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Plasma - great for home cinema above 40in. where the light levels in the room are carefully controlled.
Disadvantages - high power consumption, limited lifespan, reliability.
Plasma is losing ground to LCD panels as their size, picture quality and price continue to fall.
LCD - better for general use as a television or monitor. High contrast ratios (500:1) produce reasonable pictures in most lighting conditions.
(LG have just announced a LCD panel with 5000:1 contrast ratio!)
Advantages - lowish power consumption, good lifepsan, reliable (if you accept the odd faulty pixel!)
However, the future is likely to be PLED (polymer organic light-emitting diode) displays. They offer full spectrum colour, lower power consumption than plasma/LCD and higher reliability.
PLED is likely to be very cheap too. It uses a manufacturing process very similar to ink jet printing, so as volumes go up prices are going to plummet.