According to a recent survey from Pacific Media Associates (PMA) of Menlo Park, Calif., key North American resellers of large-format (20+ inches) displays perceive that both plasma and LCD technologies have roughly equal advantages but each has a different set of strengths and weaknesses.

PMA’s

2003 annual reseller survey tracks the large-screen display market.

Rosemary Abowd, who directs PMA’s research on large-format flat panel displays found that the survey supported – and quantified – the conventional wisdom that LCDs offer better lifetime and less burn-in tendency. It also found that plasma had clear advantages in terms of size ranges offered, contrast ratio, and price. Regarding displaying different content, plasma was strong for full motion video and LCDs for static text/graphics.

The question in PMA’s survey concerning the relative advantages of the two technologies was answered by 122 respondents. This response rate provides a high level of statistical validity, especially given the expertise of the respondents (resellers know a lot about the products they sell and how they are used, far more than all but the most savvy buyers) and the combined sales clout of their organizations. The survey asked resellers to rate plasma displays versus large LCD displays in the following areas: price, useful size ranges, resolution choices, brightness, contrast, quality of full-motion video or moving computer text/graphics, quality of static text and graphics, lifetime, and burn-in

William Coggshall is the president of Pacific Media Associates, a market research and publishing firm that specializes in the large-screen displays business.</

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