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Still doubting first plasma purchase

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by elliot_01, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. elliot_01

    elliot_01
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    Hi all,

    I've been considering buying a 37" Viera for a few weeks (though have been watching the plasma market for 12 months). I've come close to making the purchase, but have been held back, by a couple of factors.

    Mainly, it's the issue regarding plasma picture quality versus CRT. While pondering the difference the weekend, I was watching The Lord Of The Rings DVD on my 32" WS Philips CRT... and it dawned on me just how impressive the picture really is. How vivid, colourful, crisp and alive the whole image is. Particularly bright images, such as sunlight.

    I have read a multitude of reviews, for the Viera specifically, and have read a considerable amount of chat regarding how good this plasma's picture is, on this very forum too. But I repeatedly hear that CRT still beats plasmas in this area.

    So... I'm looking for more insight I suppose.

    When a decent CRT is going to beat Plasma for picture quality, why are people buying them, especially when you're talking £2k and upwards?

    Is it really worth it, for just a smaller footprint? At the end of the day, my TV is used for watching DVDs/TV. So I am really asking myself, if I want to spend this amount, on something which will, apparently, be inferior in its primary function - displaying moving images.

    I have viewed plasmas in various shops, and they've seemed impressive enough, but you can never get a true feel, until it's in your living room, under your usual lighting conditions, after setting all your brightness/contrast etc just to your taste.

    Is there anyone out there who has bought a modern plasma, and felt seriously disappointed as its picture quality was no match for your replaced CRT?

    All comments, personal thoughts/experiences *very* welcome.

    Will another 12 months yield plasmas which *will* beat CRT?

    (sorry for the long post, content seemed too appropriate to cut :oops: )
     
  2. Todda

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    I think people mainly buy plasma because of screen size and style.

    I agree that most 42 " plasma displays do not give as good a picture as a 28" CRT. If you look at 36" CRTs however, it's a different story.

    You will nearly always find the bigger you go, the worse the picture is. (obviously you also have to take into account the quality of the displays you are comparing)

    If you do not care whether your display is 32" or 42" and the depth is not a factor, then I would stick with CRT.
     
  3. happyh

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    Hi.
    I had the same reservations as you.
    My Sony trinitron 32" crt gave great PQ. When I bought a Samsung plasma Iwas ready for a drop in PQ. But not ready for the rubbish it provided! . So poor it went back to JL and I paid the extra and got a viera.And before it arrived I was nervous regards PQ.
    But when it arrived, what a difference! Almost as good as the Sony with Sky broadcast and equal on DVD. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

    And heres the good news. I spent a further £250 with Gordon, AV Convergent (advertises here) who professionally calibrated it. The PQ is now absolutely fabulous and I don't miss the Sony at all.In fact the PQ on sky, particularly football, is better than the Sony!
    If my viera was nicked tonight I'd use the insurance money and buy another.
    100% happy.
     
  4. elliot_01

    elliot_01
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    Happyh, recommendations don't come much higher than that! I think you may have just convinced me!

    I would like a larger screen (than my 32") but depending on the PQ trade-off. I would imagine 37" would not emphasize as much degradation as the 42". And as long as I stick to the decent brands I should be safe (hence my interest in the Panny Viera).

    :thumbsup:

    Anyone else had similar experiences to happyh?
     
  5. Radiohead

    Radiohead
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    No - I was all set to go plasma last week, but have yet to find one under £2.5k that beats my Sony KV32FQ70 for picture quality.

    Until I do then I'm not buying one, and spending £250 to have a £3k screen calibrated suggests to me that the technology isn't there yet.
     
  6. Tejstar

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    I have just installed my 37” Viera the weekend just gone.

    I too had my reservations. Previously, I had a 28” 4:3 CRT – the main reason for me wanting to upgrade was wanting a widescreen picture (16:9). I thought about buying a 36” CRT but on viewing some screens I was not that impressed, plus the footprint of those sets put me off.

    I then started thinking about the plasma route and was initially looking at the Pioneer 434 (mainly for HDMI) but after I found out I could have the Panny 37” PE30 + e85 recorder + cabinet stand + 5 yr warranty + free delivery for £2298 I went for value for money.

    I’d seen a few Viera screens (showing off-air broadcasts) set up with varying results – some of them didn’t look very inspiring whilst others seemed ‘ok’. DVD, on the other hand was more impressive.

    Anyway, I got the wife to agree – she loved the Viera plus stand combo – and decided to take the plunge. I figured that my aerial reception would be better than the screens I’d seen and that I could make the DVD side of things look even better with some half-decent cables.

    I’ve only had the screen set up since Saturday but I absolutely love it (the wife does too). The off-air broadcasts are surprisingly very good, and even the footie was great considering some of the horror stories I’d heard. The DVD picture via the E85 is also a lot better than I thought it would be. Initially I was going to keep my Pioneer DVD player but now I think I’ll probably just use the E85 as a player too. This is all before I’ve even had a chance to connect it via component cables and check out the progressive scan!

    Overall, I’m still tweaking at the moment but I can safely say that I would not go back. The Viera produces such a cinematic picture that it gives a sense of involvement that was just not present with my old set. Obviously this is more prevalent with movies than normal tv but it makes even normal viewing a pleasure.

    The plasma route definitely gets a thumbs up from me :smashin:
     
  7. Fonzerelli

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    I understand what your saying, ive followed Plasma's for over 12 months in the hope of getting one, but for me picture and sound quality are number one for me! as soon as i see a plasma with good picture quality, and i dont mean good by plasma standards ill get one, but at the moment my CRT and Projector have far better PQ. its a shame really as Plasma's look cool :)
     
  8. happyh

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    You haven't seen mine! You'll be welcome if ever this way.
    Yes £250 for calibration is steep, but the results are fab. And it is less than 10% of the purchase price.
    The calibration didn't change the technology! But the factory settings were a bit hit and miss and now theyre spot on.
    As I say, I'd pay the money again. Very pleased.
     
  9. FEBABE

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    If PQ is important then go 37" rather than 42", especially if you're viewing from less than 10ft away. Don't go on the PQ you see in high street - at home, set how you like it - its mindblowing. Best £2.5K I've ever spent.
     
  10. The Nightfly

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    I've owned a Sony 32" Wega CRT for the last seven years and have been tempted in the past to jump to a plasma but have always been put off by the high cost for the relative increase in screen size and the fact that the 32" CRT has always produced a stunning picture. The itch to upgrade the TV has come around again so I popped into Currys a couple of days ago to take a look at the current offerings. Not an ideal evaluating environment I know but I thought it would be interesting nonetheless.

    Having read the forum off and on for a few years now I'm well aware that Panasonic has always had a good reputation and that opinion on ALIS panels tend to be rather indifferent but I was determined to be unbiased and judge simply on performance, regardless of price, technology or manufacturer. Fully accepting the limitations of the environment I was quite surprised that the screen that came out top for me was the Sony KDE-P37XS1 and by quite a margin. Image clarity and detail looked great, colours looked very rich and saturated but not overdone, just very lifelike. I saw a clip from Troy and the colour balance looked better than the surrounding screens and exactly as I remembered from viewing at home on my NEC HT1100 projector. I had a look at a 36" Sony CRT in the shop for a quick sanity check and thought the plasma was leaps and bounds ahead. Without actually getting one of these screens home for a comparison I would estimate that this was a plasma that was at least the equal of my crt.

    What puts me off though is the outrageous cost for a 37" panel (Currys price was £3.3k including £200 off the RRP), the bulk of the surrounding frame and speakers (it's as big as a 42" plasma), and lack of future connectivity. The lack of VGA or any form of digital connection is especially galling considering the cost. The shop had a 50" Samsung HDTV DLP rear projector for about £300 less than the Sony and it managed to include VGA and HDMI connectors. Hell, even the cheap LG plasma manages to give you Vga AND Dvi connectors. Call me cynical but I get the feeling Sony are deliberately holding back on features here to pave the way for 'new' features on future models.

    In summary, I was very impressed with the picture quality of the Sony and felt it was a worthy successor to crt. Now, if only they could package that 37” screen and processing into a display-only no frills unit with decent connectivity for about half the price I’d have one in a heart-beat!

    Allan
     
  11. brackenlamb

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    Well i started with a 28 inch sony 4.3 couldnt fault it
    Next was an upgrade to a 42 inch toshiba rear projection. pretty good.
    then unto a 50 inch toshiba rear projection for £2500 ,really good picture,had to sell it as couldnt get it into new living room upstairs :) also needed convergence adjusting to often
    Any way next was a thomson 42 inch plasma ,lg parts inside ,big mistake ,would rather have the rear projection.I spent £2500 on junk.
    After various problems with it managed to get my money back ( will never buy from comet again) very poor customer service.
    I almost went back to crt untill i saw a viera and was blown away.
    The picture styling etc ,i had to have one at any cost,luckily this forum saved me a fortune as i price matched krish with john lewis and got it for £2500 with free stand,dvd recorder and 5 year warranty.
    The same price as the thomson. :)
     
  12. nealgs

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    Best move we eve did going to plasma from CRT.

    We had a 32" Panny 32PF10 (once considered to be the daddy of CRT by quite a few) which had a brilliant picture, then had the chance to upgrade to a 43" PDP-433MXE panel.

    Picture is superb, and more space available in the living room to.
     
  13. Todda

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    I presume that you mean you shouldn't have to spend any money to calibrate a screen that you have already paid 3k for. I agree that they should come calibrated, but it doesn't matter how far the technology comes on, it still won't. They are set up to stand out in a big bright shop.

    CRT projectors are a relatively old technology now, and it doesn't matter how much you spend them, you will still have to get someone like Gordon to calibrate it to get the optimum picture. That goes for all other projectors aswell.
     
  14. Radiohead

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    No - I meant that spending another £250 on top of what for most people is an enormous amount of money indicates that the technology isn't there yet.

    Lots here are very happy with their plasmas and that's great, but these screens are being aimed at Joe Public wandering into Comet/Currys etc and seeking to wow them with a "lifestyle" purchase. For most of these punters the thought of spending £30 on Avia et al would be odd (as they're unlikely yo have ever done so with a CRT that cost maybe less than £500), so the idea of spending £250 would knock them out.

    I really want a panel, and really wanted to be blown away when demoing them - but haven't been yet. They're good enough to be an option now, but not quite there for me.
     
  15. Nick_UK

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    Anyone who thinks that CRT's are that great should take a closer look at the screen geometry. Sure, a CRT display can be very crisp at the centre of the screen, but what about at the edges ? Are the picture borders straight or bowed ? Are the colours good at the edges ?

    If you think that a 28" widescreen CRT can beat or even match a plasma, try connecting a PC to one, and see how much you can read on the screen. :cool:
     
  16. happyh

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    Radiohead,
    Typical joe public is not reading this forum! All here are interested in AV and are prepared to give their purchase due thought.
    I spent a load of cash on a great product , with great PQ.
    Then thought "hey, why not go a little further and let a Pro take a look, what do I have to lose? (apart from £250)"
    And the answer is..............even better.
    I am very fussy and I loved the PQ from my Sony 32crt and did not want to sacrifice it.
    I really am delighted with the PQ on my viera .
     
  17. Todda

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    Radiohead

    I know new technologies usually cost a lot of money and that because they are new, they also cost quite a bit. However that is where the link stops. I don't understand how you can say a technology is not under-developed because it is expensive.

    As I said earlier, you can spend huge amounts of money on an extremely developed projection device, but you would still have to have it calibrated to get the optimum picture.

    Gordon calibrated my LCD projector and it made a big difference.

    You should judge a screen on picture it produces. If you like the picture a plasma produces and you think it'd worth the money then buy it.

    If you don't then stick with CRT. Don't be put off just because calibration improves the picture.
     
  18. Twilliams

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    I'd be interested to no, what Gordon does for his £250. (no offense) does seem alot to twiddle a few settings, I can take my PC to PC world and get an MOT on it for £25. are not these settings available online somehwere. or are they all different depending on what gear your connecting you panel too. whats this DVD disk I hear about that does the same thing anyone??? :confused:
     
  19. IronGiant

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    An honest impression...
    Given a perfect signal the picture quality on my plasma (Phillips) is gobsmacking gorgeous.
    Unfortunately this varies from channel to channel, program to program, and even scene to scene on a DVD (though rarely on a DVD). One minute we are awed, the next we are solarised. Complex fast moving pictures can be perfect, and slow ones aweful or the other way around. One minute flesh tones are perfect, the next Cr*P. Maybe other plasmas are more tolerant of a poor signal but this one needs a good one.
    Dave
     
  20. Todda

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  21. njr

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    conventional CRT displays/projectors also benefit greatly from ISF calibrations, its not just plasmas and LCDs.
     
  22. MAW

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    Having seen Gordon at work, and seen before and after, just shut up and get your wallet out is the best advice I can give if you are serious about your picture. He has some expensive tools, and a vast supply of knowledge. He knows his way around the engineers menu in all the usual suspects. £250 is a perfectly reasonable price to pay for a home visit from a technical expert for 4-6 hours. You pay that to have your car serviced, unless it's a Yugo.
     

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