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I bought a Plasma instead

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by wiseman, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. wiseman

    wiseman
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    Well at the end of a month of looking at LCDs I have finally bought a plasma.

    This is my story.

    I mostly watch homechoice (close enough to freeview) with the occasional DVD. I don't play games.

    Originally I decided to get the Samsung 32in. Was a good choice but a) I was scared off by the review that said that it displayed HD great but regular TV was below average. Plus the fact that after waiting for 10 days dabs still didn't have any stock.

    So I decided to plump for the Sharp P50. As I don't think I will use HD I figured the resolution wasn't important. I still think that is right, but right now the P50 costs more than other regular HD resolution panels. Forget that.

    So meanwhile in every shop I have been to I thought the plasma's usually looked a lot better. Sometimes with DVDs LCDs did look as good as, but for most content Plasmas seem brighter with better colours. For regular TV and even DVDs I don't notice the resolution being lower at all. And I was really tempted by a 37in screen, so that sealed it. 37in Viera from Ebuyer for 1200. Sweet.

    Got delivered this week. I can't believe how great it is. I'm a little bit wary that I've bought a 'old' technology. But I definitely think I made the best choice.

    Anyway, that's my story. Hope it helps someone.

    :thumbsup:
     
  2. scrapbook

    scrapbook
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    Interesting post Wiseman, if you are not interested in HD then I wouldn't say it was old technology.

    What precautions are you taking against screenburn out of interest and how are you finding the picture with sky/cable etc etc?
     
  3. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    And if you are interested in HD, I wouldn't say it's old. I have both LCD and Plasma. For me, LCDs are good for the smaller sizes, and Plasmas better for larger sizes.
     
  4. wiseman

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    I think modern plasmas don't have a screenburn problem. I have heard Hitatchi's are still a bit vulnerable, but the Panny should be fine. The first hundred hours I have the contrast and brightness turned down, avoid one channel and avoid 4:3 with black bars on the side. After that it should be OK.

    Picture with freeview and homechoice is great. Good shows on BBC1 look superb crystal clear and beautiful colour. It really looks like a window into the next room, sometimes I'm just sitting there with my mouth open. Some of the low bit rate channels can be a bit blocky, but I don't think you can do anything about that. Sport is superb.

    Thanks for all the advice I've appreciated it all.
     
  5. Tomdale

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    I bought a LC26GA5E (Sharp). I opted for this as it was only £580, has a good PQ and excellent sound. The picture is far better than my 2 year JVC widescreen which was reasonably good for a 50hz set. I only watch TV for about 1 - 1.5 hrs per day.

    I have ntl - I will not be getting SKY at my present house as it is not suitable. NTL will prob not be introducing HD until SKY has had a successful period; lets say about 2009 then. I also would not be keen on paying extra for HD - if it makes much difference on a 26" screen.

    I will also be buying the xbox 360 and this Sharp can display it via component.

    As the original post suggests, not everybody is desperate for HD (although if it will cost no extra then .....)
     
  6. cebured

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    Im pretty much in the same situation. My 32" CRT has packed up (tube) & is still under warranty from J Lewis- they have credited me the full £900 I paid 4 years ago towards a new set.
    I love the Panasonic 37" Plasma they have at £1495 - plus you get a free Panasonic DVD recorder with it & 5 year warranty.
    But its not HD ready- wheras the Sony 32" LCD at £1395 is. Trouble is I watch loads of sport on Sky (especially footie) & Ive spent about4 hours now in the shop looking at the quality o thr 32" LCDs with footy. Just doesnt look good at all- lots of smearing on all models & Im not sure that the advent of HD TV will counter that. Wheras the Plasma is great.
    So Im tempted to go for the plasma- certainly since when BBC bring on HD around 2010 my Plasma may well be ready for an upgrade shortly after that anyway. Any thoughts?
     
  7. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Well, more power to you. As long as you're happy with it. :)

    I could never go plasma though. For starters, burn-in is still a big problem, but "image retention" is still awful. It's basically "temporary" burn-in that will go away after hours/days/weeks/months of watching something else, depending on how serious it is.

    The panels are really weird resolutions, meaning that everything is scaled right, and I've never seen one do well for PC input. (at least the "cheaper" models like this that aren't 1280x720 or higher) But then again you'd never use them for PC input as you'd kill your display with burn-in.

    Panasonic says you need to keep contrast below 50% for your first 1000 hours, and that you have to stretch/zoom everything to fill the screen, as black bars will cause burn-in. (or darker areas left onscreen) I'm a gamer too, and they say to use 10% or less of your time with the set for games, which means that plasma is useless for someone like myself.

    Then there's grain in dark areas, banding, shorter lifetime, glass panels so you get a lot of glare, and colour trails on fast moving, high-contrast scenes.

    If you got it from Ebuyer for £1200 I'm guessing it's the old model which isn't HD ready either, so you're screwed when high-def stuff comes out over here at the end of the year, or HD-DVD / Blu-Ray stuff early next-year.

    While the panels look a lot more colourful/bright in the store; you can't leave them that way, and that's never a good way to judge a set, and you might find that the LCD looks better when it's properly calibrated. (I personally think they do)
     
  8. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I've had my plasma for over a year, and haven't had any of these issues.

    I've no idea what you're talking about.
    You choose whether or not you want to zoom or have black bars on any widescreen tv. This will reduce as more is broadcast in widescreen. And who is this 'they'? You can use it plenty for games. You wouldn't want to only ever play 1 game on a screen, where that game had some fixed graphics, but it's not like many of us would want to.

    I don't get colour trails. I get a better picture on fast moving scenes than on any lcd I've seen so far (admittedly, not seen the best new lcds). I'm not sure if you're just basing all these opinions on some bad experience, or what, but you're applying it to all plasmas, and it's not accurate.

    Well I agree with you there.
     
  9. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Well that's great for you, but I could never buy a display like that and have to worry about it. I have seen plenty of ruined plasmas, even the newer models. My friends' Sony plasma had the HUD from an Xbox game "burned" into his set for over four months before it disappeared.

    The other thing is that turning the set off makes no difference to burn-in/retention. If you watch 4:3 content for 24 hours solid (for example) it's exactly the same as watching 4:3 content, without anything else in-between, 2 hours a day for 12 days.

    Slight "typo." I had started to write something else, change it, and forgot to take out "right." Loads of plasma panels are resolutions like 1024x768, for example. Which is a 4:3 ratio, but it's a widescreen display. Apparently they use rectangular pixels, but you're then losing horizontal resolution from 720p content (1280x720) as it would have to be compressed horizontally, and then "stretched" out with the pixels being rectangular.

    "They" is Panasonic. Yes you can choose, but Panasonic strongly recommend you view everything fullscreen/zoomed to avoid burn-in. If you watch a lot of 4:3 content, for example, you'll then have darker areas on the sides if you watch something in Widescreen.

    Virtually every game has fixed graphics onscreen for health meters, crosshairs etc, which is why Panasonic recommend less than 10% of your usage to be gaming, with the rest being full screen video.

    Here's an example of the problem which exists on all Plasmas.

    http://home.eng.iastate.edu/~robw/sincity_clip.avi
    (look for the yellow / blue flashes)

    I believe this clip was taken on the latest 37" Panasonic set.
     
  10. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    When I first had my plasma, I used to check there wasn't any burn after playing xbox for a bit, but now I don't bother. I don't know if your friends problem was because of the model, or maybe he took no precautions (contrast too high, or playing a game way too long). For example, if I've been playing for a while, when I go to get a drink, I'll pop it onto sky, then carry on as usual.

    I didn't know that.

    It wouldn't have to be compressed and then stretched. It would depend on the processor. If it's not pixel mapping, it may just take the overall picture, and map it to the screens res (not compressing it). Sure the pixels may not be square, but that's irrelevant. And that comment isn't about plasmas anyway, it's about plasmas with 1024x768 res. Mine (just an example) is 1280x768, and the picture is pixel mapped 1:1.

    I don't know if it's necessary to follow their recommendation, but it's obviously easier for them to be over cautious, and not face returns. Some plasmas will oscilate the picture (you wouldn't notice) to prevent burn in.

    True about the fixed graphics, but that recommendation doesn't make sense (too simplistic). Changing from 1 game to another would be as good as changing from 1 game to sky, since the fixed graphic would move.

    That looks nasty - how can I get it to happen on my plasma? I've never seen it.
     
  11. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    He had contrast etc at reasonable levels, he just stuck to the one game for a while.

    The higher end ones like yours have 1280x720, so it's a non-issue for you. On the lower end panels which are usually 1024x768, the image is compressed horizontally to fit. This is a 4:3 ratio, but because the pixels are rectangular, the image is then "stretched" back to a 16:9 ratio.

    My friends' sony uses a screen "orbit" mode, and while it helps for short-term usage, it effectively spreads out the burn-in over a bigger area.

    I wouldn't go beyond the manufacturer's recommendations.

    True enough, but what if you get a game you really like and want to dedicate all your "tv time" to? That'll wreck your plasma, and it's somethink I would do if something great comes along...

    Happens primarily on high contrast scenes that are fast-moving, but isn't limited to it. It's just to do with the way plasmas work. I'm guessing it's like DLP "rainbows" where many people just can't see it. (easier to spot in a small vid like that)

    LCDs are far from perfect too, but are the better option, in my opinion. (for sets under 50" at least)
     
  12. Lionheart

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    Heres all you need to do for the first 200hrs.... contrast and brightness below 50%, take the panny out of Dynamic mode (forever is best) and keep the screen free of anything static for to long ( black bars, logos, computer game health bars etc)...after the 200hrs is up you can use your Plasma just like anyother TV...its just down to common sence really
     
  13. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    It's 1000 hours, and Panasonic still recommends keeping contrast below 50% and sticking to the same guidelines.
     
  14. Lionheart

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    Hmmm a thousand hours hey...gotta be a good year of reasonable viewing...well whatever floats your boat...I did say that this is common sence....my post is purely a guide based on my experience with my 42pv500 which ive had for a few months as well as others in the Plasma forums....but at the end of the day its up to owners to do what they think is best...maybe they should avoid logos and black bars for a year to....you can never be to safe :smashin:
     
  15. chriszzzzzz

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    I use the Samsung Le32R51 for daily TV and the picture is tremendous. I can't understand all the negative stuff about daily TV from freeview etc on LCD being poor.
    Everyone thats visited has said the same. At least two who viewed it have oredred one for themselves to use as the daily TV...
     
  16. Triggaaar

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    This is not correct (certainly not in all circumstances. The shape of the pixels really does not matter. I understand that 1024x768 is a 4:3 ratio, but not all video processors (whether inbuilt, or separate) compress the image (we'll just have to disagree until proof is provided).

    If lots of people on this forum had 1 particular screen for years, and all said that X worked, I'd go with them rather than the manufacturer. For example, the manufacturer of my car only recommends shell semi-synthetic oil for my engine. This simply isn't as good as some fully synthetic oil, so I prefer to follow expert advice.

    If you only have 1 screen for your games, and you really play that much, then a 42" plasma is probably not right for you, so I'd agree there.

    I haven't been looking to buy a screen that large since I bought mine, so things may have changed, but a quick glace suggests to me that at 42", you'd still be better going for plasma. Maybe we just have to disagree again. Have you seen a Pioneer MXE pixel mapped with an HDP processor?
     
  17. andrewfee

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    It has to be correct - how else do you display 1280 pixels in 1024? The only other way would be to crop the image, but then everything would just look like a stretched 4:3 image.

    I'm really not trying to say LCD is better than Plasma, just that for me there are too many reasons that I personally wouldn't go with one. Being a gamer means that plasma isn't even under consideration, but even if I wasn't I would hate to buy a set where there's even a chance of burn-in from normal use.

    EDIT: I've just been browsing some AV sites, not looking to find problems with plasmas etc, and came across this one. Apparently dark objects on a light background can cause the "banding" that you used to get on crap CRTs. Apparently this is another one that happens on most/all plasmas, but the quality of the screen determines to what extent it's visible.

    It's completely independent of brightness/contrast settings. This is from the latest 50" Panny:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. scrapbook

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    Although this review disagrees with that in a real life environment

    While several manufacturers claim to have almost caught Panasonic in black level production and contrast, the Panasonic models continue to display the deepest blacks and smoothest gray scaling that I have seen. While viewing the anamorphic widescreen 2.40:1 DVD release of Fight Club—a dark film by anyone's description—I was able to discern sufficient definition in the dark detailing of fight scenes, clothing, and distanced objects. The proof that the Panasonic plasma could handle gray scales with no false contouring (banding effects in dark gradations) was also evidenced in the DVD release of Scorcese's Raging Bull. As De Niro pummeled opponents relentlessly, I was amazed that even with this black and white DVD release there were zero banding/ false contouring effects evident. It is not even a consideration any more with Panasonic's plasma TV offerings. This accomplishment is very difficult for most plasma TVs. The picture from the Panasonic plasma always deliver the most realistic colors, in part because these units do not get offensively warm with the reds as do so many other models. Gray scaling is drastically improved on this new model—with the most even dark level variations witnessed and monitored by my Philips color analyzer.
     
  19. jonbd

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    I've never found burn in to be a problem on my cheapo techwood 42" plasma, and I accidentally left my PC on with and Internet Explorer page showing for 8 hours! There was a residual image, for all of 2 minutes! Same with games on PC (running at 1280x720, scaled down to the 848x480 of the screen) and XBOX, played games for hours and no burn in or residual image. It works really well as a PC screen too, perfectly readable from 8 feet away. I guess it must be how you set up your plasma that determines whether you get the problems mentioned here, but i've certainly never seen any.
     
  20. andrewfee

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    False contouring is a totally different issue, and can affect plasmas or LCDs. (but shouldn't be there on the latest generation of either)

    I don't think banding is the proper term for the issue above, I'm not sure what is though.
     
  21. chowells

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    How does this help? I can understand the need with a mechanical device like a car engine, but a plasma TV is an electronic device and I don't really understand how it would make any difference.

    Edit: from reading other posts the manufacturers seem to recommend this. Still don't understand how it would help. Maybe time to read up on how plasmas actually work :)
     
  22. supermackem

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    I havent read too much into plasma tech as i really was put off by the price of them when i was looking for my tvs. But one thing i would say i would never drop £xxxxxx amounts on a non hd tv now. As with all the hd goodness coming within the year it would be a big waste of money not getting the full res. I dont care how good the scaler is on the set it wont make up for a native panel.
     
  23. Triggaaar

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    Obviously the 1280 is compressed, I am saying that the 768 isn't necessarily compressed the same amount, and then expanded back to 720 (which is what you said was the problem). The 1280 being compressed is the result of not having a high def set, which applies to LCD and Plasma.

    I have DVE here, and cannot produce this banding on my plasma. I'm not one to defend what I chose regardless of the facts (I have 2 lcds too, and another arriving tomorrow). If there is a fault, I would not mislead others into spending thousands on an inferior product for the sake of pride or something. I cannot see any of the problems you talk about. Send me a dvd that will highlight the problem, tell me what chapter/time the problem occurs, and I'll test it (I'll return the dvd and pay p&p). Faults with a poorly set-up plasma do not necessarily apply to all plasmas.
     
  24. Goone

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    Plasma will allways be best cause they heat the room up in winter :)
     

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