Plasma Screens - question

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by j3t, Dec 24, 2001.

  1. j3t

    j3t
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    I was thinking of buying a Fujitsu 42" plasma screen Tv, until I heard the following. That plasma screens only last for 10000 hours!

    Is that really the case as I find that hard to beleive.

    If not, how long is their average life expectancy and in what way does the picture deteriorate and by how much over time? It seems like an awful lot of money to spend on a short term product.
     
  2. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    All display devices lose a little brightness over time. This includes the TV in your living room and the computer monitor that you are reading this email on.

    Early plasma screens lost a significant amount of the image brightness over a fairly short time, but things have improved a lot recently.

    With any display we talk about half life. This is the length of time it takes for the brightness to reach half of its original value. CRT projectors typically have a half life of 10,000 hrs, but continue to produce an image for much longer. Its the same story with plasma.

    A realistic figure for plasma is somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 hrs. A big factor in maintaining a good image is the set up of the contrast and brightness. The factory defaults are set to give a good image on a brightly lit shop floor. These are often too bright for home use.

    Check out threads regarding set-up DVDs (Video Essentials and AVIA) and also look out for info regarding professional calibration by ISF certified technicians (Gordon, Convergent AV, and others).

    Regards
     
  3. j3t

    j3t
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    Im really amazed by that, I thought he was joking. Say I bought a plasma Tv, im interested in the 42" Fujitsu for example, and in a worst case scenario it might only last for over 10000 hours before its brightness is reduced by 50%, I know it wouldnt be left on permenantly but It would be on at least 6-8 hours a day, so I make that roughly 4 and a half years before my 4k investment is practically worthless?

    How likely is this to happen, Im really debating going for a Plasma but not on those figures.

    Are there any other problems with plasma sets that someone could advise me?
     
  4. NeilS

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    I think you're more likely to see 30,000 hours. That's the figure Panasonic quote - approx 5 years @ 24 hours per day.

    You may want to check the lip synch delay, a surround processor should be able to sort that out but built in amplification is unlikely to.

    Neil
     
  5. rigman

    rigman
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    It would still be usable after the 4 and a half years.

    I always quote analogies with cars. When I tell people I bought my 36" telly for 2 grand they say I am mad to pay so much for a telly. Yet if I tell them I have just bought a new car for 15 grand they will be envious. Yet my TV gets used far more hours per day than my car. I enjoy my TV more when watching DVD's, sky than I do driving my car and my TV will last for 10 years generally. How much would my 15 grand car be worth after even 3 years due to depreciation. People just dont seem to mind the huge amount lossed due to depreciation of their cars.

    Probably a subject for another separate discussion. How many people find the same sort of reactions when they tell people how much they pay for home cinema / HiFi components.

    Darren
     
  6. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    Your ordinary TV would have lost a similar amount of brightness in the same amount of time, but you wouldn't consider that worthless would you? So whats the difference?

    Relax. You are panicking over an issue that you've lived with for as long as you have owned a TV; its just that no one mentioned this when you bought your last telly.

    Regards
     
  7. j3t

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    I guess so, I suppose when someone puts it to you in that way it seems a bigger problem than it really is. I never realised normal CRT TV's developed this loss in picture brightness either, so thats good to know.

    Perhaps you could recommend a good plasma TV for me? Ive looked at the Fujitsu 42" and it currently seems top of my list, at about 4k. I really wouldnt want to spend much more than that and would be after a similar size screen as that.

    Whilst I was in the store, Iscan was mentioned to me as a way of getting component quality picture through non-component sources, can anyone confirm this and whether it would be a wise investment at £749?

    Thanks
     
  8. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    It was the same with video recorders, punters were not aware that the life of the heads was in the order of 1000 hours in early models and even the best current ones will be lucky to achieve 4000 hours. As each program is done at least twice, once to record and again to replay at average use I worked out about 18 to 24 months life. Ok the heads can be replaced but it is rarely economic to do so and in practise the mechanism usually fails first.

    I Like the comparison with cars , it is very appropriate, we spend a fortune to drive which is now a generally unpleasant experience, whilst most look for the cheapest tv etc and then spend half there spare time trying to enjoy watching it.

    I am a very happy owner of my recent 36" toshiba tv and Toshiba 21 dvd and intend to spend may happy hours using them until they either wear out or something better becomes worth buying, just for pleasure
     
  9. Chris Frost

    Chris Frost
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    j3t,
    As a manufacturers representative, I have to be careful that I'm not accused of using this forum to poach business. I can give you some general guidance, then its up to you to decide on the plasma screen that fits the bill.

    Look carefully at any plasma screen you have shortlisted. If possible, try to get a demo before you buy. Use some films that you are familiar with and try to judge what the picture quality looks like compared to your ordinary TV. Better still, invest in a copy of the AVIA Guide to Home Theater test DVD, and use it to set up each display. It is Region 0 so will play on any DVD, and will help establish a reference level to make comparisons easier.

    Do the blacks look reasonably convincing? Can you see details in shadow areas without the brightness being turned up too high? Do whites look bright and clean (good), or are they a little creamy (bad)? Are the colours accurate rather than just bold?

    Next, listen to the plasma. Check out fan noise. This is easier to do in a quiet dem room than on a busy shop floor.

    Now weigh up the total package. How much is a bracket/stand going to add to the total cost. If the screen is to replace a TV what about sound; does it come with its own built in amp, and how much would additional speakers be? How easy is it for the rest of the family to use? What about warranty. Is there any on-site cover or do you have to pay the cost of shipping if there is a fault?

    I've played to some of our own strengths, but I would consider the above important when choosing a plasma.

    Regarding the iScan, it can be used as suggested. But before parting with your cash, make sure that the plasma & iScan combo works with PAL rather than just NTSC. This is a known issue with some plasma screens.

    Good luck.
     

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