What’s the Difference Between LCD, LED and Plasma Televisions?

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The main differences between LCD, LED and plasma TVs include their light output, contrast ratio and black level. LED TVs dominate the light output category, as stated by CNET, while Plasma TVs have an advantage over the other two in the contrast ratio and black level categories.

Some LED TV models are capable of a light output of over 100 footlamberts, making them a good option for environments with high levels of ambient light. However, plasma TV models that feature an antireflective coating can produce better image quality in a bright environment when compared to LED and LCD models that use a glossy screen. The downside of LED TV models with a high light output is that they can cause eye fatigue in users who watch them in dark rooms.

Although LED models are capable of achieving absolute black level by disabling the LED light source, plasma TVs have an advantage in that respect because they can accomplish the same thing without compromising other features. However, some LED TVs, such as the Samsung UN-85S9 model, can match the contrast ratio and black level of plasma TVs without sacrificing its light output by using a technology that allows it to dim certain parts of the screen locally. The downside of such models is that their price reaches $40,000 as of 2015. Other differences include the energy consumption, with LED and LCD TVs being at the forefront, and the viewing angle, where plasma TVs have the advantage.