LCD, LED and Plasma televisions are flat and thin but the technologies used are different. OLED TVs use the latest technology, however they still are not full fledged available in the market.
Plasma TV Overview
Plasma TV uses an array of cells for cell. Each cell is separated by glass panel which is injected with neon-xenon gas and sealed in plasma during manufcturing. The gas is electrically charged at specific intervals and the charged gas strikes the phosphors coating to produce the image.
LCD TV Overview
LCD TVs on the other hand use Liquid Crystal Display technology. In case of LCD the pixel cells contain liquid crystals which allow crystals to pass or block light to produce images when with light from external source like fluoroscent bulb.
LED TV Overview
LED or Light Emitting Diode TVs are part of the LCD TV family. The display screen on a LED is a liquid crystal display the same as it is on any other LCD TV. The main difference between the two lies with different backlighting techniques which may change the picture quality characteristics dramatically.
DLP TV Overview
DLP technology is based on a semiconductor chip called a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). This chip has a matrix of microscopic sized mirrors, each one representing a pixel, which tilt to reflect, or not reflect light. Depending on the how quickly these mirrors reposition themselves, the DMD chip can recreate 1,024 shades of gray.
Color is added by placing a color wheel in front of this microscopic light show that is divided into 4 sectors: red, green, blue, and one clear sector to boost brightness. This color wheel is synchronized with the DMD to display each color so quickly that each color appears to combine and form one composite, full-color image.
OLED TV Overview
OLED TVs use a new display technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED televisions will be brighter, more efficient, thinner and with better refresh rates and contrast than LCD or Plasma TVs.
OLEDs are made by placing a series of organic thin films between two conductors. When electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. The OLED materials emit light and do not require a backlight (unlike LCDs).
Best TV Size
Plasma technology works well on massive screens without losing on the picture, brightness or the color quality. LCD too has come a long way however, the quality of an LCD television deteriorates in very large screen sizes.
For similar screen sizes, typically LCD TVs are lighter.
DLP televisions are generally not available in a size smaller than 42 inches. They also can’t be mounted to the wall like a plasma or LCD.
At this point small OLED displays are common, there is work on improving the technological process in order to be able to manufacture large screens without risking poor quality.
Color Quality and Contrast
Plasma is a clear winner when it comes to picture quality, colors, and contrast. In future due to the improvements in LCD technology and the increased pixel density, the difference between the LCD and Plasma display qualities may not be very significant.
Plasma TVs are also are better at tracking motion.
LCD do not have high altitude use issues.
LEDs are dimmed in dark areas of the picture to create darker blacks and better detail in dark scenes. Hence they have better contrast and black features when compared to LCd TVs.
OLED TVs are technologically very similar to plasma TVs. The black levels of OLED displays are exceptional. This makes the picture really pop, enhancing the colors and the overall picture quality.
Plasma TVs give a viewing angle of 160 degrees while LCDs are improving however still at 120-130 degrees. The advantage plasma again lies in the way plasma pictures are reproduced. Plasma TV’s each pixel cell is responsible for its own color and brightness unlike LCD where the light source is usually in the center of the screen. The quality of plasma display doesn’t deteriorate when you move to the side angle of the display whereas LCD will get dimmer or darker as you move away to its sides.
The LED TVS have corrected the issues in LCDs and have viewing angles that rival plasma TVs though they are more expensive than plamsa TVs.
OLED has very wide viewing angles, and its’ picture are not being altered when watching from a side.
This may or may not be an issue depending upon how you plan to watch your TV.
LCD TVs are more computer user friendly. You can use LCD monitors as your computer monitors. The colors and the image quality are impressive. Plasma screens may not stand the test of working long hours. LCD monitors are best for gaming too.
LCD and LED TVs are even in computer use with not much difference
DLP also is good for computer use.
LCD TVs consume much lesser power than the plasma televisions. Plasma TV needs to power every single cell on the screen whereas LCD need to power only one bulb to illuminate all the liquid crystal cells scattered on the screen.
LCD TVS consume lesser power than LED TVs also.
OLED is a greener technology with much improved power consumption than others.
The phosphors that create a plasma’s stunning image are the also what make it generate more heat that other television technologies.
As mentioned earlier, the biggest advantage LCD has over plasma TVs is the lifespan. A plasma TV is prone to display degradation as plasma cells burn out leaving permanent black cells on the screen display which kill the picture and color quality. LCD is not prone to such issues, the lamp that projects the light can go bad but in most cases it is replaceable.
Light emitting diode technology should not have as much degradation over time. Hence LED TVs will have more logevity than LCDs.
The dlp TV is simply a DLP video projector in a box. The projectors use a replaceable bulb which can cost between 200 to 400 US dollars. The life on the bulb varies but generally expect around 6 to 8000 hours. However some will last substantially less. Realistically you can expect to be buying a bulb every 2 years and possible sooner if you watch a lot of TV. Add the acquisition cost of the unit and a DLP TV can actually cost twice as much as a plasma over 5 or 6 years of normal use.
At this point OLED TVs are way behind, offering a much shorter life of only a few thousand hours. The organic compounds used in OLED displays are to blame for this short life. Scientists have been working to improve this.
LCD Televisions may use mercury as part of the chemical makeup of the florescent lighting used to illuminate the screen surface. However, this may be irrelevant in choosing a Plasma Television over an LCD Television. In LCD sets, the amount of Mercury used is small and never comes in contact with the user. Most common high-efficiency florescent lamps also use Mercury.