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Plasma displays uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and create the picture image. In other words, each picture element in a plasma TV display acts as a miniature light source. More on plasma displays can be found in our article: How-it-Works: Plasma Display Panel.
Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current passes through the liquid crystals, they rotate causing a change in the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the applied voltage. This results in more or less light passing through the polarized glass to reach the face of the display. LCD panels do not generate light - rather they filter or subtract light produced by a backlight source to create the image on the panel surface
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LCD TVs enjoys a technological advantage; they are not prone to burn-in, and image sticking in LCD TVs is often completely reversible, but...
Burn-in is no longer much of a concern as it used to be with plasma televisions up to the recent past, especially for people with normal TV viewing requirements. Similarly, image sticking with LCD TVs is unlikely to take place under normal home entertainment use.
Computer Use ADVANTAGE:
LCD, both as a result of their non-susceptibility to burn-in, and because of their ability to display detailed graphics better.
Plasma vs LCD TV Lifetime ADVANTAGE:
This is a non-issue with either technology. In fact, both plasma and LCD TV sets come with a quoted half-lifetime of around 60,000hrs. Even if this were just 30,000hrs, it would imply more than 14 years of use at 6 hours a day. And this when the average household in the US replaces their TV set every 7 years!
In other words, both plasma and LCD TV sets make use of extremely stable and reliable display technologies. As such, lifetime is more dependent upon manufacturer quality rather than upon display technology.
Bad Pixels ADVANTAGE:
Plasma - because even though some manufactures are offering a zero bad pixel policy, yet LCD displays still have a higher tendency of developing bad pixels during use.
Pixel Response Time ADVANTAGE:
Plasma - because even though LCD technology has improved such that this is becoming less of an issue, yet LCD has still some way to go to achieve the same level of pixel response times as phosphor based displays. More on LCD TV response time can be found here: LCD Response Time.
Power Requirements ADVANTAGE:
LCD TV Sets consume less electricity. Comparing the power requirements of plasma vs LCD TVs would soon show that an LCD panel consumes typically 30% to 40% less power than an equivalent size plasma display.