LCD versus Plasma what is better for your choice?

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The most common question asked in our store by customers is LCD or Plasma which is better?

12 to 18 months ago well over 85% of the flat screens we sold were plasma and that was because at that stage plasma we believed to be a far better choice for many reasons. Lcd tvs were very expensive then and had many issues with picture quality and overall performance so plasma was the preferred product.

Now LCD tvs make up around 90% of sets being sold by us because for most applications they have some real benefits, they also are very competative in price and performance standards have lifted ten fold in the last twelve months. Some of the reasons people are buying LCD are as follows,

anti refective screens

no screen burn issues

less power consumption

brighter image and colours

1080p resolution standard on all better models from proven manufacturers

100hz and new motion control circuitry has eliminated issues with fast moving images

lighter and easier to wall mount

less heat given off than plasma

most people prefer the image when given a fair side by side comparison

You have probably seen some great ads on tv telling you how great plasma is for fast moving images and a simulation of the difference, please be very careful of viewing these advertisements as fact and understand they are indeed promting a particular product without really informing consumers of the simulation. This style of promotion also does not take into account the huge range of different LCD tvs available and which type was the comparison supposedly conducted against? I think it is more likely designed to promote a particular style of product that the company wants to sell and really doesnt have much to do with a proper comparison at all.

We still sell and recommend plasma and they do have some applications that they suit extremely well and we are not pro LCD, what we want is for people to fully understand what they are buying and not just make up their minds of a tv advert or the "expert" at the next BBQ you attend.

The latest and greatest Tvs feature 1080p resolution which is as good as it gets and can support Blu ray dvd, they also now come with 100hz processing and motion flow mastering for those fast moving programs.

Just one more thing i think is worth talking about, be vary wary of buying a no name brand, in the last few months this industry has seen the demise of many brand names and the consumers have been the ones holding the bag. Imagine that you are buying a tv and the decision is whether to buy a well established brand name with the very latest generation technology or you could save a few hundred dollars a buy a brand that you did not know even though the salesperson assured you that the no name brand uses the "same" panel as the name brand and has a good warranty. Sounds tempting at the time, now lets fast forward two years when the no name set no longer wants to go and you contact the seller only to be told that the brand has gone into liquidation and that warranty and spare parts are no longer availble, was is still the bargain?  This may sound a bit far fetched right? In the last twelve months this has happened to no less than four no name brands that I know of with consumers left with nothing but a worthless non working tv.

There is a reason why the leaders in the market are the leaders and promoting your product by saying it is the same panel as ******* does not mean that the finished product performs any thing like the genuine or will it have the same support if it fails. Brand name manufacturers are always going to have a superior product which is the latest generation and sure you may pay an extra 10-20% for it when you buy it but at least if you have a problem there will be some recourse.

It can be really worthwhile to spend a little time and visit a couple of specialist hi fi dealers who can provide you with some solid advice on what would best suit your needs. Alternatively you are also welcome to contact Aussie Hi Fi on 07 38231111 and one of our staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Thanks for reading and please register a vote if you liked this guide.

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UPDATE 9/3/09

Well it has been a very interesting 12 months in tv land, prices have dropped so much and the tv technology has probably had the greatest leap in performance and affordability that i have ever seen. Lcd is now really holding the market dominance except possibly in the extreme budget setor of the market and the improvments that have occurred mean that anyone can now afford a new tv that handles all manner of image qualities and connectivity unseen in the past.

Even though i have stopped selling televisions except for custom styled jobs here are some of what i beleive to be the inportant factors to consider when buying a new tv,

1. Does it have at least 2-3 years manufacurers warranty? beware of small warranties with "extension" insurances. why should you have to pay for extended warranties, if the product is built well then surely the manufacturer should be able to confidently offer a good warranty dont you think!

2.  Does the warranty cover "In Home" service if you live in a metro area of one of our capital cities? If it doesnt then it is up to you to get the set to a repair agent which isnt always easy especially if you havent kept the original carton. All better brands should have in home service in capital cities for tv'v over 40 inch, otherwise keep looking for one that does.

3. Do you plan on adding a media centre or blu ray dvd to the tv? if the answer is yes then ensure that the tv has a good range of inputs including HDMI version 1.3 and you should also check the resolution is full hd 1080p if you want to acheive the maximum picture quality.

4. Does the unit have the latest generation of panel technology and video processing abilities? there are many brands that promote they use a major brands panel technology but that doesnt really mean anything if its two year old technolgy, this sector is moving so rapidly that two year old is ancient. Video processing also needs to be at the fore front to produce smooth seamless imaging and also helps with simple usabilty such as smooth channel changing and input selection.

There are many more points that people find important but these cover the basics of what i think you should look for when buying a new tv.

PLEASE take the time to cast your vote on this guide, I have 23 years experince in the hi fi industry but I can only be guided by the readers as to what they want to read about. By voting I can better understand what you are all interested in reading about and I can keep updating and adding further information to the guides.

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