The most important component of any home theater system – for most people, anyway – is a flat screen television. But if you’ve done any shopping for a TV lately, you might be a little baffled or even downright confused by all the choices out there.
Is there really a big difference between a LCD TV and a plasma TV? And what is an LED/LCD TV anyhow?
Plasma is a relatively new technology in TVs. When they hit the market in the late 1990s and early 2000s, plasma TVs were considered a status symbol, as they were very expensive, some fetching $45,000 or more. Prices have since come way down, and now it is possible to buy a plasma TV for less than $1,000.
With this type of TV, the screen is built from two plates of glass with neon or xenon gas in between. When the gas is exposed to an electrical field, it glows, producing a picture.
Plasma TVs are only available in 42″ screens or bigger, and from just a small handful of manufacturers. They have a great all-around viewing angle, vibrant color and great definition, but aren’t quite as bright as LCD or LED TVs.
Plasma TVs are also very susceptible to damage. If they are hit with a hard object, it could break some of the gas filled pixels, eventually leading to a distorted screen image. So when purchasing a plasma TV, many people opt for an extended warranty or some sort of insurance.
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