Choosing and purchasing a TV was much easier even a few years ago. But things have changed with the passage of time and advancement of technology. So, whenever you will be thinking of purchasing a new TV, you will have to consider all the available alternative technologies such as Plasma TV, LCD TV, LED TV and Smart TV. Your choice may vary depending on different needs and requirements. Though all these technologies have been improved significantly over time and there are very little noticeable downsides, still you need to know the basic differences among these technologies so that you can decide yourself which one is the most appropriate TV for you. So, here are what all these technologies are –
Plasma TV is a perfect option for you if you love to watch TV in darker environment or mostly at night. This is because during dark scenes the pixels of plasma display easily get turned off (almost completely). These pixels can also deeper the black levels of the display compared to some other display technologies such as LCD. So, richer colors, fantastic texture images and depth of picture are guaranteed with plasma display. Plasma display comes with color phosphors and self-lighting technology (emissive display technology) which ensure the consistency of lighting in plasma display.
Plasma TV doesn’t have backlight as it uses a technology that alters an individual cell’s brightness to create the pictures. One drawback of plasma TV is that it is not energy efficient compared to LCD and other displays. Plasma TVs are also ideal for gaming and sports as they have a refresh rate of 600Hz to ensure smooth motion control. Plasma TVs start from 42’’ and go up from there while the weight of a 50’’ plasma TV is generally below 100 pounds.
Another emerging category of TV is aka 4K Ultra HD TV. If you are really looking forward to get a latest TV with all new ultra-modern technologies then this Ultra HD TV can be the solution for you. The term ‘4K’ refers to the resolution of this HD TV (3840 x 2160 or 4196 x 2160) which is almost four times the current resolution (1080 x 1920). Picture quality has been improved noticeably in larger screens due to such huge improvement in resolution. But, there is no impact of this updated resolution on motion lag in particular. But, the issue you should keep in mind is that though number of commercial theatres are showing 4K-quality pictures, still this technology is not that much available for domestic use especially in standard 55’’ – 65’’ display sizes. So, this can be a relevant option only if you are thinking of something bigger than the standard.
One of the biggest revolutions in Television technology is Smart TV. Just like a smart phone a smart TV can also provide numerous internet-connected services which are not possible to serve by any other TV. Smart TV can get connected to internet to run some cool features like streaming music and video, running different entertainment apps, online games, web browsing and so on. Today’s most TVs (Smart TVs) come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and Ethernet to make it possible to access the internet with ease. If you love watching streaming contents on the web then Smart TV can be your best companion. Some of these TVs also have USB ports and DVI input feature that let you use your TV as a monitor of your computer. Memory card slots also let you view your images and contents directly from your phone or camera memory. Another great feature of smart TV is DLNA which lets you stream videos and media directly from your mobile phone or computer. So, you no longer need to copy all those media files to a USB disk or memory card to play via TV screen. You can also get connected to your friends and family using apps like Skype via smart TV but in that case you will be needed to install a webcam with the TV. As the availability and accessibility of internet in still on the rise, chance is there that more and more models and feature rich Smart TVs will be available in the market in near future.
The display technology of LED TV is nothing new as it is just an upgrade of normal LCD display. Confusion arises just because TV manufacturers market this upgrade LCD TV (LED back-lit) as a separate entity named as LED TV. But, still there are remarkable differences between the traditional LCD TVs and today’s LED TVs in terms of price, usage and viewing experience. Some call it LED LCD TVs also.
The main difference between a LCD and LED display lies in the back-lit technology. LCD TVs come with a lighting method known as CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light) whereas the latest LED TV panels come with ‘Light Diodes’ technology to light up the display. As a source of display light LED has been proved to be better as it gives more control over dimming and lighting the images. LED is also ideal in terms of energy consumption as it uses least energy compared to all other flat-panel display technologies available out there in the market.
LED TVs come with two different back-lit configurations known as Edge-Lit and Full-Array Backlit. With full-array back-lit technology LED TVs produce accurate brightness and contrast, richer color saturation and deeper black levels which can be easily compared to Plasma TVs in terms of overall picture quality. With Edge-Lit technology the LED lights are placed around the edges of the display, not just behind the pixels which has made it possible to design even thinner models of LED TVs.
So, these were the ultimate 4 categories of TV which you must consider before making your final purchasing decision. At the same time you should also keep in mind some factors like when, where and how often you watch TV mostly. So, do your homework properly and find out the most appropriate TV for you.
© 2013 Fierce Manson
Fierce Manson (author) from Atlanta on September 29, 2013:
Hi Eric, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am shopping around now for a new tv, I also plan to tweak this hub with comparative pricing from different stores.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 29, 2013:
Well done. I bought a TV in 2004, a twelve inch I think with the big old back end. For $350 I just bought a 24 by 36 inch smart tv for $300. Wow in less than a decade.