By Leon Drell
A new television is high on everyone’s wish list. Who wouldn’t love a brand new fifty-inch flat screen TV hanging on their living room wall? The makers of televisions are taking advantage of ever-changing technology by creating scientific marvels that can produce clear pictures and lifelike colors in just a few inches of depth. But all of this technology means that buying a TV is harder than ever. These days, the battle between LCD and plasma is on, and choosing sides can be hard. Which one should you purchase?
Why buy a plasma TV?
Plasma TV’s have a wide viewing angle. This means that the person sitting to the side of the television can enjoy the same picture quality as the person sitting in front of the television. With an LCD, the picture quality diminishes if viewed from an angle. If you plan on mounting your TV high on a wall or above a fireplace, a plasma is your best bet, since the picture will remain clear when viewed from the ground. Plasma TV’s are known for having high contrast and deep black levels. This is most evident in nighttime scenes in movies and shows; the colors appear lifelike and every detail shows, even in dark scenes. Plasma TV’s are also less expensive than LCD’s. When the price per inch is compared, plasma TV’s are a budget’s best friend.
Why buy an LCD?
If you are looking to reduce your monthly electricity bills, you will want to purchase an LCD TV. The savings are minimal – often just a few dollars a month – but will add up over the lifetime of the television. And since an LCD TV uses less electricity, it is the greener option. You might also want to purchase an LCD if someone in your family is an avid video gamer. Video games often feature static images, like the score box or the countdown timer, that do not move. With a plasma TV, these static images can burn into the screen; this burn-in is not a problem with an LCD. You also need to consider the level of light in the room. LCD’s are well suited to bright rooms. The screen is less reflective than a plasma, and as such will not show the reflections of windows or lights. Also, LCD’s have a brighter picture; under the harsh glow of daylight or lamplight, viewers will still see a clear and bright picture on the screen.
In a battle between plasma and LCD, there is no clear winner. You should buy whichever television best suits your needs. But before purchasing a TV, you need to remember some key rules. First, match the size of the television to the size of the room; contrary to popular belief, the television should not be larger than the room itself. Second, shop around. Prices for both plasma and LCD TV’s are coming down by the day, so you might find a bargain if you do a little comparison shopping. And third, if you are technically challenged, hire someone to install the electrical components for you. This way, you can sit back and enjoy your favorite show with all of your fingers intact.