40" ... 720p or 1080p? LCD or Plasma?

Discussion in 'What Is The Best TV For You?' started by Qactuar, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    Hi all I am new to the forum, but I'd like to think I will be able to hang about for a wee bit.

    So here's my dilemma.

    I will be buying a ~40" panel in the near future. I don't really have a specific time as to when, and although my budget isn't unlimited, I am able to stretch should I need to, in order to get something really worthwhile. £600-£650 for a TV is what I have in mind.

    Currently, my plan is to buy a Blu Ray player and watch Blu Ray films. To the best of my knowledge, Blu Ray films are all 1080p in resolution. So I need a TV to suit it. The player is far from decided, as I want to find a panel first. (speaking of which, players need to be update proof, right?)

    So I know that 1080p would be nice, but at the same time, I am not going to get hung up on the resolution. 24p, 100Hz and real contrast are a much bigger deal to me. I am a glutton for quality.

    My main uses will be my laptop using an HDMI connection to play back 720p films, SD television through freeview, Nintendo Wii and grabbing a Blu Ray player too, as I anticipate birthdays and xmas gifts being Blu Ray films all over.

    But with a healthy investment, part of me wants to make sure I am future proofing. My plans are to invest in a receiver and add my floor standers in the future, as well as some rears and a centre speaker, to ensure I have a full cinema setup.

    So obviously, all things point to a 40"/42" plasma 720p screen. Yet part of me wonders if aiming for 1080p would be a sensible choice going forwards. Another part of me doesn't understand how a 1024x768 plasma panel works in widescreen format, without looking strange, not to mention the alleged 'burn' that you so often hear about.

    I'm going to head into John Lewis tomorrow to have a look at various panels and see if I can visually see 1080p/720p differences and to see how bad SD TV looks on LCD compared to plasma, but in the meantime, all input is very welcome.

    Sorry for the long post, but I really need some solid and sound advice, so I don't cóck things up.

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    what do you mean by the near future? I ask because the 2009 models will be arriving soon (March-June).


    If you can wait that long, look-out for the Panasonic's Neo-PDP and Neo-LCD as well as the new Sony and Samsung range.
     
  3. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    Well that's the thing. If I can get current decent models at sensible prices in anticipation of newer models, great. Else, if there is something in my price range that is literally on the cusp of arriving, then I will hold on.

    However, I do understand that you can always be in a position of 'waiting a bit longer' and thus never buy anything :) I have no rush, but I'd like to have something by May ideally.
     
  4. Alphathon

    Alphathon
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    Although it depends a bit on how far away you sit, if you are going for a 40" or 42" screen I would definitelly go for 1080p. You say you are a glutton for quality, well, I'd say resolution is probably the most important part to have good quality (along woth contrast ratio and accurate colour reproduction). As far as Blu-rays are concerned, I don't know if they are ALL 1080p, but I do know that not all of them have a 1080p master. That is, when they were converted to a digital video from film, they were converted at a different resolution. Stargate for example is is presented in 1080p, but is actually upscaled 720p. That said, to take full advantage of some films, 1080p is a must. The Dark Knight for example looks absolutelly stunning at 1080p, and as more and more films are produced on Blu-ray, more will benefit from the upped res.

    Technically speaking, SDTV shouldn't look any different between LCD and Plasma. What will effect it is 1) the upscaler within the TV 2) the tuner used and signal strength (for broadcast stuff, doesn't affect DVDs) 3) the panel used. The first two are completelly independent of whether or not it's LCD or plasma and the third will also effect the HD picture quality, so if you get a TV that looks really good for HD stuff, as long as the upscaler is OK you should get a decent SD picture. The same is true of SD and ED inputs such the wii. I'm not saying that SD looks as good on all TVs, just that it is not dependent on being LCD or plasma.

    If you're thinking of it as an investment definitelly go for a 1080p set, as it makes no sense to invest in something to get better quality TV if it's not as good as it could be, especially if you have no fixed budget. At the moment most broadcast HDTV is either 720p or 1080i, but that is likelly to change in the not too distant future. Think how many years we had analogue TV. Then about 10 years ago we got digital TV. Now we have broadcast HDTV up to 1080i. How long do you think it will be before everything is 1080p or even higher? (well I say everything, but obviously not everything will be, as there will still be old repeats broadcast etc which they won't have on file in HD, but you get what I meen, like all currently recorded stuff, sports footage, movies etc.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  5. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    That's usually true, but this time around, it doesn't mean anything tbh


    1. You only have to wait ~2-3 months
    2. Neo-PDP's will offer far superior image quality with half the power consumption compared to today's mainstream PDPs.
    3. Sony and Samsung will be introducing several new features to their range such as standardizing 10bit and 120Hz processing to the semi-mid-range, redesigned (unified) GUI (Samsung) etc...


    IMO, it's better to wait than to be sorry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  6. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    When it comes to motion-captured-videos, it's virtually impossible to maintain perfect accuracy on every frame. In other words, not every pixel is utlized due to various factors (e.g. focus, lens quality, weather, CCD/CMOS/film quality etc...

    The only content that will utilize every pixel of a given res is CGI. So you'll notice improvements on true 1080p games and CGI movies (provided the mastering is done entirely in the digital realm)

    Actually, plasma is superior when displaying SD/ED contents due to the tech and pixel structure (720 and 768p).

    All UK based broadcasting are in 1080i50 (AVC/H.264 TS) and it's not going to change for a very long time, and may remain that way until broadcasting is no more.

    Without going into too much detail, it has to do with two major factors: average screen size and level of compression.


    PS: 1080i25 is actually 1080p25 (if done correctly)
     
  7. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    What are the projected prices for these new panels and do you anticipate current panels (as I see already in limited supply), being slashed as a result?
    What about Pioneer and Panasonic? At present, I believe these two brands are meant to be the 'better' panels for plasma; Are the new features for Sony and Samsung in relation to LCD perchance?

    Again, I am sorry for all the questions, but I need to learn - fast!

    Alphathons post was surprising to be honest, as I was always under the impression that plasma would be the logical choice given my situation. Of course, 1080p would be great, all signs seem to point to "not needed", which is a bit strange for me, considering that 'bigger is better' has always been an important factor over the years.
     
  8. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    Unfortunately, I don't know the pricing of the 2009 rangei. However, Panasonic designed the Neo-PDP tech to be wallet friendly.

    As for the price drop of existing models, that I can't answer due to the current situation. But in the past, the price did drop from March- to July.

    Panasonic has been working on the Neo-PDP tech for the past 10 years or so, and it will be a huge improvement compared to the 2008 range. That's why I'm waiting for it ^-^.

    The new features introduced by Sony and Samsung are just expected improvements. There's nothing truly new. However, the next-gen LCDs are around the corner.

    Don't worry about it. that's why we are here


    Bigger is not always better because it's only a single factor;).


    Anyway, here's the sad truth. All quality plasma panels are now 1080p. In the LCD realm, all quality ones come with MCFI and 1080p as standard.


    So you're stuck with 1080p, but it's not 'bad' to be honest (thanks to 1:1 pixel mapping and advanced scaling).
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  9. alsina

    alsina
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    Just out of curiosity, what part of the Neo-PDP design will give us the improvement in image quality? I understand the lower power consumption etc. but I haven't looked into this enough to understand how the picture quality will be improved significantly?
     
  10. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    A lot to consider. I'm just about to head into town to go in to Richer Sounds and John Lewis and have a look for myself and take some notes of models etc.

    After all - in a similar way to audio equipment being subjective to an individual's ears, visual equipment can also have a similar effect, in that not everyone can see the differences (though I'd like to think I can of course - I can hear subtle differences in audio, so hopefully my eyes work in a similar fashion!).

    As far as I recall, the 1080p plasma screens I've encountered are all fairly pricey compared to their LCD counterparts, which makes me think too hard about it all again!

    There's a lot of factors involved in this. It's almost overwhelming at times, but I'm sure I'll get there. Thanks again for your continuing help.
     
  11. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    Neo-PDP has a new cell structor, which improves charge and discharge times, deeper blacks, motion resolution and better colors.

    I think it's safe to say there'll be some improvements in decay latency of pixels (phosphor trails), IR, posterization and PWM noise as well.


    It also reduces the number of components and heat-output, so there's no need for active-cooling.

    If you'd like, you can find some info here

    Panasonic USA Pressroom

    NeoPDP Technology [Part 1] – Highly efficient luminance technology, the core technology behind the next generation plasma display panel : Cyber Showcase Blog
     
  12. Nielo TM

    Nielo TM
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    Yes, personal taste is a dominating factor in most areas. However, unlike audio, video is not always subject to individuals taste. And most of us do prefer natural image as opposed to flat audio.

    For example, I prefer the image quality on the display to be natural as possible, but when it comes to audio, I prefer slightly crisper highs.



    BTW, don't judge the TVs image quality in store (unless you're educated in the field of display tech).


    ATM, you have two choices:

    1. Get the Sony 40W4000 or the Panasonic TH-42PZ80B
    2. Wait 2-3 months and see if you prefer the new tech


    Good Luck:smashin:
     

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