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Television Media

Plasma or LCD? 356

Posted by Cliff
from the apples-or-oranges dept.
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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Plasma or LCD?

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  • LCD (Score:5, Informative)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:50AM (#17385812) Journal
    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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:55AM (#17385842) Homepage Journal
      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mgabrys_sf (951552)
        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.
        • by bsharitt (580506)
          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. This will save you money.

      • Re:LCD (Score:5, Insightful)

        by uradu (10768) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @10:36AM (#17387094)
        > Theatre? Plasma.

        Nah, projector. Cheaper and much larger picture. Not for everyone, but if you're on /. most likely yes.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jackharrer (972403)
          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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday December 28, 2006 @12:37PM (#17388446) Homepage Journal
          Nah, projector.

          Absolutely agree. No box display can give you even a fraction of the quality a well-planned projection installation can. You go from getting a "that's nice" reaction to your media system to dropped jaws.

          There are basically two types of projection systems. One is based on high-temperature, high density LCD panels. The other is based on Texas Instrument's DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology, which places many tiny mirrors on a chip and actually moves them to modulate brightness. Because the mirror can deflect the light entirely off screen, this results in deep, deep blacks. LCDs produce blacks by becoming as opaque as they can, but light still leaks through. Lately, compensating technology in the form of stopping down the lens to aid in darkening the overall projection range in relatively dim scenes has appeared, but this isn't really the same as a system that can actually go from very bright to deep black. Still, LCD projectors look very good, it's just that DLP looks astonishing.

          And of course, you'll pay more for DLP — with the better picture, they do charge a premium and no one really has too much to say about it.

          Prices seem to be settling at about $3000 for a 1080p system in the coming year; they've been about $5000 during $2006 and $10000 during 2005 for 1920 x 1080, though progressive scan is really just now appearing; 1080i was the top a couple years back.

          You can shoot for 720p and really save a huge amount of money, and you still get a fabulous picture. The key here is to find the single largest surface you can dedicate to the projection system and then design around that. My sweetheart and I were looking for a place to remake, so we were looking at old stores, businesses, and so on. We found an 1940's church, and behind the pulpit was a blank wall space that was very close to 16:9 above the chair-rail; to make a long story short, we bought the church, made a home out of it, and we ended up with a display surface that is quite large. Not all projectors will focus on a large surface, so watch out for the spec that tells you how many inches they'll service, in focus. When you see 200 or 300 inches, you know you're good to go.

          If you can't dedicate a wall, then a drop-down screen is just a couple of hundred bucks and you can easily get them in that price range up to 100 inches with remotes that command them to drop down.

          There are downsides. The bulbs for the projector last a few thousand hours, and they dim over time. While life is advertised as 5000 hours or so, you'll probably be thinking about replacing them at closer to about half of that. And they are relatively expensive; typically several hundred dollars. On the other hand, if you put a dime in a jar for every hour you watch, you'll have "bulb money" all ready to go when the time comes. A dime an hour for the best home theater experience I can possibly have isn't too much for me; I don't use it to watch broadcast television more than a couple hours a month. We watch lots of movies and we spend a fair amount of time gaming in hi-def.

          Here is a shot of my system [ideaspike.com] with my sweetheart at the lower left for scale. You can see how close the wall space is to 16:9... we totally lucked out.

          • Re:LCD (Score:4, Informative)

            by iocat (572367) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @01:17PM (#17388974) Homepage Journal
            DLP can cause fleeting rainbow images in whites (not just large white areas -- even tiny whites) that some people find very disconcerting. Some people see them, some don't. But you should check out a DLP image before you purchase. Also, at the consumer level, low-end DLP can be cheaper than low-end LCD.

            I agree projectors are great for home theaters, but I find that they are not great for a wide variety of applications -- for instance, I am sitting in my family room right now, with no blinds pulled, and lots of light in the room, and my HD CRT looks a lot better than my projector would in this situation! (Yes, I said HD CRT. It weights a million pounds, but the picture quality is > than plasma or LCD with my 1080i cable input.)

            • Re:LCD (Score:5, Informative)

              by Technomonics (970384) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @01:38PM (#17389210)
              Further advancements in DLP now replace the single bulb approach with multiple bright LED's. With this new approach, there is no "rainbow effect" and the resulting resolution is now higher than the 1080i standard.

              Here is a blurb about a new model by Samsung: "Samsung must realize those DLP bulbs don't last long enough and cost too much because the new 56-inch HL-S5679W DLP set uses LED lighting. Hey, Samsung, while you're under the hood, why not kill that color wheel too? Oh wait, they did that too with red, green and blue LEDs, which is killer because there's no gold at the end of that rainbow effect. The new tweaks give the HL-S5679W a sweet seven-second startup time and 20,000 hours of little lamp lives. There's no wobulation in this 1080p set, it's full 1920 x 1080 in a progressive format with dual 1080p inputs. Samsung states these will handle 1080p signals, so if it's the real deal, these should be paired up PlayStation 3's, no? Watch for it in April around $4,200."

              So, it would seem the new DLP LED would be perfect to prevent burn-in while providing a incredible picture and resolution. -kevin

              • Re:LCD (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Junta (36770) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:22PM (#17389758)

                Oh wait, they did that too with red, green and blue LEDs, which is killer because there's no gold at the end of that rainbow effect
                The fundamental cause of 'rainbow effect' is not a wheel spinnig around, it's having only one primary on the screen at any given instant in time. The LED array if implemented properly will have the equivalent effect of very high RPM color wheels (which they already are doing). I haven't noticed rainbox effect, but if someone theoretically did notice with high rpm wheels, they might theoretically notice with LED array. I don't know how they time the LED array intervals and by extension what the equivalent RPM/size of a color wheel wold have to be to equal it, but at the end it's the same basic strategy.

                The LEDs definitely have shorter time to full brightness, I hear they enable the sets to do a richer color gamut, and of course are much more longer lasting and less sensitive to power cycles. With LEDs DLPs ought be *the* sets to have if you have longevity in mind. LCD panels theoretically could break down more easily under heat, and I know damn well how easily LCD panels get dead pixels (every flat panel I've had developed at least one screwed up pixel within two years). The heat doesn't apply to flat-panel sets so much, but the dead pixels do. Plasma I hear has been criticized for losing quality over years, as well as burn-in. There have been improvements, but still... You're left with LCoS type systems, CRT, and DLP. DLP and LCoS may benefit equally from LED light instead of lamp. CRT projection has been very solid over the years, but subject to burn in.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by fyngyrz (762201) *

              I agree projectors are great for home theaters, but I find that they are not great for a wide variety of applications -- for instance, I am sitting in my family room right now, with no blinds pulled, and lots of light in the room, and my HD CRT looks a lot better than my projector would in this situation.

              No question about it. When you are sharing the room, that is, it isn't a "home theatre room" but just "a" room with a television in it, projection is not optimum. Projection pretty much requires the r

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Junta (36770)
              Three solutions commonly exist for that.

              One, most single-chip DLP units nowadays have the color wheel spin at such a high velocity as to render the effect impossible to perceive. My color wheel spins about three times as fast as color wheels during the time people complained some could notice the transitioning.

              Second, on more expensive DLP they have multi-chip units, with a chip per color and no wheel. You are back to worrying about convergence, but rainbow effect is impossible.

              Third, newer sets are start
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by trentblase (717954)
              I am very sensitive to the rainbow effect. The other day I was watching my friend's new big screen tv... it was a black and white film. The rainbow effect was getting to me and I asked "is this DLP rear projection?" and he said "no, it's plasma". That's when I realized that plasma has the same problem with rainbow as old-school crt did: namely, it uses phosphors and those phosphors have different decay rates. I would have thought this would be eliminated because plasma doesn't need to SCAN. But apparen
    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mewyn (663989)
        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
      • Re:LCD (Score:5, Informative)

        by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @09:06AM (#17386424) Journal
        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]
        • If you have CNN, Fox, NFL or a certain channel on all the time those logos, scorebars, scrolling bars are gonna burn in also.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by larryj (84367)
          Wow. Someone is selling a DVD that you can download for free. Check out the plasma/lcd forum at htt://www.avsforum.com and download the image for free.

          I recently upgraded my 2 year old Panasonic 42" plasma to a Panasonic 50" plasma. Even though I play lots of console games, I've never seen any sign of burn-in or image retention on either one. I followed the advice posted at avsforum, lowering my brightness and contrast (which matched my Video Essentials calibration results anyway) and just used common s
    • I got the burn... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WeeLad (588414)
      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.
      • 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 actua
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jaymaxSEA (1044192)
      LCD for me. I own a 30" LCD and a 42" plasma, both Philips. The LCD just rocks. It uses less power, runs cooler, and doesn't have glare. With my plasma, when the sun is out, you can't see the screen all that well, whereas with my LCD, it's not a problem. Having said that, however, I still like my plasma, I just think LCDs are better for my needs.
  • Neither (Score:5, Funny)

    by TERdON (862570) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:53AM (#17385826) Homepage
    My old CRT TV from 1983 won't be replaced until it fails!
    • Re:Neither (Score:5, Insightful)

      by VernonNemitz (581327) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @09:16AM (#17386478) Journal
      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].
    • by VGfort (963346)
      Ah... wood grain finish with rounder corners, convex screen, a 13 button knob and a UFH knob, might look into at least a 90s model :p I hear they have RCA jacks now
    • Re:Neither (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bytta (904762) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @12:11PM (#17388062)
      Good plan!

      If the (currently vaporware) SED TV [wikipedia.org] ever gets out it will make plasma and LCD obsolete.

  • I'm cynical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blake182 (619410) * on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:54AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by catwh0re (540371)
      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jbreckman (917963)

        I had a plasma for 4 days.

        On day 3 I watched an inning of baseball. Turned off the TV. Went to the store.

        When I came back I could still see the score. (The red sox were winning). I was very angry.

        The next morning the score was still there.

        I returned the TV on day 4.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thedletterman (926787)
        I bought a Pioneer plasma screen back in 2003 and it took no less than four months before I started getting burn in. I began leaving on a bright grey screen generated by my computer on it (second monitor output, grey desktop w no icons) and it reduced the effect but never wholly eliminated it. After about a year of owning this television, I began experiencing red/blue snow where there was supposed to be black. I literally threw it out, and have been using LCD ever since without complaint. Also, some of the
  • by iainl (136759) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:56AM (#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.
  • by subreality (157447) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:00AM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by iainl (136759)
      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 bo
    • They barely mention in passing one other item in favour of LCD - LCDs draw less power and generate less heat than plasmas.
  • I like my CRTs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by simm1701 (835424) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:00AM (#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.
    • "For price, game performance, creen quality give me a nice 21" - 24" CRT

      I like my CRT's too but LCD's have their benefits, usually they are easier on the eyes the new Samsung Gaming LCD is very good in terms of colors, the Samsung 931c. CRT's have better colors but their screens fade over time and get dirty, right now on my CRT I can see that the inside has gotten a bit of dirt/dust over the years, and this CRT has to be at least 5+ years old.
  • CRT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KlaymenDK (713149) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:06AM (#17385888) Journal
    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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iainl (136759) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:19AM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by xsonofagunx (902794)
        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?
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          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 diffe
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gad_zuki! (70830)
          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.
          • by Miniluv (165290)
            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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Secrity (742221)
          Well, yeah, the glass used in CRTs contains quite a bit of lead.

          My CRT Sony WEGA weighs over 200 pounds and I think that most of the weight is in the face of the CRT. This set requires a special TV stand just to hold the weight and there is NOTHING to hold onto when moving it. The old Sony TVs were rectangular boxes that had carrying handles, the newer ones are odd shaped round cornered blobs with no handles; the only flat parts are the bottom of the cabinet and the face of the CRT.

          It pissed me off when t
      • by KlaymenDK (713149)
        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
    • by myspys (204685) *
      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
      • by KlaymenDK (713149)
        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! :)
    • by Ucklak (755284)
      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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Listen Up (107011)
      I will tell you one reason, because CRT's are unbelievably fucking heavy. My fiancee and I have a 32" HDTV 1080i glass CRT. We just moved half way across the country and had to lift and carry that goddamn heavy HDTV with us. At one point we had to put the HDTV down and ask a neighbor to help us carry it. It was ridiculous to get it home in the first place, it was ridiculous to lift it up a flight of stairs into our living room, and it was ridiculous to have to repeat that exercise two more times when we
  • LCD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by datafr0g (831498) * <datafrog@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:07AM (#17385894) Homepage
    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!
  • by Osty (16825) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:29AM (#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!

    • by mewyn (663989)
      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.
  • Don't trust em (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordVader717 (888547) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:57AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlXtreme (223728) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:00AM (#17386088) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsquare (530038)
      That may be the case, but plasma has a much better picture, which is what counts at the end of the day. LCDs look washed out whereas plasma looks vibrant. Longevity doesn't count for much, in five years HDTVs will have gone down in price so you can get one of those to replace it.
  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:05AM (#17386120) Journal
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jearil (154455)
      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 roo
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tolan-b (230077)
        That's a bit misleading to be honest. Yes that white is your black, but if your actual white is 50 times brighter then your iris will close right down and that white will look a lot blacker. Try turning on your lights on a sunny day. They barely register.

        A lot of home cinema projectors are designed for use in a properly prepared room with next no light, those are probably what your friends have. However if you have a higher lumen projector, especially with a grey screen instead of a white one, then you can
    • by drsquare (530038)
      Projectors are useless in all but pitch black conditions. Maybe you have a very unsociable household but around these parts people don't like to sit in silence in the dark everytime the TV's on.

      Oh and projectors are just great when someone walks in front of the beam. And the picture is washed out.
  • Flat displays (Score:4, Informative)

    by Oryn (136445) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:24AM (#17386190) Homepage
    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 t
    • Good thing you explained what "tairing" was, otherwise I'd have had a hard time recognising it as "tearing"... :)
  • 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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MarkAD88 (971843)
      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 se
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Two words: Viewing angle. The fact that my TV can look like shite if I decided to lay down on the couch pretty well kills any rear-projection technology for me.

      Personally, when I go large screen, it'll be a front-projector in my basement. Who the hell needs 50+" in their livingroom??
  • Save your money. How about a book? You can save even more by frequenting your local library.
  • 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-c [canon.com]

  • my plasma experience (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rylfaeth (138910)
    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 oth
  • by fotbr (855184)
    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.
  • by spudnic (32107) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @10:39AM (#17387120)
    What happened to the promise of a cheap laser TV? Is this still in the works?

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/ 11/0214254 [slashdot.org]
  • 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 lo
  • 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. :-)

  • 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.

    • CRT projection still has the best picture quality in terms of contrast ratio, color accuracy and absolute black level. If you don't mind the downsides in terms of size and fiddling to get convergence right it can be a bargain. The size issue is driving these sets out of the market, so I expect them to disappear in a few years, but there are a lot of good things to say about them.

      Second to CRT in PQ / price is the LCOS (not LCD) projection sets. Sony probably has the best offering followed by JVC. Much bette
    • 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).

      Huh, I should inform Westinghouse that their 47 inch LCD [westinghousedigital.com] doesn't exist, and somehow my TV [westinghousedigital.com] no longer exists.

      I can't say that I've seen pixelation attributable to LCD as much as I've seen artifacting due to compression. Occasionally a bit of smear, but that's roughly unavoidable except in 1080p.

      Not a single dead pixel, either.

  • 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
  • Article [ieee.org]

    In summary, he says 50" is the magic number. If you want a TV >50", buy a projection TV, if you want a TV 50" buy an LCD.

    It is important to note the resolution of any Plasma or LCD you buy. For my money buy the LCD.

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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