LCD TV and Plasma TV - Difference, Cost, Refresh Rate and Clarity

LCD and Plasma TVs are getting popular day by day replacing old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) television sets.


Liquid Crystal Display is a thin and flat device made up of array of liquid crystals between two glass plates with a light source in the back. Depends on the electrical charges applied to the crystals it creates the image. Latest LCDs uses a technology called Thin Film Transistor or TFT. LCD TV uses a LCD technology for the visual output.

Plasma TV

Plasma Display Panel is a display device uses plasma technology to reproduce the image. Tiny cells holds noble gases and these gases are electrically turned in to plasma and emit light. Plasma TV uses PDP for visual output.

LCD vs Plasma

Both LCD and Plasma have its own advantages and disadvantages.

Refresh Rate

Plasma TV has good refresh capacity so it can handle rapid movements accurately. But LCD TV has a slow refresh rate so it will not reproduce some quick movements especially when watching sports. But now LCD manufactures are coming up with good refresh rate models with 5 to 10ms compared to older models with 15 to 25ms. Lower refresh rate is better.

Viewing Angle

Plasma screens have better viewing angle compared to LCD screens. But latest LCD technologies and reducing this gap by adding better viewing angles for LCD screens.

Picture Clarity

Plasma screens produce brighter picture (better brightness and contrast) and it can display black more accurately compared to LCD screens. But resolution (total pixels on the screen) of LCD screen is more compared to plasma screen of same size.

Power Consumption

LCD TVs take less power compared to Plasma TVs with an estimated power saving of 25% over plasma TVs.

Screen Burn

This is another problem with Plasma TVs. Screen burn occurs if an image is left for a long time on a plasma screen but latest plasma technologies are taking steps to overcome this issue.

Apart from these basic differences there are more like

1. Plasma TV is heavy compared to LCD TV
2. Plasma TV is very fragile need a professional help to install on a wall
3. LCD screens have a long lifespan than plasma TVs Price

This is a major difference between Plasma and LCD TVs. LCDs are affordable in small screen size category but Plasma is more affordable in large screen sizes especially above 42" But with new technologies both Plasma and LCD are becoming more affordable day by day.