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LCD and Plasma - Just a fashion accessory with a very poor picture quality !!

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Gogglebox, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Gogglebox

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    Hi folks

    I'm probably typical of many users of this forum. I don't profess to know a lot about current TV technology, which is why I found this forum in the first place, to learn a bit more.

    I'm in the market for a new TV with a budget of £1,500 but am extremely disillusioned with the picture quality of the current crop of LCDs and Plasmas that I've seen in the shops so far.

    Maybe I have been unlucky but every LCD and Plasma that I've seen in the shops so far have have suffered from the "oily water" effect, pixelation or "snowy" pictures.

    Could it be that punters feel the need to buy into this "new technology" just to have a nice fashion accessory sitting in the corner of the living room to show off to their friends at the expense of picture quality ?

    Whilst the technology is tried and tested, I'm reluctant to have another huge, monolithic CRT sitting in the corner of my living room.

    I was particularly interested in the Panasonic TX32LXD500 that so many people have been getting excited about. I've not been able to see this model in action anywhere because no-one seems to have any, but if the picture quality on this model is as poor as the examples of it's non HD cousin (the TX32LXD50) that I've seen then I don't want to know. Do they both share the same LCD panel.

    Can anyone please confirm whether standard definition pictures are better viewed on the Panasonic TX32LXD500 than the TX32LXD50 ?

    I would just ask people to take off their rose tinted spectacles and ask themselves whether the picture quality on their brand new LCD or Plasma screens is as good and that of a CRT TV costing about a third of the price.

    Regards
    Gogglebox
     
  2. David Mackenzie

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    Can't agree. Don't look at store setups - they're appallingly bad. The CRTs will probably look similarly terrible.

    My LCD when provided with a good source gives astonishingly vibrant, geometrically perfect, flicker-free, scanline-less, high resolution pictures. I'm not sure about how CRTs are doing now, but it seems that in Europe, most of them can't support HDTV or even Progressive Scan/EDTV.

    As for fashion accessory - for some, definitely. I'll bet there's plenty of people who go out, buy a "flat TV!!!!!", place it at home showing fuzzy incorrect aspect ratio BBC-1 and think they're all the rage. But there's no way I'd spend that much money on something like that to look cool.
     
  3. Gogglebox

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I fully appreciate that picture quality on TVs that all share the same feed in some of the larger stores is notoriously bad but my latest experience was in a small independent retailer with only a few models on display.

    Surely it's in the interest of the retailer to ensure that TVs on display are set up to show their optimum picture quality if they are to stand any chance of selling them.

    The salesman that I spoke to today admitted that potential customers often comment on the poor picture quality of the LCDs and Plasmas on display which to my mind is a terrible state of affairs.

    If we shouldn't take much notice of store setups then where should potential customers go to see a range of TVs that have been set up correctly to allow them to make an informed choice ?

    Retailers can't just work on the basis of "hand over your £1,500 and it'll look fine once you get it home".

    I still suspect that it's the technology as the picture quality of the CRTs looked much better.

    I would still very much like to know if the Panasonic TX32LXD500 displays standard definition pictures any better than the Panasonic TX32LXD50.

    Regards
    Gogglebox
     
  4. RockStrongo

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    Intersting Gogglebox - I'm in exactly the same situation as you.

    I too have wondered about the picture quality in TV stores, until somebody on this forum pointed out the following.
    Big screen TVs are designed to be viewed from about 6 - 8 ft away. In Dixons for example with all of their screens lined up it's difficult to get more than 2 - 3 ft away. My CRT looks pretty bad from that distance but fine from the sofa.
    Also, most stores have all their screens showing the same feed. If you split one feed to 40 screens there has to be some degradation in signal. Try looking somewhere like Richer Sounds which seem to have a maximum of about four screens from the one feed.

    My problem is figuring out which one to buy, and whether to go for LCD or plasma. There's so many on the market and it's next to impossible to make a realistic comparison. Although these forums are generally very helpful indeed, there's always someone who'll pour scorn on your prospective purchase in favour of what they've bought for upwards of 3 grand. Try finding a review of the screens Tesco or Asda sell to see what I mean.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Stenataar

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    I bought the Pannasonic HD TV that you are thinking of buying. I cannot comment on any comparison with the non HD version or indeed new CRT TVs. However, it is a hell of a lot better than my old CRT TV! My DVD pictures are stunning when run from my Sony DAV500 via a S-Video to Scart cable (ie if I had a better connection it would be even better). Sometimes the picture via freeview is better than others - but that is more likely down to the signal strength etc (I have a loft arial rather than one on the roof which probably doesn't help). I also noticed that pictures in the shops were rubbish - but put that down to the fact that most high street stores are completly pants and do not know the first thing about anything they "sell". I therefore did my research via the magazines and forums like this and then bought off the internet at a cheaper price.
     
  6. PoloQc

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    Just an exemple of what I've saw in a store:

    A DVD player was connected to 2 different screens: to a 42' plasma through component (beautiful, crisp, image), and to a 26' LCD through the antenna :eek: (dreadful image with red snow). The source was the same fot the 2 screens but looked very different and not because of the screen quality.

    If you want to have a beautiful image on an LCD you need.

    - a good source: DVD, HD or computer. No less.
    - a good connexion: component, DVI/HDMI or VGA.
     
  7. richard plumb

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    I think it helps to sit at a reasonable viewing distance. In shops its easy to view from six inches away, which isn't a realistic portrayal.

    My ancient philips (one of the first with Pixel plus) is great at standard Sky stuff. Pretty much all it gets fed. Even DVDs are only svideo (component is reserved for the projector), and they still look great.
     
  8. colin_c

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    I am also in the same position as googlebox, I have looked in a number of stores and on balance the pictures on LCD TV's seem to vary from average to dreadful. Today I visited a local "discount specialist" who wanted £1180 for a Panasonic TX26LXD50 it was showing a picture from an analogue source which was very poor, when I commented upon this and said it did not compare favourably with a CRT, the "salesman" said "Flat panels are the way to go so basically that is what you get" There was no offer to show a different source or even an explanation of how it could be made better. :mad:

    If I anly want to use the TV for Terrestrial or Freeview and playback from my Panasonic HDD/DVD recorder, am I going to gain anything from changing my 100Hz 28" Panasonic CRT to a 26" LCD other than gaining some useful space?

    It is all very well explaining that these dealers are using multiple feeds and that this is why the pictures are degraded but surely they should be doing something for the extra £350 they want over the average web prices. :rolleyes:
     
  9. David Mackenzie

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    You'd think that, wouldn't you? But nope. Most just don't give a flying crap.
     
  10. PoloQc

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    No, I don't think so. Or maybe a better PQ for DVDs if your Panny is progressive.
     
  11. Gogglebox

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    Hi Folks

    Thanks to all who have replied to my posting.

    I appreciate that larger screens need to be appreciated from a further distance away from the TV and although I tried this in the shop, the defects were still visible.

    I'll just have to keep searching for a shop that might have a Panasonic TX32LXD500 on show so that I can see whether or not it displays standard definition pictures any better than the TX32LXD50. I would certainly not feel confident in ordering one before seeing one first.

    Gogglebox
     
  12. colin_c

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    I'm pretty sure that the LXD50 and the 500 share the same display panel, it is only the HD bit and some SD card reader bits that are different so the pictures should be the same given equal inputs, indeed the 2 side by side in the shop today looked identical (picture wise)

    Colin
     
  13. captaindobie

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    Buying an LCD TV just to show off to friends?
    Nah, not me. I bought one and i don't have any friends :(
    Very happy with the TV though...:smashin:
     
  14. Dazzle

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    I was in our local Dixons store this weekend, and I was blown away with some of the picture quality of their Plasma's and LCD TV's. The Plasma pictures looked a little brighter and had better black levels than the LCD's, but the difference was neglible. I think they were all set up via component, because I looked at the back of some and they had 3 leads close together, going into the back of them.

    I wish I could have taken one away lol :D
     
  15. TarMoo

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    It is amazing that Dixons sell any plasma or LCD screens, the pictures are usually very poor. Some HiFi retailers do take the time to set-up their sets - e.g. my local Audio-T shop, but they tend to specialise in a small number of brands such as Pioneer, NEC and Sharp, and half the time they are showing "Monsters Inc" or similar to make a good impression. Getting all the best screens side by side, properly set-up and demonstating something approximating to normal viewing, seems to be nearly impossible.
     
  16. Phil from 62

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    You can't even come close to evaluating a LCD or Plasma in a high Street shop. Currys, Dixons, Comet etc just have rows of TV's with kids or ill-experienced staff trying to sell them.

    You need to go to a Specialist shop who can advise properly (to the budget you have) and demo properly.

    My Loewe is excellent on TV (all considering...of course some channels are better than others) and even better on DVD.

    I wouldn't swap it for a CRT if you gave it away.

    I bought mine from Rayleigh Hi Fi, as I have most of my equipment. You don't just buy the product but you also get the advice from Non Commision making shop staff.

    Go to somewhere that advises based on your requirements and not on what commision they can make, then you may see the benefits of Flat Panel.
     
  17. HHGTTG

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    How much I agree with you. To some extent that is the problem with forums such as these where most people don't seem to watch 'normal' TV but are using their LCD or Plasma screens as monitors and are very nit-picking, as a result.
    My experiences here is somewhat similar to a one-marque car forum discussing a model of car that I bought last year and which almost put me off due to all the adverse comments made about that particular car.
    However, I let my better judgement decide and went ahead with my purchase and am more than pleased with it.

    I think that it is horses for courses and I can't remember so much fuss or indecision when buying my current CRT telly 13 years ago. I just went into my local shop and said "I'll have that one, please" and can remember the wow factor when seeing it switched on for the first time - It was/is a Sony Trinitron TV.

    Things were so much more simpler then. I have only ever connected my Digital camera and a VCR to it and very recently a cheap DVD player and as far as I am concerned that is enough.
     
  18. igauk

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    You hit the nail on the head there. I suspect the majority of people on here watch far more of their TV via DVD/PC/Console than the average person. No doubt they'll be first in line for HD too.

    I was reading the reviews/comments on the latest Samsung LCD and it sounded great, except I watch 95% of my TV via freeview/scart and I'm not convinced that this or any other LCD handles these sources better than CRT (with the possible exception of geometry over large CRTs). I'm just not sure that a £700 26" LCD is better than an equivalent sized £350 CRT for the majority of people.
     
  19. David Mackenzie

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    It depends on the quality of the image processing. My Sony LCD WEGA handles Composite and S-Video wonderfully. Freeview looks really good on it most of the time. At the expensive end of the market, LCD pictures can look good across the board.
     
  20. craynerd

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    GOOGLEBOX -----> I just want to add, i am EXACTLY the same as you. Curious of the quality of lcd in general (infact i started almost an identical post a few days back) !! AND interested in the panny LXD50 and 500. I have seen people raving about the lxd50 in there so i went to see it in Currys! I was SHOCKED at the quality just like yourself! BUT look at the rest of the tv`s, its the crap input they use, the guy there even told me so! Ask them to set up a dvd for you, and i`m telling you now, you will be BLOWN AWAY! PS, currys also have the lxd500, BUT dont list it on their Webpage!!!

    Anyways, dont mean to but in, cuz i knownothing, but listen to lyris, hes given me good advice!
     
  21. Gogglebox

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    Hi Folks

    Thanks again for all of your replies.

    I totally agree that the picture quality on TVs in Comet, Currys and Dixons is terrible but the latest shop that I went to see the LCDs and Plasmas was what I would have considered to be a specialist TV shop as that was all that they sold. No toasters or kettles, just TVs.

    All I want a TV for is for my one or two hours viewing per evening and have no requirement to hook it up to my PC or games console. With regards to people on this forum being very "nit-picking", the "oily water", pixelation and "snowy" picture on the LCDs and Plasmas that I saw in the TV shop were just so "in your face" that even after moving back seven or eight feet, they were still very apparent.

    How much of the "oily water", pixelation and "snowy" picture is caused by poor shop setup and how much is due to the fact that the technology just isn't up to the job yet.

    I suspect that we have all just got to lower our expectations from what we've been used to seeing on CRTs.

    Whilst I would consider that buying another CRT would be a backward step, I really can't see the advantage of LCD or Plasma TVs.

    It's not as if you can easily hang them on the wall with even a 32" screen weighing in at nearly three and a half stone.

    It could quite easily be that I have yet to go to a shop where one of these TVs has been set up correctly and I hope that if and when I do manage to achieve this, I will be very pleasantly surprised but until such time I am very disillusioned indeed.

    Gogglebox
     
  22. superpixel

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    With the advent of integrated Freeview on almost all sets, it's very easy to see what TV quality will look like in Currys/Comet. Contrary to forum wisdom, the sets do not have an 'ambient dixons sensor' which crushes PQ to give you a pleasant surprise at home.

    I'd love to know what CRTs you LCD lovers use! But then you are on another planet, obsessing about high-definition on 26" screens! :D
     
  23. Rob1698

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    When you don't like an LCD or Plasma TV. don't buy it!
    However, don't judge the entire category after just looking at a couple of examples running at default settings in a shop...

    Over a year ago, I looked around for a new TV as my old one was needing more and more repairs (which I fortunately could do myself as an electronics hobbyist).
    I first considered only CRT TVs because my TV is in the corner anyway (so depth is not an issue) and just like you I believed that CRT would be the best in picture quality.

    However, what I soon discovered is that CRT TV is not what it used to be.
    Even high-end models show serious defects in geometry, color convergence, and EHT stability.
    I really cannot stand looking at a picture that has curved sides and pumps in and out with every luminance change. Even a 2000 euro digital 36" TV from major manufacturers suffers from those effects.
    And the pixelation is just the same on those sets because they use digital processing for 100Hz scan.

    Moving on to LCD technology, I surely noticed that most TVs have no problem showing the cartoon or MTV that is usually on in the shops, but when fed some natural colors they fail to produce a decent picture.
    The only exception at that time was the Philips 9986. It stood out way above the crowd, with only the Sharp GA/GD models as close followers.

    So I finally bought a 32PF9986 about 10 months ago, and I must say I am very happy.
    Even on analog cable (which on my other TVs always showed intermodulation effects on certain channels) I have a perfect picture. I was surprised that such a good picture is even possible from a PAL transmission.
    Most of the time I watch satellite via a Dream DM-7000. That picture is even better.

    The set has a couple of design mistakes, but so has every TV I have examined in depth.
    The perfect combination of features and absence of bugs just cannot be found (yet).

    Maybe when Philips releases a model with all features promised for the 9830 I'll buy that.
    But for now, my 9986 is the best TV I have ever owned, and also the best I have ever seen.
     
  24. nasht

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    Lcd > crt

    thats what i should say. I got 2 pcs, a dell with CRT monitor and custom pc with LCD monitor.. The LCD monitor is much better as it give 10times sharper pictures and better color contrast etc etc.

    I got a samsung LCD tv(32" model) and a CRT tv(21") model.. although its a bit biased to decide that the LCD is better... wellp i should stick with it anyway.
     
  25. jobseeker

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    Look at the Sharp P50 series if you just want an LCD TV for just watching TV and aren't worried about games, computers, hi-def, blu ray and other stuff that 75% ofthe Uk viewing public won't be interested in for years. That's the people who the model is aimed at. There are threads on here about it.
     
  26. Rob1698

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    For a computer monitor I am not so sure LCD is better, at least until recently some new models were released.
    At work we have many Dell PCs, some with CRT and some with LCD, and the better CRT screens easily outperform the LCDs.
    On those computer monitors the manufacturers do get the geometry right (a big difference with TV sets), and on the LCD the viewing angle is usually much less than on a TV. When not viewing the screen at right angle (especially from above and below) the colors quickly bleach out. And even when viewing at the correct angle the colors are not as good as on the CRT.

    Finally, an LCD screen has a fixed resolution that is often a tad too low. On a CRT of similar screen area (which with current marketing practices means one size up in diagonal), you can usually set the resolution one step higher.

    But that is with the standard and "ultra sharp" screens they include with normal PC configurations. Recently I read about a 2405FP screen that solves it all and makes a big step in picture quality. It has a high resolution panel of a new generation.
    Hopefully similar screens will appear in sizes like 20 or 21".
     
  27. Scott_Mac

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    A salesman in Selfridges the other day was incredibly honest with me - which i always like (so much so that provided he'll price match :D i'll buy my set from him..)

    They had the Philips 32PF9986 on demo (a model i was interested in) and not far away was the Panasonic 32LXD500 (the one i'm now buying) The Philips was fed of it's own dedicated Sky+ Box using RGB Scart and fed through a mini crappy 5.1 surround box for sound... The Panasonic was using the shared aerial and it's own in built Freeview... The PQ on the Philips was unsurprisngly a lot better, watching the cricket highlighted this! Got chatting to the guy about it and commented that it seemed an unfair comparison and his reply was that "not many people know that, and we've been told to push the Philips set as we have large stocks and make more money on them"

    He then went on to agree that the Panasonic was the better set....

    So there you go really... a lot of the time it comes down to profits etc but you need to set the playing field level as you have to make a fair comparison IMO.
     
  28. craynerd

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    Googlebox, did you ask the guy in the store to connect it via a dvd, so you could see its true quality ??? I mean the way i see it, if the tv can get to such a good quality, then it`ll run your normal terrestrial signal as best it can!! am i not right?

    Me and my girl did the same on saturday, was shocked by the in store display! ASKED or insited they hooked up the dvd, and wow, was i impressed with the lxd50...!!
     
  29. timdawe

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    I see it the other way round. All the LCDs I have seen look pretty good when playing DVDs (and fantastic when playing HD material). For me the real test is how well they cope with standard definition TV, and this seems to vary greatly, presumably depending on the quality of the image processing.

    Since my viewing will be mostly SD for quite a while yet, I'm currently trying to decide between someting like a WEGA engine-enabled Sony (decent processing), or the Sharp P50s (no need for processing on SD material)
     
  30. HHGTTG

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    Again, what a sensible bloke.

    Surely, most of us are replacing nearly worn out CRT's with LCD/Plasma televisions (in the old sense of that word) and whether they are excellent for coping with DVD etc. is secondary (at least for me it is) and I would expect nothing but excellence in reproducing that format.
    For me, how it copes with, currently, analogue signals and my DTT box is much more of relevance to me. All the other paraphernalia is secondary as there are plenty of small panels out there for computer use or extensions thereof.

    I was on the point of buying the Sony 32M1 when I realised that it was being superseded and also realised that the casing was a bit too overpowering and have, therefore now been looking at alternatives such as LCD's made by Toshiba (nice case) and the Sharp P series (gross ugly table top stand). Still I'll do a bit more research and take, with a pinch of salt, some of the more extreme views, on this forum, about which model to buy and the alleged problems with them etc. etc.

    Ultimately, most of us will be more than pleased with what we purchase compared with that ageing TV standing in the corner. Of course it will take some time to get used to the difference in picture quality and presentation as, after all, you would not expect the picture to look the same. Would you?

    :cool: :rolleyes:
     

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