Need Pointers on New TV

Updated on March 24, 2010
L.R. asks from Minneapolis, MN
13 answers

Hi Moms
My husband and I are looking to buy a new TV in the near future. Right now we have an "old school" TV and we are looking to upgrade to the flat screen. What we cannot agree on, however, is whether to get a plasma TV or an LCD.
What do you ladies have? Likes/dislikes for each?
Thanks for your help!

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answers from Des Moines on

Just an idea to throw out there... we have a huge older (5 yrs) DLP and the clarity is very poor. We looked at LCD and Plasma, but in the end decided for the price of the Plasma we could do the new LED. Its AMAZING. I can sit and watch a show on TV and see the clumps of dirt in the grass along a driveway. We haven't had any issues with glare (like some LCDs can) and its very light/thin (we have it wall mounted). We went with the Samsung 46" and have no regrets!

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answers from Nashville on

OK....I have an uber-geek husband, so I will let you know what he says. =0) Here are the differences:

Plasma = Very heavy. Very expensive! Best contrast ratios (they show better "blacks") However, they will die after 4-8 years. This is due to the material inside. These tvs use a liquid that bounces electrons off of it creating the different colors. These liquids can't keep this up for more than the 4-8yr lifespan and it is impossible to replace, therefore, the tv is just useless and has to be thrown out. The "plasma" has already become old technology.

LCD = Very low weight. Not as expensive. Better investment over time. LCD tvs use a series of lamps inside, not the liquid that plasma tvs use. The lamps are completely replaceable, therefore extending the life of your TV.

Hubby says the one you want is an "LCD Array". This new technology uses a series of lamps creating a contrast comparable to the rockin' contrast of a new plasma, but still has the security of being replaceable after it's life is gone! =0)

.........Just the two cents of an uber-geek. Good luck with your decision! =0)

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answers from Minneapolis on


Recently my sister-in-law was talking to the electric company about what things in the home draw the most electricity. She was told that Plasma TV's draw a huge amount of electriciy even when they are turned off. So not only is the cost higher to buy, but it costs more to have and the lifespan is shorter with a Plasma.

I would say between the two, LCD is the way to go.




answers from Rochester on

We have 2 plasmas (42" and 50") and 1 LCD (32") and my husband and I really, REALLY wish we would have gotten the 32" in a plasma as well. As soon as we plugged in the LCD we both went "OH" when we realized what a poor picture it had compared to the plasmas. A major deciding factor for us was that the plasma has a glass front while the LCD does not. We have 2 boys - ages 7 and 11 - and a playful chocolate lab and we knew that any sort of knock on the LCD front would wreck it. The first night we had the 42" plasma, our dog went to catch a toy that was thrown to her and it bounced off her nose and hit the TV...thank God for the plasma. Had we gotten the LCD, we would have been looking for another TV the next day!



answers from Minneapolis on

After a lot of research, my husband and I just recently purchased a Panasonic plasma TV. We did the compare and contrast and ended up liking the picture on the plasma better than the LCD. We also asked all of the sales people in the stores what they own - and hands down more of them owned plasma TVs. These are the people who work with this technology every day. The plasma techonology has improved from the first plasmas - they've worked to address some of the burn-in and high-energy use problems.

One thing to note - if you use Netflix, the new Pansonic TVs that are coming out this summer will be able to stream Netflix movies right to your TV.



answers from Madison on

Just one more idea for you. When you go to shop for your new TV, move around and look at the TV from different angles. Some really loose their clarity from very low angles, and you are not always directly in front of the TV when you are watching it. Plasma TVs I think are the worst at angles.


answers from Spokane on

I think LCD is the way to go. Mel and her uber geek DH (I have one of those too) is absolutely right about everything she said.

Something else to think about: With a plasma screen, if you ever play video games or even your DVD player...on a plasma and leave them on w/out a game/DVD in it, the screen saver of said game system/DVD player will literally "Burn" into your TV.--Sadly leaving these things on, has been known to happen at my house and that would really suck! Happened to a friend of ours...he still uses it but every so often in the right circumstances you can clearly make out the XBOX logo:)

?They also put out a lot of heat...check it out when you are at the store looking can walk up to one and feel it, its amazing! Not sure what that translates in electricity wattage usage?

For the money, I do not think a Plasma is the way to go...especially given their life could spend just as much and get a bigger or higher quality LCD!


answers from Barnstable on

We have an LCD (36"), plasma (24") and DLP (64").

The DLP blows them all away (Mitsubishi) and weighs 100lbs. Truly an incredible picture and makes the Plasma and LCD look like a regular tv.

Our 64" Mitsubishi DLP was $2500 - try getting an LCD or Plasma for that cost! And, if a plasma breaks, it is toast - a throw away. Ditto on the LCDs. But a DLP is FIXABLE (which is huge in saving money).



answers from Minneapolis on

One point to consider is that plasma TVs have a high burn-in rate (which means anything paused or stilled on the screen will actually burn into the picture and be visible even when you unpause or change the channel. We didn't think that was a big deal (since we rarely pause anything), until we considered that MOST channels now have a constant logo on the bottom of the screen. Even an hour of the Nick Jr. or NBC peacock could be visible. (And in our house...some days the TV is admittedly on longer than that.)

We have a DLP, which with we've been very happy--at the time, we weren't happy with the picture quality of the plasmas in a similar price range given the size of our room.



answers from Houston on

Plasma or LCD? Neither. Get an LED Aquos.

Something to consider.




answers from San Francisco on

They say the burn on a plasma is worse than the burn in (still pics, video games, etc) on an LCD. You will want to do your homework and go to the stores to see the differences in picture quality. we have an 8 year old 62" projection TV that we want to replace. We were looking at the plasmas due to picture quality. Our kids are still young, 1 1/2 and 3 1/2, and put their hands on the TV constantly. We can't get them to stop. Because of this we have decided to wait until they are older or until we have to.



answers from San Francisco on

We did our upgrade from an old 80's tv to a new flat panel about two years ago and had the same question you do. The deciding factor for us was the weight issue. Plasmas are heavier. We went with an LCD--love it, great picture, and my husband and I could mount it on the wall ourselves. But I'll tell you, I sure wouldn't want it any heavier...glad we picked LCD for that reason.



answers from Madison on

LCD. And one thing to keep in mind when shopping. Lots of times the stores will put lower-end models next to higher end models. then they mess with the picture setting to make them look worse. We have 3 LCDs...a 46" Samsung, a 32" Haier and a 23" Visio. ALL are great TVs. In the store the salesman was trying to show us how "bad" the Haier's picture was...I messed with the setting and was able to treak it to give me just as good of picture as the LG sitting next to it that we was trying to sell us (and of course it was over $400 more...). Don't be fooled into spending more money on a name...there are some great TVs out there manufactured under generic names.

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