Advice on RP vs. LCD and Plasma

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by bobcats, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. bobcats

    bobcats
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    I`m doing research for a future investment in a big tv.
    Popular reasoning is the best picture is provide by a CRT but I want a TV at least 42" and could go up to 50" and CRTs are not this big.
    I was going down the LCD/Plasma route then came across a few bits of info about Rear Projection and they seem to be far better machines than a few years ago.
    Has anybody on here got a modern ( no more than a 2 years old ) rear projection screen and if so what are your comments on it? ie comparison to LCD/Plasma in SD, I will not be getting HD signalling..
    I will watch football and put my PC through for gaming `Rome Total War` and a flight sim `Falcon 4`which can really put a tv through its paces.
    Maintenance costs, have seen bulb changing can be costly and frequent..
    Many thanks in advance..
     
  2. mart.stokes

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    I am biased, I had a 50" RP Pioneer for 8 years prior to my 55A2000. If I were God, I would make the real world look like an LCD or Plasma television, it's a great effect. The downside is I still don't think they look as "real" as RP. This is a complete personal opinion, the "downsides" of RP seem to suit my eyes better, everything seems to blend nicely.

    I agree totally with NicholasB in one respect, LCDs and Plasmas were invented becuase they are "flat". Would Plasma be a TV technology if it were three foot deep? Of course not, they started with flat and then started to work on the quality of picture (and there is no doubt LCD and Plasma are getting better all of the time).

    Bang for your bucks? You just can't seem to beat the 55A2000 at the moment.

    Anyway, I am going off track and not answering your question. LCD and Plasma have advantages with games because they have no overscan, 100% of the screen is shown. RP tends to have a bit of overscan (somebody said 2.5% on the 55A2000). However, LCD tends to have a few problems with fast movement and Plasma can suffer from screen burn on static images (and that includes static parts of a games picture, such as scores, dashboards etc.). I can confirm that screen burn is still an issue with Plasma by directing people to the TV section of Tescos in Telford, it is obvious which are Plasma displays because many (not all) of them have the outline of a Sky information box burnt-in to them (I presume this is when the service goes down overnight) which can be read on single colour backgrounds (such as an area of grass).

    In terms of SD, I find the picture on my set fine, but it needs fine tuning for each feed. It looks a tad more "processed" than my old Pioneer, but I think my Pioneer hid a multitude of sins, being an analogue 50Hz model using CRT projection tube technology.

    It's personal choice, no technology is perfect (not even CRT). I just think that the downsides of RP suit me better than other forms of technology.
     
  3. XasharK

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    I also have the sony 55A2000, about 2 mths now and it is a superb tv. I had a tosh RP before that but this is much better The Tech has definately moved on.

    As regards to Pc gaming I have mine hooked up to my laptop, DVI to HDMI, The overscan Is barely noticable whilst playing Games, whilst on desktop you can still see your icons (just the very edge missing) and the taskbar, but seeing your games on this tv is jaw dropping.
     
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I think it's probably fair to say that the very best picture quality these days (assuming front-projection is not an option) will come from the high-end Pioneer and Panasonic plasma screens. However, the gap between their picture and that of a good 55A2000 is not nearly as large as you might imagine, and you have to remember that they cost literally four or five times what the 55A2000 costs.

    Cheaper plasmas are left standing by the best RP sets, not least because of the reduced resolution. (Something like Lost looks simply stunning on a full 1080-line HD display). Conventional LCD panels have been improving by leaps and bounds in the past couple of years, but (IMO) they're still inferior to the best RP sets (in absolute terms, not just price/performance).

    I should also say that lumping all rear-projection TVs into a single category is not a good idea. CRT, DLP, single-LCD, 3-LCD and LCOS devices all have quite different characteristics (benefits and downsides).

    Ultimately the choice will depend on which issues bother you and which ones don't. For example:

    - If you must have a TV less than 6 inches thick, then clearly RP is not an option.

    - Plasma is a poor choice for gaming because of the screen-burn issue.

    - Regular LCD (and cheaper plasmas) suffer from poor black levels.

    - Some LCD panels suffer from poor response times, which can lead to ghosting or smearing of rapidly moving images.

    - RP sets have narrower viewing angles than flat-panels, especially in the vertical direction, so if your eyes are going to be much higher or lower than the centre of the screen, RP is probably not a good choice.

    - RP sets also usually suffer from "silk screen effect" to a degree - looks as if you're viewing the picture through a sheet of frosted glass.

    - RP sets based on DLP technology suffer from "rainbows" and can cause eye-strain in susceptible people.

    - Multi-chip/multi-panel RP devices can suffer from convergence problems.

    - Picture geometry will never quite be perfect on RP (although it will be better than CRT).

    - LCOS-based RPTvs (including Sony SXRD and JVC DiLA) sometimes have colour-uniformity issues.

    And so on. All in all you're probably better off looking at individual models rather than trying to draw conclusions about "flat panel vs RP technology". Look at some of the better devices in each category (if you can find any that are set up properly - that can be quite a challenge, sadly) and see how you like them: what you think looks the best may not be the same as what anyone thinks is best.

    Oh, and on the subject of bulbs/lamps, if we take the 55A2000 as an example, the typical lamp-life is 8000 hours. That's 4 hours a day for nearly five and a half years. I wouldn't describe that as "frequent" bulb changing.
     
  5. AVdavid

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    If you don't suffer from Rainbow effect, the picture quality from RP DLP TV is stunning, I saw my first RP DLP at the Bristol show a few years back a Sim 2 model and thought the PQ was far better then Plasmas at the time, things have caught up a bit now but they still represent very good value for money

    Dave
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    In Britain, of course, there are no DLP rear pro sets that have a resolution higher than 720p, but there are other technologies (including other rear pro technologies) that give 1080p resolution. (DLP tech is much better if you live in america!)
     

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