The big "How do I choose an HDTV?" thread.

I'm a little concerned that with a plasma, my colors might not pop like they do with my LCD. Crazy?

That said, the brightness on my LCD isn't that high, as I'm trying to have a reasonable black level.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
I'm a little concerned that with a plasma, my colors might not pop like they do with my LCD. Crazy?

The problem is that LCD's in stores are set to cartoony levels of saturation and brightness. It makes them stand out in a line of TVs.

Plasmas can be extremely accurate. Pop? Depends on what you mean. Most people mean fake looking colors when they say that because they've not seen something properly calibrated.

Good LCDs and plasmas both can be very accurate these days. Just generally out of the box they come pretty amped up.

Color is typically better with plasma, and viewable from a much wider angle, because every pixel on the screen is emitting light.

With an LCD, there's a white backlight, and the LCDs selectively block different frequencies, based on what they're supposed to be showing.

Plasma pros and cons:

  • Much better viewing angles, because the LCDs pass light best in a narrow cone;
  • Much better color uniformity, as LCDs pass different amounts of different frequencies at different angles, so you will see colors change on the edges of the screen as you move around;
  • Faster response (LCDs take time to twist their pixels into position);
  • Better black levels. LCDs can't block all of the backlight, but plasma cells can drop to very near zero output;
  • Lower total light output, because the individual pixels, even in aggregate, can't emit as much light as the single-purpose backlight in an LCD;
  • Greater power consumption, because all those tiny lights are less efficient than the single-purpose backlight. Older plasmas pull a LOT of power and emit a LOT of heat. Newer plasmas are much better, but they still use more power than an LCD.
  • Potentially a lower service life; plasma cells do dim over time, although it's very slow. LCDs can theoretically have their backlights replaced, but once plasma dims too much, the screen has to be replaced. But this takes a LOT of hours, probably 20+ years if you don't have it on all day, every day. Note, however, that LCDs can yellow over time, especially if they're close to their backlights, so they can wear out, too.

If you have any kind of reasonable light control, plasma is generally the superior technology. It's also usually cheaper, because it doesn't have the same 'wow!' factor in stores, as it doesn't put out as much light. Side by side under intense store fluorescents, LCDs look better, so they sell better, and plasma has to cut prices to compensate.

But actually in your house, assuming you're not putting it in a super-bright room, plasma is the superior solution. This is especially true for gaming, because plasma has almost no lag in its pixel response. And it's cheaper to boot, so you win again.

There is still some potential for burn-in, but if you're even vaguely careful about turning it off when you're not using it, and you don't run the same thing for 8 hours every day, it should be just fine.

In my opinion, the BEST technology for an HDTV is a high-grade CRT, but those aren't made new anymore, and I don't think they ever got much past 32" or so. They had absolutely the best color and black levels, but they were small, and astonishingly heavy, so heavy they were actively dangerous to try to lift on your own.

Barring a direct-view CRT, and assuming some light control, plasma is the next best option, and also happens to be cheaper. LCD with an array of LED backlights is almost as good, and it's brighter, so it's better for rooms with lots of direct sunlight. But it's a lot more expensive. LCD with a single rear backlight has much poorer contrast ratios, but is cheaper, although usually not as cheap as plasma. LCD with edge lighting is the cheapest option, but offers the poorest overall quality.

Potentially a lower service life; plasma cells do dim over time, although it's very slow. LCDs can theoretically have their backlights replaced,

heh

http://hdguru.com/disposable-tvs-viz...

Your point is in theory correct.. I had Sharp and Sony both come out to my home and replace parts (the panel in both cases) in my TV's with extended warranty.. but out of warranty you are basically buying a whole new set... it wont be worth repairing.

Man, if I had a $1900 broken TV that I couldn't get parts for, I'd be pissed.

MannishBoy wrote:
I think at this point, I'd probably go Panasonic GT. Nothing on the VT sounds like stuff I need over the GT, and I think they have the same panels.

I'd really like a bigger screen, but will most likely wait until next summer at this point to get next years models. At least if 3D takes off, they'll have a standard for glasses by then.

I'm not really interested in 3D now, but if next gen consoles use it effectively, it might be nice to have the option anyway.

Basically this. The only reason to get the VT is if you can't live without true 24p framerates for movies--all other Panny plasmas will do a 3:2 pulldown. This is something that bugs me, because if you get any Panny plasma in a PAL territory, they will do 24p natively. That means they are just disabling a feature in NTSC regions to make the VT series more appealing.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Basically this. The only reason to get the VT is if you can't live without true 24p framerates for movies--all other Panny plasmas will do a 3:2 pulldown. This is something that bugs me, because if you get any Panny plasma in a PAL territory, they will do 24p natively. That means they are just disabling a feature in NTSC regions to make the VT series more appealing.

Right, 24p is probably the biggest thing that would matter to me, just not several hundred dollars worth.

Allegedly, the VTs also have better blacks. Could be all marketing, but that's the claim.

The 6500+ Samsungs will do 24p. Not sure if the cheaper ones will, but mine definitely does.

New UHDTV spec formalized

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...

33mpixels up from the current 3mpixels spec.

We are going to need bigger GPU's in our consoles.

Ever since I set eyes on the iPhone 4's screen, my other displays seem horribly pixelated. I can't wait till all screens have pixels too small and densely packed to see. I am much more excited for this than 3D displays.

What is the expert opinion on this TV? Panasonic Plasma 42" 3d

Tagging for later ingestion.

You can favorite stuff now instead of tagging. Seems much a much better system.

I just bought one of these Panasonic 32" LCDs for a kids room as a Christmas present. Seemed reasonably well reviewed for a low price set. Not sure how it is with input lag, which matters for gaming. And with an EPP discount deal at Panasonics site that I get through work, it was very reasonable. Not sure how models vary where you are from here, though.

Panasonic plasmas are excellent. 42 inches @1080p is great for gaming.

If you go LCD, look for models with IPS panels. They are worth the extra money. Input lag will not be a problem with a new set unless you are a 15 year old competitive Starcraft athlete. If you were, though, you would already be rolling on a kick ass 150lb CRT.

MannishBoy wrote:
You can favorite stuff now instead of tagging. Seems much a much better system.

I just bought one of these Panasonic 32" LCDs for a kids room as a Christmas present. Seemed reasonably well reviewed for a low price set. Not sure how it is with input lag, which matters for gaming. And with an EPP discount deal at Panasonics site that I get through work, it was very reasonable. Not sure how models vary where you are from here, though.

I'm going out to look at TVs today. I'll have a look at the Panasonics. Thanks.

heavyfeul wrote:
Panasonic plasmas are excellent. 42 inches @1080p is great for gaming.

If you go LCD, look for models with IPS panels. They are worth the extra money. Input lag will not be a problem with a new set unless you are a 15 year old competitive Starcraft athlete. If you were, though, you would already be rolling on a kick ass 150lb CRT. ;)

This really isnt true. There's a lot of displays out there with horrendous input lag. A buddy of mine has a brand new samsung tv that has over ~50ms of lag with it's "game mode" turned on and even more with it off. Trying to play console games on it is borderline infuriating. Racing games and shooters in particular are just about unplayable.

Truth about the Panasonic plasma sets though. They're excellent.

I does my heart good to return to this thread periodically and see that my selection of a Panasonic plasma was the right choice.

Thin_J wrote:
This really isnt true. There's a lot of displays out there with horrendous input lag. A buddy of mine has a brand new samsung tv that has over ~50ms of lag with it's "game mode" turned on and even more with it off. Trying to play console games on it is borderline infuriating. Racing games and shooters in particular are just about unplayable.

I think a lot of that is how much processing the set is trying to do. Also whatever processing you might have turned in an AVR might hurt you.

BTW, the other genre of games outside of shooters where input lag is very important as I understand it isthe music genre.

Yeah, the music genre is entirely about timing.

Panny plasmas are the way to go, though I don't have one yet. Samsung LCD right now.

Btw, my EPP Panasonic discount doesn't seem to apply to the bigger, higher end plasmas; does yours, Mannish?

MannishBoy wrote:
Also whatever processing you might have turned in an AVR might hurt you.

Yeah I asked him about this. Hes hooked up straight to the TV. His older receiver doesnt have HDMI. And the 240hz smooth motion garbage is turned off.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
Yeah, the music genre is entirely about timing.

Panny plasmas are the way to go, though I don't have one yet. Samsung LCD right now.

Btw, my EPP Panasonic discount doesn't seem to apply to the bigger, higher end plasmas; does yours, Mannish?

Some are just out of stock I think. But I do see the TC-P65VT30 discounted $1300 to $2700 and the TC-P65GT30 discounted by $880 to $2320 (Amazon is $2500, although I'd end up paying more via EPP when factoring tax). Those are the two I'd most likely buy if I were going to right now. But I think I'm going to wait on next year's stuff, even though I really want a bigger main screen.

Which are you looking at specifically?

I'm not really looking at the moment. I don't *need* a new TV, but they're sexy.

I bought mine from Amazon and would totally do it again. I had thought that the EPP prices were no better than Amazon, but the 65" VT30 sounds a lot cheaper through EPP.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
I'm not really looking at the moment. I don't *need* a new TV, but they're sexy.

I bought mine from Amazon and would totally do it again. I had thought that the EPP prices were no better than Amazon, but the 65" VT30 sounds a lot cheaper through EPP.

It varies. Sometimes it's great pricing, sometimes not. The 32 set I got for about $40 less (more than 10% off) the Amazon price even though I had to pay TN sales tax. And I had a good deal on a 42" set that I canceled due to late shipping for Christmas, too, but it was a limited time EPP sale.

So when you get ready to buy, it's worth looking at. But I bought my 46" set awhile back from Amazon because they were cheaper, and was totally happy with that deal as well.

The last couple of years it's seemed that Amazon doesn't get the VT series sets themselves until well into the model year for some reason. Normally they're listing a bunch of 3rd parties selling the sets.

Ok. I'm now the proud owner of a 32 inch LG LCD TV and I've officially entered the high def age.

After trying out Assassin's Rev single player and BF3 multiplayer (and swearing liberally at the beauty of it all) I can detect zero input lag and zero motion blur (there may be some but if I can't see it or sense it I don't care.) Phew! The only problem with reading lots of indepth reviews is that you can come to believe that any TV below £2000 is a piece of junk and I just didn't know how good games would look and play until the TV was here.

Happy Christmas to me.

Edit: I've been going through and looking at all my old games in HD. I may have to go back and play a number of them again they look so fantastic.

Yeah, reading reviews or AVS forums can give you a lot of really valuable information, but they can also blow a lot of really minor issues way out of proportion. Look at the guys who post about having returned a particular model of TV four or five times trying to find one without a minor lighting flaw.

Now, if you really want to see some awesome, hook up your PC and check out some of the games running at high settings on the big screen. Mass Effect 2 floored me when I tried it on my 46" set.

Chaz wrote:
Yeah, reading reviews or AVS forums can give you a lot of really valuable information, but they can also blow a lot of really minor issues way out of proportion. Look at the guys who post about having returned a particular model of TV four or five times trying to find one without a minor lighting flaw.

Now, if you really want to see some awesome, hook up your PC and check out some of the games running at high settings on the big screen. Mass Effect 2 floored me when I tried it on my 46" set.

Thanks.

It's a superb TV. I'm very happy. I seem to be playing better with it, which is a good sign.

I wasn't very happy with the picture at first. Some reviews criticised the contrast and the image did look dull. I fiddled with the different screen settings but couldn't arrive at something I was 100% ok with. I then realised that they had an energy saver screen mode activated that dulled the screen down. When I turned that down to minimal the images were brilliant. Why they'd have that on full whack by default I don't know.

I now feel like all my favourite games of the last few years have been re-released in HD.

Higgledy wrote:
I wasn't very happy with the picture at first. Some reviews criticised the contrast and the image did look dull. I fiddled with the different screen settings but couldn't arrive at something I was 100% ok with. I then realised that they had an energy saver screen mode activated that dulled the screen down. When I turned that down to minimal the images were brilliant. Why they'd have that on full whack by default I don't know.

IME, the energy saver modes are much closer to reality than the "torch mode" TVs used to always ship with that are overly bright with cartoony colors. Most are cranked to 11 to draw your eyes in a store when compared to other TVs, that are also in torch mode.

AVS generally has a thread for most TV models that gives some other people's calibrated settings that will get you in the ballpark to start.

MannishBoy wrote:
Higgledy wrote:
I wasn't very happy with the picture at first. Some reviews criticised the contrast and the image did look dull. I fiddled with the different screen settings but couldn't arrive at something I was 100% ok with. I then realised that they had an energy saver screen mode activated that dulled the screen down. When I turned that down to minimal the images were brilliant. Why they'd have that on full whack by default I don't know.

IME, the energy saver modes are much closer to reality than the "torch mode" TVs used to always ship with that are overly bright with cartoony colors. Most are cranked to 11 to draw your eyes in a store when compared to other TVs, that are also in torch mode.

AVS generally has a thread for most TV models that gives some other people's calibrated settings that will get you in the ballpark to start.

In this case the energy saver mode seemed to darken down all the areas that should have been reasonably bright. I.e. the sky was a dull blue grey rather than sky blue. As I have it now, with normal settings (there is a screen mode called 'vivid' that I think is the 'bright colours! Look at me!' setting for instore) and energy saver on minimum the whites look white and the sky looks blue but nothing is over blown or gawdy.

In the end, set it to what makes you happy