LCD TVs have the largest market share compared to plasma screen TVs in all three screen size segments (small, medium and large) of the market, globally. LCD screens are especially dominant in the small (32 inch and less) and the medium (42 inch) size segments. The development of light emitting diode (LED) backlighting on LCD screens, plus rapid refresh rates, has helped LCD out-compete plasma producers.
During the initial development of flat screen TVs, plasma technology was considered inherently superior to liquid crystal display (LCD) technology. Plasma screens initially dominated the TV market. They produced better contrast control and superior overall image quality.
LCD technology has now caught-up. The advent of LED backlights improves contrast control to a much sharper level. Also, accelerated LCD refresh rates helps eliminate motion blur during fast-paced action sequences. These technological advances have clawed away at the technology gap enjoyed by plasma.
From a cost point of view, LCD suppliers can market TVs at lower cost in the 32 inch (and less) small screen market. With lower costs, LCD suppliers have more selling flexibility. They can out-gun plasma suppliers. Their competitive advantage is so strong that plasma suppliers have pretty much abandoned the small market segment.
Similarly LCD screens dominate the medium sized segment globally. This market segment is very competitive allowing producers only small profit margins. The cost advantage of LCD screens has provided them greater pricing flexibility. As a result, LCD screens out-compete plasma producers in the medium size segment. Similar to the small screen segment, plasma screens have only a modest presence in the medium size segment, globally.
Plasma producers have chosen to concentrate on the larger screen size segment (greater than 50 inches). LCD screens have less of a cost advantage in this segment. Moreover, flat screen selling prices are generally firmer for both plasma and LCD screens. The market share of plasma TVs in the larger screen segment during calendar 2010 was 40.8 percent.
Plasma screens experienced a resurgence during calendar 2010. The number of plasma screens that shipped globally by producers in 2008 totaled 15.1 million units. The number fell to 14.8 million in 2009 but increased to 19.1 million in 2010. Most of that growth occurred in the larger screen size segment.
To recap, the image quality of LCD TVs is now much improved because of LED backlights and quicker screen refresh rates. These advances have lifted LCD image quality closer to plasma. LCD units now outsell plasma units across all screen sizes.
Andrew Johnson is an expert in electronic consumables. If you want more information about televisions or are looking for a reputable consumer electronics retailer please visit ebuyer.com