T Nation

LCD vs. Plasma - Help!


I'm sure this has been discussed on this board before, but I wanted some updated opinions on plasma vs. lcd.

I was sold on getting an LCD Toshiba, but then I found a plasma on sale at Best Buy for $999. 50", 1080p, 600hz, etc.

It seems like the old issues with plasmas, including burn-in, are not as bad anymore. A lot of reviewers who have had both plasma and lcd tend to prefer plasma, surprisingly.

I'd like something 50-55". My son and I are into video games, so it will be hooked up to an Xbox 360, and possibly a PS3. I'l probably get a Sony Soundbar to keep things simple.

Any opinions?

Here is a 50" plasma on sale at Best Buy for only $999:


Looks at what you personally think about the tv side to side. If your gonna be playing a lot if intense moving games, well the refresh rate on plasmas is way faster, and you don't get artifacting on them as bad as LCD's. Plus the blacks are deeper...well not then the new LED's I don't think, but meh, they're expensive.

Anyway, most places I've read that plasma's are better on 50"+ tvs. Anyway, for the price plasma I think is much better. And if your worried about the burn in you can hook up this thing in the cable loop (forgot what its called), that every one every 30fps it will flash the screen so it won't burn in, and since the human eye can only see around 22-24fps you never see it.


Don't buy a plasma. Of the few people I know who've had them for a couple of years their plasmas now have permanent "ghosts" burned into the tv. There's a reason why they're getting so cheap. My girl and I picked up a samsung 32" LCD 720p for about $500 after taxes. The LCD picture blows a plasma out of the water. Seriously, it's not even close. We were looking on the Best Buy website not long ago and saw some large LCD's [48-52"] for under $1,500. It'll cost a little more initially, but you'll save on not having to replace a busted t.v. and you'll get a much better product.


and a LED blows LCD's apart like a bentley to a kia. However, plasmas can be perfectly fine tv's, and as long as you don't abuse them they'll be fine. and much cheaper than lcds are.

edit: Regardless of what you go with, get a good brand. I'd rather take a highend plasma then a lowend LCD any day of the week.


Plasma is the way to go.

All LCD's ive seen look blury as fuck.I Just dont care for LCD's at all

My 60 inch plasma is the best investment ive ever made.


See, I keep hearing that and a buddy just got a nice LED and while it is a bit crisper and more vibrant, I honestly didn't notice that much of a difference.


I would get an LCD.

Yes, choose a good brand.


Older plasma models are much more prone to burn-in. There have been great strides in the technology and the newer plasmas - Panasonic Viera, Pioneer KURO, Pioneer Elite - are phenomenal and available in 1080p.

I believe Pioneer offers the KURO - which is literally the best plasma on the market, beats any screen in any comparison - is the only one with an LED backlighting. Or, it could be the Elite series.

Plasmas are far better as far as color reproduction; images appear more like film (i.e. real) whereas most LCDs are overly saturated with their color palette. Also, what sucks about LCDs unless you get a very top end model is that their color fidelity is NOT uniform. You can stand in the center of the screen and gradually walk to the side while still looking at the screen, and you will notice a color shift.

This does not happen on all models but LCDs are notorious for this.

Think of what this means for viewing. Unless you are dead center, the colors may not be the same as they appear if you were viewing the screen dead on.

Now, with regards to LED, you want to see the phrase "local dimming" which means the LEDs are lighting the screen from behind each pixel (it won't be one LED to one pixel, but with an LED focused behind a set of pixels the LED light output can be controlled more tightly, thus giving better contrast range, deeper blacks and whiter whites).

Currently, most LED LCD panels use LED lighting from the edges of the screen.

The Samsung Series 9 LCDs have local dimming LEDs. The 8500 series might as well but I'm not sure. I think Sony makes an LCD with locally dimming LEDs but I forget the model.


I just picked up a samsung 55" LED, and it is spectacular. Bright as hell when I want it to be and the blacks get as dark as when the TV is off. Granted, im coming from a 36" CRT


LED panels are definitely tops. I have a 40" Bravia, and right now that's more than enough for me.

If you want a good plasma panel, you need to get a Pioneer Kuro. Nothing comes close IMO, as far as plasmas are concerned.

I'd stick with LCD/LED panels though, personally.


It seems 50/50 so far, which is what I suspected. My main concern is I have kids, but this TV will be in the main living room, so it's not like they will leave it frozen all day long without me knowing about it. And this TV will primarily be mine, since they have a nice TV down in the basement they use.

I'm leaning toward a 54" Pioneer Plasma for $1499. Gears Of War 2 will look epic....


In all honesty there is no big difference if you read reviews by professionals...

The biggest question is this....

what is the lighting like in the room you plan to watch it??

if it is bright in the room, you will wash out a lot of a plasma's picture since the screen his highly relective (so get an LCD).... if its in the basement (like my plasma is - for gamming) then plasma is the way to go.....

Regardless of LCD / Plasma stick with a solid brand - Pioneer and panasonic are probably the best two... stay away from knock off brands... and if you do go LCD, make sure its a 120Hz...

I have both a 40" LCD 120Hz 1080p and a 50" plasma 1080p and the plasma is a much better picture, but, if i had it upstairs in the living room the picture gets washed out due to reflections... (which is why I bought the LCD)... beyond that, most people will tell you one looks better then the other because they dont know how to adjust them properly... it takes 10 to 20 minutes to get the pictures set right and in the store, they dilerbertly set tvs they dont make large profits on to looks worse then high profit tvs....

Also, when you get your TV, dont let the store sucker you into playing 50+ bucks for an HDMI cable... there are numerous websites / webstores where you can get the same cables for 10bucks.... do your research and dont get ripped off...

if you have a particular question let me know, I spent a long time reading up on all of this before buying my plasma....


Thanks, Ratchet. It will be in my living room, which does have a bay window but that looks out on our front porch, which is covered. So it's not a particularly well-lit room. I think the plasma will do fine.

Thanks for the advice on the HDMI cables. Is there a particular online store that sells them? I can't wait to hook up an Xbox or a PS3 to this thing when i get it.

BTW - how many HDMI cables will I need? I'm getting a Sony Soundbar (it's $299 from Best Buy), and besides that I will have my upgraded Comcast DVR, and one gaming console. Will I need 2 HDMI cables, or 3 (for the Soundbar as well?).



The difference is fuck all. I brought an LCD because I thought the picture was better. Its just a damn TV, how much time are you really going to be spending on it?


go here for cables


You will need three cables, as it appears the soundbar uses HDMI also, although I can't see why.

Any reason no one suggests DLP? You get A lot more TV for the money. My father in law has a 1080P 120hz Samsung and the pic is outstanding, plus they handle fast motion better than Plasma. There is the whole bulb replacement thing though.


Hearing a lot of pro plasma here. Maybe I just haven't given them an honest shot or only seen older models. I couldn't be happier with the LCD we got so I'm probably biased. Batman Arkham Asylum looks fucking amazing on this tv. I have the day off and am gonna wear this thing out 'til it's time to lift, ha. Good luck with whatever you choose Pro.


I stand corrected on the cables for the soundbar. You can use HDMI or digital Optical audio or standard RCA.

If your monitor only has one HDMI in, you can input up to three HDMI into the soundbar sub and it will split it into one HDMI out.

here is a link to the owners manual



I have a 52" Sony LCD Bravia and I love it. Great on my Xbox and blue ray. The only thing is that I have replaced the actual LCD part twice. It started to get green white, and red lines in it. Now this is not a problem as it was under warranty. So really no big deal.

However, all this was caused by my son (he was 1) beating on the TV with a plastic bat or toy. So this would not have happened had he not beat on it daily.

So if you have no small children that will damage an LCD then pretty much whatever LCD you like is good.

I also have a 42; Panasonic Plasma in the bedroom. Its 720p and looks great. I will say the colors are a little better on the plasma. But, it all really comes down to what you like.

I have been wanting to try the new LED TV's. Maybe you could look in to those as well.


My gym bought 60" plasmas about 1.5 yrs ago. They were several thousand dollars each, so they were not cheapos.

I noticed a few months back that one of the TV's had a burn in logo of the "USA" channel in the bottom right corner. Just figured I'd put that out there