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LCD vs. Plasma vs. LED Televisions

You Have Choices When Looking for a New TV!

When choosing a new flat-panel television, it is no longer just about brand name recognition. It is about deciding between three technologies: LCD, Plasma or LED. All of these can deliver an outstanding picture but there are differences when it comes to each one. Below are some pros and cons of each television type. This guide should help you decide which type of television will give you the image quality you are looking for.

LCD (Liquid-Crystal Display)

LCD Flat Screen TV

LCD televisions implement liquid crystals that align themselves when activated by an electrical current. An LCD display has a light source behind the pixels that allow the picture to be shown on the screen. LCD flat screen televisions are versatile and can be installed on a wall with the appropriate mounting equipment. Unlike a Plasma television, LCD panels require less power to operate and there is no radiation emitted from the screen itself. An advantage to an LCD television is that it is not susceptible to burn-in, it runs cooler with less screen glare and it has a longer display life.


  • Longer screen life
  • Better glare response
  • Less power consumption
  • High contrast images
  • Thin display
  • Light weight for easy installation


  • Ghosting, which is a moving image that has tail following it on screen
  • Lower contrast ratio
  • Individual pixels could burn-out
  • Moving to either side will diminish picture quality


Plasma TV

Plasma televisions are made up of xenon and neon gases. Plasmas typically have a better picture than an LCD. Not only do they have a brighter picture, but they also process motion faster. They have a better contrast ratio, more color depth and the availability of larger screen sizes that an LCD television. It has a better picture quality in normal or low room lighting compared to the LCD. The color quality and uniformity matches that of a movie theater, so if you would like to simulate the typical movie theater experience, a plasma television is the way to go. Just like an LCD screen, plasma’s are capable of display high-definition TV, regular TV and home video.


  • Higher contrast ratio
  • Fast screen refresh rate
  • Wide viewing angle
  • More color depth
  • Available in larger sizes
  • Thin display
  • Long life span


  • Image retention or burn-in
  • Generate more heat
  • Do not perform well in high altitudes
  • Heavier

LED (Light-Emitting Diode)
The newest form of television technology is the LED. LED is the latest form of the LCD television, but it has superior definition display in comparison to the traditional LCD television. It enables a true-to-life range of picture brightness that an LCD television is incapable of reproducing. There are different types of LED technology that are used in LCD TV’s. One is edge-lighting, where LED backlights are placed along the outer edges of the screen. The other type is referred to as full-array. Several rows of LEDs are placed behind the surface of the screen.


  • Lower power consumption
  • More balanced color saturation
  • Better lifespan
  • Smooth picture
  • Thinner than Plasma or LCD screens


  • Cost

As you can see, there are similarities when it comes to each television, as well as pros and cons for each technology. When deciding on a television display, make sure you keep in mind exactly what it is you are looking for and compare each model.

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Staff writers at Sonic Electronix are experts in their field. In addition to a complete in-house training program, these experts typically have many years of hands-on experience in their specialty. Some come from car audio installer backgrounds, while others come with extensive retail experience.
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