Comparison of CRT, LCD, Plasma, and OLED

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Parameter CRT LCD Plasma OLED
Brightness Some compensate for ambient light[citation needed] Very poor in direct sunlight without reflective design (battery powered devices);
uneven backlighting in older models;
low temperatures can cause dimming or blackout
Some panels are highly reflective, should be used in a dark environment for optimum picture quality Poor in bright ambient light;
white color dimmer than LCDs of same brightness[citation needed]
Contrast Over 15,000:1[1] Over 1,000:1 Over 20,000:1 Over 1,000,000:1
Color Excellent Good on most newer models Excellent Vivid and wide gamut,
blue OLED degrades faster than other colors so manufacturers may overdrive the blue LEDs to compensate, causing oversaturated colors
organic materials decay over time (2011)
Color depth Unlimited Up to 68 × 109
[dubious ]
68 × 109[dubious ][2][3]
Black level Excellent Poor due to bleed through Excellent Excellent
Ghosting and smearing No ghosting, smearing possible with moving bright objects on dark backgrounds after wear;
slightly blurry;
bloom may appear around objects with high contrast to background
Display motion blur on models with slow response time, and the elimination technique (strobing backlight) can cause eye-strain None even during fast motion, advancements in 3D have eliminated phosphor trailing due to the use of fast-switching phosphors None even during fast motion
Response time Sub-milisecond 1–8 ms typical (according to manufacturer data), older units could be as slow as 35 ms[4] Sub-millisecond Sub-millisecond
Frame rate 60–85 fps typically, some CRTs can go even higher ("200 fps at reduced resolution"[5]);
internally, display refreshed at input frame rate speed
60 or 75 fps typically;
internally, display usually refreshed at 200 Hz
60 fps typically, some can do 120 fps;
internally, display refreshed at eg. 480 or 600 Hz[6]
Environmental influences Magnetic fields may cause distortion or shimmer,
earth's magnetic fields may cause distortion
Low temperatures can cause slow response, high temperatures can cause poor contrast High altitude pressure difference may cause poor function or buzzing noises[7] UV exposure can damage,
water can damage organic materials
Flicker and eyestrain Part of the screen always lit during refreshes;
flicker noticeable at refresh rates below 85 Hz
Depends; as of 2013, most LCDs use PWM (strobing) to dim the backlight[8] which can cause severe eyestrain for some people[9][10][11] although the flicker isn't visible because it is normally done at 200 Hz or faster Poor due to phosphor based but improving in newer models Part of the screen always lit during refreshes due to multiplexing
Aging yes yes yes yes, different colors age at very different rates
Weight Heavy, especially for larger units, a 20 inches (51 cm) screen weighs about 50 pounds (23 kg) Light Heavy, however, less weight gain per size increase Very light
Size Bulky depth,
7" smallest possible for color screen,
over 40" is very heavy
can be manufactured almost any size and shape,
very thin allowing mounted distance to user for less focusing-related eyestrain
Up to 150"(3.8m)[12] Compact, can be made in nearly any size or shape.
Energy consumption and heat generation High[13] Low[13]
with CCFL backlight 30–50% of CRT, with LED backlight 10–25% of CRT
Varies with brightness but usually higher than LCD[14][15][16][17] Varies with brightness but usually lower than LCD (except when displaying a lot of white area)
Screen burn-in Yes, the reason screensavers became popular Discoloring may occur due to thermalization, but usually it is not permanent;
dead or stuck pixels may occur in manufacturing or usage
Severe in early models, dead or stuck pixels may occur in manufacturing or usage Yes, dead or stuck pixels may occur in manufacturing or usage
Maintenance Hazardous to repair or service due to high-voltage,
requires skilled convergence calibration and adjustments for geographic location changes[18]
Difficult to replace backlight
Is compatible with Light pens or guns Yes No No No
Electro-magnetic radiation emission Emits strong electromagnetic radiation in the audio-frequency to low-frequency RF range (from the electron beam deflection coils) Emits very little electromagnetic radiation Emits strong radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation[19] Emits very little electromagnetic radiation
Other No native resolution. Currently, the only display technology capable of multi-syncing (displaying different resolutions and refresh rates without the need for scaling). Display lag is extremely low due to its nature, which does not have the ability to store image data before output, unlike LCDs, plasma displays and OLED displays. The LCD grid can mask effects of spatial and grayscale quantization, creating the illusion of higher image quality.[20]
Many newer models are powered by an external 12V power supply (for thinness), and could (with a special cable) be connected directly to the computer's power supply, possibly saving power, desk space and wall-outlet space
Screen-door effects are more noticeable than LCD when up close, or on larger sizes;[21]
fragile and required to be upright to avoid screen collapse
No backlight needed,
can be fabricated on flexible plastic substrates for flexible displays


  1. ^ Display "Technology Shoot-Out: Comparing CRT, LCD, Plasma and DLP Displays", Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, DisplayMate Technologies website
  2. ^ CrutchfieldLCD vs. Plasma
  3. ^ CNET AustraliaPlasma vs. LCD: Which is right for you?
  4. ^ "LCD Monitors, TVs: Electronics – Microcenter", Scroll down and look at the bar on the left to see the number of monitors they offer that have certain specifications. Retrieved April 2013
  5. ^
  6. ^ "What is 600Hz Sub Field Drive?", Retrieved April 2013
  7. ^ Plasma TVs at Altitude
  8. ^ Explanation of why pulse width modulated backlighting is used, and its side-effects, "Pulse Width Modulation on LCD monitors", TFT Central. Retrieved June 2012.
  9. ^ Discussions of severe eye-strain with the new MacBook Pro, "Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro", Apple Support Communities. Retrieved June 2012.
  10. ^ A discussion of LCD monitor eye-strain, "Is a LED monitor better for eyes than a LCD?", SuperUser. Retrieved June 2012.
  11. ^ An enlightened user requests Dell to improve their LCD backlights, "Request to Dell for higher backlight PWM frequency", Dell Support Community. Retrieved June 2012.
  12. ^ Dugan, Emily (8 January 2008). "6ft by 150 inches – and that's just the TV". The Independent (London). 
  13. ^ a b Tom's Hardware: Power Consumption Benchmark Results for CRT versus TFT LCD "Benchmark Results: Different Brightness Testing"
  14. ^ "LCD vs Plasma TVs". Which?. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Plasma vs LCD power consumption shootout at the Wayback Machine (archived March 5, 2012)
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Monitors: Earth's Magnetic Field Affects Performance". Apple Support Knowledgebase. Apple. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  19. ^ eham Amateur Radio Forum "Plasma TV – Mother of All RFI Producers", Retrieved April 2013
  20. ^ M. d’Zmura, T. P. Janice Shen, Wei Wu, Homer Chen, and Marius Vassiliou (1998), “Contrast Gain Control for Color Image Quality,” IS&T/SPIE Conference on Human Vision and Electronic Imaging III, San Jose, California, January 1998, SPIE Vol. 3299, 194–201.
  21. ^