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tanker27
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The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:51 am

I have a 64" Samsung Pnf8500, the last Plasma that Samsung made. It got very high marks and it was a Plasma and I got it on a Christmas sale. For years I have been babying this thing, No dead Pixels! (Knock on wood) Calibrated perfectly. Its my Precious. LOL We all are aware of the capacitor issues and I've had to replace a bunch so far. I also have had to replace a complete power supply. As the years go by supplies are getting less and less and cost more and more. Last week I encountered the on/off issue which tells me the power supply is going bad. I've been personally rebuilding and switching between three power supplies using parts from Parts-Express and Mouser. This has been fine because I have been sticking to exact part numbers but even then those are getting replaced by newer. The guys at both places have been able to help me move from discontinued parts to newer stuff but it's getting harder and harder as their and mine knowledge lessens. So this weekend I walked into a Mom and Pop TV repair shop looking for parts and much to my surprise the guy had three practically new power supplies for the 8500! (incidentally if you do find one on ebay or some other place they generally run $50-$150) So I offered him $100 bucks for all three, and he accepted. I also told him if he gets anymore especially a mainboard to call me I will gladly buy them.

I feel like Dr. Frankenstein I'll keep breathing new life into this monster until I cannot do it anymore!

As a side note my soldering skills are on point! :P
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:56 am

Alas, if the drive boards on my Panny TC-P55VT30 ever die again, I'm likely out of the plasma business for good. Hopefully she'll last until OLED actually has decent lifespan.
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tanker27
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:22 am

That's probably going to happen with me too and it will be sooner rather than later, sadly. But I keep trying to keep this thing running as I have not been WOW'd by anything out there. OLED is a cool factor but not a must want. Although the G-sync news out have perked my ears.
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The Egg
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:25 am

Never owned one myself, but I recently replaced a couple capacitors on the power board of a 42" LG plasma (which I was given for free) and gave it to a family member in need of a TV. What's with the power boards in plasma TVs being so frequently under-engineered? Any way to beef-up some of the components most likely to go on one of your spare boards before it's needed?
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:50 am

The Egg wrote:
What's with the power boards in plasma TVs being so frequently under-engineered? Any way to beef-up some of the components most likely to go on one of your spare boards before it's needed?

Plasma requires high voltage, and high voltage circuitry is trickier to get right. I suspect that with the demise of CRTs and the retirement of older engineers, the percentage of people working in the consumer electronics field who have high voltage experience has dropped significantly.

The high voltage supply (for the mercury arc projector bulb) on my old Panasonic rear LCD projection had some sort of design defect too. Kept blowing bulbs. Panasonic sent a tech out to replace the high voltage supply and it was fine after that.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Hopefully she'll last until OLED actually has decent lifespan.

OLED is dead.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:38 am

just brew it! wrote:
The Egg wrote:
What's with the power boards in plasma TVs being so frequently under-engineered? Any way to beef-up some of the components most likely to go on one of your spare boards before it's needed?

Plasma requires high voltage, and high voltage circuitry is trickier to get right. I suspect that with the demise of CRTs and the retirement of older engineers, the percentage of people working in the consumer electronics field who have high voltage experience has dropped significantly.

The high voltage supply (for the mercury arc projector bulb) on my old Panasonic rear LCD projection had some sort of design defect too. Kept blowing bulbs. Panasonic sent a tech out to replace the high voltage supply and it was fine after that.


It's not just plasma panels, same goes for LCDs. The moment LED backlights got decent it's crazy fast how every manufacturer ditched CCFLs, their expensive HV inverter drivers and the whole inverter PCB board like AIDS.

Also, it's fascinating to see the drastic reduction in electronic component count and PCB area in TVs now compared to the mid and late 00s.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:40 am

End User wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Hopefully she'll last until OLED actually has decent lifespan.

OLED is dead.


Yeah, a 73" FHD or 36" HD TV is going to sell really well today. With the way 4K has been so over-hyped that's not a commercially viable product.

Still, it is good to see that 0.8mm pitch LED Display Technology is good enough at colour reproduction to be used by a TV manufacturer like Samsung. It just needs another couple of shrinks before it'll make its way out of the sports stadium and advertising board and into the home. I guess with technologies like QDEF and QDCF LED manufacturers can focus on the size and not have to worry as much about colour reproduction.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:47 am

strangerguy wrote:
Also, it's fascinating to see the drastic reduction in electronic component count and PCB area in TVs now compared to the mid and late 00s.

When I was a kid I took apart an old Zenith B&W TV (late '50s or early '60s era design) to scavenge parts. Tube-based. Didn't even have PCBs in it; it was a rat's nest of point-to-point wiring, with the smaller passives (resistors and capacitors) hanging off of terminal strips. No way any sort of automated manufacturing could have been used; every connection was hand-soldered.
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meerkt
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:56 am

Any reason to stick with Plasma now that OLED is mainstream?
It's been a few years now. Any reports to suggest the panel degrades quickly?
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:30 pm

meerkt wrote:
Any reason to stick with Plasma now that OLED is mainstream?
It's been a few years now. Any reports to suggest the panel degrades quickly?


OLED is gonna have its advantages and disadvantages just like any other tech until it gets quite a bit more mature. I still think, at this point, unless you have some weird sentimental attachment to plasma, it's time to go OLED. Of course price is always a factor, but the fact that you can't barely find any plasmas on the market anymore should help people move in the OLED direction.

The newest Panny and LG OLEDs just announced at CES are pretty ridiculously good. I'm sure they'll also still be a few K to get in on the good stuff though.
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tanker27
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:34 pm

DancinJack wrote:
... unless you have some weird sentimental attachment to plasma, it's time to go OLED.


Whatever.....

"from my cold dead hands........"

Again OLEDs haven't WOWd me. If you have a working Plasma that isnt giving you issues there's no reason to jump.
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DancinJack
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:38 pm

I should have qualified my statement, though I thought it was somewhat clear from what I said, in that I don't think people should be buying plasma at this point. If you're getting a "new" TV it shouldn't be plasma in 2018.
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setaG_lliB
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 pm

I remember one reviewer calling the F8500 the OLED of 2013. :) I got mine in the fall of 2013 and it's still going strong. Not a trace of burn-in or uneven screen wear, and the power supply still seems to be OK. The old F8500 handles certain scenes (like a sky full of stars) much better than even the best local dimming LCDs can. The Sony Z9D, with its ~650 backlight zones, still can't do perfect stars in a pitch-dark room.

Hopefully the F8500 will last me another 3 years. I'm hoping that by then Sony and JVC's 4K laser projectors will come down in price.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:50 pm

I miss the plasmas we used to have in all the conference rooms (usually a couple of 50" NEC models) but I don't think OLED is going to be here in time.

As a stop gap for the next decade, take a look at some of the newer VA panels. They claim 3000:1 static contrast, which is way better than the typical IPS panels but what makes them great for plasma lovers like me is the incredibly low black levels. Once you adjust the brigthness down to 100 nits or so (for dark room viewing in comfort) the contrast levels exceed 4000:1 since there is exceedingly low backlight bleed through a decent VA screen.

If it's the fast pixel response you want from plasmas, then you're going to be disappointed with VA televisions. The latest VA monitors have all but solved the dark-transition smeariness of VA but I think most TVs are still languishing in the last-generation when it comes to response times. You'll never notice it on 30Hz broadcasts, nor at 60Hz interlaced broadcasts (does anyone still even do that anymore?) If you're watching TV shows at 60Hz though you're going to be disappointed.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:18 pm

If plasma didn't have flicker I would have liked it as well. That's my main complaint about the tech.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:25 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
As a stop gap for the next decade, take a look at some of the newer VA panels. They claim 3000:1 static contrast, which is way better than the typical IPS panels but what makes them great for plasma lovers like me is the incredibly low black levels. Once you adjust the brigthness down to 100 nits or so (for dark room viewing in comfort) the contrast levels exceed 4000:1 since there is exceedingly low backlight bleed through a decent VA screen.

I think this is why I've been so ga-ga over my recent TV purchase. The blacks on that VA panel are blacker than any blacks I've ever seen on an IPS monitor.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:50 pm

Just how long have you owned that plasma? They lose brightness over time, at some point I'd think it won't be worth maintaining?

My father has a Panasonic plasma in his garage, I think something on the power board went bad on it. Guess I'd better get around to testing and parting the thing out to make some space for him.

derFunkenstein wrote:
I think this is why I've been so ga-ga over my recent TV purchase. The blacks on that VA panel are blacker than any blacks I've ever seen on an IPS monitor.


That's always been one of the + points for VA over IPS though. When local dimming for HDR10 becomes widely adopted I would expect IPS panels will really improve in this area.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:05 pm

My old IPS LCD TV (XBR-55HX929) has excellent blacks thanks to its local dimming backlight.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:22 pm

My Panasonic Plasma is still running strong. Maybe it'll last long enough for microLED to arrive so I can skip OLED
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:22 pm

Given the popular sizes of televisions these days, MicroLED seems the way forwards.

I'd take a 75" 1080p television if it had MicroLEDs for under $1000. Resolution is not even remotely the most important spec once you're sitting 15 feet away, as long as it's adequate enough to be sharp. On the other hand, dirty whites, slow-pixel smearing, backlight bleed, and weird gamma curves - I can spot those from 50 feet or more.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:33 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
I'd take a 75" 1080p television if it had MicroLEDs for under $1000.

2020 called, they said you might have to wait a couple years. Also, they said you should add a pony to that list, as those are available now ;-)
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:58 am

Agreed, still hanging on to my old school Sony WEGA plasma TV. It doesn't even do 1080p, it does 1080i, but after watching countless shows on it, the picture just feels more vibrant and alive. Something of the allure of old school CRTs and seeing the picture crawl a bit. I'm not sure what it is, but I still prefer plasma over LCDs. OLED is also the jumping point for me. If plasma kept up into the 4k generation or SED development continued onward (basically the successor of the CRT), I wouldn't be going OLED. The advantages are too much at this point though to pass up OLEds, whenever they fix the burnouts, probably this year or next I'll be switching.

Personally not a fan of dynamic contrast, so even if they dim the backlight to make the picture 'blacker' it's at the expense of local contrast in the vicinity of the dim and ruining the immersion when you notice the panel dimming off and on. It's all an attempt to throw a blanket or shade over a window during high noon and see how much light leaks through in various places (including the shade itself) or listening to badly normalized audio. It drives me absolutely nuts

I really can't put my finger on it though, I've watched 4k TVs, I own plenty of monitors, high refresh, low IPS, everything in between, and plasma still has me hooked. The picture just feels more alive then watching cold, dead, crisp LCD panels. It's like going and watching a IMAX (with actual 70mm film) or Dolby Laser for the first time. It's a completely different experience.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:15 am

ludi wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
I'd take a 75" 1080p television if it had MicroLEDs for under $1000.

2020 called, they said you might have to wait a couple years. Also, they said you should add a pony to that list, as those are available now ;-)


Nah, low-density displays are way cheaper to produce, and the RGBLED fad these last 18 months ought to be driving down the prices of regular LEDs :P

Think "JumboTron" rather than LCD. Pixel density is attrocious but cost per square meter is exceptionally low.
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tanker27
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:37 am

Kougar wrote:
Just how long have you owned that plasma? They lose brightness over time, at some point I'd think it won't be worth maintaining?


Sure but you're think early gen Plasmas. The very last generation built didnt have this as a drastic issue. It still exists but the slope is not as drastic. I can tell you that I would match my 8500 up against anything out there and you'd probably pick it almost always.

Bensam123 wrote:
I really can't put my finger on it though, I've watched 4k TVs, I own plenty of monitors, high refresh, low IPS, everything in between, and plasma still has me hooked. The picture just feels more alive then watching cold, dead, crisp LCD panels. It's like going and watching a IMAX (with actual 70mm film) or Dolby Laser for the first time. It's a completely different experience.


This^

It's why I put so much effort into keeping it running. At this point I've gotten my monies worth out of it but I cannot let it go without trying. The fixes, soldering caps and such, rebuilding the power boards, replacing power boards are so old hat now that it takes me minutes to do. And because I have a mini-stockpile of power boards that switch is easy. My main concern right now would be the main board. I haven't replaced that but it still looks good so far.

And while I don't have the latest flashy software that most TVs have I am ok with it because I can get all that through a Roku and AppleTV. In fact I daresay that those SMART Tv's with all their flashy software are really DUMB and are hindered by all that bloat.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 am

I must have got a good one. Not a single issue with the same model other than the buzz at certain angles. Any problems and I'm going 4k HDR OLED or QLED.
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:35 am

tanker27 wrote:
I daresay that those SMART Tv's with all their flashy software are really DUMB and are hindered by all that bloat.


Well said. They're getting better but SMART TV intefaces are generally awful still.

My only requirement from a TV is a good 1:1 singnal-to-picture on the screen without any BS postprocessing, interpolation, filtering or scaling.. It's shocking how many modern TV's are still designed with all kinds of post-processing designed primarily for analogue, interlaced, noise-infested OTA broadcasts!
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setaG_lliB
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:10 pm

Bensam123 wrote:
Agreed, still hanging on to my old school Sony WEGA plasma TV. It doesn't even do 1080p, it does 1080i, but after watching countless shows on it, the picture just feels more vibrant and alive. Something of the allure of old school CRTs and seeing the picture crawl a bit.

I thought that only CRTs could be interlaced, and that all flat panels had to be updated progressively. The WEGA appears to be a very early plasma. Were any of the early LCD TVs interlaced as well?
 
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:08 pm

I also tend to use my Roku and Apple TV more than any integrated smart features (we have Samsung and LG TVs in the house), but LG's webOS, particularly the more recent versions, isn't half bad considering.
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Re: The Last Great Plasma!

Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:13 pm

setaG_lliB wrote:
Bensam123 wrote:
Agreed, still hanging on to my old school Sony WEGA plasma TV. It doesn't even do 1080p, it does 1080i, but after watching countless shows on it, the picture just feels more vibrant and alive. Something of the allure of old school CRTs and seeing the picture crawl a bit.

I thought that only CRTs could be interlaced, and that all flat panels had to be updated progressively. The WEGA appears to be a very early plasma. Were any of the early LCD TVs interlaced as well?


Interlace is about the underlying data, not how the picture is refreshed. LCD's and plasmas are both progressively scanned, but if you have cable or dish then your TV is receiving a 1080i signal. 1080p@30fps source media can be converted into 1080i at 60 hertz signal, then displayed on a 1080p TV with the final picture still showing current frame data (hence no loss in quality). This is what cable & dish networks rely on today.

If a 1080i broadcast uses a source that is less than 1080p at 30 FPS then there is going to be image degradation on the final displayed picture. Some networks still prefer 720p source content for whatever reason (wiki says Disney, MLB, and 21st Century Fox), and of course 480i DVDs and other old formats etc.

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