Comparison of CRT, LCD, Plasma, and OLED

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Parameter CRT LCD Plasma
Contrast Over 15,000:1[1]
Color depth 68 × 109[dubious ][2][3]
Response time Less than 1 µs[4] 1–8 ms typical (according to manufacturer data), older units could be as slow as 35 ms[5]
Frame rate 60–85 fps typically, some CRTs can go even higher (200 fps at reduced resolution[6]);
internally, display refreshed at input frame rate speed
60 fps typically, some can do 120 fps;
internally, display refreshed at e.g. 480 or even 1000 Hz[7]
Environmental influences Sensitive to ambient magnetic fields, which can adversely effect convergence and color purity. High altitude pressure difference may cause poor function or buzzing noises[8]
Flicker Depends; as of 2013, most LCDs use PWM (strobing) to dim the backlight[9]
Size Up to 43" Up to 150"(3.8m)[10]
Energy consumption and heat generation High[11] Low[11]
Varies with brightness but usually higher than LCD[12][13][14][15]
Maintenance Hazardous to repair or service due to high-voltage,
requires skilled convergence calibration and adjustments for geographic location changes[16]
Electro-magnetic radiation emission Emits strong radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation[17]
Other No native resolution. Currently, the only display technology capable of multi-syncing (displaying different resolutions and refresh rates without the need for scaling).[18] 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.[19] The LCD grid can mask effects of spatial and grayscale quantization, creating the illusion of higher image quality.[20]
Screen-door effects are more noticeable than LCD when up close, or on larger sizes;[21]


  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. ^ "An investigation of the test process used to date for determining the response time of an LCD monitor, known as input lag – Thomas Thiemann at"
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^
  7. ^ "What is 600Hz Sub Field Drive?", Retrieved April 2013
  8. ^ Plasma TVs at Altitude
  9. ^ Explanation of why pulse width modulated backlighting is used, and its side-effects, "Pulse Width Modulation on LCD monitors", TFT Central. Retrieved June 2012.
  10. ^ Dugan, Emily (8 January 2008). "6ft by 150 inches – and that's just the TV". The Independent (London). 
  11. ^ a b Tom's Hardware: Power Consumption Benchmark Results for CRT versus TFT LCD "Benchmark Results: Different Brightness Testing"
  12. ^ "LCD vs Plasma TVs". Which?. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Plasma vs LCD power consumption shootout at the Wayback Machine (archived March 5, 2012)[dead link]
  14. ^ Plasma vs LCD vs LED - Digital Direct
  15. ^ Power! | Sound & Vision
  16. ^ "Monitors: Earth's Magnetic Field Affects Performance". Apple Support Knowledgebase. Apple. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  17. ^ eham Amateur Radio Forum "Plasma TV – Mother of All RFI Producers", Retrieved April 2013
  18. ^ Native Resolution - AfterDawn: Glossary of technology terms & acronyms
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  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. ^ [2][dead link]