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Plasma vs LCD vs Projector TVs - Which is better for you?

written by: Sheila Robinson•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 2/20/2011

When you think of plasma vs LCD vs projector TVs things can be a bit confusing. You have to think of which one is best for your needs including viewing experience and budget. Read on to find out some of the key differences to help you make a better purchasing decision.

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    Plasma vs LCD vs Projector TVs – Viewing Experience

    A rear projector TV (RPTV) can give you a movie theater type experience with images displaying on screens over 70 inches in diameter. An RPTV generates images seen on its screen with a built in projector that directs them from behind the screen. Rear projection TVs are available in CRT, LCD and DLP HD versions, so the quality of their images varies from average resolution to high definition quality. RPTVs are best viewed from a center location since side views (past 45 degrees) lose quality.

    Plasma TV Plasma TVs can produce superior HD TV quality images with perfect aspect ratio, pixel density and black contrast. The screen images are created by xenon or neon gases using large amounts of voltage to create light that is projected into individual pixels. Unfortunately, many plasma TVs have a highly reflective glass screen which limits their optimal viewing to areas that have little light.

    A flat screen LCD TV can produce sharp HD TV quality images with good black level contrast. These images are produced by using a filter to generate colors through a panel of liquid crystal cells. They have the advantage of viewing in any lighting conditions due to their non-reflective screen.

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    Energy Efficiency

    When comparing plasma vs LCD and projector TVs, it comes to energy efficiency. The flat screen LCD TV wins the challenge. Due to their construction and how they produce images, they are low voltage units that require less power. Plasma TVs are energy guzzling units due to its high voltage construction and power needed to generate images. Alternatively, projection TVs are between LCDs and plasmas when it comes to energy consumption.

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    Weight, Portability and Installation

    Flat screen LCD TVs are the lightest of the three types of televisions due to the use of more plastics in its design. As a result, it is portable and less difficult to install than the plasma TV. However, the fragile nature and glass construction of the plasma TV is extremely heavy and will require professional installation. CRT rear projection TVs also suffer from heavy bulky construction. Installing one may require assistance. The DLP HD and LCD rear projection televisions are lighter, but since they generally have screens over 50 inches in diameter, putting them into place will require careful maneuvering.

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    Overall Impressions

    After looking at this brief comparison of plasma vs LCD vs projector TVs, you can see that each type has its good qualities and negatives. However when choosing a TV, the LCD should be considered. It is great in most lighting conditions, conserves more energy than the other TV types and is easier to install for the average person.