You are here

Factors related to functioning

Now consider these factors related to the functioning: burn-in, computer use, life-time, response time, bad pixels, and power requirements. These factors need to be evaluated before one can put the better technology to correct use.

Burn-in: The presence of a static image, mostly the logo of your favourite channel, for long durations can damage the phosphors in the pixel. The prematurely aged pixels in this area glow with lesser intensity than the surrounding pixels. Temporary burn-ins caused may wash-out after several hours of use and there are built-in features in some models which can remove the ghosts of the images left behind. Those that lead to permanent burn-ins, like the prolonged presentation of black or grey bars, are more worrisome. The permanently burnt pixels leave the ghost of your favourite sports channel logo even when you are watching a movie. Plasma panels also suffer from inconsistent fading out. With time, panels loose their brightness and that too not in an even manner. It is the blue channel which ages much faster.

Reduced burn-ins have been achieved to a certain extent with the use of better phosphor material and motion adaptive/pixel orbiting anti burn-in technology. Also a little care while viewing like lowering the brightness and contrast level can reduce the risk of burn-in. If TVs are to be rated purely on burn-in issue, then LCD scores. But for people with normal viewing habits Plasma can be a safe bet!

Computer use: LCD panel has more number of pixels per square inch when compared with Plasma’s. This factor enables display of larger amounts of data with exceptional clarity and precision. Thus the closer pixel built up structure and nil burn-in, as discussed earlier makes it a better choice for computer use and video games. Advantage LCD!

Life time: A 30,000 hours half life time would mean over 10 years of daily use before the flat panel TV sets would require replacement. Manufacturers of both technologies have come out with models which have a half life time of 50,000 to 60,000 hours. Compare this with 20,000 hours of half life time for CRT TV sets. Life time is no longer a serous issue to consider while buying a TV, people in US averagely change TV after every seven years due to advancement in performance and features. Both technologies are at par!

Bad pixel: Plasma rarely develops a bad pixel snag, but LCD may develop faulty pixels and sub-pixels with use. Before buying it will be wise to check the return policy, opt for a reputable brand. Most manufacturers are offering zero bad pixel policy. In this the TV is replaced within six months from the date of purchase, even if it develops a single bad pixel. Obviously Plasma scores!

Power Requirement: Plasma requires lighting up of each and every pixel of the display. The control lines of the electrode have to carry several hundred volts at high frequencies. This takes up substantial amount of power. LCD panels use a backlight to produce images and this requires much less power, about 40 to 50% less than that of Plasma displays. Another interesting comparison here is: Plasma requires more power to display bright picture while LCD requires more power to display dark picture. LCD‘s requirement will be for blocking more back light from reaching display surface!

The table below depicts the actual power requirements for same sized LCD and Plasma TV models:






Power Requirements



Sharp LC37D40U




Panasonic TH-37PX60U








Samsung LN-S5797D




Panasonic TH-58PX600U