CRT vs plasma - oops!

Fergusd

Active Member
Hi guys.
I feel like an imposter in this forum, because I've spent the last 3 months looking for a plasma (to get a bigger TV). :suicide:

My 5 year old Sony KV-29X5U is a fantastic telly, but from my viewing distance, it is too small. I was all set on a Panasonic TH-37PE50 or the 42", but after seeing demos at numerous places, I have not yet seen any plasma that gives crisp, bright, smooth and lifelike pictures like my Sony. However, all the demos I've had were in stores where the feed was questionable.

Now this is where I need an honest answer (from the CRT forum!):-
I get excellent freeview reception where I am, but I still I don't know whether a decent plasma screen can produce the superbly vibrant and stable images that I'm used to from my CRT. I was waiting for the new (PX60) Panasonic plasmas, but at around £1600, I may have lost my nerve. :rolleyes:

Please can anyone convince me one way or the other, or will I have to wait for SED to become an affordable alternative?
 
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richarles

Guest
IF picture quality is your main concern then FWIW try a specialist hi-fi shop. ie The sort of place that sells £600 cd players not £60 ones. Most of these places went into home cinema a long time ago and can offer advice and set up that just doesn't exist elsewhere.

I have seen plasma's and lcd's on demo with a freeview feed (admittedly fitted with very good interconnects and mains leads) that I thought were playing DVD's.

Because these places sell to a much smaller audience and on a much lower turnover they can only afford to stock models that they know can sell easily just on the quality they offer, and quality remains long after the price is forgotten

Although these stores cannot match someone like JL for a guarantee beyond the one that comes with the set as standard, the prices are usually very competitive.

The dealer I went to in November only stocked 3 makes and one of those only came in 42". I watched a HD demo and felt I could almost reach in and pick the people and objects up the picture was that good.

One thing to consider is perhaps just go for a screen then in theory all the money is going on picture quality. You can them add your own taste in speakers to get the best of both sound and vision.

I have deliberately not mentioned any brands to leave you with an open mind if you decide to walk through the door.
 

Fergusd

Active Member
richarles said:
I have seen plasma's and lcd's on demo with a freeview feed (admittedly fitted with very good interconnects and mains leads) that I thought were playing DVD's.

That's just what I wanted to hear, thanks.

Now got to convince myself that plasma is a reliable technology.

I did see a slim tube CRT alongside some other CRTs and it had the most awful distortion. Am I right in thinking that a conventional CRT is the only kind of TV which scans the picture directly onto the screen without having to 'decode' or 'digitise' the information first?
 

satinder

Active Member
If you really want a plasma then take a look at the new Pioneer 43" as it has a really good picture & sound. Theres a review of 40-43" flatscreens in this months What Tv & Hi-fi which the pioneer wins.

Sat
 

hamster

Active Member
Fergusd said:
Am I right in thinking that a conventional CRT is the only kind of TV which scans the picture directly onto the screen without having to 'decode' or 'digitise' the information first?

If it's a 100Hz CRT it will still digitise the information.

As for no plasma or LCD as good as CRT...hmmm.

CRT is fantastic at motion, colour saturation, but panel technologies have superior geometry, corner sharpness, and convergence.

There's no such thing as a perfect technology. Buy what pleases you most.
 

sparticus

Active Member
I have a 36" tv in a two bedroom house. I would love to hang a screen on the wall but have yet to see a pic as good, from any panel. I have had a good look round specialist shops running expensive dvd players, and on occassion been very disappointed. In fact a very good mate has a new pioneer 505 and while it is about the best ive seen, it isnt as good as my crt. Although High def screens running HD material blow away everything imho.
cheers
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
mctech said:
In my opinion you will never get an LCD/Plasma to show as good a picture as a CRT

I have to agree with this chap, when I was looking there were none that came close to a CRT being fed a RGB scart from say a Sky or Freeview box, they all looked terrible. Depends how long away HDTV is from normal TV, but I reckon a good few years away. FWIW I also have struggled to see a better plasma/LCD HDMI/DVI picture than what I see from PAL/PS and my 36” CRT, the only thing was last week when I saw a HD DVD-V demo from Sony on a 37” Sony Plasma, quite breathtaking, but that was a DVD demo and I will have to see what Sky and the HDTV freeviews boxes outputs before suggesting them.

At this point and for the next couple of years - CRT to me has the edge.
 

SillySausage

Active Member
I used to say that I would never buy a plasma or RP until the quality came close to my Sony KV32FX60 widescreen CRT.

I've had a plasma for 18 months now ;)

I still play the same DVD occasionally on the CRT and Plasma to give a comparison, and I think that the plasma is easily an equal for the CRT.

However, I have never seen a plasma set up in a shop as good as mine,so maybe this is a good reason behind the general concensuss (sp)
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Show me pretty well any regular production retail CRT set from any maker, and I'll show you a whole raft of things wrong with its picture, none of which will (or can, even) be wrong with a Plasma or LCD.

That's not to say that flat panels are perfect, or even "better" than CRTs, nor vice versa. All technologies, including CRTs, have their shortcomings. Which is "best" depends almost entirely on which shortcomings the buyer/viewer can bear most easily.
 

Fergusd

Active Member
Well, thanks all of you for the wise words.
That has clinched it, and I've decided to try a plasma.

I have just ordered a Panny TH-37PE50ped from H Preston for £799 + £30 delivery. I figure at that price, if it turns out to be a disappointment I'll just put it on fleabay and recoup most of the cash. At least then I will have a better idea of PDP and CRT pros and cons!

I will post my comments on this thread after doing some direct comparisons.
(Arrives later this week) :thumbsup:
 

SillySausage

Active Member
:oops: Now you've done it... Saying your getting a plasma in the CRT forum :D

Seriously though, good luck with the screen. Remember to turn the brightness down to below zero for the first 200 hours.

Happy viewing :)
 

satinder

Active Member
I am a true supporter of CRT tv's but the latest 7th gen. plasmas like the Pioneer (was at Bristol Show) are starting to win me over :eek: .

Sat
 

Hudson

Active Member
I too think the new crop of Plasma sets are very very good and in most cases as good as CRT, my only concern at the moment is price and the number of HD connections, i find most only have one HDMI input and with the price of boxes which give more inputs costing around the £200 or so mark i think i will just stick with my Panny 36PL32 for a while longer, at least until HD broadcasts are actually with us (Not just on SKY), or until HDDVD or Blueray come out on top of the soon to be format war.
 
S

steventucker

Guest
It depends, if you want 32" or less you'll NEVER beat a crt for standard def. However, when hd is available you cant have it! If you want the option of hd then the best flat screen for you is the sharp p50 range or upcoming p70 range. Best lcd that compares with crt but still gives you the option of hd. Excellent too for dvd and hd (like most lcds). Still wont beat a crt for sd pq. If you watch a lot of sports such as football you may want to test first and decide if any motion smearing is visible for fast camera pans. Some advice, stay clear of Sony lcd.

If you would like a good pq for sd and plan to go hd then:

If you are sitting 3m - 3.5m from the tele you'll be happy with a 37" panasonic plasma (pv500) - I have one and really regard the pq as better than my old jvc 36" crt (it was rubbish btw!) on all formats sd, dvd, hd. I wouldnt swap it for the world.

If you are sitting well over 3.5m from the tele you may be happy with a 42 or 43" panasonic or pioneer plasma
 
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steventucker

Guest
Fergusd are you aware that plasma will not be able to display hd correctly? It does not have a hdcp compliant hdmi socket and therefore is not hd ready. you could be limiting yourself. albiet a fantastic plasma for normal telly.
 

mctech

Active Member
There are allot of comments on how good a plasma tv picture can be.I think they have a slight edge on lcd when new.
The problem with plasma is they dim through time.The extent of this is obviously down to the quality of the set nevertheless i have saw considerable wear after only a few years.
I had one in my workshop for repair where the customer had used letterbox mode from new.When i used full screen and there was a light picture on you could see a huge differance between where the black areas had been(Much brighter).

Obviously you dont have geometry problems with plasma but the wear factor has to come into things as well.
 

per-Sony-fied

Active Member
mctech said:
The problem with plasma is they dim through time.

This problem also is inherent in CRT. Maybe not to the same degree as you speak in time interval but I do think that is unusual.
 

gIzzE

Distinguished Member
mctech said:
In my opinion you will never get an LCD/Plasma to show as good a picture as a CRT


Rubbish!!

However I do agree that 99% of digital displays are next to useless.

The only flat panel I would live with is the Panny commerical screens, these outclass even the best CRTs I have owned from Philips, Sony, Toshiba, B&O and Loewe by quite a long way, and they are 50% bigger.

Also a Panny screen takes 60,000 hours to get to half brightness, they now last longer than a CRT.
 

Fergusd

Active Member
OK, it's arrived and here are my initial observations. I,ve only watched a little freeview so far, and not yet tried DVD through component, so just some first impressions of the Panny TH37PE50 compared to my Sony KV29X5.

There is a slight startup delay (about 3 seconds slower than the CRT).
Very pleasantly surprised with the superb contrast and brightness (although it's gonna be a nuisance keeping these set to low for a couple of hundred hours).
Geometry is great, ample colour saturation, no lipsync issues, no noticeable pixellation.
Compared to the Sony, it is better in terms of haloing and there is no flicker.
The size of this telly allows comfortable viewing from around 5 to 25 feet (without screen door effect).
As far as I have noticed so far, the PQ IMHO really is more or less on a par with the Sony bar a couple of points:- dark areas in the picture have an inferior level of detail, and more distractingly, I have noticed slight movement in areas of the picture which should be still, when there is motion elsewhere on the screen (don't know what the term is for this).

As I said, these are first impressions, and I will report back with further comments when I've had time to watch more variety of programmes. I am really excited about the prospect of F1 Grands Prix (good motion test) and the Planet Earth series (good resolution test).

Just a couple of comments:-

Mctech, this model has seven different aspect settings, so if used sensibly should not suffer from the problem you mentioned, and in any case the later plasmas seem less prone to these issues. OK, maybe in five years time the screen will be a bit dimmer, but the same applies to a CRT, and anyway by then the technology will have moved on again.

Steventucker, I know this model has no HDMI. Personally, I have no desire to pay Sky extortionate sums for their service, nor did I want to pay double the dosh for a TV with HDMI. Most folks seem to reckon there isn't going to be any worthwhile HD content from the Beeb for years yet, and by then I will be able to buy a better spec HD ready TV with the £800 I have saved. IMHO, too many ppl are too obsessed with resolution. I know my plasma is 852x480 res, but I bet you couldn't spot the difference with an SD feed (actually it may even have better PQ than an HD set). If I do want to watch an HD source, I can still watch it via component on this plasma (maybe dependant on copywright protection).

All in all, I'm delighted with this TV so far. Yes, I have noticed some slight PQ issues, and I will try to post honestly with regard to this when I have had time to experiment/digest, but I really am surprised to be giving it a big :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Phew, how long-winded was that?
 

per-Sony-fied

Active Member
Fergusd said:
There is a slight startup delay (about 3 seconds slower than the CRT)......

As far as I have noticed so far, the PQ IMHO really is more or less on a par with the Sony bar a couple of points:- dark areas in the picture have an inferior level of detail,

Firstly congrats on buying a Plasma and trusting your instincts. I myself think they are next best bet to CRT and don't look ashamed in the process.

Start up delays are quite common place now so nothing I would worry about here.

The dark areas on Panasonics are something I think you need to get used to for advantages in other areas, like great black level and less glare. Even Panny CRT's of recent years have had this rather annoying phenomenon. Sony/Philip's set's certainly win the day in these areas.
 

gIzzE

Distinguished Member
mctech, sorry the Rubbish was regarding the picture quality being worse on a plasma than on a CRT.

My comment on the life was based on the following, a Panasonic plasma has 60,000 hours to half brightness.
So if you watch everyday from say 7pm till midnight that is just over 10 years of viewing, in reality I bet most people rack up 2000 hours a year, it feels like I leave mine on all the time and I checked the other day and after 6 months it has done 1100 hours. Say I keep it for 30,000 hours of use, that is 13 years of my watching, and I bet a CRT would either be playing up or looking worse after 13 years.
I am just saying it really is a non isssue.


Fergusd, do the following.

Put a film channel on with black borders.
Put your screen to Cinema mode.
Put colour to around 45%
Contrast to around 45%
Sharpness at +1 or +2 (or 10/20% if it is a percentage, can't remeber)

Now to set the black level do the following, stand next to the screen and look at the black borders, you can probably see noise or lit green pixels in there at factory default setting. Adjust the brightness down until the black bars are rock solid and they don't go any darker, this is as black as the screen will go, and with the Panny should be very dark, and it should stop the annoying movement in darker areas.
 
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Philpow

Guest
I have just joined this forum as I too have been looking at replacing my dead Philips 28inch widescreen I have come to the decision that there is no such thing as agood plasma screen and it would seem Sony agree as they have ceased manufacture of them as for LCD they are marginaly better but none of them can produce a picture that is as good as good old crt not withstanding the hidef loops they show you in Currys etc just imagine what hidef looks like on a real telly and they are half the price!!:thumbsdow
 

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