Plasma or LCD?

Which technology is best for you and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each.

LCD has long been around in the form of laptop screens. Recently innovations in design technologies have made panels faster to react to colour changes without the blurring or smearing associated with older ones. This has led to an obvious application as a television.

LCDs are compact and light and come in affordable sizes up to about 32-34 inches and at contrast ratios of 1000:1. LCDs consume less power than an equivalent CRT based screen.

Plasma screens are often percieved as the luxury end of tvs. The advantages are the sizes available upto 50 inches with larger ones in production already. The colour rendition is sharp and bright and contrast ratios are typically much higher than the average LCD screen. The downsides of Plasma screens are the facts that they produce a lot of heat and consume lots of power.

For most people an LCD screen would be the ideal choice but for afficionados who really need the larger screen areas and the higher contrast ratios then Plasma is the choice for you.

Which things do you need to remember when you buy a Plasma TV?
Flat Screens avoid distortion to the picture are less straining on the eye and do not reflect light as well if the Cat knocks the curtain slightly open!

Dolby surround – best with a 5 or 6 speaker set up really immerses you into the film jack up your DVD player to best quality sound system you can afford. – the virtual dolby is getting good from just 2 or 3 speakers but the sound is rather flat and somewhat muffled. 20RMS is about minimum acceptable for DVD ignore PMPO measurements as these are rather vague.

A subwoofer is really good for enhancing the sound range and means that the other speakers in the room can be quite small.

Picture in picture – keep up with the footy scores while the husband watches a cookery or fashion tips programme !!!!

Aspect ratio – watch films as the director intended typically go for a 16:9 aspect ratio but make sure there are a number of stretch options for TV broadcast in 3:4 ratio or peoples bums will look FAT in this screen & Wide or have their heads cut off – some TV’s stretch the outside portions more than the centre. The important thing is that you have a number of options open to you so you can pick one setting for the newsreader and another for a documentary on snakes.

Inputs – SCART, Composite Video or better still HDMI – essential for best image quality but only if you have a VIdeo and DVD player that supports it. If the screen takes computer RGB input you can play your latest games in cinema scope but the resolution is usually quite low around 990 x 600 or 1280 x 720 pixels unless you get a Hi-Definition model which supports 1080p and 720p.

Posted in Gadgets.

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