Plasma vs. LCD TVs: What’s Best For You?

Shoppers walk past a display of plasma televisions.

It’s become difficult to find HDTV projector sets in Canada, so if you are planning on buying an HDTV-ready television screen this holiday season, you have two choices: plasma, or liquid crystal display (LCD).

But which one is best for you?

You need very little technical know-how in order to set either one up.

Most plasma and LCD screens now come preset – and will be viewable as soon as you connect them to a signal source, plug them in and turn them on.

LCD was once somewhat more expensive, but there is no longer a huge difference in price between the two technologies, at least when compared solely on screen size.

What you need to know about plasma

Plasma has deeper and richer blacks, and affords better picture quality than LCD, especially for the fast moving images common in sports broadcasts.

LCD screens can lag when displaying quickly-moving images.

You’d better have a fairly large room for your home theater if you want a plasma screen, though, because the smallest one you can locate will probably be a 42-inch set.

Sets smaller than that are hard to find.

Plasma screens can be found for as little as $700 Canadian, but 42-inch sets usually cost between $800 and $2,000, while 50-inch sets range from $1,200 to $2,000.

The largest (55 inches and up) start at around $3,000 and go up to $8,000.

The pitfalls of plasma

Plasma televisions are flat-panel displays with red, green and blue phosphors that are triggered by an electrical current passing through a xenon and neon gas (the plasma).