Plasma vs LED vs LCD TV

Today, there are a variety of TV models and brands available in the market. This range of products allows users to have options when shopping for a new or replacement TV. Like with all smart devices, TVs come in different brands, sizes, and most importantly, the functionalities are different.

Generally, when shopping for a TV, you are most likely to come across specifications like Plasma, LED, and LCD. These TVs are different when it comes to features, designs, and sizes. So what set them apart? We will be reviewing plasma, LED and LCD TVs; their differences and similarities.

An Overview of Plasma TV vs LED vs LCD

Generally, Plasma TVs offers a wide viewing range angle. The display consists of cells, and within each cell, there is a narrow gap that contains an insulating layer, address electrode, display electrode, and glass panels. All these cells combined with neon-xenon gas is electrically charged at a specific interval to power the TV.

Each pixel in the plasma TV consists of three phosphor cells – red, green, and blue. These three colours combine to produce colour for the TV. A plasma TV does not require a backlight to function. Each pixel in a plasma TV is self-emissive – it produces its light.

On the other hand, an LCD TV uses a backlight to function; each pixel is not self-emitting. An LCD TV uses a Cold-Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) as a backlight. These lamps are placed horizontally across the screen behind the LCD panel. So when you power on an LCD TV, electrical currents are passed to the pixels, making the lamps rotate in specific ways that allow light through and produces an image.

Unlike plasma TV, LED (Light-Emitting Diode) TVs are similar to LCD TVs. However, instead of the CCFL backlight that an LCD TV uses, a LED TV uses smaller LED lights.

These LED lights produce images similar to a regular LCD TV as it uses an LCD panel. However, it has more control over the backlighting. Most manufacturers place the LEDs along the edge of the TV, and these are termed edge-lit LED TV, or all over the back panel known as direct LED or full-array backlighting.

Difference and Similarities Between Plasma TV, LED and LCD

The plasma, LED, LCD TVs have distinct features, similarities and differences in picture and sound quality, price, models, availability, etc.

Although plasma TV produces better quality and features a superior contrast ratio, LED and LCD TVs have become seemingly popular due to their affordability and availability.

Below are some of the differences and similarities between plasma, LED, and LCD TVs.

Contrast Ratio

Plasma TV offers a unique contrast ratio. The colour, brightness and motion blend perfectly well to produce high-definition television.

The pixels of the TV control the colour and brightness then offers a more darkened element to the plasma TV. So with a plasma TV, you can be sure of better viewing angles and more refined visual transformation.

A traditional LCD TV contract ratio is not as accurate as of that of a plasma TV. Unlike a plasma TV, an LCD panel has a single backlight array that can only change brightness levels for the whole screen.

On the other hand, the contrast ratio of LED TVs cannot attain a perfect black level since the backlight is always on. However, over the years, they have been a tremendous improvement in the contrast ratio of LED TVs.

Screen Size

Generally, LED and LCD TVs are available in similar sizes. The sizes vary from a few inches to 90 inches. On the other hand, plasma displays vary from 42 inches to up to 152 inches screen size. It is important to note that plasma screens weigh more than LCD and LED TVs.

Viewing Angle

Generally, a plasma TV has a better viewing range than LCD and LED TVs. Plasma TVs offers a solid and colourful view even at a wide viewing range.

On the other hand, LCD TVs sometimes loses brightness and colour when in a wide viewing range. Compared to LCD TVs, LED TVs has a more comprehensive viewing range due to their decentralized backlight distribution.

Power Savings

Plasma TVs requires every sub-pixels on the panels to be lit individually for the TV to power on. This makes plasma Tvs to consume more energy than LCD and LED TV.

LCD TVs require a single fluorescent backlight to be lit, while LED TVs allows the TV to control backlights segments individually. Generally, LED TVs screens are more power savings than both LCD and plasma TV.


The colour output of a TV is solely dependent on the TV types. However, generally, plasma TVs produces brighter colours, followed by LED TVs, then LCD TVs. It is important to note that you can always adjust the screen’s colour accuracy regardless of which TV you purchase.


Over the years, TV manufacturers have constantly improved their motion rates. LED TVs uses the same motion processing technology as LCD panel. This makes them suitable for watching fast motion videos.

On the other hand, Plasma TVs refresh each pixel cell faster than an LCD and LED TV, making a plasma the best in displaying fast motion, blur and jitter-free videos.

Screen LifeSpan

The lifespan of a TV screen does not mean the screen is terrible. It means that instead of the total brightness is usually produces the quality degenerates. The lifespan of an LCD TV is dependent on the lofe of its backlighting bulb.

Usually, the bulbs are rated above 60,000 hours in regular fluorescent-lit LCD panels. For LED TVs, the lifespan is over 100,000 hours. While plasma TV, on the other hand, has an average lifespan of 20,000 – 60,000.

Plasma TV vs LED vs LCD TV Comparison Chart

Screen Size42inches – 152 inchesFew inches – 90inchesFew inches – 90inches
BrightnessLess brightBrightBright
Power consumptionEnergy consumingLess energyLess energy
Running temperatureMore heatLess heatLess heat
Screen Refresh RateUp to 600Hz60 – 240Hz20 – 200Hz
LifespanAbout 20, 000-60,000 hoursAbout 60,000 hoursAbout 100,000 hours
ThicknessAverage of 1.2inchesLess than 1inchLess than 1inch
Sound QualityExcellent sound qualityAverage sound qualityAverage sound quality
AvailabilityLess availableAveragely availableMost popular
Picture QualityGoodAverageAverage
Plasma TV vs LED vs LCD TV Comparison Chart


Shopping for a new TV can be a bit overwhelming. However, you can navigate through different choices with this guide. Bear in mind that prices vary depending on the TV model, spec, and size. So, it is advisable to review different prices alongside specifications before making your choice.