LCD Versus Plasma HDTV

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Your gullible brain may also perceive that LCD colors are much more vibrant and bright than a plasma’s. LCD’s do “pop” better; especially in TV showrooms where the sets’ brightness is cranked up so high you get sunburned. It’s a cartoon effect though, which, hey, you may even like.

But if realistic image colors are your priority, as well as deep blacks then plasma is still the real deal.  However, as vendors get their LCD manufacturing process and electronics down pat, even this plasma advantage should even out soon.

So, are LCDs and plasma HDTV’s basically equal in performance? Yes, especially when the spring 2009 LCD sets come out, which will also be big and cheap thanks to improved technology and manufacturing processes.

But why even bother having two competing display technologies?  The answer lies in the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of each HDTV flat panel type, which are inherent. So while processing and visual tricks can compensate, the underlying technology basics of LCD and plasma aren’t going to change.

LCD’s need lots of tweaking to get almost, but not quite, where plasma naturally is.  And plasma display technology is not sitting still. The things that make plasma such an attractive technology—realistic color, good fast motion capability, better black levels and yes, even wider viewing angle—will to continue to improve. 

A case in point is Pioneer’s “KURO” line of plasma sets.  This product line usually sports a several thousand-dollar price premium over other vendors’ plasma sets. It’s worth it. The image quality on a KURO HDTV can go toe to toe with even the best front projectors.

Pioneer KURO 60" 1080P Plasma (PRO-151FD)

Still, Panasonic’s somewhat less expensive “Viera” line of plasmas are not very far behind Pioneer’s in image quality. Both sets totally punk today’s best LCD HDTV’s.


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