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Plasma or LCD?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the apples-or-oranges dept.

Television 356

WeeBit asks: "I saw a news article on why you should buy Plasma instead of LCD TV's. It just sparked my interest. Flat panel TV's have the market now, and our analog TV's are on their way out. I am sure many will be thinking of purchasing their new flat panel within the next couple years. Have you given this any thought? Panasonic, has been pushing ads that sell the consumer on the plasma TV's over the LCD's. Is this a good argument, or is it just hype? Which do you prefer Plasma or LCD? Why?"

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LCD (5, Informative)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385812)

Screen burn. I play console games. New plasmas attempt to mask the dammage by doing an entire screen burn - which reduces brightness. That isn't a fix.

Re:LCD (4, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385842)

That and reflection. TFA mentions flourescent lights which is bunk, we don't have shop lights in our living rooms, but we do have windows, which can be worse. Flipside is the contrast and dMax of the blacks on plasma are hands above LCD.

In a nutshell: GP TV? LCD
Theatre? Plasma.
That's it.
-nB

Re:LCD (2, Informative)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385962)

Don't forget rez. If you're ever going to see a 1080p Blue Ray movie - you're going to shell out huge bucks for plasma - and get a huge screen. That and a sizable power-bill.

Re:LCD (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386232)

That's one of the reasons I like LCDs, the resolution, especially for me since my buying range in around the 42", where LCDs have that extra bit of crispness.

LCD uses less electricity (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386908)

LCD uses less electricity. This will save you money.

Re:LCD (4, Insightful)

uradu (10768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387094)

> Theatre? Plasma.

Nah, projector. Cheaper and much larger picture. Not for everyone, but if you're on /. most likely yes.

Re:LCD (2, Insightful)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387204)

Good point. And for cash you'll save on plasma you can buy those nice electric blinds - I've seen them somewhere for less than 300 quid.
That will make true home cinema.

Re:LCD (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386162)

Screen burn. I play console games. New plasmas attempt to mask the dammage by doing an entire screen burn - which reduces brightness.
Isn't screen burn what happens when you display the same image for a long time? What does it then mean to "mask the damage by doing an entire screen burn"?

Re:LCD (2, Informative)

mewyn (663989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386396)

Basically, the most popular way for PDP manufacturers to mask out burn-in is to burn-in all pixels equally. So, basically if the burn-in detection sees that you are likely to have burn-in in one small zone of the screen, it will drive that one zone with less intensity, and the rest of the screen harder to equalize the burn-in rate. This, of course, is less than ideal, as it leads to an overall loss of black level on the display, and driving one zone too hard with a static image will reduce the life of the PDP display overall.

Re:LCD (5, Informative)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386424)

Yes. Static images like score and gameplay gauges tend to burn into plasma very fast. The latest available fixes attempt to erase these burns by turning on every pixel very bright and for a long time to burn-in the whole of the screen (they call this "wear your new plasma's phosphors evenly" which is bullshit - they're basically burning down the remaining screen to match the burn). This of course lessens the life of the screen and reduces overall brightness. Basically it's a fix that breaks the whole of the screen. Unless brightness isn't important to you of course (or the lifespan of your screen), don't bother. It's the edsel of the 21st century in screen tech.

http://www.plasmasaver.com/ [plasmasaver.com]

I got the burn... (3, Insightful)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386526)

I bought a Panasonic Plasma around May of this year. I can already notice the burn from the vertical bars that show up on non-HD channels to compensate for the aspect ratio. I watch whatever I can justified/stretched to fill the screen, but it makes everyone look short and squat.

Mistubishi (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387148)

I bought a 55" Mitsubishi CRT rear projection HDTV back in 2001 (yeah, that'd be pre DVI/HDMI days - yippee!).

These TVs came with options to stretch the entire SD picture, just the edges, or expand the picture losing a bit of the top and bottom. The edge stretch leaves most of the picture in the proper aspect ratio, but gives you some wierd effects occassionally on the edges. It's my preferred mode of watching, since the full stretch makes you think you're in a willy wonka world, and the expand option actually results in too much blockiness since the vertical resolution isn't as high as I'd like for regular TV.

Since I'm about to go fully HDTV, a lot of this will no longer matter, although even OTA HDTV broadcasts have a lot of content with bars, and these cannot be stretched by this TV unless that content is first scaled down to 480p. (I'm finally getting an HD DVR, which will free me from most SD channels)

Re:Mistubishi (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387238)

Uhh, is CRT a model type that Mitsubishi made, or do you mean Cathode Ray Tube? If so, 1) CRT and rear projection are two different technologies, and 2) how much does that sucker weigh? must be close to 500 lbs at 55"

Re:Mistubishi (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387478)

CRT can be front projection, too. Given most people call them "projectors" and not "tvs"; however, the statement is relevant.

Re:Mistubishi (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387502)

The original rear-projection TVs use individual CRTs for RGB. And yes, it weighs a significant amount. Old electronics generally do. It weighs in around 300#s. Here's a "recent" listing [amazon.com] , and here's a write-up [liquidtheater.com] closer to what I have.

Neither (5, Funny)

TERdON (862570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385826)

My old CRT TV from 1983 won't be replaced until it fails!

Re:Neither (4, Insightful)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386478)

I agree that neither LCD nor Plasma is enough better than the old-fashioned CRT that I would want to replace mine with one of those. The main thing against them is "pixel size"; the smallest possible pixel on a modern CRT allows it to easily and cleanly support a huge list of different screen-resolutions, while the pixels of LCD and plasma units are so much larger that they can only cleanly support a very limited list --else the image just plain looks ugly. So I'm waiting for flat-screen technology to advance to the point where pixel size has shrunk to roughly the same size that a CRT can do. So far as I know, the closest contender for that, still under development, is this one [qualcomm.com] .

HELP MEEEEEE (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17385836)

Boy, this could not be more timely....
Come on /.ers, I have a few $K burning a hole in my pocket, what should it be?????????

Re:HELP MEEEEEE (1, Insightful)

Goeland86 (741690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385856)

Plasma doesn't have the longevity of LCD TVs, and to be honest, LCD TVs have in general better viewing angles. And LCD TVs are cheaper for sizes up to 42".
Just things I've gleaned walking in Fry's Electronics this afternoon.

I'm cynical (5, Insightful)

blake182 (619410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385838)

I presume that there is some amount of "we spent all this damn money making all this capacity to manufacture plasma, so we better recover that investment as much as we can". My assumption is that between plasma and LCD, LCD is going to win. If you believe that and you manufacture both, push plasma as much as possible to cut your losses, and LCD will take care of itself.

Re:I'm cynical (2, Informative)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386234)

The warranty on my plasma (sanyo brand) reveals that they will not cover burn in from video games. My friend that sourced it for me reveals that they can get burn in remarkably quickly (hours not days). So for example a game's score counter on the screen will burn in quite quickly..

Re:I'm cynical (0, Redundant)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386474)

Honestly there is no consequence for a consumer to buy the 'wrong' technology when it comes to TVs so I really don't see the need to pick the 'winning' technology. The unfortunate thing is LCD is not winning out because it is a 'better technology' as much as it is winning out because it is being used in many more applications (Cell phones, Gaming devices, Computer Monitors) and is getting far more research because of it. With that said, from my very limited understanding, Plasma and LCD each offer benefits to the user depending on your home theater set-up; there are dozens of popular sites which will tell you what works best for your setup.

Re:I'm cynical (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386848)

My dad spent $1500 on a high end Sony TV in like 1986 -- and is still using that TV today.

If I buy the "wrong" technology today, I'm going to spend $1500 on a TV that will be burnt out in 5-6 years... unless I play video games, which will burn it out in a few months.

Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (5, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385846)

Panasonic are the best manufacturer of Plasma displays, bar just about none. Even those painfully expensive Bang & Olufsen plasmas are Panasonic panels with upgraded processing components and a nice box.

Meanwhile, their current range of LCDs aren't that great, and are generally considered to be, if anything, worse than their previous generation (they're cheaper to make, though). They're losing market share hand over fist to Sony right now.

Exactly how unbiased do you think a press release from them extolling the virtues of Plasma are going to be? Roughly as much as the one explaining why you should buy one of their Blu-Ray players, instead of Toshiba's HD-DVD, really.

Personally, I think both technologies have their place. Plasma really comes into its own at 50" and larger sizes, where LCD's finer dot-pitch is less of an issue, and you can't even get a decent-value plasma below 42" - the rare 37" ones are ludicrously overpriced in comparison to LCD. But Panasonic are definitely over-selling Plasma in their marketing.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (0, Flamebait)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386054)

those sony TV's are shite though, my father got a really expensive Sony Bravio, the sound is cutting in and out on it just a few months after buying it. Par for the course with sony though.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386130)

Even those painfully expensive Bang & Olufsen plasmas are Panasonic panels with upgraded processing components and a nice box.


Really? In what way are the processing components upgraded? I have a feeling the price is (almost?) all the (admittedly very) nice box.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (5, Informative)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386420)

Disclaimer: I work for Bang & Olufsen.

Much of the added price is the name and the nice box, which is more expensive than you might think, being that "everything is what it seems to be", ie. the metal-looking bits really are metal all the way through (mostly aluminum, seeing as they have their own very highly regarded aluminum works), the build quality is very sturdy and well-built and so on.

But the internal components are also B&O-spec and developed in house with high-grade components, and the internal testing of both assembled components and finished products is very rigorous.

The image calibration and automatic adjustments ("Adaptive Black", contrast adjustments according to ambient light, image filtering and smoothing of analog inputs on LCDs and plasmas etc.) are very nicely done as well. You really don't notice the adjustments working until you really look for it, since it's so smoothly and non-intrusively implemented. Bang & Olufsen have long been known for having some of the very best and most consistent image quality.

Also, the integration between products of various kinds is second to none. The Beo4 remote controls every single Bang & Olufsen product from the last 25 years or so, and everything including lighting and curtains can be controlled using a single remote.

So yes, you pay for the name. Bang & Olufsen being a premium "scandinavian lifestyle" type brand, it's pretty much implied that a premium will be charged. But you also pay for the quality and the integration. You admittedly won't really enjoy the integration until you have lots of Bang & Olufsen stuff, but it is possible to control products from other manufacturers, via an IR receiver and IR blaster.

Bang & Olufsen is like Apple, in a way. They have the same "It just works" mentality, and lots of people really like that, especially after having tried it themselves. More tech-savvy people may scoff at their products for being to simple and too expensive, but they are not the target market. The target market is people with enough money to spend and no interest in tweaking.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (1, Offtopic)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387042)

Interesting. Thanks for the clarification. I for one hope one day to have enough money to be in their market.

In the meantime I will console myself with a laugh every time I walk by their store and realize that the title still sounds like a cheap Porno movie from the 80's.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (1)

marc_gerges (561641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387096)

The image calibration and automatic adjustments ("Adaptive Black", contrast adjustments according to ambient light, image filtering and smoothing of analog inputs on LCDs and plasmas etc.) are very nicely done as well. You really don't notice the adjustments working until you really look for it, since it's so smoothly and non-intrusively implemented. Bang & Olufsen have long been known for having some of the very best and most consistent image quality.

I'm an owner of a seven year old B&O CRT and that's a major point: very good and consistent image (and the sound with it). Not degrading over time. Looking at new LCD's in stores, I don't see a reason to change.

Also, the integration between products of various kinds is second to none. The Beo4 remote controls every single Bang & Olufsen product from the last 25 years or so, and everything including lighting and curtains can be controlled using a single remote.

Yes, except that remote can control nothing but BO gear, and integration with non BO equipment is non existant.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387202)

The Beo4 can control non-B&O gear, it just takes an IR receiver/blaster to do it, and you have to teach the Beo4 which commands to send.

The reason you need an IR receiver/blaster is that B&O uses a 455khz carrier frequency for their IR and most other manufacturers use 36, 38 or 56khz.

It's no worse than buying a normal universal remote control and teaching it, really.

Re:Panasonic say: Buy Our TVs Film At 11. (1)

annakin (994045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386176)

Panasonic was also the company to introduce sub-$1600 42" plasmas, which generally were ED displays running at 640x480 (or some other low rez). Last year, cheap plasmas were Panasonic's big marketing push. This year, 1080i/p are the new buzzwords.

A good 780i plasma cost $5000 five years ago, and a good 1080p plasma still costs $5000 today. It's difficult to justify spending that much on a monitor. Now that all the early adopters are gone, Panasonic and the other companies are wondering how to bring an expensive technology to the masses. It ain't easy. You have to justify $1-2k/year in tech depreciation, and that's only for the rich. A lot more LCD's and DLP's will be sold on sheer cost.

The current Hitachi 42" is boasting 1Mpixel+ on its specs. Meanwhile, 19" CRT's have been pushing 3Mpixels (2048x1536) for over seven years, at 1/10th the cost.

Size is the difference. Is it worth a few grand for you?

Google is your friend (5, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385864)

I was going to write up a quick bit about this, but then I realized that someone probably already has. Sure enough, second hit for "Plasma vs lcd": http://www.flattvpeople.com/tutorials/lcd-vs-plasm a.asp [flattvpeople.com]

They've already covered what I was going to say, and more.

Bottom line: Neither is superior in all ways. Pick the things that matter to you.

Re:Google is your friend (2, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385912)

That's generally a good write-up, though I'd quibble with their first bit. Plasma being manufactured at generally larger sizes than LCD isn't really a 'win' for Plasma.

Most people choose where they want a TV to go, and buy one that is the right size for the space, or smaller if they can't afford one that big. If you've got a 50" space to fill, then sure, Plasma is the winner. If it's 32" or lower, Plasma can't fit your needs. Overall, I think it's a fairly neutral thing - 40" seems to be the hotspot, and both are fine there.

Re:Google is your friend (1)

blake182 (619410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385916)

Bottom line: Neither is superior in all ways. Pick the things that matter to you.

Basically a) larger size, and b) refresh rate are the only reasons to get plasma according to the referred article. Everything else is either a push or in favor of LCD.

Re:Google is your friend (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385936)

That's not entirely true. Plasma also has better contrast and brightness, and viewing angle, though the gap is closing.

Be sure to *look* at them first (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386904)

Well, I just made the decision to buy an HDTV myself. At first, I was going to buy a LCD. It certainly looks a lot better on paper than plasma. But then I went and actually LOOKED at them at my local Best Buy (granted, not the best place to gage them, but a lot better than nothing). I found that (to my eyes, anyway), comparably-priced plasmas looked a LOT better than their LCD counterparts. Their color and contrast was way better (more vivid and rich) than the LCD's (which looked grayish and "washed-out"). And, despite recent improvements, I could still see some annoying "ghosting" during movement on the LCD's.

So, be sure to actually look before you buy. It sure changed my mind.

-Eric

Re:Google is your friend (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385924)

They barely mention in passing one other item in favour of LCD - LCDs draw less power and generate less heat than plasmas.

Re:Google is your friend (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385988)

Some of the latest plasmas run rather cool, while some LCDs get surprisingly hot; just go round a TV shop near the end of the day and feel for yourself.

Power consumption is a real issue, I agree, but that way lies Global Warming arguments, and they're just no fun at all.

Power usage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17385926)

...that wasn't mentioned explicitly in that list - but it should have. There's a clear win for LCD's there.
In Europe, a region of the earth were people have to pay a bit more for their electricity, this has proven to be a big plus in the selling of LCD TV's. People don't want to pay a fortune to run the TV's. And as that also makes the LCD market bigger, they should prove cheaper in the longer run. My vote is on LCD.

I like my CRTs (2, Insightful)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385866)

For price, game performance, creen quality give me a nice 21" - 24" CRT

Ok so they are heavy and take up a lot of space... I have a big desk and work out - its not an issue.

For the living room? Well given the choice I'll go for a couple of projectors, a media linux box and a remote control for the curtains and the screen.

Vs (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385878)

On some levels, pitting two TV display technologies against each other is comparing apples and oranges. Plasma and LCD sets generate pictures in very different ways. In a plasma TV, the pixels consist of gas-filled cells coated with phosphorescent material. When an electrical current charges the gas in a cell, it makes the coating glow. In an LCD TV, the pixels are liquid-crystal cells over a fluorescent backlight. The opacity of the cells varies in response to an electrical signal, passing or blocking the light.

For a TV to be good, it needs to actually look good with a broad variety of programs -- everything from HDTV to VHS tapes. The modern plasma set handles most everything, delivering consistently crisp pictures with a smooth contrast range and clean, vivid colors, IMO. The only thing I miss is greater shadow depth, but I've had the same experience with many other plasma TVs in the past. Interestingly, shadow depth was an area where the LCD shined -- that and its incredibly bright image, which retained good contrast even with the lights turned on. But compared with the plasma, the LCD's picture lacks subtlety.

So the bottom line: it's just a matter of taste: There are incredibly good Plasma TVs that could be outshine by an even better LCD or viceversa. I *generally* prefer plasma image, though.

CRT (4, Insightful)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385888)

Why not go for a CRT?

There are still solid players on the CRT market, and apart from the form factor, there is nothing they can't do as well as the modern LCD/Plasma screens.

Gone are the days of insane power needs, gone are the days of 50Hz tellies.

Yet to come are the days of SED TV and even lower power needs, and there will always be that next thing coming up real soon now (tm).

If you have a modest amount of money, you get far more quality in the form of a high-end CRT than a mid-end LCD. (If you have oodles of money, nothing of this post applies to you...)

I'm not saying boo to NEW tech; I'm just saying that it is still VERY new tech, and the curve of improvement over time is still quite steep. Spend your money how you like ... but make sure you do what's right for you, not just what's modern.

Re:CRT (4, Interesting)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385942)

The problem (at least here in the UK, I don't know the US that well) is that ever since LCD went huge there isn't such a thing as "high-end CRT" any more. Anything over about 24" is going to show geometry problems to some extent (dear GOD am I glad I don't have to worry about geometry or convergence now I've gone to LCD), and when you get to 32" 16/9 sets its a pretty serious issue.

Then there's the fact that the two of us nearly did ourselves serious injury taking my 32" CRT up the stairs. The 32" LCD that replaced it weighed 17kg. Including the packaging, which never made it up with the CRT, because that wouldn't have negotiated the corner.

For small sets, CRT is still unbeatable on value and image quality. But for the living room it's dead as a dead thing.

Re:CRT (2, Funny)

xsonofagunx (902794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386030)

Then there's the fact that the two of us nearly did ourselves serious injury taking my 32" CRT up the stairs.
I'm 21 years old/5'7" [~170cm]/160 lbs. [~73kg] and a generally sedentary lazy ass and I didn't have much trouble moving a 32" CRT by myself. Was it made of lead?

Re:CRT (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386096)

Yours wasn't made of Kryptonite, either, apparently.

I'm only 29, and when I was about your age, we moved my mother's 36" CRT. It took 2 of us and we had a HELL of a time moving it from the living room, through the sliding glass door in the living, to the pickup truck right outside. It's like 20 feet, maybe.

I now have a 37" LCD in my house. I could actually move it by myself if I really wanted to. Family's close enough by that I've never actually done so, though.

I realize that there's a fair weight difference between 32" and 36" CRT, but not enough that I would EVER considering moving one by myself.

Re:CRT (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386564)

It was a Sony 16:9 32" CRT, weighed about as much as you do. Not fun, when you've got two flights to carry it up.

Re:CRT (1)

xsonofagunx (902794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387422)

I'll give you that mine was 4:3, and as such a fair bit of difference in glass-weight. I wasn't going up any stairs either. Still, I'd think with two of you it'd be manageable - though not convenient by any means.

Re:CRT (2, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386750)

The 27" sony trinitron I just moved from the car to a second floor apartment (almost dying in the process) weighs 98lbs. Thats 62lbs less than what you weigh. Moving these things is a serious pain and with no good grips.

Re:CRT (1)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387244)

Not only no good grips, but weight distribution from hell. If you happen to be 6'4"+ you might be able to get your arms around it such that the 80% of the weight being in 20% of the depth helps but otherwise its a bitch and a half.

Re:CRT (1)

xsonofagunx (902794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387474)

The "trick" is to have the front of the TV [where all the weight really is] facing towards you. Just lean it against your chest with your arms mostly under it at the edges, and rely on your balance to keep you upright. Again [re: another reply of mine in this sub-thread], this was with a 4:3. With a 16:9, the sheer awkwardness of it would almost require two people, and stairs would certainly be a bitch in either case (though I think it would be pretty manageable with a 4:3).

Re:CRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386976)

Sharp 32SF56B 32 Inch Flat Crt TV Weighs 161 lbs. Nobody believes that you don't have much trouble moving a TV that weighs as much, or more than you do.

Re:CRT (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386200)

You'll get no argument from me regarding the weight of CRT's, and they're horribly balanced for carrying, too. But like the sofa and the fridge, they spend so little of their life actually moving about, it's not something I factor in when researching a new purchase.

I also go along with you in praising the geometry of flat-panel matrix displays, but note that CRT geometry *can be*, not *is*, a problem.

More to the point, in Denmark (where I live) and Germany there are if not plenty, then at least a number of retailers carrying high-end brands -- and of course the Internet provides *all* the high-end brands. It's all in the reasearch and delivery time one is willing to accept.

Personally, in my living room there's still just a 20-something" 50Hz telly with one measly speaker (albeit for proper sound I have a hifi-connected HDR). I keep pushing back the decision to buy a new set because of, well, progress.

Re:CRT (1)

myspys (204685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386278)

there is nothing they can't do as well as the modern LCD/Plasma screens

yes, there is

plasma and lcd don't have the horrible refresh rate that crt's have

and for people with bad eyes, refresh rate counts, a lot

Re:CRT (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386400)

Not to be a nitpick, but with the advent of 100Hz CRT's that should only be a problem if you (like me) haven't got one! :)

Re:CRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386456)

Well then what do you recommend for a 40" widescreen CRT with 720P resolution? It's hard to even find a CRT in stores anymore.

Re:CRT (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387194)

Becuase CRTs are heavy.

DLP is a better price per pixel vaue. My money is DLP over LCD and Plasma.

SED is vaporware - development for 20+ years and still nothing to show for it.
We'll see SED displays when Best Buy has a 4 foot section dedicated to Linux.

Laser TV looks promising but so does SED. They're both nonexistent at the moment.

LCD (4, Insightful)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385894)

Today, Plasma sets and LCD TV's are both pretty much the same in terms of quality. The only problems with Plasmas that I see are that they weigh a ton and are more fragile than LCD's but if you're not worried about dropping one it probably wont make much difference which one you'd choose.

Personally I'd go with LCD for reasons above but also because I believe that the technology has more longevity than Plasma. LCD screens are used in just about every device with a display these days - phones, desktops, portable media players, etc. and there's a lot of it about which means the cost of common materials comes down. Plasma tech on the other hand, as far as I know, is only used in TV sets.
Go for 1080p too, if possible!

Re:LCD (1)

annakin (994045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385998)

Nice troll. Saying that plasmas are more fragile than LCD's is like saying that automobiles are more fragile than happy meal toys.

If you mean that automobiles are more complex, then you're right. If you mean that automobiles are made from cheap plastic and happy meal toys are made from tempered steel, then you're wrong.

Re:LCD (5, Funny)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386202)

Nice troll. Saying that plasmas are more fragile than LCD's is like saying that automobiles are more fragile than happy meal toys. If you mean that automobiles are more complex, then you're right. If you mean that automobiles are made from cheap plastic and happy meal toys are made from tempered steel, then you're wrong.

Sorry dude, but you are full of crap. TVs, regardless of the tech they use, all have the same purpose - to display a video stream! Therefore, the comparison is legitimate. Automobiles and happy meal toys however, do not have this common use and a comparison would be redundant.

Given that you're an idiot, please let me explain.
You see, automobiles [wikipedia.org] are primarily used as a form of transportation. Happy Meal Toys [wikipedia.org] on the other hand, are intended to entertain children while they eat fatty foods. As you can see, both of these things have a different purpose so it would be rather difficult to compare them.

For example, it is pointless to compare:
Futurama to the Challenger Space Shuttle
Saving Private Ryan to an iMac
Tomato soup to the Latin language
Fish to skyscrapers

But we can easily compare:
LCDs to Plasmas
BMWs to Toyotas
PS3s to XBox 360s
Your brain to a wet sponge

Re:LCD (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17387466)

BOOM HEADSHOT!

Depends on the task but (1)

UED++ (1043486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385974)

I'd pick LCDs unless I had a specific reason to go for something really big and yet there's still room for improvement. LCDs can't properly display dark areas and they're still a bit too expensive.

Down with phosphors! (3, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17385984)

Plasma TVs still use phosphors to emit colored light, just like CRTs. This is the reason they're so prone to burn-in. The upcoming SED [wikipedia.org] displays will also use phosphors. I say, no more phosphors!

LCD, LCoS, and DLP use filters to emit colored light rather than phosphors. There's no chance of burn-in with any of these technologies. I for one prefer my DLP rear-projection TV to any LCD or plasma flat-panel on the market today. I don't care to hang my TV on a wall, and the depth of LCD, LCoS, and DLP projection TVs are a mere fraction of older CRT-based RPTVs. While these technologies do have their problems (dead pixels, thicker form factor, rainbow effect on DLPs), to me they show much more promise than any phosphor-based technology currently or yet-to-be available.

Down with phosphors! No more burn-in!

Re:Down with phosphors! (2, Insightful)

steelcobra (1042808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386332)

Plus DLP costs half as much as a plasma at the same size. AND new advances keep improving DLP. Such as the newest 1080p three-chip models with separate red, green, and blue LED lamps instead of the single-chip color-wheel based white lamp.

Re:Down with phosphors! (1)

mewyn (663989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386728)

There isn't no chance, any display technology can get burn-in. I have, in my various places of work, seen several LCD panels that were displaying an almost static image for years on end get a very distinct burn in. It's just that the burn-in times for LCD and other non-phosphor tech is so long, it's not worth worrying about in most real-world use.

Re:Down with phosphors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17387292)

DLP can't get burn-in. You could have a micro-mirror go out, but that's completely different than burn-in. The worst you can have is your projection bulb going out, and that's just going to happen as time goes on.

Re:Down with phosphors! (3, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387326)

There isn't no chance

Syntax Error

LCD's don't have burn-in, they have retention. Retention can be fixed with a number of utilities (search Google.) There is nothing to "burn-in" on an LCD.

Don't trust em (2, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386070)

There's a reason Panasonic are pushing Plasmas: That's their main market. If you want a Plasma, go for Panasonic, whereas you're best to go with Samsumg for LCD. It doesn't make them unbiased just because they do make a few LCDs too.

You can tell how useless their claims are when they come with shit like "LCD's are all right in kitchens", or that LCD's "cannot reproduce the full range of colors in a HDTV broadcast".

Then they come with some blatently false claims such as that Plasma's are environmentally freindly (they are the biggest electricity-guzzlers in consumer-electronics history), or that Plasmas have better viewing angles.

LCD's don't fade with time, and don't suffer from burn in. That's good for me.

Just bought an LCD (4, Insightful)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386088)

A few days ago I bought a new LCD TV to replace my decades-old CRT TV. Why didn't I go for Plasma?
  • Screen burn - Plasmas are known to 'burn in' after a few years. This is especially the case with static images, and I want to use my TV as an additional computer screen (gaming, movies etc)
  • Longetivity - This LCD should last me another 20 years. Plasmas have been known to fail in less than 5
  • Power usage - I don't want to pay 50 euros/month just to have my TV on. LCDs use less energy than CRT, which use less energy than Plasma.
The only pro's for Plasmas would be the 'warmer colors' and the larger screens. But I really don't need a 1.5m screen and if I want to be warmer I'll turn up the heating.

I'm no expert, but this was what I learned after searching the net and going around to a number of TV stores.

Re:Just bought an LCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386490)

You do realize that the backlight in yout LCD screen will fail sooner or later - it will certainly NOT last 20 years.

You've seen Plasmas fail becasue you;ve seen a first generation screen fail - we're at 10th generation plasmas and let me tell you, there is a world of difference - (Apollo vs. Space shuttle). LCD screens of plasma size have not been around as long.

LCD's also burn in - yes - I've seen it computer monitors to 32" TV's. The LCD shutters get "lazy" when consitantly displaying the same image and do not turn "FULL" on leaving a strange "coffee spill" effect on the screen.

Re:Just bought an LCD (2, Insightful)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386790)

You do realize that the backlight in yout LCD screen will fail sooner or later - it will certainly NOT last 20 years.

replacing the lamp is ridiculously easy and currently costs about $100-200 and only needs to be done once every 3-5 years or so. Compared to the $1200+ cost of replacing an entire TV, it's peanuts.

You've seen Plasmas fail becasue you;ve seen a first generation screen fail - we're at 10th generation plasmas and let me tell you, there is a world of difference - (Apollo vs. Space shuttle). LCD screens of plasma size have not been around as long.

"tenth generation" plasmas still don't overcome a lot of the issues present when the technology was introduced. Burn in is STILL a problem (where this is NOT the case with LCD's and DLP) and the current method to "prevent" it ends up decreasing brightness- given that brightness is often touted as an advantage over LCD, this is less than ideal. Plasmas are also for some bizarre reason STILL ridiculously expensive under 50 inches or so, despite being "tenth generation" and proven technology.

LCD's also burn in - yes - I've seen it computer monitors to 32" TV's. The LCD shutters get "lazy" when consitantly displaying the same image and do not turn "FULL" on leaving a strange "coffee spill" effect on the screen.

While it's possible (but difficult) to get a burn in image on an LCD, displaying an all white image on the set for a minute or so will correct this immediately. "burn in" as it exists on Plasmas and CRTs does not exist on LCD sets.

Plasma for movies (1)

ecuador_gr (944749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386092)

I won't try to do a technical or short/long term cost analysis. Simply put, at least for non-HD content (especially DVD's), every Plasma I have seen looks much better than any LCD I have seen.
For other uses it is another matter of course.

Big screens == large power bills (2, Insightful)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386120)

I was horrified when I found out how much electricity these large LCDs and plasmas use, especially in the 50" or bigger sizes. My current front projection system runs at 70" although it is perfectly capable of throwing a 120" image in a bigger room. With the DLP projector, DTS/DD receiver and LD/DVD combi player running the whole setup draws 280 watts. An equivalent size plasma is going to draw >600 watts on its own. LCD is better but if you really want a large screen experience a projection system is cheaper and more energy efficient. Also, for normal TV viewing we simply have a small 28" widescreen CRT which uses about 80 watts. Material shot for TV still looks better on a smaller screen so the projector is used for movies rather than general viewing. Also, if colour fidelity are important to you then LCDs and plasmas are a poor choice.

Re:Big screens == large power bills (2, Insightful)

Jearil (154455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386642)

But what if you want to watch TV or play a game or whatever with a light on in the house? Or better yet, a window open with sunlight coming in?

The best argument I've heard against projectors of any kind is: If you have a white wall, go look at it. Look at that white wall and think to yourself "Is that white wall an acceptable black level for watching TV? Because that's as dark as the image is going to get."

I know some friends who have some really nice projectors, but they all look washed out unless in a room with absolute darkness. I find not all rooms can achieve that. A lot of rooms in a house are connected to other rooms with an archway rather than a door. Someone else in the house might be doing something that requires light, and that will spill over into a room with a TV. Heck, even something as simple as a kid wanting to do their homework on a coffee table will become either impossible for the kid, or if they have proper lighting, the picture on the projection screen will look horrible.

What and where (1)

$pearhead (1021201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386184)

What will you be watching? If you're only going to watch HD-stuff in a bright environment, you'd probably want an LCD. For non-HD-content (especially in a dark room), plasma generally performs better.

IMHO

Flat displays (4, Informative)

Oryn (136445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386190)

Any flat panel display is only as good as its video processor. Usually its kindof related to the price.

LCD displays work by running a backlight at full whack and blocking light pixel by pixel and boy can you feel it, just put your hand in front of one and feel the heat coming from it. Larger LCD displays can be quite a drain on your electricity supply as well as your wallet. LCD also tend to run higher screen resolutions than plasmas.

Without decent video processing also tend to make standard (low definition) TV look horrific and seem to make MPEG artifacts look much more noticeable.

Plasmas on the other hand tend to be of lower screen resolution and also seem to mostly have non-square pixels ie run 1024x768 but stretched to 16:9, this is important if you want to run a PC into your display. Other things I have noticed are dithering to produce some colours and also flicker (which I have never seen on an LCD screen).

That said, Plasmas seem to give a much sharper looking image than LCD (I think this may be due to a small black border round each pixel) Low def TV looks great on a plasma and there are never any viewing angle problems.
Black looks black and not gray.
Power wize even on large plasmas the power requirements average out as less than those of LCD displays.

Alot of the larger displays I have come across (mostly LCD) seem to be at some odd ball screen res 1366x768 this is a totaly stupid size because its not divisible by 8. Most graphics cards have a hard time driving a screen of this resolution.

The screen I have is of this size but only supports a PC input of 1360x768@60 so anything I throw up from my PC has 5 blury areas because it tries to scale 1360 to 1366

If you are looking to run a screen from your PC check the following:
Does the display have both DVI and DB15 Inputs (useful not essential)
Does it support its native screen res on both the DB15 and the DVI (pretty essential)
Does it support a refresh higher than 60Hz on the DB15 (pretty essential)
Does it have at least one HDMI input (most if not all cable / sat boxes need this for HDTV)

Its worth a note that 1366x768 is not a hi-def broadcast resolution and any hi-def broadcast material is going to have to be scaled through that same video scaler that does such a bad job of upscaling low-def TV.

One way to get round this problem with upscaling low def TV is to do it on your PC.
I get outstanding results using a brooktree 848 based capture card (yup thats the old style wintv card) and a linux program called tvtime (http://tvtime.sf.net). As far as I know there is something for windows called descaler. Tvtime actually seems to reduce mpeg artifacting.

The problem with using a PC is that there is no way to sync whats going out with whats coming in. If both input and output are 60Hz you will get a problem known as tairing.

Tairing (for those who don't know)
Is where the top and bottom of the picture seems to break away from each other, its mostly noticeable on side to side panning movements and the effect is like that of a postcard where someone has cut it in 2 with a knife and put the 2 bits back together, but not quite in the right place

One way to reduce this effect is to run your display at a higher refresh IE 70-80hz. Its unlikely that the DVI connector will support this so you'll have to choose the DB15 analog route. This does not get rid of the tairing, but causes it to happen in a random place with every frame (which is less noticeable to the eye)

Its also worth noting that there are some displays that are native hi-def resolution ie 1280x720 and 1920x1080. These displays will give the best results when running at these native resolutions. I live in the UK and here our HD TV is broadcast in 1080i so there is very little point in getting a 1280x720 display.

If you want to run a PC at 1920x1080 its hard to read standard 11 point fonts at 10ft distance on a 42" display (which is what we have at work)

Finally My best advice is to try before you buy, ask the guy at the store if you can have an in home demonstration, maybe ask if you can rent it for a week. Failing that ask if you can take your PC to the store, hook it up and try it out.

Its the worse feeling in the world to have been told by the sales guy that it does this and that only to find when you get it home it doesn't.

Re:Flat displays (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387332)

Good thing you explained what "tairing" was, otherwise I'd have had a hard time recognising it as "tearing"... :)

What about no TV? (-1, Offtopic)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386194)

Almost all content on your TV is produced by big companies. A lot of them have a political commercial agenda (fair and balanced anyone?) You can do without all that garbage. You can spend the time you save on meaningfull things like reading, socialising or programming. And the upside is that you wont consider it rude anymore if someone you visit keeps their dummyfier on.

Re:What about no TV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386586)

LOL, there's always one.

Funny how people that don't watch TV seem to think about it all the time and make sure to bring it up at every opportunity.

what about DLP? (1)

great om (18682) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386286)

What about LCD vs Rear projection DLP? on top of that, is 720p fine or should I spend the extra 700ish dollars and get the 1080p screen?

Re:what about DLP? (2, Informative)

MarkAD88 (971843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387394)

When I was in the market for a new HDTV last year I desperatley wanted to get a DLP. To me the images seem clearer, the colors mor vibrant and the blacks are almost CRT level blacks. Unfortunatley for me my living room layout requires that my TV be placed in a media-nitch that sits roughly 4-feet off the ground so between viewing angle problems and size restrictions I could not get a DLP. If you're not one of the "oh look how thin it is" or "I've gotta hang it on my wall" crowd then I'd suggeest a DLP set. The 52" models start out at around 16" deep and go up from there. Mitsubishi and even HP offer some beautiful models all of which are 1080p.

Re:what about DLP? (1)

Daniel832US (530981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387458)

I just got the 65" Mitsubishi DLP. I considered DLP vs LCD projection (I didn't want a plasma heat source and with the big room {>30' long} I wanted to go big). It's got the six color-wheel so it does a great job producing all sorts of colors. The way DLP works was also a plus for me compared to LCD--LCD has defined pixels whereas DLP has "soft" pixels which mush into the other ones so you really don't see them. One other plus compared to plasma is that if the bulb goes out, just replace it. When the plasma screen goes out, you have to replace the whole TV. I also went with Sears since they offered a) a nifty price match which I used and b) a five year in-home warranty that includes yearly check-ups.
It does a pretty good job at expanding the non-HDTV DirecTV signal to 1080p (just dont' try to stretch it). You can tell an older show from a newer one by the way it appears (the newer ones are better--reruns from the 80's can have a slight distortion). It takes the DVD signal and produces a nice crisp picture (stretching widescreen DVDs to fill up the picture is fine). I'm wanting to start buying HD DVD's, but I guess Blu-Ray vs HDDVD is for another discussion.

LCD (1)

prizrak (23921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386306)

Up to 50" get LCD - no reflection/burn-in. New LCDs have a wide viewing angle and if you do some research you can find really good ones pretty inexpensive (42" under $1500, 37" under $1,000). If you need more then 50" you'll probably be better off with a midrange projector.

Is TV really that important? (1, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386432)

I mean, come on. Get a life.
 

Save your money (0, Flamebait)

FlynnMP3 (33498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386438)

Choose neither. If you must choose something then pick a DLP rear projection screen. It might cost a small percentage more for an eqault screen size.

All these display technologies have drawbacks. Price, reliability, viewing angle, color purity, resolution (both kinds) longevitiy, contrast, ambient lighting conditions and space needed. Rate those criteria in order of importance to you and spend your money wisely.

I happen to think that DLP rear projection has the most value given all those criteria and the owner will be the happier longer with their purchase.

Or you could save your money and wait for SED or Laser TV or other new display technologies coming out soon. Or read books. Or spend some quality time with the family / significant other(s). Or play games. Or go meet the neighbors, become friends with them, and enjoy their TV instead. :)

Isn't this like asking... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17386646)

"vi or EMACS?" or "Windows or Linux?" or "FreeBSD or BeOS?"

(okay, I'm kidding on the last one)

Third Option (2)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386680)

Save your money. How about a book? You can save even more by frequenting your local library.

I own both, (2, Informative)

torxic (939488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386766)

and i say, each has it's own merit.

If these matter to you
1. Contrast Ratio
2. Dark Room Viewing
3. Colour Depth
4. Accuracy of colour reproduction

Choose Plasma

Else If these matter to you
1. Being able to view in a bright room, without having to max contrast n brightness
2. Pixel Count
3. Saving energy cost
4. Longevity

Then take a LCD.

I know many people shun Plasma due to the burn in issue, all i can say is that choose Panasonic and you won't go wrong. Now, one year later, after plentiful abuse, i can't find a single hint of burn-in. Look through any A/V forums and you'll find the same thing - Pannys are almost insusceptible to burn-in.

Neither (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386808)

I've never been impressed with the black levels on either LCD or Plasma panels - they both suck, although Plasma is (usually) better.

It's said that Plasma panels no longer suffer from burn-in, but they have too-short a warranty for me to take that gamble. HDR LCD [slashdot.org] panels should be coming out in 2007, and will certainly give Plasma a shot to the head. Panasonic is panicking and trying to clear-out their Plasma stocks because they perceive the impending threat.

For my money, I'm holding out for SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) [canon.com] panels. Millions of CRT's in a flat panel - neither LCD nor Plasma will be able to match its colour gamut, tonal range nor its power consumption. Now if only Canon and Toshiba (the SED research and production partners) would get off their butts and launch them to markets outside of Japan, instead of cancelling US demonstrations [nikkeibp.co.jp] , I'd actually go out and buy one. Although I'd probably settle for a HDR LCD if SED never arrives.

my plasma experience (2, Informative)

Rylfaeth (138910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386934)

I've got a 42" plasma EDTV from Zenith. I've had it for going on 2 years and bought it specifically at the lower resolution based on the fact that I simply wouldn't be using it for any other purpose than hooking it up to a living room PC via DVI connection and playing SD-DVDs or xvid downloads through it, as well as the occasional analog cable broadcast. The display itself is extremely bright and has a wide viewing angle (to the point where nobody notices a "bad viewing angle"), and out-shone all of the other displays at the store when I purchased it. The kid working there actually attempted to talk me out of buying it, insinuating that it's a waste of money compared to full HD displays despite my insistance that a person should buy a screen with features that compliment what they'll be using it to display.

I haven't experienced any long-term burn-in or any problems at all using the device. As long as you turn on the pixel orbiter function, you should be gold. I did notice that after a month or so of watching morning news for traffic reports daily, the station's very bright red watermark logo left a faint burn-in that quickly disappeared after leaving the screen on 'inverse' for a half hour and then turning pixel orbiter on (I thought it shipped with it turned on by default, but didn't).

Honestly, I couldn't be happier. I've got a display that is essentially tailored to the content that I own and consume (since I have no desire to mess around with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, and I don't game at all). Also, YMMV but in the middle of the day, when the room is very bright, the screen is just as brilliant as it always is, and I can't say the same for LCD panels (albeit smaller, PC-oriented LCD panels) that I've set up next to it for comparison.

-Rylfaeth

LCD (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17386982)

I prefer LCD. Then again, I'm not after a living-room-dominating TV either, and plasma tvs seem to be 40+ inch.

If a 32" plasma tv had been available locally, I might have had a harder time picking.

My experience (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387020)

My wife and I just bought the Samsung LN-4695D, which is their new 46" LCD flat-panel 1080p HDTV. We were going to buy plasma (Pioneer) until this particular LCD caught our attention with better picture quality, resolution, and burn-in resistance for the price.

The picture quality is *amazing*. Although most LCDs paled when compared to strong plasmas (Pioneer/ELITE and Samsung plasmas were my basis for comparison), Samsung's latest line of LCD displays beats all the plasmas I saw. When I first saw it in the store, I mistook it for a plasma until I read the product description. When I got up close (6-8 feet away) I really noticed how much crisper the picture was and how much more visible dark images were than on the plasmas. But all the older LCDs I looked at (even the previous model 720p Samsung LCDs) looked like crap next to the plasmas.

I found in my online research that there have apparently been massive improvements (in numerous aspects) to LCD panel technology in just the last year. All of Samsungs new 1080p LCDs clearly use the new technology. They are less prone to burn-in, have better brightness and contrast, and offer higher resolution. And no comparably-priced comparably-sized plasmas currently on the market will do 1080 lines of resolution -- they're all 768.

Although screen burn-in is still more of an issue with LCD than CRT, it's less of an issue than with plasma, and the newest LCD panels are highly resistant to burn-in. The manual for our TV has a few vague disclaimers about not leaving still images or letterboxing on the screen for "too long", but then goes on to recommend a limit of two straight hours of such usage at one sitting and says you can back the brightness/contrast down during such usage to further reduce the odds of burn-in. So you play a single game or watch a 4:3 standard-def feed with left/right letterboxing for a couple hours, and then you either give the TV a rest or switch the image around to something different for a while -- I don't consider that a big deal. Then again, I'm not some hardcore gamer who would spend 8 hours straight playing a single game.

Are LCD screens fragile/delicate? Honestly, yes. This TV has a surface like any other LCD monitor or display -- if you push on it, it gives and exhibits discoloration temporarily just under where you're pressing. If you were to really push it hard or ram things into it, it would get permanently damaged. But honestly, unless you have a beastly cat attacking images on the display, or a rotten little kid who likes beating televisions with plastic golf clubs, or you go insanely wild with your Wiimote and throw it into the screen, it's not an issue. Just treat the thing normally and it does fine. If you need to move the TV in a moving truck or something, you'll probably want to put a soft blanket over the screen and then tape a piece of plywood over that to protect the screen. So definitely not tough like a CRT or plasma screen, but not a big issue to me. The great thing is that you get no glare off the LCD surface. I supposed if you were really worried about protecting the screen, you could attach some kind of plexiglass or glass front over it. Maybe manufacturers of LCD panels will start adding that as an accessory/option in future models.

Re:My experience (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387498)

This TV has a surface like any other LCD monitor or display -- if you push on it, it gives and exhibits discoloration temporarily just under where you're pressing. If you were to really push it hard or ram things into it, it would get permanently damaged. But honestly, unless you have a beastly cat attacking images on the display, or a rotten little kid who likes beating televisions with plastic golf clubs, or you go insanely wild with your Wiimote and throw it into the screen, it's not an issue. Just treat the thing normally and it does fine. If you need to move the TV in a moving truck or something, you'll probably want to put a soft blanket over the screen and then tape a piece of plywood over that to protect the screen. So definitely not tough like a CRT or plasma screen, but not a big issue to me.
Thanks for reminding me. That's one more point I like about DLP (or at least my Samsung set).

The screen is tough. I have two kids who do not abuse the screen, but they touch it and have accidentally poked things (pencils, chopsticks) at it when they weren't paying attention. Screen is still dent and scratch free. I just wipe it down with a computer/laptop screen cleaner now and again to remove the fingerprints. :-)

What plasma screen have you seen that is tough? Every plasma I've seen reacts just like an LCD - you push on it, the screen gives and the gas gets distorted.

Pros & Cons in a nutshell (1)

Templar (14386) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387038)

Plasma Pros: Richer color, brighter screen
Plasma Cons: Lower resolution, suffers from burn-in

LCD Pros: Higher resolution, no burn-in, lasts a *lot* longer
LCD Cons: Terrible blacks & contrast, some speed trouble

personal preference (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387136)

I personally think that plasmas give a much better image. Maybe one day when all our content is HD, I'll like LCDs, but for now, most of my usage is not HD. SD on LCDs looks terrible.

Here's my real advice though, don't listen to anyone here, not even me :) Go out to a store, and look for yourself!

Also keep in mind what you're going to use it for. If you're going to watch a lot of DVDs on it (for example), bring a DVD with you, and make them hook up DVD players to the TVs you're interested and see how it looks. Even try out the up-converting DVD players see, how that goes. I even had a sales guy move a TV to where there was a cable outlet, so I can see what regular SD cable TV looked like on it, because frankly, there wasn't that much HD content back when I got my TV (over 3 years ago). (Thankfully, all the primetime TV shows are in HD now, some Leaf games are in HD, and all NFL games are in HD :) )

Anyways, I repeat, go to a store, look at it for yourself, and remember, the stores will splice HD content to their TVs, so if your usage habits are mostly SD, get them to somehow get some SD content on their so you know how good of a job the TV does upconverting.

The Energizer Bunny (1)

DaSH Alpha (979904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387268)

it keeps going and going and going, unlike my Panasonic rear-projection LCD which requires the lamp to be replaced every year. For anyone looking to buy a new HDTV (all 10 of you reading this that don't know already), be sure you buy one that doesn't require a lamp/bulb to be replaced and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches and hassles.

LCD 1080p (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387342)

I just setup a home theater for a friend. We went with a 40" LCD (Samsung LN-S4095D [samsung.com] ). The primary decision points were:
  • Price
  • 1080p
  • Fear of plasma burn-in

Having seen it in action, I am very impressed. The room has a lot of natural light from windows. The picture looked fine to me - no obvious washout or other issues typically attributed to LCDs. Of course, the primary test was The Matrix Lobby Scene. :-)

recent experience (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387366)

My parents just bought an inexpensive Sylvania/Funai 42" plasma for their bedroom. It looks fantastic, but I was shocked to see persistent pillarboxes "burnt-in" after less than ten hours of use. After a couple weeks, my dad tells me that they are barely noticeable. My guess is that the phosphors are most vulnerable when they are brand new (like an infant in the sun). If I ever buy a new PDP, I'll break it in with a few days of solid grey or white. This is the best looking display I've seen for less than $1000.

Anyway, the week after they bought the plasma, their 35" CRT in the family room died. The only reason they didn't replace it with plasma (they got an lcd) was that almost all plasma displays have highly reflective screens and it would have been blinding in this particular room. Even though the LCD has 30% more resolution, the plasma looks better. LCDs just don't produce the colors as well. That seems to be changing though. I'd give the one they bought an 8/10, but I saw some more expensive Samsungs and Sony's that I'd give 9/10.

As good as rear projection has gotten, they don't look as good as plasma, and even LCDs have surpassed them... IMHO.

Meanwhile, at my house, MythTV does such a nice job deinterlacing NTSC and scaling it to 1024x768, my 35" CRT looks real good. I'll probably wait a couple more years before I consider upgrading it, hopefully with a high-res plasma for a reasonable price.

DLP (or better) FTW! (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387406)

I've used a Samsung 50" DLP (first generation chip) TV for nearly three years now. I researched the differences between Plasma, LCD and DLP for several months before making my decision. Several factors that were relevant then are no longer major factors and now there are several more choices.


Upside of each technology:
- CRT projection: (drawing a blank here for what's good about CRT projection)
- Plasma: fluid picture, closest to CRT smoothness.
- LCD: sharp, bright picture.
- DLP: sharp, bright picture. Only one part needs maintenance (bulb). Lowest cost of all technologies. Largest screen sizes available. Wider viewing angle than LCD or plasma. Low power consumption. Lightweight (my wife moved ours out of the van by herself when we bought it).
- LCD projection (LCoS): quality of LCD with size and reliability of projection. Sony (perhaps others) use three LCDs, one for each color light, to prevent "rainbow effect."
- HD-ILA: triple DLP chips removes "rainbow effect" of single DLP (see below). Otherwise same benefits as DLP. (This is a new technology that to my knowledge only JVC has this at this time.)

Downside of each technology:
- CRT projection: heavy and bulky. Requires regular adjustment and annual maintenance by a professional. Smaller viewing angle than any other technology. Dim picture needs dark room.
- Plasma: fades over time (usually 3 years or less) starting with upper (violet) end of the spectrum and requires recharging which costs nearly as much as a new one. Picture burn in. Most expensive. Black levels are gray on most models, and everyone I've seen appears to have a reduced spectrum of color (washed out look).
- LCD: pixel death (much less prevalent now but still a factor). Cost. Screen size limit (40" largest). Pixelization on fast moving pictures (racing, action movie).
- DLP: warm-up time like regular projector (20-30 seconds). Cost of replacement bulb ($300-500). Smallest screen size available is 42". Some viewers experience "rainbow effect" when looking at picture, blinking and looking away (basically you see the separate light channels - I've experienced this once in 3 years and have never been able to repeat it.) Not as thin as Plasma or LCD (18" usually) so not wall-mountable.
- LCD projection: pixel death still a possibility. These may need regular adjustment or maintenance like older CRT projection TVs.
- HD-ILA: same drawbacks as DLP minus the "rainbow effect."

Keep researching to find what fits your needs. If you're only considering LCD or plasma, LCD all the way. I'd rely on home theater or HD forums more than /.

I seriously doubt I'll replace my current DLP for years, but whenever we look to replace our second TV, I'll be looking at the HD-ILA.

Pro Plasma? (1)

El Neepo (411885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17387414)

I see a lot of comments about LCD being the way but what made me go Plasma was simply the quality of black. I had planned on getting LCD, but looking at the colors at the actual store, I had to go Plasma. At the time, the 40-42 inch price point was about the same for either.

Playing Guitar Hero (PS2) on it did give me a scare about burn-in. So far, the Wii has less problems than TV logos.

I still think Plasma is better image quality since movie watching is what I primarily do. I guess I'll find out in the long run if LCD TVs last longer.
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