You have to consider several factors while shopping for an HDTV. The type of display is the main factor among them. Three different display technologies are offered by the HDTV market. They are traditional CCFL-backlit LCD, plasma and LED-blacklit LCD.
Among videophiles plasma was prevalent flat-panel technology with its inky blacks and top-notch picture quality. More energy efficient and thinner LCDs become less expensive if they have CCFL backlight too. Depending on price, model, and time in the life cycle of HDTVs plasma and LCD offers different visual benefits and economy. We were the true winner for the past couple of years with sophisticated LED backlighting. The most expensive and best flat-panel HDTV technology is the LED-based LCD with its unmatched energy efficiency.
The Basics: What’s the Difference Between LCD, LED, and Plasma?
The three technologies are different from each other with respect to how each screen is lit. The plasma does not require backlighting because the phosphors create the image on the screen when light up. But the LCD requires a separate light source. The cold cathode fluorescent lights (CCFLs) are used to illuminate the screen by the traditional LCD. The fluorescent lights in the lamps and overhead light fixtures are similar to CCFLs. A charged gas is used to produce light. To illuminate the display the LED screens use light emitting diodes (LEDs). You can see CCFLs only on budget HDTVs.
Screen thickness, darkness, brightness, price and energy efficiency are the factors which influence the type of HDTV display you had chosen. Most of us prefer HDTV which is reasonable, can get black-hole-dark and face-of-sun-bright, paper-thin and consume less than a watt. It is very difficult to get those features but the LCD and LED-backlit HDTVs will come soon with these.
The same sized LED-backlit costs more than CCFL-backlit. Plasma is less expensive than LED but it is slightly more than CCFL-backlit. The thicker and more power-hungry screen will offer good picture like an LED-backlit HDTV.