TV Confusion - 26" or 32" LCD, LED, Plasma?


Standard Member
:lease:Hi ,

I usually research what I buy before I splash out.
In this case -what I have found trawling the net is a conflicting mass of misinformation.

What is better? LCD or LED or Plasma?

What I want - what I REALLY want,
is a TV with outstanding visuals in HD AND normal freeview etc.

I preferably want a 26 incher (cough).

Going to shops doesnt help because they display models with fuzzy screens, and don't seem to know anything. e.g, what kind of panel it is? Or whether the black can be adjusted etc, or viewing angles (up and down).

I was going to go for the sony kdl-26s5500, but apparently, having read that its the shizzle - it is now not the shizzle. So perhaps the Panasonic TX-L26 etc?

Or maybe a plasma? I really don't know.
My budget is about £500.

PLEASE HELP. What's the very very BEST tv at 26 inches? with the finest picture known to man?


Active Member
okay, firstly, plasma tvs generally start at 37" (there was a hd-ready lg 32" lg released last year, which is now discontinued). so, that, sadly leaves plasmas out of the equation. personally, i really do not care about led-backlit lcd tvs. please be aware that an led tv is 'just' a standard lcd tv, which is led backlit. 'standard' (non-led lcd tvs, meaning most you see today), are ccfl backlit.

i really don't see the hype about led backlighting for lcds that are led backlit. led lcds give sharper images than regular ccfl backlit lcds. i personally find that lcds give a sharp enough image as it is - too sharp for my liking - especially on standard definition material. i suppose the increased sharpness of an led backlit lcd may prove nice on high definition material.

also, led backlit lcds give a brighter image than ccfl backlit lcds. again, in my view, 'regular' lcds give a bright enough image as it is - too bright, even. the only advantage i see that led backlit lcds have over the ccfl backlit ones, is that they offer an improvement in contrast - meaning that led backlit lcds can now finally match plasma tvs, in terms of black levels.

however, the issues with lcds still remain - specifically inferior handling of motion, in comparison with plasmas, and inferior upscaling of standard definition material, in comparison to a plasma.

if you think that the plasma is lying dormant whilst the overpriced led backlit lcds try to woo consumers, think again, a new type of plasma technology has been developed, to counter the led backlit lcd hype. it's called a neo-plasma display panel. currently, i believe panasonic are the only plasma tv manufacturer utilising the neo-pdp technology.

what does neo-pdp technology offer over the standard plasma panel you ask? plasmas have often been accused of not delivering bright enough images (lcds had better brightness, but inferior contrast, and it was the other way around for plasmas). however, the neo-pdp technology brings with it a MASSIVE increase of brightness. so, now, plasma tvs equipped with neo-pdps can now be happily viewed in bright environments, thanks to the increased brightness - which now matches lcds, in terms of brightness. also, neo-pds have an increased contrast ratio over normal plasma panels. neo-pdps offer a vast reduction in energy consumption, compared with standard plasma tvs. lastly, neo-pdps are just one inch thick.

sadly, i don't think such a 'great' 32" tv exists for your needs (certainly, not a 26" tv, at least). i mean, the latest toshibas, for example, with their resolution + upscaling technology, are, in my opinion, very good with standard definition material. however, they don't give that sharp a high definition image, as competitors such as phillips or samsung. the closest you'll get to your requirements is probably a 32" phillips lcd, which is probably out of your price range. plus, phillips tvs are notoriously fiddly to set up and get a perfect picture - you'll be doing constant tweaking to the picture i find.

sorry that this post hasn't actually helped you in your quest to purchase an actual tv, but i hope its been informative to you. if panasonic released a 32" neo-plasma display panel, i'd say to you to snap it up in an instant. THAT would be THE best 32" tv for sd and hd, in my view. sadly, panasonic are probably never going to release a 32" plasma tv, :(

also, avforum's own stuart wright weighs in with his opinion of led lcd tvs here -
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