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Which Is Better To Buy A LCD Or A Plasma TV? Confused?

Which Is Better To Buy A LCD Or A Plasma TV? Confused?

Plasma, TV has vivid colors, fast refresh and great contrast? Plasma TVs are the TVs that mostly likely catch your eye as you stroll down the aisle in your local best buy. Plasma TVs have exceptionally bright, distinct and vibrant colors.

But as with most good things in life there is a downside to consider. Plasma TVs have high power consumption and a relatively short lifespan. But then again you may well be buying a newer type of higher technology TV yet again in the future. After all having the latest TV technology has become an essential status symbol in many if not most middle class American homes. If you only wanted a TV you could of well gone to Wal-Mart or Costco and purchased a very acceptable picture older CRT TV very inexpensively.

Some tests have shown that the ability for a plasma display to show true black decreases by 13% over the first four weeks. Over a period of a few years this could show blacks as light grays in your image.

The high power consumption may not bother you if you don’t mind paying a bit more for your electric bill, but the real issue just as in laptop computers is the amount heat generated and the damage done to these electronic devices and the screen of your new and very expensive plasma TV by that heat.
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The heat comes from the million tiny fluorescent tubes on a heavy glass substrate that produces the image. This design is also part of the longevity issue. The high heat produced in a small area burns out the phosphors sooner than the phosphor on a traditional CRT. And, in tying everything together, this can also result in image burn-in especially on channels that display their logo continuously in the lower right corner.

LCD TVs are much less expensive than plasma, but also tend not to have pictures that are as sharp or bright. The other downside to LCD displays is that the pixels are relatively slow to change state. Fast moving objects such as a hockey puck or baseball bat get blurred where they might show more crisply on a plasma or good quality CRT.

Projection TVs are yet another option. Projection TV technology now produces much sharper, more vivid images that in previous years with deeper blacks that rival the CRT, and beat most of the plasma and LCD displays. This is the way to go for display sizes of 50 inches or greater.

The main drawback for any of the projection technologies is the lamp used as the light source. The typical metal halide projector lamp only lasts 1000 to 2000 hours and can cost several hundred dollars to replace. Longer life span lamps called ultra high performance (UHP) have recently come on the market that use mercury vapor instead of argon and have lifespan ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 hours.

Most consumers use their TVs on an average basis of 1,000 hours a year. That means that if the bulb is in the range of $ 300 – $ 500 dollars the cost of “running the projection TV” at a rough guide of 1,000 hours of use per bulb is several hundred dollars a year. The projections of bulb longevity are often done in best case not scenarios not the ordinary setup where the homeowner may even impair the ventilation of heat accidentally by TV and furniture placement chosen by the wife for appearance rather than electronic longevity.

Not so conceptually the projection TV bulbs seem to be very proprietary bulbs sold by the projection TV manufacturer. Bulbs for Sony projection TVs are made and distributed only by Sony. You may find a less expensive bulb say a Hitachi. However it is a judgment call. The Sony bulbs although more expensive are much more popular and easy to find on eBay – even used bulbs. But projection TV bulbs are very fragile and may not survive shipment by mail.

As with LCD display, manufacturers are moving towards high intensity LED technology to replace lamps and get lifespan measured in years. Of course, that technology is not cheap, but prices should come down as they become more available in the next several years.

On the horizon we can look forward tothe next tound on new high tech type of TVs- SEDs. What is SED?

SED is Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display. These should be coming on the market in about 2008/2009. Japan will probably start seeing them by the end of 2007. They are a flat panel display, much like the LCD displays now, but have characteristics resembling that of the CRT for contrast and image quality. This comes from basis of the design: each pixel is basically a tiny CRT. It uses less energy than plasma since it’s easier to generate an electron beam (as a CRT does) than it is to excite photons in a gas (as the plasma display does).

There is no production display of SED TVs yet available. As well there is no data yet for other performance or reliability factors.

In the end enjoy your purchase. You may well purchase a plasma TV now, pay it off, confess you really enjoyed the plasma TV and yet purchase yet again the newer SED TV for your home for its better, more advanced picture and as a status symbol for your home. It never ends.

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