Flat-panel TVs: plasma, LCD, and how they compare bag 1
The biggest television technology revolution since color, flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs are well on their way to replacing tubes as the TV technologies of choice. You can hang flat sets on the wall, on the ceiling, or above the mantle in place of a trophy buck--although most people just put 'em on stands. The two major types of flat-panel TVs are plasma and LCD, so we'll go over each type separately and then compare them in a chart at the end.
As little as 3 inches thick; very good home-theater image quality in best examples; wide viewing angle; superior motion resolution.
Less energy-efficient than LCDs; slight potential for burn-in; sometimes lower native resolution than similarly sized LCDs.
Prices have fallen, and pictures have improved dramatically, perpetuating plasma's place as king of the flat-panel home-theater hill.
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With prices starting about $700 for the least expensive models, a coveted plasma TV is within reach of most shoppers. But now that you can get a 42-inch LCD for a similar chunk of change, plasma TVs have to depend on factors other than price to remain competitive. One area where plasma still reigns, however, is in very large screen sizes. Today's 50-inch plasmas--the plasma TV sweet spot--are still less expensive than similarly sized LCDs, and in even larger screen sizes the gap widens considerably. That said, big-screen plasmas are still a solid chunk of change more than rear-projection sets.
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