Sunday 4 Jul 2010

LCD, LED or plasma television, 3 questions to decide

A question with a very simple answer depending on your uses. A small questionnaire is enough to determine the model of televisions appropriate to you. :-)

Apple  monitors

Of course, the salesmen often forget to explain the differences between these technologies! More, they generally do not know them, because you know that now the salesmen are recruited for their commercial qualities and not for their competences in the products they sell. :-/

Moreover, they have commissions, more or less important according to the marks, the products and will not guide you to the best product but of course to the one which offers the higher commission! :-p


What you must know when you enter in a store: televisions with LED are very profitable for the manufacturers. So they give big commissions. Then come the traditional LCD, then plasmas.

For that reason, the LCD with LED often are very in sight, well calibrated, and the rare plasmas screens in a dark corner with bad settings on the exposure models.


You can be constrained to a technology by the size of the screen: the small screens are inevitably LCD, plasmas exist only in large screens.

As a customer, you can think that the best ratio quality/price is in the least profitable product for the manufacturer, i.e. plasma. :-) It's true, except that plasma is not appropriate for all use. For this reason you should determine the following points:

  • Question 1: do you watch television in the evening/dark or during the day?
    If it's in a dark room, count one point for plasma, if not one point for the LCD.
  • Question 2: do you rather watch movies or TV shows?
    Films = 1 point for plasma, shows = 1 point for the LCD.
  • Question 3: do you prefer a high contrast or more natural colors like in the cinema?
    Contrast = 1 point for the LCD, naturalness = 1 point for plasma.

Normally, you now have a winner. ;-) We can add a subsidiary question which is the use with a computer. For a console, that's still good because the images do not remain fixed during hours, but the use of a computer is proscribed with a plasma. Indeed, fixed elements as the task bar or background image could remain marked on the screen.

However keep cool: current plasmas are much more resistant and a movie forgotten in pause during one whole night will only leave a temporary ghost image during a few hours. A permanent burn is impossible with a normal use.


Why not points for the television sets with LED? Quite simply because they are LCD television above all, they are in the same category. Only the back-light is different. So we find the same advantages and disadvantages as LCD. Only the LED TVs where back-light can vary according to the zones (local dimming) present a real innovation. They are unfortunately out of price.

The LED TVs are in my opinion a technology to be forgotten for the moment. It's a commercial argument rather than a real progress. A parade because OLED and FED screens have being put in pause because of the crisis. So the manufacturers created these ultra-profitable screens which are not an innovation. :-/

Be careful with the misinformation from the merchants. The TV with LED does not bring anything in term homogeneity nor colors. Only the thickness of the TV gains. (Source LCD and LED between myths and reality and TV LCD and LED in French.)


Once the technology of television is chosen, you must also decide the price to put in it. Indeed, the manufacturers do everything to have the models outdated quickly and make us change.


So we will see in the next years some false innovations like:
- televisions in 3D,
- screens 20:9 instead of 16:9 to stick to the current cinema format,
- some Hertz subfield that the salesmen confuse with true the Hertz (600Hz subfield currently, that will continue to increase, but that does not bring anything! The TVs remain with 25 or 30 real images per seconds today and still for a long time.)

So do not put too much money in your television set. In any case, like all the high-tech products they are conceived to function 5 years and 2 months then definitively break down. So it's useless to take a extended guarantee to 5 years, the devices almost never brake down between 1 year and 5 years.

Especially that the true innovations (OLED and FED screens) should finally come...

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