How to Compare Power Usage of a Plasma & LCD TV

How to Compare Power Usage of a Plasma & LCD TV thumbnail
Compare Power Usage of a Plasma & LCD TV

A television's power consumption depends on technology type and screen size. Liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens consume a great deal less energy than the older CRT types. Plasma screens are newer, but can be energy hogs.

  1. Technology Type

    • Plasma TV screens consist of individual pixel cells that contain a combination of gases. When an electric current runs through the cell, the gas flashes a color. LCD screens consist of a liquid crystal solution in between two plates of glass, with a light source behind it. The liquid crystal solution blocks certain wavelengths of light, only allowing the appropriate color to shine through. Plasma outperforms LCD when showing lots of black and white on screen at the same time, but also uses two to three times as much power.

    Screen Size

    • Larger screen sizes consume more power. According to, "a 32-inch LCD uses about half as much power as a 52-inch LCD." The power consumption of plasma TVs varies, because manufacturers have tried to lower power consumption in recent years. The power consumption range of the 50-inch plasma screen TVs that Cnet tested is between 207.01 and 474.03 watts.

    Comparing Power Consumption

    • TV specification lists include a power category. Stores that sell TVs usually have a specification list alongside the product, and websites list specifications as well, making a direct comparison fairly easy.

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