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Should I change to Plasma?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by Josh Bear, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Josh Bear

    Josh Bear
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    Dear All,

    After 10 years of paying into a tax free savings thing, it matured on ther 1st of March and now I have the option of getting a plasma TV.

    But should I? Ten years is a long time to wait and I don't want to waste the money. My question is should I take the plunge? and I would welcome your opinions.

    I currently have a Philips 9576 CRT (32" massive thing) but my head has been turned by the Hitachi 42pd3000e.

    The TV is on for about 12 hours a day in our house and we do not have a terrestial ariel. Everything comes through NTL cable.

    Is this going to give me a problem with screen life and burn?

    The main channels watched during the day are ones with logos and at night it is BBC1 & ITV. Given this usage and the fact that I am not in during the day to take care of any screen. Would anyone recomend I go plasma?

    Any advice very welcome.

    Josh
     
  2. philipb

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    The viewing pattern you describe during the day could be a problem with burn-in. As long as the screen was not tuned to the same channel with the same logo for 12 hours each day you should be OK, but problem is you won't be around to monitor things. Showing the same logo for long continuous periods is what causes the damage.

    I assume its young kids and/or the other half doing the watching. Without sounding patronising, you could suggest they use a smallish and fairly cheap CRT for daytime watching, only using the plasma in the evenings etc. May be difficult with NTL?

    Check the specs of the hitachi - many displays have little tricks to help avoid burn in. It would be a shame to forego a plasma just for this reason alone.
     
  3. Josh Bear

    Josh Bear
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    Thanks for the advice. I could ask the wife to use a small TV but only if I did it from very far away, by phone, possibly from south America. She is a volatile woman. (But lovely).

    Anyway. CBeebies is the main problem but it is not on all day. CBeebies is on from say 8.30am to 12.00pm. Then it is usually UK style or ITV or BBC1. CBeebies is then back on from about 3.30pm until 5.pm.

    Would this cause a problem. At the weekend I tend to watch Sky Sports 1 in afternoon would this cause burn?

    Finally you mentioned a feature that some screens have to stop burn. What are these?

    Sorry for the extra questions but I want to be sure before this major purchase.

    Thanks

    Josh
     
  4. UVII

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    Plasma's are cool, but they are not worth ten years of hard graft. I'd buy a nice 32 incher, and keep your money safe. If the ecconomy keeps heading south you'll be happy you kept some aside. Plus plasma prices are dropping quite sharply at the moment and I guess that will keep going for some time, and if it doesn't, deflation will take up the slack.
     
  5. philipb

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    In my experience you have to have the same logo showing for several hours to see burn in, and then it only becomes permanent if you do it day after day, I think you should be OK, but its dificult to be certain.

    Most plasmas have a screensaver type feature which guards against burn in. I have a Pioneer which you can set up to move the picture around a few pixels at a time occasionally. You won't notice it but it prevents permanent burn in. the Panasonic has something similar.

    Only you can decide if a plasma is worth it. Those of us who have made the move will never go back to CRT.
     
  6. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Josh - you don't mention DVD. In my view the only point of having a plasma is if you use it chiefly for DVD, which can be astonishing and will give you just about as good a home cinema experience as you could wish. If your main usage is for TV programmes, as seems to be the case from your first post, the plasma will show up the many imperfections of the transmission system (especially via cable) and I think you'll be extremely disappointed. I have done a lot of research into plasma and have held off for precisely that reason. I realise this post may be controversial, but I can only speak from my own experience. Also probably not what you want to hear as plasmas are so much nicer looking and take up less space than CRT!
     
  7. lab

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    Bernard
    "I realise this post may be controversial, but I can only speak from my own experience."
    What exactly is your own experience? As you state earlier you have held off buying a plasma, then are you really qualified to answer the query raised by Josh Bear? From my experience of a 50" plasma I would never ever ever ever (get the point) go back to a crt and the majority of my viewing is ntl digital! I am sure if you research this forum you will find the majority of plasma owners with the same opinion. In fact are there ANY plasma owners that regret there purchase and wish to go back???
    The picture on my plasma blows me away every single day, No regrets.
     
  8. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Lab, I have researched this forum and when I said I'd done extensive research I meant it: I've seen plasma in specialist retailers, in people's homes, and read just about every post on the subject. Believe me, I've wanted to be persuaded! But I'm afraid that for me - and I emphasise for me - on viewing TV programmes, plasma is not superior to CRT. Of course other people's experience and preferences will be different, but I wanted Josh to be aware that there's at least one sceptic out here.
     
  9. mikeq

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    Reading this with interest.

    Had my plasma sitting in its box for 3 months, finally into new house and got it setup.

    Initially ordinary TV signal fed to TiVo from TiVo to JSTech RGB/VGA box, picture good.

    Just had Sky installed 2 hours ago, initial impressions very good (again through the RGB/VGA box), I must admit I was worried about the quality of Sky after reading some of the posts here. I can honestly say I shouldn't have been.

    As this is my first Home Cinema setup I am maybe not equiped to comment on the levels of black, chroma bugs, this, that and the other but I know what I like. I think it comes down to what you are used to, if you have always had the best of gear (CRT wise) then you may notice a drop in quality, me - nope, looks f***ing excellent, aint gonna complain.

    I think some people analyse things too much sometimes and set out trying to find the weaknesses and once found cannot unnotice them. To me you should just sit back and enjoy.

    Yes it's a lot of money, I do not regret spending any of it (I'm not rich and therefore cannot afford to throw money away).

    Oh and by the way DVD is incredible.

    Mike
     
  10. Costas

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    Josh Bear,

    Since I got my plasma, precisely two months ago, I would never ever go back to CRT (..but we do have the ol 32" CRT in the bedroom now..) However, with two very young children, Cbeebies is the worst offending logo. It has now been banned for the plasma and they can watch it upstairs on a small TV through the videosender. Occasionally, they can watch on the plasma for < less than an hour. You could then see the after-image non permanent effect which disapperars as we immediately play some non logo other material. Check www.logofreetv.org.uk

    On the other hand the key advantages of plasma over CRT which are extremely important to me:

    * Perfect focus
    * No geometric distortion
    * No susceptibility to magnetic fields
    * Even light output

    ...hope it helps!
     
  11. lab

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    Bernard

    I do understand what you are saying but the problem with reading some of the posts especially those referring to the pq on sky or ntl is that it is easy to take the comments out of context.When people complain it is generally about the broadcast quality, not about the quality of the picture on their plasma.
    I had also read many posts and expected to have problems with the viewing quality but having got a plasma it is nowhere near the
    problem you imagine it to be. There are so many combinations of connections etc that once in your own home can be adjusted and used to make improvements that viewing in a shop just doesn`t allow and imho shop displays are nowhere near the pq that can be obtained from the right display in your own home.
    Viewing as many screens as possible has to be beneficial as they will all suffer from the same quality input in each shop so helps to make the choice easier but it should not be taken as the best that can be achieved.I can assure you having my crt powered up next to my plasma with the same programme showing I have no doubt in my mind which one your eyes would be drawn to.
    There is just no contest.
     
  12. sharon

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    While I absolutely love my plasma to bits, I kinda believe that towards the end of this year and the start of the next, LCD technology will overtake it... and LCD technology doesn't suffer from the problems that worry you. Rarely do I ever advocate waiting for anything (cos you'll always want what is coming next and never buy anything) but given this is a 'once in a lifetime' purchase I'd bank the money until January 2004 and then either

    1. Benefit from the dint that good LCD technology has made in the plasma market and get a plasma at around 50% of todays prices

    or

    2. Buy the latest state-of-the-art LCD screen and enjoy having a screen that is one step further than anything else out there


    Sharon

    PS. If you are struggling it make it through to Jan 2004 just go the cinema a lot - big screen, proper film and that certain cinema something - still the best way to see any film!!!
     
  13. Josh Bear

    Josh Bear
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    Dear All,

    Thank you very much for your comments. I take the point about LCDs but Jan 2004 is a life time for a techno freak like me.

    The CBeebies thing does worry me but if the screens come with the function where pixels are moved around then surely this eliminates this problem.

    All I have to do is buy a screen that has this feature. Which leads me onto my final question, Which screen should I buy?

    Budget = Max £5000 and must include wall bracket and tuner box.
    Ideally I want larger than 32"

    Any suggestions.

    Thanks again for all the help:kisses:
     
  14. Costas

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    Pioneer PDP-433HDE. Offers the best tuner box in the market with very flexible connections.... I have written it in some other threads in detail but feel free to PM me and I can go into details again
     
  15. lab

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    The other one to consider is the Hitachi 42pd3000, rave reviews at the moment and comes with speakers and tuner box for around 3700.00.Then add a unicol bracket for 150.00 and your well under budget. I am not sure but I think one of the new fujitsus has a tuner box?
    Josh, have a search in this forum regarding tuner boxes, they aren`t necessary if you have ntl and many people believe you get a better picture without them but they do aid connectivity.While connectivity can appear daunting without using a box once you make a start it gets more straight forward.
    Good luck .
     
  16. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Josh Bear

    You sound like a man who needs little convincing!

    After ten years of saving I'm sure we would all have different ideas about what to spend the windfall on - and I guess for most of us some sort of 'inspirational' product would be high on the shopping list; that's assuming we didn't have to play safe and stick the cash away for a rainy day :)

    Buying a plasma is definitely not a sound financial investment - you aint gonna get your cash back on it if you change your mind in a couple of months; on the other hand plasma as a TV at home is a big grin creator and you'll find you suddenly have loads more mates wanting to visit once they see the footie on a 42" TV.

    I've owned plasma displays and TV's since 1998 and I must say that given the best of the current model line up then there are really no big problems in using a plasma as your TV - I use mine at home probably 90% of the time with SKY and when SKY is on song (90%+) there's nothing much wrong with the quality of the image. Like others here when I now go around to friends or customers houses I wonder how they can put up with 'small' CRT TV's.

    With the viewing habits in your household and the possibility of 'static logo' induced screen burn I'd tend to favour one of the Plasma Display models which have fairly sophisticated anti screen burn software built in - primarily because these displays are mainly aimed at the commercial 'digital signage' market (like Costas I use the Pioneer HDE as my TV at home but there are no screen saver modes on the HDE models so possibly better to avoid it in this instance).

    Personally I'd look at the Panasonic TH-42PWD5BX (Charcoal) display as its 'timer' controls for running its screen savers is possibly the best of the bunch - it enables you to set up the screen saver to switch on and off at pre set intervals.

    The 'orbiter' screen saver mode available on some displays is probably too subtle for your requirements - with a big static logo (cBeebies) I'd advocate you run the all white screen or white bar scroll; bit of an annoyance if they came on in the middle of Tweeneies mind so you'll have to experiment a bit with getting them on in between programs!

    Your £5K budget will get you a TH-42PWD5BX + wall bracket and leave plenty over for cables, converters and possibly even a new AV amp that can function as you video switcher - you've even got enough to add in a high quality external video processor such as the Silicon Image iScan Ultra to enhance the signal from SKY and your other video sources.

    Trust this was of some help.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS I am probably biased as I sell these things but I do try to be objective when someone throws this type of question at me!

    PPS Your other option would be to stick with the big CRT for daytime viewing and spend the cash on an LCD or DLP projector and screen for evening/movie viewing!
     
  17. Bernard Barnett

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    Lab makes some very good points and I agree seeing a plasma display in somebody's home is miles better than looking in stores. I would like to make what I hope is a constructive suggestion: Josh, how about telling us your approximate location and then I'm sure one of our plasma-owning members living nearby would be delighted to let you have a look at his or hers. Then you'd be able to make your mind up much more easily.
     

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