What type of HDTV should I buy: Plasma, LCD, or LED?

plasma vs lcd tvFundamentally, plasma TV’s are being discontinued. That said, Plasma screens are still good and won’t just breakdown on you because they stopped selling them. It is also highly unlikely that manufacturers will stop supporting and servicing them. As of October 2009, if you shopped around you could pick up a good 46” plasma for around $1200. Plasmas have a nicer picture quality than LCD’s and can show a more vivid color range. They do, however, use significantly more power and are said to be better viewed in darker environments (like a basement den).

LCD’s are roughly the same price or more expensive. They fare better in bright rooms and have a longer shelf-life than plasmas. As of writing this text, LED TV’s were relatively new to the scene and were very expensive. They do offer phenomenal picture quality and ultra-low power compared to plasmas and LCD’s. They are also thinner and sleeker.

So what should you buy? If you’re going for the long haul, there are two good strategies: a) buy a good LCD or plasma screen and hold on to it for years; or b) get it and hold on to it for 2-5 years at which point you could sell it at roughly half the price you bought it for or less (fair market price?) on Kijiji or Craigslist. Then, buy an LED TV when prices will have come down.

The best way to pick a TV is to walk down the aisles and single-out the ones that look best to you without looking at the brands or specs. Once you see one with picture quality you like, it’s time to look at the specs.

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