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What’s The Difference Between LCD, LED and Plasma TV’s?

Posted By Tim On June 22, 2012 @ 3:00 PM In I've Always Wanted To Know...,TV Tech | 6 Comments

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:
What’s the difference between LCD, LED and Plasma TV’s?


Buying a TV today can involve a myriad of confusing terms so what do you need to most know about the different technologies? At it’s core a flat screen TV’s display is driven by one of two different technologies: LCD (liquid crystal display, like most computer monitors) and Plasma (fluorescent gas such as xenon or neon). LED TV’s are LCD TV’s but instead of using a CFL type backlight they use LED’s either side or rear lit. So what’s the pro and con of each display type?


  • Pro: Lower power usage than plasma, matte finish (non-glossy) screens good for rooms with a lot of windows/reflections, cheaper priced then LED TV’s.
  • Con: Dark areas not as dark as plasma/LED, brightness not uniform across screen. Less contrast then LED/plasma TV.


  • Pro: Lowest power usage, very uniform lighting, very high contrast ratios. Lowest heat level of all flat panel TV’s.
  • Con: Very expensive, picture quality difference between mid range LCD and LED not very big.

Plasma TV:

  • Pro: Best contrast ratio and deepest blacks/dark area of picture. Best viewing angle.
  • Con: Glossy display reflects a lot of light so bad for rooms with reflections/windows. Highest power usage of all flat panel TV types. Generates the a lot of heat.

So which should you buy of the TV types mentioned? If price is no consideration than LED TV’s produce the best combination of performance and power usage but if price is a consideration look for either a good LCD in a room with reflections or a Plasma in a room without.


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