Consumers have long feared that LCD (liquid crystal display) based television will incur dead pixels, or that their plasma TV sets would leak the plasma gas, however new research indicates those notions are nothing more than urban myths.

A reliability survey conducted by Consumer Reports, a research firm, shows no repair issues during the first year or two of use for LCD TVs from major TV manufacturers - including JVC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba. Dell LCD sets have had higher than average repairs, the firm stated.

In plasma, there have been no repair issues for Fujitsu, Hitachi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony or Toshiba while repair rate for Philips and Vizio plasma sets has been higher than average.

With more and better TVs now available from an ever-growing list of brands, it's a great time to purchase a new high definition LCD or plasma set, according to Paul Reynolds, electronics editor at Consumer Reports.

In addition to reliability, the firm stated that the picture quality of these flat TV's are also improving, with recent models exhibiting higher contrast, wider viewing angles, and less motion blur.

The best plasma TVs have added features to minimize distracting reflections and screen burn-in, two issues for plasma technology, the firm said.

The findings, which are reported in the firms Annual Electronics Issue, conclude that that LCD and plasma based TV's are just as reliable overall as picture-tube TVs, and are especially attractive as prices are lowering.