Euro consumers favour plasma over LCD
Not much in it, though
Ask consumers which HD TV technology they think delivers the best picture quality and they'll put LCD and plasma on a par. Get them to try the two out first, and they quickly favour plasma. So claimed research company Synovate last week after conducting tests with punters across Europe.
Up front, we should say the research was paid for by Panasonic, Pioneer and Hitachi, all makers of plasma TVs, though Panasonic and Hitachi also offers LCD tellies too.
Synovate sat 1398 consumers down in front of both kinds of displays this summer in London, Cologne, Madrid, Milan and Paris for a look at a 90-second 1080i HD video in conditions that the researcher reckoned "replicated home viewing conditions". Both 42in and 50in sets were used.
Participants were first asked to rate both technologies on eight picture-quality factors: response speed, resolution, sharpness, image depth, viewing angle, contrast, colour and the attribute that traditionally favours plasma, how deep the colour black is rendered. They were then asked to re-score LCD and plasma after having watched both.
Before viewing, 52 per cent of participants favoured plasma, while 48 per cent said LCD was best - essentially neck and neck, Synovate said.
After viewing, the percentage favouring plasma rose to 61 per cent, LCD's share falling to 39 per cent.
Still, the research didn't entirely favour plasma. On many of the individual picture-quality factor tests, while the number of consumers favouring plasma increased after viewing, so too did the number who rate LCD best.
Gains made by plasma were largely from people who before viewing had assumed the two technologies were much the same, or didn't express an opinion on the matter. Some also went on to prefer LCD after viewing.
Still, plasma does appear to have scored best in the key areas of black performance - the percentage of participants favouring plasma on this basis rose from 36 per cent to 70 per cent - and contrast - 36 per cent became 53 per cent. Plasma also rated 53 per cent after viewing for colour quality.
Other factors appear to have been less persuasive, leading us to the conclusion that both technologies have their adherents, and that's not likely to change any time soon. More to the point, these days there's really not an awful lot to choose between the two display technologies.
i completely agree with some of the crt comments above. the crt technology is FAR superior, i was gaming at 1600x1200 at 80HZ years ago. and most lcd's still cant handle this. no bluring either
"Plasma, alas, is notorious for high power consumption"
As has already been pointed out: plasma power consumption varies with picture content because the amount of light generated varies with picture content; LCD power consumption is constant because the source of the light, the back-light, is on all the time. So making comparisons based on the figures on the rating plates on the back of the sets, which are the peak values, is naive. While I don't deny that plasma displays may consume more power on average, I would be surprised if the difference justified the use of the word "notorious".
@greg re burn-in
"and plasmas have this thing called burn-in, which occurs after a couple of years due to fast-changing colours (i.e. lots of movement on screen)."
You've got the wrong end of the stick. Burn-in occurs due to *static* displays, which result in the phosphors on different areas of the screen being activated for grossly different times. If you don't believe me, just look at the patterns burnt into CRT platform displays at railway stations.
Phosphors (whether on CRT or plasma displays) slowly age and produce less light as they are used. If all the phosphors age at approximately the same rate, (because you are displaying moving pictures and hence, on average, they are all used the same amount) then you won't notice a problem - the drop in output is insignificant. The eye is, however, very sensitive to a minute change over a large area so you will notice *differential* ageing due to static displays like those dreadful DOGs (logos), if left on for too long.
Phosphors age more rapidly when first used than later on. This is why CRTs are less problematic than plasma displays, because they can be over-run briefly in the factory to pre-age all the phosphors slightly. You can't do this with plasma displays, and it would be too expensive to have them sitting there for weeks (?) being aged at the normal rate.
Apparently LCDs aren't immune to burn-in either, but this is a different mechanism.
Plasma vs LCD: Radio Interference an issue
Plasma, alas, is notorious for high power consumption, with its high voltage pixels, and for radio interference; each pixel is an electrical discharge point that produces wideband noise. Of course, if you've already got PLT you might never hear it.
This is the HISS BUZZZ WREABLE WREABLE WREABLE calling!
Wait for the technology we really need
I dunno, all this arguing about technologies that take the electronic signal, mutate it into photons, send them across the room to the retina just to regenerate an electronic signal. How quaint.
Me, I'm waiting for direct-to-brain transfer before replacing my Bush B&W VHF 405-line TV (valve-powered, of course)