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Buying New TV - Plasma vs LCD vs. Projection

Old 11-03-06, 05:18 PM
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Buying New TV - Plasma vs LCD vs. Projection

I am planning to buy a new TV (40-50'' with price range $1,500-2,000), but I'm hearing so many confusing things about different types of TV. So please help me clear my head.

Plasma - For me, plasma picture looks best by far. But how much danger of burn-in is there? On internet, I read that there will be burn-in if images doesn't change for 3 hours. One tells me that it consumes a lot of energy and gets hot. Another tells me that it's not suitable for game. But still the other tells me not to worry about those at all, that it's old accusation by LCD people.

DLP - One also tells me that it's much better than LCD rear projection. And that rainbow effect is no longer a problem. The other tells to me to swear off DLP, that it's best only for internet presentation, and that Samsung is not going to make any more DLP. Who's right?

LCD - how easily can the screen damaged? Besides LCD's that I've seen so far doesn't impress me.

I'll be watching a lot of movies, but also a lot of TV. I don't want to worry about burn-in, but I definitely prefer plasma picture to other tv's.

What should I buy? Please help me.

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Old 11-03-06, 05:53 PM
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Ive had a plasma for almost a year now, and very satisfied with it. Picture quality is great on it, especially with HD programing. I watch a ton of DVDs on it, as well as plenty of gaming. Once during an all day 360 session, the 360 overheated and locked up, and there was still no burn in to speak of. Sometimes you will see a ghosted image, but it will quickly go away, once the image changes. It does put out some heat, but its nothing major.

Personally I think there are a lot of plasma myths that just havent gone away yet, and sometimes the tech gets a bad rep.

Never been a fan of any projection. LCD's are fine i think, i just caught a deal on the plasma, so that helped swing my opinion.
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Old 11-03-06, 05:57 PM
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There's more to it than that. Ignoring CRT technology...

- Do you want a flat-panel TV? (i.e. one that can hang on a wall)

if so, there are only two choices: plasma or LCD flat-panel.


- Do you want a rear-projection TV?

if so, there are multiple choices: LCD rear-projection, DLP rear-projection, or LCOS rear-projection (also called SXRD by Sony).


All of the different technologies have their own strengths and weaknesses, so deciding which one to get depends on what you think of their individual weaknesses in particular. Be it black levels on LCD, burn-in on plasma, or rainbow effect on DLP, if there are any weaknesses you want to avoid, I recommend beginning your elimination of different HDTVs starting there.
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Old 11-03-06, 06:00 PM
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burn in isn't an issue any more with plasmas. I have recommended this tv since I got it. It is great for tv, hd, games....etc.

http://www.visualapex.com/plasma/Pla...&MFR=Panasonic

under 2k, add 100 bucks for hdmi card. 200 for wall mount. this doesn't have speakers, but if you use a receiver for your audio (and you should) it won't matter.
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Old 11-03-06, 06:13 PM
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Thanks, flatness/thinness is not really an issue with me.
I've tried to compare different types, but since they are all together with same kind, it's kind of difficult.
I sometimes end up leaving tv on, so if burn-in is serious problem with plasma, I'll have to consider something else although i like its picture quality best.
For some reason, LCD rear projection tvs looks darker than others, but maybe i'm seeing things. DLP looks better, but does on notice rainbow effect right away, or can it suddenly appear and take me off-guard? With LCD, sometimes they look fine, but sometimes they don't look clear.

Maybe each of these tvs look different with tv programming, hdtv programming, and dvd. But I don't know how.
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Old 11-03-06, 07:24 PM
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None of the above.

SXRD. End statement.
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Old 11-03-06, 08:54 PM
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Is the SXRD the display that Sony has had the trouble with the 'hideous green blob' on the screen that tons of people have reported over at the AVS Forum?

Also, I can tell you from first-hand experience that I've seen the rainbow effect (RBE) on Mitsubishi's latest batch of 1080p DLPs. Perhaps I am lucky that I am so super-sensitive, but it would appear that DLPs have not completely ironed out that problem.

If I had the funds, I would get a Pioneer Elite PureVision plasma, I think.

Last edited by Paul Arnette; 11-03-06 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 11-03-06, 11:40 PM
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I'm not sure "I leave my TV on" is a smart thing to do regardless of burn in. There are other issues that effect these TV's (wasting bulb life for example). Why would you "leave your tv on"?

In all honesty, it sounds like you have been reading some very dated material. Almost none of the negative things you bring up really apply "in the real world". IMHO the DLP, LCD, Plasma really comes down to space limitations, and personal preference. Many still say DLP has better blacks and LCD's are brighter. But that gap has really shrunk.
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Old 11-04-06, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
None of the above.

SXRD. End statement.
That's not very helpful at all. If you have a point to make, please expand on your opinion.
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Old 11-04-06, 01:07 AM
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It's not that I leave TV on intentinally, but it happened a few times. I use Harmony remote control, and sometimes it turns off only DVD but not TV, and with my TV it's difficult to know if it's on or not. I guess if I buy plasma, I should stop using Harmony control.

I've read Crutchfield, Cnet, and listened to some people at electronic stores, and I'm still confused.
I'm more concerned with picture quality than size of screen or bulk of TV. Actually, with all these different types of TV, I was rather disappointed at the picture quaility of most of them (except some plasma). I thought it would be much better.
I'll be watching a lot of DVD (not HD DVD) but also TV (no HDTV programming in foreseeable future) - many sports, and some news, too. I thought plasma was no no because of burn in, but apparently not, though again not so according to some. Also I'm not that rich, so electricity bill is not without concern.
And I think I'll be watching from some varying angles (I live in a studio, so I'll be watching from my bed and from my desk, which is not that far apart, but again I don't know how this will affect picture quality with each type of TV.)

I'm most confused about DLP. Someone at Fry's was touting DLP, and other guy at another store was telling to stay away as far as possible from DLP.

And is LCD better since it's more expensive? If the bulk is the only difference, I guess I'll buy DLP. Is it just me, or is LCD rear projection darker than others?
Does plasma or LCD require maintenance to preserve picture quality? I'm too lazy to do any kind of tuning.

So I still can't narrow down at all.

I welcome all kinds of comments. So please say anything.

Last edited by Pierrot; 11-04-06 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:30 AM
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BTW, I found the following items. Any particularly good deal?

Plasma:
Panasonic TH-42PX60U $1620 Circuit City 1024x768, hd ready (different from built-in?)
Samsung HPs4253 $1600 Best Buy - 1024x768

LCD:
Sony KDL40S2010 $1800 Best Buy - 1366x768, 1300:1, 8ms

LCD RP:
Sony KDF50E2000 $1500 local store - 1280x720

DLP:
Samsung HL5086W $1530 Best Buy - 1280x720, 2500:1

SXRD:
Sony KDS50A2000 $2160 Sears - 1920x1080, 10000:1

Last edited by Pierrot; 11-04-06 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:24 AM
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Sounds like you still need to do a lot of reading.

I'm surprised that you are looking at such nice TV's but seem to point out that you do not want HD content of any kind. One thing to remember is most of what you have mentioned are very nice TV's. They will show off both the strengths AND limitations of your source.

Having said that, if you have no desire for HD content, then save the money and eliminate all the 1080p models. These are the "hot" things to sell for the holiday, but if if you don't plan on HD content (specifically the PS3 or 360) then you might as well start looking at the ED plasmas. These are a great deal as everyone "thinks" they must have HD. Look at the ED and you should be able to get a plasma ED at a great price.

Also, "flat panels" LCD and Plasma are the "hot models" as well. So to save money, look at the RP LCD and DLP. Both of these are in their 3rd, 4th+ generation. Whoever told you to stay away from DLP was an idiot unless he gave you a specific reason that you have mentioned. DLP technology is excellent. I have it in my front projector and many very nice projectors have it. Look at them both.

You can burn in a plasma, but it is hard to do. With any of these tv's you will want to calibrate them once you get them home, and for the most part, you don't have to mess with again.

Personally, for me...I would get a flat panel if you were going to mount on the wall or hoping to do so. Other wise, save the money and get a RP. But that is just me.

Finally, if your Harmony remote will not turn off your tv, why don't you go in and reprogram it? Really, there is no reason to keep your TV on, just to leave it on. You say budget is a concern, so turn off your TV! Now some do argue on projectors not to turn them off only to turn them back on in a few minute or even an hour. But if you are done for the day, by all means turn it off. I have not heard the same thing for these TV's that have bulbs like projectors, but I would guess it would be the same. But still, you want to be in control, not the other way around.
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Old 11-04-06, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
That's not very helpful at all. If you have a point to make, please expand on your opinion.

I saw SXRD RPTV at Best Buy and it smoked every single set in the entire store, including their $10,000 Plasma. There was a nice looking DLP next to it, but when compared to the SXRD it looked a bit harsh and digital looking.

I didn't see any green blob some refer too. It offered higher contrast than the DLPs, Plasmas or LCDs. It looked to have better black levels and had superb colors. It was smoother than DLP (less digital/artificial looking). It simply looked great. I can't expand much beyond that.

Of course a well calibrated CRT is pretty much untouchable with dark scenes.
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Old 11-04-06, 12:43 PM
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That's right. I confess I don't know much about HDTV vs. EDTV
I thought I should buy HDTV because quality might be better with DVD upconversion player (and since with Panasonic, difference is $165). And I hope to use tv for more than 10 years like my old tv.
But if there is no difference at all and they are a great deal cheaper, maybe I should look into it, too. (Acck, my choice just got wider rather than narrower! You must understand my confusion. Even here some say that cons of each technology are vastly exaggerated or virtually nonexistent and still some say that I should weigh each cons, and I don't know how serious these each pros and cons are. )

Two specific questins I have is:
If one is those have rainbow problem with DLP, does the problem strike you right away or does it appear sometimes and not?

With plasma or lcd, do I need to calibrate just once? Because with RP's, they list not requiring maintenance for picture quality as one of their pros. So I assumed that I have to be familiar with Avia thingy. As some might guessed, I am a tech-challenged woman, so I need easy maintenance.

(PS: I don't want to digress, but to clear up the point with leaving tv on. My remote is set up to turn off all and most of the time does turn off TV, but it happend just a few times that TV was not turned off and I couldn't tell if it was on at the time. I mean, if I have to check each time whether tv is really off, there's no point using Harmony remote control. )
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Old 11-04-06, 03:12 PM
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You should buy HDTV not because it's better with upconverted DVD, but because it's better with HD/HD-DVDs.

Rainbows usually hit the ones who see them pretty quickly. I can see them if I choose too. I believe the people who are bothered by them have habit of darting their eyes quickly. I can see them at will if I glance to one side quickly to follow the action or something. They are zero problem for me or anyone I know though.

I'd consider an SXRD set if I were you. They are very nice.

BTW, I found the following items. Any particularly good deal?

Plasma:
Panasonic TH-42PX60U $1620 Circuit City 1024x768, hd ready (different from built-in?)
Samsung HPs4253 $1600 Best Buy - 1024x768

LCD:
Sony KDL40S2010 $1800 Best Buy - 1366x768, 1300:1, 8ms

LCD RP:
Sony KDF50E2000 $1500 local store - 1280x720

DLP:
Samsung HL5086W $1530 Best Buy - 1280x720, 2500:1

SXRD:
Sony KDS50A2000 $2160 Sears - 1920x1080, 10000:1
As someone who has a 9'+ diagonal screen for much less than all of these I'd say they are all too pricey for me, but if you are going for quality the LCD is dead last on that last and the SXRD is #1 hands down. Contrast is very important and the SXRD's contrast is in another league than the rest. This means dark scenes look less grey and more realistic. Still not CRT projection level, but much better than LCD and even better than DLP.

I'd go with the SXRD if I had to choose between them all. Not only is it 2.25x the resolution of 1280x720p, but it has a way higher contrast ratio than the rest.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Slayer2005
You should buy HDTV not because it's better with upconverted DVD, but because it's better with HD/HD-DVDs.

Rainbows usually hit the ones who see them pretty quickly. I can see them if I choose too. I believe the people who are bothered by them have habit of darting their eyes quickly. I can see them at will if I glance to one side quickly to follow the action or something. They are zero problem for me or anyone I know though.

I'd consider an SXRD set if I were you. They are very nice.
Not to disagree with you Slayer (I would never do that), but rather to clarify my point.

I suggest an ED player as she indicated that she was not be using any HD signal now or in the forseeable future. Some of these HD sets do not handle SD as well the ED sets. Course this is just seeing them at BB and CC, so with more set up, it might different.

Totally agree, on the SXRD...but the cost starts going up with them.

Oh, totally off topic (sorry to the OP), but I have officially started looking for the replacement of my X1. 2800 hours on the bulb, my wife gave me the go ahead...so really reading up. I want some life left in my X1 on the off chance we sell the house in a year or two, I could pull the newer PJ down and sell the house with the X1. And I'm not going to go w/4805, but looking at the 720p's. (HD70, HD72, the Mit, possibly the Panny if I just can't go w/o lens shift). There is a 12% coupon from BB floating around and they carry the HD70, so that is very, very tempting.
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Old 11-04-06, 05:49 PM
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Is Sony KDS50A2000 that good? Because it doens't look all that good to me.

I've been just to Best Buy and Circuit City again. I'm really leaning toward Panasonic plasma. Except that I'm still worried about burn-in. A Sony guy at Circuit City told me some horror stories about how it has short life due to burn-in, so hot that it warms the room (My room get really warm during summer) and how much energy-hot it is, and so on. I know Sony doesn't make plasma, so don't think I should trust him, but just how serious is this burn-in problem?
It is said plasma is bad with game. Why?
I enjoy watching sports, So I am rather nervous about flickers. I watch TCM, and I wonder if I'll have TCM logo burnt into the screen.
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Old 11-04-06, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pierrot
Is Sony KDS50A2000 that good? Because it doens't look all that good to me.
Are you speaking from having actually seen it? If so, I'm confused on why it would be on your list in the first place if you saw it and didn't like it knowing it cost more than the rest by a good margin. Besides, if you have seen it and by some chance didn't like it (which is hard to believe) it's most likely because it was horribly miscalibrated in the display store, like most sets are (some worse than others).

If you haven't seen it in person and are judging from the specs then you must not understand what the specs mean. Going by the specs alone it destroys every other set you listed: 1920x1080p resolution & 10,000:1 contrast (this means a greater ratio between the darkest black and brightest white, which, usually means the color black looks more black and less grey which adds 3 dimensionality, otherwise known as "depth", to an image). Those two are a great combination. Contrast is one of the most important factors in image quality, that and black level.

The SXRD is capable of delivering much more minute detail, darker blacks & higher on/off contrast than the others.


Except that I'm still worried about burn-in. A Sony guy at Circuit City told me some horror stories about how it has short life due to burn-in, so hot that it warms the room (My room get really warm during summer) and how much energy-hot it is, and so on.
Burn-in is a real possibilty. The best way to minimize it is to:

A) Keep your contrast properly set instead of cranked up to torch mode like they have on display in stores.

B) Don't view something with bright static logos for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time. Vary your viewing.

It can be avoided, at least for a long time.
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Old 11-04-06, 07:19 PM
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I did look at SXRD (not sure about the actual mode now), and thought it looked better than RP, didn't look as good as plasma. But then, many LCD RPs in the store looked so horrible, maybe they were all badly calibrated. SXRD LCDs looked very good, but way too expensive for me. Again Sony KDL40S2010 and KDF50E2000 looked bad.

Now again I'm having second thoughts about Panasocnic plasma, because apparently some people are having problems with tuners (I just visited AVS forum). This is so much headache that I'm tempted to put the whole thing off. Maybe it'll get cheaper by Chrsitmas.
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Old 11-04-06, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pierrot
Now again I'm having second thoughts about Panasocnic plasma, because apparently some people are having problems with tuners (I just visited AVS forum). This is so much headache that I'm tempted to put the whole thing off. Maybe it'll get cheaper by Chrsitmas.
No doubt they will be cheaper next year, but then you will also miss out on a years worth of watching it.

I'm looking at these two models for my living room,

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-HL-S46...&s=electronics

($1,199 shipped)

and

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-KDF-46E20...&s=electronics

($1,329 shipped)

Now, based on where I'm putting this tv, I don't want to go to 50". And while the Sony SXBR is a lot nicer set, I don't want to spend the extra money as it is turning out our media room (projector) is our main tv.

I like the DLP (Samsung) technology. That is what my current PJ is and have no issues with it what so ever. And on these models (that I have spent a lot of time looking at), it appears the Samsung has more detail in dark areas. I'm not 100% sure the blacks are "better", but there is more detail in the darker areas. However, the Sony seemed to do better when pushing the brighness up just a little. And since this is a living room with lots of light (most of which I don't want to control), that is an option as well.

I don't believe you have said...what is your budget??
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Old 11-05-06, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Pierrot
I did look at SXRD (not sure about the actual mode now), and thought it looked better than RP, didn't look as good as plasma. But then, many LCD RPs in the store looked so horrible, maybe they were all badly calibrated. SXRD LCDs looked very good, but way too expensive for me. Again Sony KDL40S2010 and KDF50E2000 looked bad.

Now again I'm having second thoughts about Panasocnic plasma, because apparently some people are having problems with tuners (I just visited AVS forum). This is so much headache that I'm tempted to put the whole thing off. Maybe it'll get cheaper by Chrsitmas.

Display rooms are pretty much terrible for judging. They are generally all on torch mode with sharpness crank all the way up. It's terrible. Unless you calibrate in store you don't get to see the true picture quality until you get it home and calibrate.

BTW, the source matters for picture quality. Using HD-DVD witih a 1080p SXRD will be noticeably sharper and more detailed than a non 1080p Plasma.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:59 PM
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Sxrd

I bought the KDSR50XBR1 (50") in April '06. I fell in love with the TV. In August '06 I got the dreaded green blob and yellow staining. The picture was still beautiful but that green blob in the upper right corner just drove me crazy. Sony did the right thing and for just a coupla hundred dollars more gave me the KDSR60XBR2 (60"). The picture on this TV is just beautiful, I can't imagine ever owning another type of TV. Sony just dropped the prices on these babies and whatever you have to give for it is well worth it. If you go to CC or BB to see these TV's you will, most likely, be out of luck. The SXRDs I've seen there are only the A2000's which have their own problems and aren't anywhere near the TV the XBR's are. Sony's no longer producing the xbr1's, however I've heard people say they've been able to find them at very good prices and some are even green blob free. I keep seeing you list the tv's you are considering and you haven't listed LCos (SXRD). Many AV mags gave the xbr (SXRD technology) their 2005 product of the year award last year and for good reason. You think now that you aren't interested in HD, just wait till you get a great TV with a great source, it's hard to go back to SD, but even when you do the XBR2 does it beautifully.
Keep visiting the AVS forum's. Here's the link to the owners thread for the XBR2 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8&page=1&pp=30
Do yourself a favor and read up on it.
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Old 11-05-06, 11:33 PM
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Well, I refuse to touch LCD at this point, because I can't stand the poor black detail and poor blacks in general.

That said, I prefer plasma myself. A Panasonic plasma used to have the best black detail/contrast ratio...now, of course, that crown seems to belong to SXRD.

I've never liked the washing out at angles thing, something that all RPTVs do to a certain extent.

I'd say

CRT (non-RPTV)
SXRD
Plasma
DLP
CRT RPTV
LCD

But that is because what matters to me is blacks & black detail, no washing out at angles, etc. Everyone has different preferences and every technology has its strengths and weaknesses.

This all said, I own a DLP projector with a new one enroute.
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Old 11-06-06, 03:30 AM
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Thank you all for great suggestions.


I found some new deals and unless I can find 40'' XBR2 for much cheaper than $2,700, I think I'll buy one of the following:

42'' Plamsa Panasonic TH-42PX60U $1420 (1024x768, contrast 10000:1) at Circuit City or
50'' LCD RP Sony KDF50E2000 $1350 (1280x720) at local store

Let me go over the pros and cons, and please correct me if I am wrong.

plasma cons - nervous about burn-in, can't play a video game or use as computer monitor, light reflection, more expensive to repair, more energy-consuming, gets too hot

lcd projection cons - worse picture quality, lamp replacement, poor viewing angle, more repair-prone? might become obsolete?

My viewing habits complicate the matter. Some arguments against plasma are: I'll mainly watch dvd but also tv - sports, news, and movie channels. Logos are worrisome. I love old movies (4:3 ratio), so that might be a problem for plasma, too. It would be nice to have a big tv, too. And this will be my only tv at home (I live in studio). I have PS2, so it will become useless. I have an old, small monitor for computer, so it would be nice to use tv as a monitor. Light bulbs on the other side of wall will reflect on tv. I'm kind of careless, so might pause movie too long and forget about it. I don't plan to have protection/insurance, so it'd be a little risky.
On the other hand, I love plasma's picture much better, which may be the most important thing. I like the contrast and black detail better than resolution. Besides I use computer while watching tv, so probably will not use tv as a monitor. And I haven't played PS2 much any way. So I don't know.

One more question: Is it okay to watch a long movie with black bar (due to different aspect ratio) on plasma?
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Old 11-06-06, 06:37 AM
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Plasmas have pretty much eliminated burn-in at this point. The only video game you're likely to burn in on a plasma would be Atari 2600 Even then, most now have a pixel orbiter - it moves the picture around ever so slightly to help avoid burn-in.

If you are nice to your plasma during the burn-in period, and calibrate it properly with Digital Video Essentials or Avia Guide to Home Theater to get it out of 'torch mode', there should be no problem.

Seriously, don't worry about burn-in unless you're using it as a PC monitor or plan on displaying many static images for long, long periods of time. It's very tough to burn in a plasma.

Even if you overwatched 2:35:1 DVDs and got uneven wear, you can even fix that with some hours of white screen, inverse image patterns, etc. There's a lot of stuff out there to take care of and prevent the problem these days.

Your PS2 is not "useless". That's crazy talk. I'd be leery only of playing hours of Atari or NES on it...and that, only during the first few hundred hours or so (when the plasma sees the most wear).

There's only a handful of people that report burn-in. I remember one 3-4 years ago. He bought the plasma, never turned down the contrast/brightness/etc, and watched nothing but 4:3 on it from day 1. It takes some pretty blatant abuse to harm one. I haven't heard of a recent plasma burn-in report in ages.

http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/p...tv-burnin.html

Cnet "Ask the editors: Preventing burn-in"


You don't have anything to worry about during normal use, and if you take a couple of precautions, you can make sure your plasma lasts as long as possible:
Reduce contrast to around 50 percent.
Avoid keeping a static (unmoving) image on the screen for too long, especially during the first few hundred hours of viewing, when the new phosphors in a plasma are particularly vulnerable to uneven wear, or burn-in.

As for longevity, Panasonic and LG/Philips both say they have improved the overall life span of their newest plasmas to 60,000 hours (more than 20 years if you watch for 8 hours per day) before the panel fades to half-brightness, which is twice as much as previous reports and generally equals the life span claimed for flat-panel LCDs. I don't trust those numbers completely--and I don't know of any credible third-party studies--but the point is that new plasmas should last a good long time.


Last edited by GreenMonkey; 11-06-06 at 06:41 AM.
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