Sunday, 26 October 2008

LCD vs Plasma: Take your pick

If you’ve been wondering whether to go for an LCD TV or a Plasma TV this festive season, here are a few tips that might help.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this age-old question. Which type of TV you buy really depends on factors like what you’ll be watching, what size you need and what is your budget.

However, apart from all these, there are inherent advantages and disadvantages in both the technologies.

Plasmas have higher viewing angle
Plasma TVs can render blacks far more effectively than LCDs. They have higher viewing angles, which means that if you’re sitting off to one side, the image quality won’t change.

They’re also better for fast-moving images (mainly sports and movies). And finally, Plasma TVs are more affordable than LCDs for the same screen size. You can go for LG’s 42” HD ready frame less Plasma (42PG61UR-TA) or Samsung’s 42” Series 4 Plasma (PS42A410C1) at under Rs 65,000. Whereas a 40” HD ready LCD will put you back by another Rs 5,000.

No full HD support
However, Pasmas are showing their age. Many are not full HD (the highest resolution available is 1920x1080 pixels) and not completely future proof. They’re still susceptible to 'burn in; -- the permanent etching of a static image on the inside of the screen when left on for too long.

Plus they have glassy, reflective screens and often get washed out in brightly lit rooms.

LCDs boast of longer life
LCDs are the newer technology. You’ll find a lot more full HD LCDs. They have longer lifespans, compared to the average plasma (Plasmas tend to get dimmer over the course of time).

LCDs also work better with video games. Plus the new generation LCDs like Samsung Series 6, LG Scarlet and Sony-Bravia X or W series can easily match or beat Pasmas in most departments.

Look for sharper quality
Bottom line? First, work out your specific requirements and then do a side-by-side comparison of both technologies to see which one suit you better. The major things that might be deal-breakers for you after a demo will be the unnaturally sharp & bright images of an LCD or the reflectivity and washed out images of Plasma under bright light. Take your call!

Always visit a multi-brand showroom so you can see the same image displayed on different TV sets. Take along your own DVDs or ask for your favourite cable/DTH channels to be played for reference. Don’t assume that a large-format retailer’s prices will naturally be the lowest. At times, manufacturer’s exclusive stores offer big discounts too. Shop around!