Should you go for the LCD or plasma video display? It depends. Here are a few tips to help you choose.
Plasma displays reproduce color more accurately with deeper blacks and display moving images with remarkable clarity. They provide excellent performance with their high-contrast levels and color saturation, and have the edge when it comes to viewing angles. In fact, plasma screen have as much as 160° viewing angle, whereas LCDs display at 130-140° angles. However, they also carry the risk of image burn-in (the permanent disfiguring of a screen image caused by the continuous display of a high-contrast object).
LCD displays, on the other hand, don’t have quite the color accuracy of plasmas, but they’re brighter and have a sharpness advantage with a higher number of pixels per square inch. These additional pixels make LCD technology better at displaying static images from computers or VGA sources in full-color detail. Applications with large amounts of data and written material display particular well on LCDs. What’s more, there’s no risk of image burn-in.
With LCD screens, there are essentially no parts to wear out. They last as long as their backlights do, with displays lasting, on average, 50,000-75,000 hours. That’s why LCD screens are especially good for applications such as digital signage or displays that require around-the-clock use.
Plasma screens, however, use a combination of electric currents and noble gases (argon, neon, and xenon) to produce a glow, which in turn yields brilliant color. The half-life of these gases, however, is only around 25,000 hours. The glow they produce grows dimmer over time. They’re also prone to burn-in or ghosting of images, although this is less of a problem with newer models.