General Question

Buttonstc's avatar

Would a Plasma TV be the better choice for me?

Asked by Buttonstc (27557points) January 26th, 2014 from iPhone

I’m now in the market for a larger size TV so have been scouring ads for awhile now. I currently have an LCD screen.

I’m aware that LCD screens have a finite number of hours per lifetime of the TV. Granted, its a pretty large number, but still…..

I have the unfortunate tendency to fall asleep while watching TV and also having it on in the background while doing something else. So its not unusual for it to be on round the clock more often than not.

I’m assuming its different for Plasma screens so am wondering if that might be the better choice for me this time around.

I’m aware that one of the downsides to Plasma is a problem with possible burn-in if left on an image for extended periods. But that doesn’t really happen with me so I’m not worried about that.

So, what other downsides are there to Plasma, if any? Considering the info I’ve given is there any reason why I should not choose a Plasma screen this time around?

Your tech opinions would be greatly welcomed. Thanks.

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18 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

What specific size? What budget? How big’s the room? How far to the sofa or chair?

I just got a 46” LG TV LCD. It’s fine (although I hate the remote) but I only watch it when I am watching it, and not often.

Buttonstc's avatar

I’m looking for at least 46–50 inch and I just saw one (50”) on sale at Meijer for $469 and then noticed it’s Plasma. That’s unusual since Plasma has usually been much more expensive.

It’s going in a a pretty large (lengthwise) bedroom. I’m so tired of squinting at subtitles and the listing grid and constantly fumbling around for my small binoculars is getting tedious.

gailcalled's avatar

That seems really cheap. Mine cost me about $900 and wasn’t the Mercedes in the showroom. I am about 9’ away and can read the subtitles, although I had to buy an extra pair of glasses without the bottom of the bifocal script so I can read them (subtitles) while lying in bed, propped on a few pillows. I won’t tell you what the glasses cost.

Sorry. I am no help at all. (And I was not aware of the finite number of hours of the LCD TV.)

Here’s one compare and contrast article I found

Buttonstc's avatar

A lot of places have sales on large screen TVS since the Superbowl is just around the corner. And this one is a Samsung so that’s why it caught my eye. Usually any with decent prices are some type of no-name.

It’s one of the better times to be looking at purchasing one.

Thanks for the article; I think I’ve probably perused it in the past. But they don’t mention screen life so that’s still one of my main questions.

ragingloli's avatar

How about something exotic, like the Oculus Rift?

Buttonstc's avatar

Oculus Rift is a headset used for an immersive gaming experience, right? And my impression is they’re mucho mucho expensive, no?

If I’ve got it wrong. drop me a clue as to why I should consider the Oculus Rift, all things considered.

ragingloli's avatar

It saves a lot of space, and you get the full HD experience (once it is out) even while laying in bed.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Do you live in a cool climate? One where you need heat and not much air conditioning? Plasmas TVs have higher energy consumption than LCDs. However if you live in a cool place and don’t need air conditioning that power consumption is negligible. It goes to heating your house.
Plasma TVs are better in dark environments. LCD are better for lit up rooms.
LCDs do not have ghosting from burn in. Plasma are not quite as good but are still good. This really is a non-issue unless you like to watch TV all day with text scrolling along the bottom.

Lightlyseared's avatar

A top tier plasma has a life span equivalent of an LCD screen. Cheaper or older models have a shorter lifespan compared to LCD. If that’s your only worry id stick with LCD.

Buttonstc's avatar


I seriously doubt I’d enjoy watching TV like this :)

How on earth could I multitask and Fluther whilst watching TV (as I am now) ?

ragingloli's avatar

You are not multitasking. You are switching back and forth.

Buttonstc's avatar


I live in Michigan so really only need AC during a few humid summer months.

Am I understanding you correctly that a Plasma constantly throws off a lot of heat and an LCD doesn’t ?


I was unaware that Plasma screens have a shorter lifespan in general. This one obviously isn’t old but since it’s not several thousand bucks, I’m assuming its not top tier.

Do you know why the lifespan is shorter? Does it have to do with the amount of heat generated or is it something else ?

@ All. Obviously I’m not that tech savvy and don’t have much grasp about how these things work :)

Buttonstc's avatar


Obviously it would be a whole lot harder going back and forth if I had to take that all that gear off my head :)

Besides, the consumer version of this isn’t even out yet (afaik).

Are they already available in Germany?

Lightlyseared's avatar

The phosphors used lost luminosity leading to decreased brightness and loss of picture. The problem is increased if you get image burn in.

jaytkay's avatar

Plasmas are hot and extremely heavy.

If you aren’t going to move it, that $469 looks like a good deal. But you absolutely must see it running, there are definite differences in image quality among TV models.

Buttonstc's avatar

So, the overall impression I’m getting is that Plasmas are a whole lot trickier to deal with for numerous reasons and won’t really do much to solve the lifespan issue.

I guess I’ll keep my eye on LCDs on sale instead.

Kropotkin's avatar

There is no “lifespan issue”. A modern flat-screen TV will last years and years.

The “lifespan” refers to the supposed half-life of the back-light—in other words, it’ll be half as bright after x number of hours. The hours go from 50 to 100,000 hours—itself a meaningless and unverifiable rating.

That’s 5 to 11 years worth of viewing time.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Buttonstc Yes. Plasmas use more electricity and put out more heat than LCDs. But that should not concern you. You live in a cold climate so the heat they put out is offsetting your heating bill. Every watt “wasted” by the Plasma TV is heating your home. If you used air conditioning that would be a different story. Then the difference is more important.

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