Why are LCDs more popular than plasma?

I have a rough time seeing differences in picture quality between brands and models, but the difference between plasma and LCD are overt even to me. When I go to bestbuy, fry's, etc. and gaze at their displays of flatpannels, plasma televisions just look beautiful, despite the reflections, while LCDs just remind me of working on my laptop. Is there more merit to the quality of LCD than I observe or is there some other reason LCDs outnumber plasmas?
I bought a NEC Commercial Plasma monitor and am very happy with it. LCD was ruled out real early.
Price, Price, Price would be the reason... they are much cheaper to produce.
I'd say there are a couple of things that would attract consumers: LCD displays are generally brighter than plasmas, so they'll look more immediately impressive. Secondly, they don't fade over time and don't suffer burn-in. Not all consumer choices are based on quality of performance regardless of other factors. The brighter display will trump subtlety of shades, tones, and gradations to the average buyer. Throw in the longer life and immunity to burn-in and it's an easy sale.
I have a Sony business plasma monitor that runs at 1080i. I think that it still way better than any 1080p LCD out there! Plasma is much easier on the eyes than LCD, especially if you stare at a computer monitor all day! I'm sure that it is much cheaper to make LCD's, so they push to sell those instead of plasma's.
These are broad statements, but the better LCDs tend to be brighter than plasma as the glass front tends to be a duller image in brighter light applications such as sunlight streaming through a window.
Plasma units are vastly superior but many have issue's with the glare, worry about burn-in and many only spec to 720P so folks go for the higher 1080I and 1080P specs LCD offers. Even at the higher specs they just dont look "right" to me, the flicker and shutter in fast transitions, black levels in all but the most expensive units are laughable and they do have that laptop moniotr look, all this and they are more expensive!...go figure.
I'm Not sure in the US but in Australia its mainly due to a very strong LCD advertising push. When lined up next to each other i can not see why anyone would choose LCD but as Johnny highlights its not always a quality of picture choice. Its interesting to see some of the push back by a couple of companies here in australia Panasonic is running a very big "this is the advantages of Plasma Campaign" Pioneer with its new Panels are also pushing the advertising button more so the in the past. For me its the transition & the brighness LCD that just doesn't do it.
I have both and plasma is better. While it is true that LCD can give out more light (convincing in direct sunlight).....they fail in low light situations and start to look like a projected screen - they just can't cut it in low light conditions - I was fooled by 10,000 to 1 contrast claim for LCD and believed the lies - when I got home and made a direct comparisoin the Pansonic Viera wins hands down over sharp Aquos..... the claims like most audiophile marketing stuff is BS....shame on the misrepresentative claims by Sharp!!!!
The only real advantage LCD has over plasma is the burn in problem and it is not as much an issue as it once was. Modern plasmas are about as susceptible to burn in as CRTs. Most people don't realize that an LCD screen can suffer from burn in also. Most newer plasma screens refresh themselves to get rid of burn in and the new Panasonic pro monitors will have non glare screens. I have both plasma and LCD monitors and the Panasonic pro plasma looks much better than any LCD I have seen.
I just dont get why people buy LCD, Shadorne is right, they do look like projectors and for about the same or a bit more if you can accept LCD you may as well just get a Projector if you can control light....atleast that way you get a huge picture for movies. I wish the rest of the world would catch on so LCD prices crash and are valued at what they are actually worth.
LCD's are rapidly catching plasmas, they have some issues with motion but the newer 120Hz technology is correcting that.

All of you are siting brightness, if both TV's were next to each other and they were calibrated correctly, the differences would be subtle.

That said, every TV seller has the contrast/brightness maxed out so they DO appear brighter in stores, this isn't how you should be watching them, but....
LCDs are a better choice for the average household where background lighting is not controlled. When properly calibrated plasmas are superior, but real world people don't calibrate.
We have a Sharp Aquos LC-52D62U LCD in the Den and a Panasonic TH-50PX60U plasma in the bedroom. The two strike me as ever so slightly different from one another in ways that are hard to put into words and which I wouldn't associate with a difference in quality. We probably would have purchased two of the Panasonics (better price) except for the real or percieved plasma burn in factor (Seems like everyone you ask has a different take on this issue but some variation on the "LCD is less prone to burn in than plasma" tends to come across from 13 to 15 or so of every 20 salespeople you talk to.). The Sharp is being used hooked up to a video gaming console among the other usual inputs...
I think Onhwy61 nailed it. LCD's are simply better in most rooms because most LCD's are non-reflective and, because of this, most stores will push the average joe toward LCD because it will work better in the average room. LCD displays are much better than they used to be and the divide between plasma and LCD has diminished greatly, IMHO. I have a Samsung LCD and with a good source (HDTV/HDDVD/Blu-ray), its an excellent display.
I agree with Rossman, it's all about cost. Cheaper generally is more popular than quality. That's why high end audio is such a small segment of society.

I fell in love with the LG 50" plasma [780p]. Blacks are definitely better than LCD's, it beat the snot out of every other flat panel [LCD & plasma] at Circuit City, 60,000 hours until half-life brightness, and it CARRIES A 2 YEAR MANUFACTURE'S WARRANY!

I'm anxiously waiting for my 50" Pioneer analog rear projection set to finally fail...it's on the way after 10 1/2 years!
All of these posts make excellent points. Speaking for myself I felt the 50" Pioneer plazma I bought a year ago smoked any LCD even the newly released Sony XBR in picture quality at that time.

With that said I just picked up the new Panasonic 32" LCD as a 2nd display and this unit really rocks for what I paid for it.

Some times a plazma makes sense, sometimes a LCD makes sense. It Just depends on the application and the finances.
My experience is that the Plasma's tend to do black better (critical, to me), and all but the Toshiba LCD's are comparable. Other lcd's, including Sharp's to me leave little to be desired.
For me, at entry price, I recommend the cheap Visio Plasma in the 42-50" range. (sacrifice parts quality color accuracy, etc). For mid, I like Toshiba LCD's (do black rather well), and Pioneer Plasma. For upper, I like Pioneer Elite, with Fujitsu and Runco's at the very top.
Yeah, to me, most lcd's are just like my laptop - I concure.
It is also important to note that a lot of people buy smaller TVs and the smallest plasmas are 37 ins.
I have a 30" widescreen lcd in the bed room
works fine - decent visuals, no worries on burn in

I have a Pioneer Elite 1130 in the music room
stunning Blu Ray, HD antenna, Upsampled dvd, so so DIsh Network,

my son plays games on my old Proton 36" crt

considering the new Pioneers - even better blacks

blue ray is fab on my 1080i
can't imagine the 1080p versions
I keep my TVs on a lot and keep them for a long time. The fact that plasmas will eventually burn out without the option to replace a bulb keeps me from going with that technology despite my general preference for the picture quality.
I like LCDs for two main reasons...the first is that my TV gets used for video games, so there is no worry of burn in vs. plasmas. The second is power consumption--in my experience LCDs suck down a lot less juice.

Well, I am just a regular schmoe when it come to HT issues...So, earlier this year I set out to assemble a solid HT. First up, was the TV.

I went to every store with in a 20 mile radius, and in LA, CA that is a lotÂ….My brain got sooo full of the pros/cons/dos/don't that I could no longer think straight. So, I took a couple of weeks off and went back at it with a fresh attitude but this time I had one and only one criteria. Which one do I like looking at the best the best?? Forget about all other factors, which one did I like the best then and now....and I had a decent budget to accomplish this task too. However, other than the size a selected, if I was constrained by a less budget I think I would have ended up in the same category as I did.

I ended up with the Pioneer Elite 60" Plasma - 1080i. In the end, the only strong alternative for was the "non-Elite" version of the same set.

I am a huge movie buff and I was looking for something, short or a pull-down screen, that would make my home movie experience the most enjoyable. I won.

Yes, I looked all the available technologies, but when I went back in to shop that second round I was drawn to the Plasmas in a way that cancelled out all others...

Enjoy, John
If LCD works for folks for whatever reason thats great, just like if BOSE floats peoples boats thats great too, but for the critical eye LCD doesnt cut it.
I don't get the part about plasmas eventually burning out. Yes they will but after 60,000 hours it will be time for a new TV. That's about 20 yrs. at 8 hrs a day. How long do you think an LCD TV will last?
Actually Plasma units last longer then the old tube technology, people just never put a number on life hours.
I own a plasma, as I prefer the picture over LCD and DLP. However, that 60,000 hour number is just a theoretical number tossed out there by the plasma manufacturers. The technology itself is too new to justify if that number is actually correct or not.
FWIW, the power supply crapped out on my plasma after only 13 months. Fortunately I had purchased the extended warranty, so it was repaired for free. Unfortunately, it took Tweeter 10 weeks to repair it.....

Here's an exerpt from a site that also refers to 60,000 hours of life for a plasma TV:

"Now, there are varying degrees of phosphor ignition along the way (the same way a CRT fades). Dissipation begins the moment you turn the set on. After 1000 hours of usage a plasma monitor should measure around 96% of its original brightness, which is barely noticeable to the naked eye. At 15,000 to 20,000 hours the monitor should measure around 80% brightness, or to state is technically, 80% of the original phosphors (gases) are being ignited".

My TV is on about 10 hours/day (mainly CNBC with the ticker constantly flowing along the bottom of the screen, so I'm concerned about burn-in too despite the improvements in this area). At this rate my plasma would be at 80% of brightness/phosphors somewhere around 4 to 5 years. I'm skeptical of the 60,000 hours figure in the real world as well, but it really doesn't matter if the TV has already lost 20% of its output after the first 5 years.

For many (and probably most) this might not be a problem, but for me it is enough to keep me out of the plasma realm (for now) despite the fact that I find the picture superior to LCD.
TV 10 hrs a day? I feel sorry for you.
Rw, was that a bit out of line?, I assume he watches while he is working.
I cant get out of the house because of health reasons and I find myself watching alot of TV, so I guess I am pathetic also?
There is a 3rd choice, which is DLP, or in Sony's case, SXRD. I like Sony's LCDs better than any plasma I've seen under $10K (Sony doesn't make plasma and I'm not sure they ever did), including Pioneer Elite, etc., etc. I find the SXRD a much better value than the LCD with a GREAT picture. The new Sony SXRDs are definitely worth considering, IMHO, before pulling the trigger on a new TV. They seem to incorporate the positives of both other formats, without the negatives of either.
This is an audio site. What did you expect? I feel sorry for you too Chad but I didn't say anyone was pathetic. Hell I feel sorry for everyone here.
Only a single poster mentioned the lower power consumption of LCDs v plasma. I find that distrubing. It suggests weening folks away from SUVs will not be easy either. We may not like dependance on middle east energy, but we ain't going to do a damn thing about it.

Local shops in Santa Barbara have the latest top of the line Sony XBR LCDs as well as the Pioneer Elite and Fujitsu plasmas, all properly set up with 1080p DVD or HDTV feeds. Each looks spectacular; nor do I see much difference among the top flat screens. It seems the artifacts have been pretty much addressed.

Next move for me is front projection. There's nothing like a large screen for movies, and price for flat screen units at this time is an overwhelming factor as size gets big.

Cause they look better, especially for movies.
Guys....it's IMAGE RETENTION, not Burn-in!

...and, if a Plasma TV is properly broken-in for the first 200-300 hrs, you will NOT experience image retention issues.

The people that bitch about this....either don't own one, and read it somewhere, or watch Headline News on their plasma in torch mode, 24/7. Break 'em in, use actual watchable settings....enjoy.

I break mine in with a disc, then I can watch any channel I want, as long as I want to...no issues.

If you're a movie fan, LCD doesn't cut it...period.
Like most absolute universal statements, Stevecham and Soundqcar, overstate the case. Some plasmas do movies better than some LCD. I doubt either is qualified to make such absolute universal judgements.

In my experinece, the advantages of plasma are size and price; the advantages of LCD are lower weight and power consumption. The top of the line units of either technology have splendid picture quality if viewed from a position reasonably in front of the set.

I like the plasma as well and IMO the only choice is the Pioneer Elite, a little pricey- but worth every penny.

I've had both...and currently have both. Pioneer Kuro,Samsung LCD.

You can pontificate all you like, I am speaking from experience with both formats.

I was simply tired of listening to people make assumptions towards Plasma, when it's readily apparent they don't have the first clue what they're talking about.
Yeah, Soundqcar, that's was exactly I was talking about: universal conclusions from particular premises.

I completely agree with the original poster. Plasma's image quality is so much better than LCD (and DLP) that there is hardly even a discussion. Colors are so much more vivid, contrast is so much better, blacks. If you want that "looking through a window" experience, then plasma is the only option.

Not to say that LCDs don't have their place, though. Airport monitors, business presentation screens, and that sort of a thing is better with LCD because of the image retention/burn-in issues with static images. In a HT though, it's either plasma, or front projection for bigger sizes.
Last week I got to watch Master & Commander on new Pioneer Elite plasma, a Panny plasma and a Sony LCD...NO comparison.

The LCD had some nice qualities and if you were not a critical watcher you would probably be pleased. But it still didn't do blacks all that well and the shadow detail was...lacking.

The Panny was pleasing, blacker blacks, but the Pio was, well, let's just say I'm lusting after that unit. Best blacks, color fidelity and shadow detail I've seen from a plasma.
What's a Panny?
11-30-07: Rwwear
What's a Panny?

I know, I just hate it when people say things like that.
Sorry, guys. DLP and plasma are on the way out. Talk to those manufacture reps not TV salesman and see what they say about DLP and plasma. LCD is a way to go if you start from scratch. Look for better contrast ratio and better response time and you will be a happy camper. Trust your own eyes.
Maybe in the future but LCD isnt good NOW.
11-30-07: Andrewdoan
Sorry, guys. DLP and plasma are on the way out. Talk to those manufacture reps not TV salesman and see what they say about DLP and plasma. LCD is a way to go if you start from scratch. Look for better contrast ratio and better response time and you will be a happy camper. Trust your own eyes.

You could be right about DLP and plasma being on the way out, but I did 'trust my own eyes' and plasma won out over LCD and DLP no contest. LCD could have better contrast ratio and response time, I don't know. I'm not all that technical when it comes to video. All I know is plasma looks the best to me.
Jmcgrogan2, the top end Sony DLP's [Qualia] use their own mirror chip, while most DLP's use the Texas Instrument chip. Last I read, T.I. was on it's third Gen. chip, which I think is called "the black chip", but I had read this awhile ago.

The Sony Qualia chip has smaller mirrors than T.I., resulting in better clarity and contrast. To this day, the best HDTV set I've ever seen is my brother's 70" Sony Qualia DLP...the "reds" are unmatched having no over-saturation, and the TV has a 3-D effect, especially noticeable on sports.

This doesn't come cheap, and Sony doesn't even list the Qualia's on their website!