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Plasma vs LCD: Plasma is still better

Ben Drawbaugh

While the format war gets the most attention these days, our old favorite, -- no, not 720p vs 1080i -- is still kicking: Plasma vs LCD. With each new generation a manufacturer improves its previous best model and with the latest Samsung LED powered LCD (LN-T5281F), Sound and Vision Magazine thought it was time for another technology shoot out. The wait was in LCDs court, as the last time both went head to head, it wasn't even close, and while LCD is still no match for Plasma, it was closer than ever. In fact, even though both sets sell for almost the same price, the Plasma (Pioneer DP-5010FD) bested the best LCD they ever tested in every category -- including glare -- except detail, which was a tie. The biggest discrepancy between the two was viewing angle, which is labeled Uniformity on the scorecard and requires one to sit directly in front of the set, or suffer an inferior experience. The real irony here is that although the three seasoned AV experts on the panel agree on which produces the best picture, the average consumer probably prefers the "LCD's dynamic pop" and unrealistic bright colors to the almost perfect realistic colors of the Plasma.

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