set. This screen captures action especially well, but you need to make sure that you purchase a LCD screen that refreshes between 120 and 240 (120-240 Hz) times per second. If you get the conventional 60 Hz, you run the risk of fast-paced motion becoming blurred.

Your home theater environment is another important concern. If you have good control of your lighting, either type of screen will work just as well. Keep in mind that plasma screens are shiny enough to intensely reflect light. LCD screens come with a matte finish, which means that you may see shadows of people or objects in the screen on bright days.

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