Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:48 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:I think Viewing angle problems on LCD's are overhyped. I have a Westinghouse 42" LCD, and watch it from the 2nd couch which is >45 degrees off-axis a significant percentage of the time (maybe 30-40%). No noticeable PQ degradation.

Watch it in the dark. You'll see black levels drop off *considerably* just a few degrees out of the sweet spot.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:59 am

IMHO, the biggest decision you have to make isn't on your list of concerns--it's all about buying the appropriate size. Buy too big and you'll get fatigued watching it and constantly feel like you need to push further away from the screen. Buy too small and you won't ever get that theater immersion feeling that you always want to have. The most important thing you can do before buying is take yourself and your family down to the mega mart and check out all the available sizes at the exact same distance from which you will be sitting from that display at home. Take your time and get the size right. Then, don't get suckered into buying bigger or smaller because of a sale that you feel is too good to resist.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:27 pm

In my experience, no matter how big it looks in the store, it will look smaller after some time at home.

The best way to determine screen size needed is to use a handy-dandy calculator, like so:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/view ... lator.html

http://www.htmart.com/pages.php?pageid=16

http://www.calculatorpro.com/tv-screen-size-calculator

I have a 55" screen at about 9 feet, so I could stand to have a larger screen or reduce my seating distance a bit.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:29 pm

I have a Panasonic Viera plasma 50', the near the top model THX certified one (i did not like the next one up the "studio reference"). When I bought 3D for home was not yet out.
I love it, the room I have is mostly dark (basement with 1 small window).
I have had the burn in happen once from it being left on a media player (O!play) start screen for 3 days, the device kept the TV active stopping the auto shut off.
I ran the calibration reset and left it going for a few hours and it was back to normal.
A few hours has not even left a ghost image, so your daughter TIVO may not be an issue.
But make sure all you devices are set to inactivity power offs of up to 2 hours, this covers you well enough and I'd be surprised if the TIVO did not have something hiding in the menu. without having the sources go into a low power mode the TV will likely stay on.

Advice for the buying the TV, go somewhere where you can test the unit, sit and watch it for a while, if possible put your own disc in and not the demo feeds.
Only you (and your family) can decide which looks best to you. Best Buy is terrible for looking at the TVs as they are a big box store and you will never be watching your TV next to 20 to 100 other TVs all at the same time and the lighting is terrible to compare.

You already seem well versed on the lighting issues so I won't bother with them.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:25 pm

Probably add a bias light to the back of the TV as well.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:25 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Probably add a bias light to the back of the TV as well.

Not really needed unless your TV has poor black levels and you'll be watching it in the dark.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:18 pm

I have the panasonic P54G10 plasma. The black level has crept upward, but the uniformity, viewing angles, lack of motion blur, and overall picture and menu quality very much make up for it. The black level is still better than anybody else's TV I've ever seen in person, also, but it isn't perfectly black like I would want if I were to upgrade. FWIW, the only plasma at the time of purchase that had a better black level was the Pioneer Kuro (means black in Japanese).

Uniformity in a dark room is just as important as black level. So many LCD TV's have poor uniformity that creeps out in a dark room on a dark scene.

Also, don't fall for the refresh rate of LCD tvs. They're still limited by the switching polarization of the screen, no matter how often the commands to drive them come out. It is nice to have modes that allow 24, 30, 50, and 60Hz content to be displayed without tricks.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:56 pm

I wonder if any stores would loan you a TV to trial out in your room.

The only real disadvantage I have noticed with my plasma is that it can suffer a bit from glare due to the glass screen, apparently some of the LED TV's suffer less from glare but IMO plasma is superior in most other respects.

It would be pretty good if you could try it out, or get one with a generous return policy so you could switch if you found you weren't happy.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:09 pm

Not all LCDs are created equal. I can spot the difference between a Sharp Quattro and a Vizio from the other side of the Buy More, and it's mostly because of the black levels. It appears to me that the LCD sets with local dimming LED backlight arrays do better with blacks than most.

Image burn-in is what scared me away from plasma. Just one to three months of 24/7 operation pretty much wiped out the plasma screens at work (even with very aggressive screen savers, display rotation, random image offsets, etc.). We get six to ten years of 24/7 operation from LCDs, and it's mostly gradual fading of the fluorescent lamps that causes us to replace them.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:23 pm

Two other facts deserve a little thought:

1) The plasma is likely to be a lot heavier than an LCD (particularly one with LED backlighting). Depending on how you intend to mount or use this, that could be an issue.

2) You don't say whether you have kids and, if so, how old they are. If you have kids, the image retention issue from them watching the same cable channel for hours on end, day after day, could be an issue. No screen saver is going to solve that. The Display Device forums on AVS forums have active discussions as to which LCD's have significant motion lag and which don't.

The fact is that the supporters of both technologies have worked on their weaknesses, however, so I think you'll be fine with either choice. Enjoy!
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:38 pm

I've never heard of plasmas being worse in bright rooms then LCDs, perhaps a DLP or a projector.


The only real downside to plasma over LCDs in my opinion comes down to these two questions:

Do you plan on moving it often?

Do you care how energy efficient it is?

Those are the only questions I'd actually pose as plasmas do gobble a lot of energy and they do weigh quite a bit more then LCDs. Other then that they're pretty much superior in every way, even the long touted 'burn in' has been all but removed (orbiter and newer phosphor). The TV reducing in brightness over time has been as well (newer phosphor).

Only other possible concern is maybe price, but that works in plasmas favor if you buy a bigger screen. Bigger plasmas are cheaper then LED LCDs on average.

I will add in my personal experience plasmas are 'noisier' if you sit around them (the annoying electrical white noise hiss that some electronic devices make). I know if you're sensitive to this sort of noise it can be reallllly annoying, but the advantages outweigh it in my opinion.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:44 pm

Bensam123 wrote:I've never heard of plasmas being worse in bright rooms then LCDs, perhaps a DLP or a projector.
They're generally considered worse because plasmas have highly reflective screens and LCDs generally don't. Glare and all.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:49 pm

Vrock wrote:
Bensam123 wrote:I've never heard of plasmas being worse in bright rooms then LCDs, perhaps a DLP or a projector.
They're generally considered worse because plasmas have highly reflective screens and LCDs generally don't. Glare and all.

That and most LCD's have way more brightness than is needed, so the max brightness on most LCD's is greater than that of most plasma's.

Bensam123 wrote:Do you care how energy efficient it is?

While that might have been true 5+ years ago, there really is no practical difference anymore. Especially when you consider that a properly calibrated TV is set more to the 15-19 foot-lamberts of proper brightness, not torch mode.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:19 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Especially when you consider that a properly calibrated TV is set more to the 15-19 foot-lamberts of proper brightness, not torch mode.
That's assuming people are intending to watch their TV in the dark only as a movie viewer.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:31 pm

Plasmas still consume quite a bit more energy then LCDs, especially LED LCDs. Check out Cnets nifty comparison table, with a nifty calibrated/uncalibrated, as well as a yearly cost.

http://reviews.cnet.com/green-tech/tv-c ... ion-chart/

I think it's sort of a moot point saying LCDs can be insanely bright. To get that sort of brightness all the colors become over saturated or completely washed out and the LCD looks quite funky. Plasmas on higher brightness levels generally don't lose their contrast levels (at least from what I've experienced). As it's the phosphor in the pixels producing the brightness in plasmas, not the backlight in the case of LCDs. Plasmas can produce quite a few lumens as well.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:57 pm

Couple more things:

I could care less about energy costs. After all, the computer runs 24/7/365 and I've got a 13-YO daughter who is allergic to turning lights off. More importantly, I've been reading on avsforum and other places that plasma might not be such a good choice for hockey due to the auto brightness limiting. Any opinions there?
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:00 am

For what it's worth, I've never had a problem watching hockey on my 2007 Panny.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:03 pm

Captain Ned wrote:More importantly, I've been reading on avsforum and other places that plasma might not be such a good choice for hockey due to the auto brightness limiting. Any opinions there?
You don't need a large HDTV to watch hockey. You can do that on a 12" B&W job and get the same effect. :P
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:03 pm

I'm not the person to aska bout color accuracy (color blind) but I can say that viewing angles and burn in have been non issues (reliability OTOH, well, screw Samsung).
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:19 pm

IMHO, it boils down to light room vs dark room. LCDs look great in the daytime, plasma will look better at night. I live in Minnesota (long summer days, long winter nights) and do things outside when it's light out. Plasma FTW in my case.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:09 pm

Finally pulled the trigger and a Panasonic TC-P55VT30 is now on the way. Comcast forced my hand with its impending shutdown of the analog network.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:24 pm

PLASMA GIVES YOU BETTER COLOR AND IMAGE QUALITY FOR THE MONEY THAN ANY OTHER ALTERNATIVE. You can get a 50 inch plasma for under 800 this black friday I'm sure and that will have vivid blacks and amazing contrast with rich color. Only draw back to cheaper plasma is the brightness is not always the best meaning if you are watching your plasma with direct sunlight on it you are more prone to glare. In my experience though a 800 dollar plasma is more than bright enough for direct light exposure and a LCD/LED while better is not immune to the glare either. The better low-light performance of the plasma is worth it.

Word of caution don't get LG plasmas, they simply have a poor finish that is EXTREMELY prone to glare more so than any other TV I've encountered. Its not the brightness but the finish on it, Trust My 60 inch is an LG. My parenst have a 50 inch panasonic that looks stunning in their living room with no notible glare issues.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:45 pm

Well, it's here. It's been on a truck for a few days, so it needs to come up to room temp before I plug it in.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:05 am

Vrock wrote:
VinnyC wrote:LCD and LED panels have been improving significantly over the years, but honestly they are merely attempting to make their screen look like a plasma. Yes, plasmas are hot, thicker, and can suffer from image retention / burn in, but honestly if you want the best and most accurate picture, plasma is the way to go. I've had a plasma for a few years and have played some older games on it that have health bars and what not on the screen for like 8 hours straight and have suffered no damage to the TV whatsoever.
Plasmas have the best blacks, but as far as color accuracy goes, they don't have any advantage. In fact, lots of plasmas out there have some pretty darn terrible color accuracy.



Out of the box many cheaper displays have poor color but the great thing about plasma is how well most of them calibrate but I've had major issue calibrating lesser LED LCD displays, they seem to just always be way to blue, getting them calibrated feels near impossible. My LG plasma was slightly green but only for certain sources, I can fix that.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:16 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:
Vrock wrote:
VinnyC wrote:LCD and LED panels have been improving significantly over the years, but honestly they are merely attempting to make their screen look like a plasma. Yes, plasmas are hot, thicker, and can suffer from image retention / burn in, but honestly if you want the best and most accurate picture, plasma is the way to go. I've had a plasma for a few years and have played some older games on it that have health bars and what not on the screen for like 8 hours straight and have suffered no damage to the TV whatsoever.
Plasmas have the best blacks, but as far as color accuracy goes, they don't have any advantage. In fact, lots of plasmas out there have some pretty darn terrible color accuracy.



Out of the box many cheaper displays have poor color but the great thing about plasma is how well most of them calibrate but I've had major issue calibrating lesser LED LCD displays, they seem to just always be way to blue, getting them calibrated feels near impossible. My LG plasma was slightly green but only for certain sources, I can fix that.

A lot of plasmas have inaccurate greens that can't be fixed with calibration. My personal feeling on this is it is deliberate to sell TVs....people buy these things for football and sports, and for some reason a neon green field is considered eye catching.

Samsung plasmas generally have very accurate color, and most of the higher end Pannys do too with the THX mode.

Also I hear you on the cheap LED LCDs. Personally it bugs me that they are referred to as "LEDs". They're LCD TVs with LED backlighting. We don't refer to regular LCDs as 'CCFLs', after all.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:32 pm

I have a 50" 2007 Panasonic Plasma, cannot remember the model but the THX reference model (only model over it at the time at the local Viera Studio was the Studio Reference)
I have had burn in image once (left my O!Play on and the screen saver did not kick in for nearly a week) I could see a noticeable ghost image.
Then I ran the build in fix for it for about 4 hours, it is a scrolling white bar, after that the ghosting was gone.

Since then I have patched up all devices and made sure the screen savers work :-)

For over all... unless you have a bright room, go plasma and you will not be disappointed.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:46 pm

Vrock wrote:A lot of plasmas have inaccurate greens that can't be fixed with calibration. My personal feeling on this is it is deliberate to sell TVs....people buy these things for football and sports, and for some reason a neon green field is considered eye catching.

Samsung plasmas generally have very accurate color, and most of the higher end Pannys do too with the THX mode.

Well, no neon green football fields so far, and I am using the THX mode. Hockey rinks are also the proper color, which is more important to me.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:03 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Vrock wrote:A lot of plasmas have inaccurate greens that can't be fixed with calibration. My personal feeling on this is it is deliberate to sell TVs....people buy these things for football and sports, and for some reason a neon green field is considered eye catching.

Samsung plasmas generally have very accurate color, and most of the higher end Pannys do too with the THX mode.

Well, no neon green football fields so far, and I am using the THX mode. Hockey rinks are also the proper color, which is more important to me.
That's a good thing. I like the fact that Panny offers such a mode.

My next TV may be a plasma, but it will be a long time. Supposedly they have made faster phosphors, so the flashing/rainbows I see with them should be a thing of the past 5-10 years down the road when I go looking.
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:29 pm

I bought a 42" LED/LCD screen of Amazon over Black Friday. You guys make me doubt my purchase :( It's still shipping. Honestly I'm sure it will be fine, but I had always been under the impression that burn in on Plasmas was still very real and very hard to work around. D:
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Re: Which do I want, Plasma or LED/LCD?

Postposted on Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:24 pm

StuG wrote:I bought a 42" LED/LCD screen of Amazon over Black Friday. You guys make me doubt my purchase :( It's still shipping. Honestly I'm sure it will be fine, but I had always been under the impression that burn in on Plasmas was still very real and very hard to work around. D:

Burn in on plasmas has always been an overblown issue IMO.
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