Plasma and LCD Widescreen Flat Panel TVs - Environmental Pros and Cons
While certain plasma TVs use less energy than older CRT television sets, they are hardly energy efficient. Also, some large screen plasma TVs over 50 inches consume as much as four times the power of a CRT television. However, there are some plasma TVs as large as 64.7 inches that have qualified for an Energy Star rating. Also, many plasma televisions contain lead, although Panasonic has eliminated lead from their plasma televisions. Plasmas have a bad reputation for having a short operational lifespan. This has improved over time, however, and today the average lifespan of a plasma television is between 50,000 to 60,000 hours. Although it's less common in newer models, plasma televisions may suffer from burn-in if a static image is allowed to remain on the screen for long periods of time, increasing the chances that components within the plasma television or the entire TV might need to be replaced.
LCD televisions are typically more energy efficient per square inch than plasma TVs. However, this doesn't mean you can buy any LCD TV and expect it to be green. Many large-screen LCD televisions over 50 inches are nearly as bad at wasting electricity as plasma TVs. LCDs aren't a huge environmental winner when it comes to components, since they often contain mercury. Also, the greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride is used in the manufacture of LCD TVs. However, there are far more LCD TVs than plasmas that have been certified by Energy Star, including some models as large as 70 inches. LCD TVs also include LED backlit models, which are more energy efficient and thus greener than models backlit with a fluorescent lamp.