How to Compare HDTV Plasma Televisions: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Plasma televisions become gradually less and less expensive as the years go by. Despite this, most plasma sets routinely offer superior black levels, color accuracy and off-axis viewing compared with similarly priced LCD televisions. Choosing which plasma TV to put in your living room is a matter of comparing picture quality, power consumption and size. Adding a new plasma to your media system can provide excellent picture quality for many years to come.


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    Black Levels: Black levels dictate not only details in dark scenes, but the overall richness and accuracy of all colors. Various manufacturers approach this in different ways, mainly using processing modes and proprietary panel manufacturing processes. Note that this is not always measurable through a published contrast ratio specification, which only measures the difference between the whitest white and deepest black. Look for blacks to be black as opposed to a deep shade of purple or gray. You want to see dark objects in dark areas still remaining visible, such as a lapel on a black suit or a black cat in a dimly lit alley. This black level superiority also results in excellent off-axis viewing and color accuracy when compared to flat panel technologies.
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    Image Retention Features: Advances in modern plasma television technology have largely made permanent image retention or "burn-in" a thing of the past. However, some television manufacturers turn this small likelihood into a virtual impossibility through certain technologies. By shifting the location of on-screen objects by a pixel or two every so often, high-contrast objects such as sports scores or news tickers are moved sufficiently to prevent burn-in in those parts of the screen. This process is commonly referred to as "orbiting," but different manufacturers might have different terms. Pixel inversion turns the screen bright white to "scrub" image retention should it occur, albeit at some loss of TV lifespan.
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    Efficiency: It's important to note from the outset that if you are concerned about energy efficiency as a primary issue, almost no plasma can compete with LCD flat panels. Comparing plasma televisions to one another, you may find a little variance. Generally speaking, plasma sets normally offer only about a 10 to 30 percent variance between models, with LCD sets consuming about one-third the power of any plasma
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    Color Accuracy: Although the majority of plasma sets offer better color accuracy when compared to the bulk of other flat panel technologies, there are variances from plasma to plasma. Look for natural flesh tones that do not appear orange or ruddy. Additionally, gray and white areas should be completely devoid of other color tinging. Although these issues are rectified by hiring a professional calibrator, if you do not want this expense get the most accurate set to begin with and make small tweaks by eye or with a calibration disc
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    Refresh Rate: With all of the hullabaloo about LCD refresh rates increasing from 60 to 120, 240 and 480 Hz, it may be surprising to many to learn that plasma sets routinely offer rates in excess of 600 Hz. This translates to fast, smooth and streak-free fast motion. Plasma pixels turn on and off on average a thousand times faster than competing LCDs, regardless of which plasma you choose. Given that plasma manufacturers compete against LCDs, you will note this refresh rate prominently displayed as a feature on literature, a product sheet and probably a sticker on the set itself.

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Categories: TV and Home Audio

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