LCD vs Plasma TVs - Which Panel is Better?

Are you confused between LCD and Plasma TVs? Want to know which one is better? Read this article to find out the difference between LCD and Plasma TVs.

The days of a big CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) television are long gone and today, the television market has been completely overpowered by LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs and Plasma TVs.

Though both of them look almost alike in their built, there are significant technological differences between the two of them. Both of them are far better than the older CRT TVs, but a buyer may want to know the differences between the two before bringing one into the house.


There is a significant difference in the working of LCD and Plasma panel display. To understand more, a detailed study of the working of a plasma TV panel and LCD screen is necessary.

How Does a Plasma TV Work

The basic working of a Plasma Display involves producing extremely small fluorescent light beams of different colors. These light beams or more practically dots, then combine to form an image. The main element required to produce these fluorescent lights is Plasma, a gas, also consisting of electrically charged ions and electrons other than the gas particles.

When an electric current flows through the gas, the negatively charged particles rush towards the positively charged area and the positively charged particles rush towards the negatively charged area because of the theory of attraction between negatively and positively charged particles.

Because of the infinite number of particles rushing towards each other, a high amount of energy is produced. This energy is enough to trigger the gas atoms to release photons. The gases used in a plasma TV are Xenon and Neon. The atoms of these gases release photons of energy when they get excited.

A normal plasma screen is made up of millions of tiny cells full of these gases. Electrodes pass through the screen and are used for charging the gas particles. Whenever the gas in a particular cell has to be charged, electric current is passed through these electrodes. The gases in turn produces photons.

Each different pixel is made up of three subpixels, and is assigned a different cell. The three different cells contain phosphors with different colors, namely red, green and blue. Varied electrical pulses are used to control the intensity of these subpixels. A combination of these three is used to produce the pixel with the desired color effect.

How does an LCD TV work

A LCD display screen consists of a layer of liquid crystal solution that is sandwiched between two polarizing transparent plates. It is a general misconception that these crystals are the source of light. In practice, there is a light source that emits light and this light is scattered through the display panel.

Modern day LCD TVs use the most advanced TFT (Thin Film Transistors) technology. Very small transistors and capacitors capable of switching between two states are used in such TVs. These transistors and capacitors regularly turn on and off the liquid crystals. In the on and off states, these crystals either fully block the flow of light or allow it to pass through completely.

It is this pattern of dark and bright crystals that forms the image. The technology for producing colors is similar to that of Plasma TV. Each pixel consists of three sub pixels, red, blue and green. Different intensities of a pixel are produced by varying the intensities of these colors.

A Comparison Between Technology

In terms of technology, Plasma TV is much ahead of LCD TV. There are some drawbacks that lead to users being suspicious about the life of a Plasma television. 'Image Burn' is a problem reported by several Plasma users. This happens mainly because of the presence of phosphor on the display panel. This fault prevents users from attaching their television sets to a computer or a video game system. LCD TVs do not pose such problems.

A big advantage of Plasma TV is that it produces fine images that are very well lit and of excellent quality. These enhanced images are produced because every pixel is separately lit by a cell that has a separate system for ionizing the gas.

Another advantage and a big one too, that an LCD TV has over plasma is its price. LCD TVs are relatively much cheaper than plasma televisions. This effects a lot in the market of these two television technologies.

Article by Korra
Muddassir is Video Gamer and Blogger. He loves to play Tycoon and Strategy games. Most of the time, you will find him sharing articles on techulator.

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Author: Timmappa Kamat18 Apr 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

I guess the plasma TVs have a few disadvantages going their way in spite of being expensive. Most important of such drawbacks being the power hungry nature of these plasma televisions. A plasma will consume almost two times more power than that consumed by an LCD. Yes, they have great picture quality.

One more point to be taken note of while selecting among the two is the amount of light in the room. If the room has a few windows and considerably large amount of ambient light pours in- I would suggest to opt for a LCD. That's because plasma screens are always glossy and reflective. This makes viewing it in a brightly lit room quite uncomfortable.

Then comes the issue of what you discussed in the article - the image burn. This could turn out to be very disturbing which gives rise to what we call "ghost images".

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