It used to be when you wanted a TV you went down to your local electronics store and bought the TV that you thought looked best that fit into your budget and since they all used the same technology, everything else was pretty much equal.
These days there are several different TV technologies floating around, but the two vying for top picture supremacy are LED technology (which is just a fancier LCD TV) and plasma technology. I thought I'd do a little comparison of the two to help you make a more informed choice.
Price – Advantage Plasma
While LED prices have been coming down dramatically over the past year, they still tend to cost more when compared to comparably equipped
Black Levels – Advantage Plasma
The big claim of the LED TVs has been that when they use a fully backlit array, their black levels (and contrast ratio – see below) rival plasma TVs. And while they're getting much closer plasma still wins the day when it comes to deep blacks typically found on your old cathode ray tube television.
Brightness – Advantage LED
This factor is especially obvious among older generation TVs, but even newer LED screens are much brighter than plasma screens. After several years, there will be a more dramatic difference as plasma TVs lose brightness more quickly than LED/LCD technology.
Contrast – Advantage Plasma
The big advantage offered by LED TVs over their lesser LCD counterparts is that they have better contrast ratio and refresh rates. They're actually starting to catch up to the plasma TVs but plasma still wins in this department and does so for less money.
Selection – Advantage LED
Most TV manufacturers have dropped out of the plasma TV market entirely so your selection of TVs is limited to a few choices from Panasonic, Samsung, and LG. So if you want a huge selection of TVs to choose from, you may want to go with LED as there are many more LCD and LED TV manufacturers.
Energy Use – Advantage LED
The big knock on plasma technology that continues to this day is energy use. It can cost $20/month more to power a plasma screen for a month than for the same size LED screen. So if you watch a lot of TV, you may want to consider the more energy efficient option as those costs will add up over time.