Plasma or LCD, this is a question a lot of people have especially if they are getting a large screen television for the first time.
Here are some things that you need to know. First an important plasma TV manufacturing company, Pioneer here, has left the plasma market.
But this is not the end of the world. And I would not be afraid mostly because Pioneer which in general made very high quality sets this is not to say Panasonic and everybody else shoved bad quality on to the market. And some have very comparable, even better in some instances, products.
LCD panel televisions use a thin layer of liquid crystals using plastics. Plasma uses gas which is encased in glass. One of the bright, if not dark points of plasma is that they have better dark levels which are much better than a comparable LCD of the same price point.
LCD panels on the other hand tends to be much cheaper than a plasma set under 50 inches. Higher resolutions are usually available for cheaper than plasmas as well.
Some might point out however that LCD panels are prone to image blur during pictures with a lot of movement. Plasmas usually have a faster image reaction time. There is usually screen lag with a LCD set that is not nearly as bad as it is with a plasma set.
Plasmas have more weight. LCD sets are usually lighter and easier to mount on a wall if you are looking to fill some wall space in a living room or even a bed room.
Note that as technology advances these comparison points are getting more narrow each year.
Most people are familiar with CRT screens they grew up with. Before they went off into the rear view mirror their screens were pretty much perfected in terms of vivid detail, clarity, contrast, picture.
If you are looking for a CRT experience on a larger scale I would investigate a good plasma television set mostly for the great dark levels and absence of motion blue. If you just want a wide screen television under 50 inches at a cheap price point I would choose a LCD.
It should be noted that plasma suffers from screen burn, but will dissipate after a few days and new plasma technology will keep this from happening with built in screen savers. Even the Wii has settings for anti screen burn in protection.