When it comes to comparing the different flat-screen TVs that are available in the market today for gaming purposes, it all comes down to individual preferences and the amount of money that one is willing to spend. Plasma TVs were the first flat-screen TVs that hit the market and that could play 1080p HD content. LCD TVs soon followed, and LED TVs were an update over the LCD variants, by making use of their technology and improving upon it.
When it comes to gaming, the video game consoles that are available today are more than capable of producing high quality graphical content. The visualizations and animations are getting more realistic by the day, and it is vital to connect these games to a TV that is also capable of generating such images. Failure to do so will not be doing justice to the technology involved, and to the years and the money that have been spent in R&D for the same.
What Gamers Really Want
When one is playing video games on a flat-screen TV, the first thing that a gamer really needs is a big sized TV set. Gone are the days of the 21" and 25" TV sets. Today, you can get mammoth TV sets that are 80" in size, and around 50" screen size is the norm in most homes. Plasma TV sets are more than capable of reaching gigantic proportions, and the biggest Plasma TVs are also available in 150" variants. The results are simply staggering. Additionally, the TV set should also be more than capable of producing genuine 1080p HD content, and should also be future-proofed by being able to play any higher resolution images as and when they are developed and launched in the market.
The next thing that a gamer looks for is a fast refresh rate when he is playing video games. He objects on a game move at unbelievable speeds today, and it is absolutely necessary to enable this movement as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Refresh rates on TV sets are denoted in the form of Hertz (Hz), and a 120Hz refresh rate means that the picture will get updated 120 times per second. Naturally, the faster the refresh rate, the better the picture quality and motion sensing will be. The viewing angles are also important because many people play multiplayer games on their consoles. It is vital for each member to see the screen as clearly as possible no matter where they are viewing the set from. Other factors like economical power consumption, long lifespan and good color vibrancy is also essential when one is deciding between the two.
Choosing Between LED and Plasma TV for Gaming Purposes
LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes, and this is a technology that is used to provide the backlight in the TV set. LCD TVs with LED backlighting are known as LED TVs, and this has led to better contrast levels and lesser power consumption over the traditional LCD TV sets. On the other hand, Plasma TVs make use of Plasma Display Panels (PDP) and light up the pixels by generating electric pulses that excite noble rare gases like neon and xenon in order to produce light. Both these technologies are very different from each other, and produce very different results, especially for a video gamer.
Plasma TV sets are emissive in nature and produce their own spectrum of colors, including the darker colors and black color. On the other hand, LED TV sets block light from the LED lamps, and the shadow that is cast is used to produce the black color. Hence the contrast ratios (ratio between the darkest black and the whitest white) is better for Plasma TV sets and this gives them the advantage. LCD TVs were significantly inferior to Plasma TVs in the production of vibrant colors, but the presence of LED lamps has improved their output, and this is an area where Plasma and LED TVs enjoy an equal footing. Viewing angles though are significantly better for Plasma TVs since each pixels are lit up individually. Optimal viewing angles of 170 degrees are offered by them, whereas LED TVs can only offer around 90 degrees of good viewing angles. When it comes to brightness and refresh rate though, LED TVs are far ahead of Plasma TVs. Both TV sets also last for the same amount of time (approximately 60,000 hours) but Plasma TVs face the still prevalent problem of screen burn-in when a bright static image is left stationary on the screen for a long period of time.
To conclude, while Plasma TVs are cheaper and bigger than LED TVs and also offer better contrast ratios and viewing angles, LED TVs offer faster refresh rates, no screen burn-in and brighter colors. So the choice ultimately falls upon the gamers shoulders to decide which technology is better. Our word of advice would be to go for a Plasma TV as of now, or to wait till the price of OLED TVs falls down to affordable levels.