All electronics will fail. The more complicated, the chances that something will go wrong. Heat is what destroys electronic parts more than anything.
If your question is: which will last longer until the repair bill exceeds the value of the unit. I would say that plasma lasts longer. The life expectancy of the panel for both LCD and plasma is explained below.
There is no such thing as a cheap plasma repair, but until the panel fails, it can be fixed. Almost all manufacturers sells every board used to power up the panel. So as long as the panel isn't bad, one or two of the boards can fix the failure. Some NEC and Philips are exceptions to the rules. And Pioneer makes the drive boards attached to the panel.
Plasmas have many failures because of what is necessary to place the gas cells in the panel in the plasma state of matter (hence the name plasma. There is no plasma in these units). This requires relative high voltage and high current switching on and off at high rates of speed. You add these all up and there will be failures especially if the vent holes are clogged and heat is allowed to build up. Everone is the first to jump on the burn-in issues with plasmas, But for decades everyone had direct view TVs and these had the same issues. But it wasn't something to worry about, it just was the way they worked. How many old computer monitors have you seen that you could read the writing on the screen when the unit was turned off. I had a 55in plasma for a computer screen for 5 years before the icons were noticably starting to burn in. thats what screen savers are all about.
Vertical lines and bars are death for plasmas. This is a bad panel.
The problem that everyone is omitting is the parts of the LCD panel that generally goes bad. Generally the panel replacement cost exceeds the price a new unit. The panel is made up of three separate systems. And depenent upon the manufacturer and the model number whether or not you can purchase any part separately, or if they make you replace the whole panel as a single unit.
There is a inverter/back light that must work to see the picture. The back lights are small florescent tubes, like the ones used for shop lights. They WILL burn out. I doubt any will last 20 years with any regular usage. I only know of one manufacturer that even gives you part numbers for these tubes. And that's Sharp and it's only on some of their models. I have personally throw away over 100 LCD tvs in the last year alone, because they were out of warranty. In many models, it monitors the back lights and if one isn't working, the unit shuts off. the symptom is the unit shows a picture for a second or two then shuts off, and leds blink. The inverter board fires up these tubes have there share of failures. In fact I just ordered a set of them today for a set that was "store stock" it never made it off the show room floor. The availability of these circuit boards are again dependent upon the brand and the model number. Toshiba and Samsung are notorious for not making these available. I have thrown away dozens in the last year alone.
So if the back light isn't the problem then there is the control board. This takes the signal and converts it to talk to the LCD panel itself. I have seen dozens of these fail that was in units that the manufacturer didn't make available as a separate part. Again The same manufacturers that wouldn't stock inverters won't stock this part either.
Finally the panel itself. static lines in the picture means death. I condemned two just today.
I my view, LED back lit TFT (LCD) will control the market in a couple years.
over 30 years fixing tvs.
· 1 decade ago