Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between LCD and plasma TVs?


Most people don’t realize that plasmas generally have the better picture of the two technologies. Plasmas have blacker blacks, greater contrast and better color representation. LCDs have an issue with displaying fast moving objects clearly due to limitations in LCD technology. The faster scan rates on LCDs (120 Hz, 240 Hz, etc) exist to try to clean up these motion trails, which don’t occur on plasmas as a result of the display properties. LCDs are brighter (sometimes fatiguingly so) and unless they have a glass surface (like a plasma), they don’t show glare reflections from windows and lamps, etc that CAN be an issue on plasmas. LCDs are better for computer monitors and video games because images can’t be burned into the picture from frozen static images, where this is (albeit unlikely) possible on plasma displays. Plasmas are generally heavier (because of the glass). Cheaper plasmas even more so because they often have more than one layer of glass over the display.

What is the difference between LCD and LED TVs?


LEDs are LCD TVs. The difference between the two is the backlight method. Plasmas produce their light within the cell of each pixel by superheating the gas (plasma) in the pixel. LCDs have to be backlight. Older LCD technology has a flourescent backlight behind the display panel. LEDs have an array of small Light Emitting Diodes for backlighting the panel. LEDs provide more, purer light than the flourescent backlight and use less energy to do so. TAKE NOTE: Ultra slim display panels have LEDs around the edge of the display that shine in toward the middle of the panel via prisms. Our LG LED LCD TVs have an array of LEDs all over behind the panel which can be turned off or on independently of each other by the set to provide for much greater contrast ratios (disparity between white and black in the same image) than any other display technology. This type of LED is referred to as an “LED backit LCD with local dimming.” Most LEDs on the market don’t have this feature. This is what truly makes LEDs look better than other LCDs. Any LED TV without local dimming is either seeking to save you energy (negligable elecricity savings – maybe $50/year, or it wants to be extremely thin (for thin’s sake) or the manufacturer is trading on the name of the technology somewhat disingenuously. THX certification from Lucasfilm (yes the Star Wars guy) is the audio/video industry’s gold standard for excellence. At the time I write this only one LCD television has earned this prestigious certification: the LG LH90 series LED backlit LCD with local dimming. Lots of plasmas are THX certified. Why? Better contrast is inherent in plasma technology.