Six myths about plasma TVs

You’ll often hear a lot of FUD on the internet, but one of the biggest culprits has to be the on-going plasma vs. LCD debate. The majority of the negative points about plasma are just not true, and someone is going to have to debunk them, so here are the six most common myths about plasma TV’s, debunked.

  1. Short TV lifespan. You’ll often hear people saying that plasma TVs last a lot shorter than LCD and CRT based TVs. This is a complete myth. The majority of modern plasma panels now boast a 60,000 hour half life1 which if you work it out, is nearly 14 years of watching the TV 12 hours a day, or almost 28 years if you watch the TV six hours a day. I don’t think the majority of people will keep their TV for 14, let alone 28 years.
  2. Plasmas suffer screen burn. This may be the case if you leave your plasma panel on 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the same TV channel or game. But again, current generation panels do not suffer from screen burn nearly as much as they used to2 and I happily watch BBC News 24 and other such channels with static content without problems.
  3. LCDs are sharper. While technically true as LCD pixels are more clearly defined than plasma ones, you can only notice if you stand less than a metre away from the TV. At a true viewing distance, there is no distinguishable difference between an LCD and plasma with the same resolution.
  4. LCDs have better colour. LCDs are possibly the weakest technology when it comes to colour reproduction. They have a small colour gamut, smallest out of all the current screen technologies3 and also one of the poorest black reproduction (black looking grey). Currently one of the best technologies for colour fidelity and accuracy is plasma.
  5. Plasma technology can’t bulid as big panels as LCD. Panasonic make an 108-inch plasma panel. While it’s prohibitively expensive at $69,999.95, it does show the potential of the technology.
  6. You can’t get a full HD plasma. Pioneer, Panasonic, Hitachi and Fujitsu now offer full 1080p plasma panels.

  1. Time taken for the screen to reach half it’s initial brightness
  2. As long as you follow the appropriate burn-in procedure when you first get the panel
  3. Including CRT, OLED, LED projection and plasma.
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