HDTV LCD vs Plasma: a Hidden Difference

Here’s an interesting fact: if you buy an LCD TV from Dell, and there’s a problem with it, you box it up and ship it back to the company. However, if you buy a plasma TV from Dell, and it should need to be serviced or replaced, the company sends a service to your home to box the display for shipping back to the company. Why the different treatment?

The fact is that plasma TVs weigh about the same as LCD TVs of similar size, so that’s not the difference. The plasma panels that Dell sells are considerably larger than the LCDs that they sell, so the plasma models do weigh more than the LCD models. So you need a freight company to ship it rather than a standard package courier service. Perhaps a bigger factor is that plasma screens are more sensitive to damage in shipping , so they need to be packaged more carefully than LCD models.

What impact does this have on your buying decision? First, make sure that you’re buying from a company that provides good warranty coverage, so that you won’t have any hassles or unexpected expense if you should have to return it. Be sure to check the shipping costs before you buy online; if shipping costs are extra, you may pay less for the same display if you buy it locally. And check to see how the display will be shipped; receiving a home delivery from a freight company can often be more involved than dealing with one of the package courier services.