LCD or Plasma TV? Which HDTV Is More Energy Efficient? LCD or Plasma TV? Which HDTV Is More Energy Efficient?

With the national switch to digital cable, you may be in the market for a plasma or LCD (liquid crystal display) television, both of which are equipped for the transition. But is one better? In truth, you’ll probably be happy with either, as recent refinements in the technology of both flat screen TVs have narrowed the gap of difference to near indistinguishability. Nevertheless, here’s a side-by-side showdown of the most important standards of LCD and plasma TVs.


The range of sizes for a plasma and LCD TV is nearly the same. Plasma TVs run between 42 and 65+ inches. LCD TVs can be just as big, topping 65 inches, but they also come with screens as small as five inches. Both the LCD and plasma have a cabinet depth of three inches. The prices of the TV types are so similar that weekly sales are the main determinate of which one is less expensive.

A main difference in the generalities of these two flat screens is the power and efficiency of each. While both screens are manufactured by brands that offer Energy Star-certified products, the LCD flat screen is more power-efficient per square inch.


Although the LCD screen is more power-efficient, its picture quality fares worse than its plasma counterpart. Motion blur is negligible in plasma screens, and color saturation is generally a bit better than in LCD screens due to black level and off-angle advantages. Off-angle viewers of an LCD screen will experience more faded images than with a plasma screen. The plasma’s glass screen can reflect a lot of light which can be an issue in very bright rooms; however, some models, including those by Insignia, have glare-reducing screens that are usually more effective than the regular matte plastic screens of LCD TVs.


Typically, an LCD and plasma screen TV will last 60,000 hours, or about 20 years if used 8 hours a day. In durability, the plasma screen outranks its counterpart, offering a product that has a smaller chance of burning out. With the LCD screen, there is a higher chance of burn-in, or faint images left on the screen after it has been shut off.

Program Capability                                                                           

Both screens are HDTV compatible, but the plasma screen can sometimes cause images to look a bit softer due to lower resolution. With both screens, standard-definition television quality depends on the screen size: the smaller the screen size, the better standard-definition usually looks on either screen. The LCD screen is able to connect to PCs more often than a plasma screen. Both screens play DVDs well and gamers will enjoy either screen equally, despite motion blur in LCD screens and low resolution in plasma screens.

Overall, despite being less energy efficient than the LCD screen, the plasma screen TV is a better choice for a flat screen. The plasma offers better picture quality and fewer manufacturing problems. The best plasma TVs, according to reviewers for Best Buy, Costco and Wal-Mart, are manufactured by Panasonic and Samsung and can cost between $500 and $1900, depending on size.

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