Ask Liz: LCDs vs. Plasmas, National Tree & Coffee Bean Storage

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By Liz Crenshaw and Katie Roberts
|  Friday, Dec 10, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Ask Liz: LCDs vs. Plasmas, National Tree & Coffee Bean Storage

Ask Liz: 10-31-08

What’s the difference between a plasma screen TV and an LCD screen TV? Consumer Reports helped us distinguish the differences between these TV types:

  • There’s no clear winner between plasma TVs and LCD TVs for quality. There are reasons to pick one over the other, though.
  • Plasma TVs are generally cheaper than LCDs. They also generally have better contrast, which makes for natural-looking skin tones in your picture.
  • Plasma TVs also have an unlimited viewing angle, which means the picture doesn’t lose quality when you aren’t sitting right in front of the TV.
  • LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, are generally brighter than plasmas.
  • And the screens are less reflective which means they can look better in bright rooms.
  • LCD TV’s are also better for playing video games. That's because LCD's don't have the burn-in image problem that plasmas can have. Burn-in images can happen to plasma TVs when fixed images are displayed on a monitor for a long period of time.

What happens to the National Christmas tree after the holiday season?

  • Until the 1970s, a tree was transported to DC every year.
  • However, now the National Christmas tree is a 40-foot living Colorado Blue Spruce.
  • So, the tree is not replaced every year like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York.
  • The decorations are normally removed each year on January second.
  • Lighting the National Christmas has been a Presidential tradition since 1923.

Where’s the best place to store coffee beans? The National Coffee Association of U.S.A., Inc. says:

  • Turns out an airtight jar is best since exposure to oxygen makes coffee beans go stale.
  • Anything airtight, whether a jar or the same tightly wrapped container that the beans came in will work.
  • Storing coffee beans in a refrigerator or freezer will NOT help to protect or preserve them.

Got a question for "Ask Liz"? Send any consumer questions to askliz@nbcwashington.com.

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