Advice please! PJ/LCD/Plasma???


Standard Member
Basically I'm thinking of getting an all-round tv/pj to watch tv (freeview), play console games (gamecube and probably wii, but defo able to use with 360/ps3 in case mates come round with one) stream stuff from my computer (video streams, some gaming etc).

I reckon itd get quite a lot of use, say 3-5h a day, maybe more.

Now I really cant decide between plasma, lcd, or dlp pj.

Since I'll definately be using a variety of resolutions and a variety of sources what do you suggest is best?

I'm looking at the £800-£1500 region, all 3 formats seem to have various benefits/drawbacks, and I cant decide which!

LCD = worst black colours, worst viewing angle, worst colour reproduction
Plasma = worst resolution (pc-connection!), more expensive than lcd
PJ = unable to easily change angle (for a variety of viewing positons), worried about ambient lighting, noise, needs a screen for optimum performance, and the bulb life (I mean how long until I need to replace it? how expensive are replacements?)

LCD = decent price, decent resolution
Plamsa = better black levels, better colour reproduction that lcd
PJ = think it performs better at differing resolutions than either plasma/lcd, maybe better future-proofing?, able to form a variety of screen sizes

I wasn't sure which forum would get me the most impartial opinions, i think the general consesus is that plasma is better than lcd, but im still not 100% sure, but really how do dlp pj's compare with lcd/plasma's?

p.s. is dlp efinatley better than lcd for pj's?


Axion said:
... p.s. is dlp efinatley better than lcd for pj's?
Yes, generally - though if you are susceptible to seeing rainbows (you'll only know the answer to this if you demo one!), you might shy away from DLP.

But for your first set of q's, you say you want to watch TV - if this is going to be your prime TV and you want to view it in daylight (that is, you do not want to darken the room), a projector is probably not the best option. Clearly, you will only see (near) black, when the room is dark. You do say you are worried about ambient lighting, so you are probably better off with a plasma.


Novice Member
My recommendation would be both. Unless you're only going to be watching in the evening when it's dark, or have the room totally blacked out, a Projector isn't suitable on its own. (not to mention getting through the bulb really quickly)

I've spent over a year now buying different LCDs and Plasmas, and not being happy with them. During that time my last display died, so I ended up buying a small 17" Sony LCD as a temporary display for £300. (MFM-HT75W)

Aside from size, it's been the best LCD I've had (and I've spent up to £2600 on one) and in my opinion, Plasma just isn't very good. (severe "rainbow" issues, and doesn't fare much better in bright light than a projector to start with)

I've just bought a Toshiba MT200 projector for £350 delivered from, and it is incredible for this kind of money. It's DLP, and while I can just see some rainbows, they don't bother me like the Plasma ones did. In the dark, the contrast ratio is phenomenal, and for my uses 480p makes more sense. (on a 720p projector, everything other than my Xbox 360 would have to be upscaled, which looks crap)

So I now use the LCD for daytime viewing, and the Projector at night (well, right now I'm using it whenever I can, but I'll have to cut back as I want the 3000 hours to last me at least 18 months) which is the best of both worlds - LCDs are the best displays you can get for bright rooms, and you can't beat a projector where your screen is measured in feet, not inches. ;)

This setup (minus cables etc) has cost me £650 total, and I guarantee it is better than any single LCD / Plasma you can buy for that price. (or even 4x that from my experience) I've spent £50 on materials for building a proper screen (MDF to be painted with Dulux "Clouded Slate 3" as recommended here, and then having a 3" flok tape border added) and am planning on purchasing a "component buffer" to split the signal from my switcher and send it to both the projector and TV (so I don't have to keep switching) so that adds to the cost, but is well within your budget. Obviously, depending on your room, you might want to go for a bigger/better LCD than I had, but it was only meant to be a temporary solution.


Novice Member
PJ all the way!!!

Have had mine almost a year now and i use it for everything, TV, DVD, PC surfing and gaming, X-Box 360, viewing pictures, the works :)

ok, heres the lowdown from a consistent user....

Plus points: Big picture, whether gaming or watching TV progs/films, it does soooo much more to immerse you than a 40in set ever could.....
The big size also means viewing angles dont make so much difference, you can watch it from most points and still see it properly.....
Small unit, can be hung on the ceiling, put on a stand, hidden inside a cabinet or even another room if you knock a hole through the brickwork.
No screen burn, at least on DLP's......i dont think the LCD's suffer screen burn itself, but i believe they suffer (some models) with problems concerning the panel, i cant remember exactly what it is tho...someone else might know...

Minus points: some PJ's can be a little noisy, altho newer models i understand have stamped on this problem pretty effectively, also they can kick out some heat, bit like a PC does.
DLP's can show rainbows to people, this doesnt mean a great big one stretching across the screen, rather on white or light moments with contrasting black parts of the screen, when the brighter thing moves, sometimes you get this flickering of colour on the bright bit, some people see it very easily, other people dont see it at all.....worth spending 2 hours watching a DLP to be sure....altho modern units suffer much less anyhow...
LCD's can sometimes suffer chicken wire effect, looks like a fine mesh lattice grid has been placed over the picture, modern PJ's dont suffer this very badly tho, especially if you are sitting a respectable distance from the screen.....sit too close and you might see it, altho DLP has a similar thing with pixels being obvious from too close as well, but i'm talking a few feet, once you are a couple metres away you shouldnt notice...
With a DLP PJ for Movies the room needs to be very dark to get the best picture quality, but doesnt have to be pitch black.....i have apple white walls, and can still make out details in dark moments in films such as LOTR, altho it would be better if i had darker walls..heh.....for TV (again with a DLP) you can get away with some light, just not direct or too strong.....for computer use it can be relatively light in the room, again tho no direct sunlight, for gaming use it helps to tone things down a bit more, especially if the game is dark, but something like SF2 on the 360 is fine...heh

I clock up around 5-6 hours a day most days during the week on my PJ, sats and sundays i can clock up anywhere around 12 hours happily......i'm almost done with my first bulb in a year.......ok that'll mean forking out around £250-300 for a new one with my PJ, but i look at it this way, if i bought a LCD or Plasma to use as a TV/Monitor screen, i'd be looking at spending around £1,000 to get a worthwhile one.....well, thats 3 years of bulbs....w00t! big screen goodness all the time!...heh

i do have a 20in normal 4:3 TV in the room off to the side, i dont watch stuff on it as such, its main reason is in case i need to set Sky+ to record something before i go out to work or whatever because i forgot the night before, i wont turn my PJ on just for 5 minutes, its silly and probably not too good for the PJ......oh and in the summer when its very hot, i turn the PJ off around 20 minutes before i go to bed to let the room cool down (my PJ, plus PC, plus my amps make a lot of heat) and might catch 20 mins of news on the telly.....but otherwise i dont use you could pick up a cheapo 17in LCD or something just to use as a monitor device when you dont want to fire up the PJ.....

anyhow, model wise, well, given your budget you could pick up what i have, its 720p HD, altho not badged HD Ready it conforms to the spec with HDCP on the digital input, can be had for around £1,200 or so i think if you hunt around, most places are offering it with a 3 year Gold Warranty which gives you next day onsite replacement...not bad...heh......however it isnt the quietest of PJ's and as i say kicks out a lot of its got a very nice picture, plenty of inputs and certainly seems able to take heavy use abuse......heh

do demo some DLP's tho to make sure on the rainbows thing...

just wondering

Active Member
I can't justify the price of lcd /plasma tv's there waste of money , pretty much as the other poster has said , decent little crt tv set and a nice projector , i've also bought a tosh mt200 from dabs and the more i use it the more i like , great for pc games , dvd's , tv etc and you'll have a massive amount of change left out of your budget , infact you may only really need to spend around 1/4 to 1/2 of your budget and be wellllllll set up for the big screen experince , do the right thing , a home cinema , ain't a home cinema with out a projector , it makes me giggle , when i read the lcd/plasma forum , when they say they can't believe there eyes at the size of there new 42 inch screen :)


Standard Member
hmm interesting stuff.

I've sonsidered one further option - buying a 2nd hand 32" CRT for say £100-£150 and then spending ~£1000 in two years on a great pj/lcd/whatever when the tech has advanced a bit and there are more hd sources to watch!

my thinking is that buying anything less than 1080p is really only a stop-gap solution as I wont be getting SkyHD, and in terms of consoles I'll probably buy a Wii. The only disadvantage is streaming things from my PC - bit anxious about doing that via s-video on say a sony 32" widescreen - but meh!

Admit it - you regret answering now! :p


Novice Member
Axion said:
my thinking is that buying anything less than 1080p is really only a stop-gap solution as I wont be getting SkyHD, and in terms of consoles I'll probably buy a Wii. The only disadvantage is streaming things from my PC - bit anxious about doing that via s-video on say a sony 32" widescreen - but meh!

Admit it - you regret answering now! :p
1080p is only good if you have 1080i/p sources. (so that's really only HD-DVD, BluRay, SkyHD, or a high-end PC for gaming) For anything else, it's not going to do as well.

If you're not getting SkyHD, and the Wii is likely to be your only console, it sounds like the MT200 is the one to go for, as it's 480p native, and leaves you with a ton of cash to spend on another display, a scaler / processor, or on something else. (I'd still recommend a smaller LCD rather than a CRT, as LCDs are the best for bright environments and you'll be using the projector in the dark)

It'll also leave you with money to put away towards a 1080p one if that's what you really want.
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