Before you jump in and bite my head off, I’d like to make it clear that I don’t think they always are superior. There are a number of instances where they definitely have benefits that TFT can’t produce, and it can’t be denied. If you’re looking for just any Samsung TV that is capable of HD resolution, and a nice picture, you don’t have to dig this deep into the underlying technologies. In case you’re interested, though, I can only advise you do.
Without going into gross details of the plasma technology, and physics, we can say that each sub-pixel (the red, green and blue dots that make up a single, individually addressable entity called ‘pixel’ on the screen) is its own light source, producing light of varying brightness, in the desired color.
Mixing these colors up you get a pixel of their composite. Since each little lamp can be controlled to have the desired brightness, or can be completely switched off, the color representation throughout the entire panel is astonishing. It’s only limited by the ‘fineness’ of electronics that drive them.
The darkest gray, often called black, is millions of times darker than the brightest white the panel can possibly produce, which translates to mega dynamic contrast ratios. Put into plain English, you get very, very nice blacks and vibrant whites, while watching a movie on plasma.
When you buy a Samsung TV, the contrast ratio and color depth in bits are rarely the deciding factor. The TV needs to be big, cheap, have a nice user rating on your favorite shopping site, and preferably very few complains coming from the crowd. If only these decide whether you buy a TV or not, a Samsung LED TV is often a viable choice, too. There is one thing no amount of LED, TFT and LCD magic can overcome, and that’s the screen size.
Plasma can be manufactured to screen sizes of 65″ or even 130″ if you fancy spending five digits, while the high limit for TFT seems to be around 50-52″. If you want a TV with a screen bigger than that, there is little or no competition for plasma.
If you live more than 4000 feet above sea level, you might want to reconsider that, given the buzzing and flickering problem of these television sets. Denver seems to pop out at people as the place where things like that can happen in the US, but even at 2-3000 feet some buzzing can be heard.
Make sure to walk in to a Best Buy in your area and see how the TV of your choice performs. If the dollar is of bigger importance than the screen size, I suggest you look at more Samsung LED TVs than plasma.
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