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Think About This

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by tugboatbill, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    Ok, lets just say that the average person earns £10 ph which equates to an average after tax value of around £7.50, and the region where I live it is probably less than half of this. This means that the average purchaser of a £1500 TV has to work 200 hours to purchase such a thing, ie 5+/- weeks of their working year and given that most people have a house, car, children and many other things to spend money on don't you think that this is excessive for stop gap technology?? Even the press are at it, in todays Sunday Times (Doors section) they feature a 2 page article on TV's for the future and it really is leading the uninformed up the garden path.

    I, like most other people who read these threads, have done a lot of research and I think the main reason behind the trepidation when it comes down to an actual purchase is the fact that we all know the price/performance ratio will be SIGNIFICANTLY different in 12 months time. We all know that much better things are just around the corner, and yes I know all the arguments about you can go on waiting for ever but the fact is there are so many TV technolgies on the immediate horizon, not including better variations of the ones currently on offer that I can't help feeling that we are beeing duped into buying STOPGAP technology just to keep the industry rolling until the HD products have matured a little.

    Don't get me wrong, I really want a new large screen TV as much as the next man but do I want to spend £1000 - £2000 on a pup just to keep an industry ticking over until they get a proper product out?? If we were talking about £750 I might take the plunge for a make do set but I think i might be better off sticking with my very good 8 year old 29" Panasonic CRT for another 12 months because I think we will all be amazed this time next year when we see how far things have progressed.

    Just my two pennence worth, with nothing to sell and nothing that I have to justify having bought.
     
  2. Lionheart

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    Im not so sure Bill....I remember when Plasma (yes Im a Plasma owner although I do have an LCD to :) ) first came out they were anywhere from 10 to 12k.....now we get much better versions for 1 to 2k....will the new technologies be the same ...very probably....and didnt the better 32 to 36inch CRT wide screen tvs themselves cost a good 1 to 2k not that long ago.....I dont see LCD and Plasma as stop gaps....rather the best there is at the moment and pretty good prices compared to what they once were to
     
  3. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    I'd definitely say that current generation LCDs/Plasmas are suited as CRT replacements, and going by your example of 200 hours to pay for the display - think how much you're going to use it.

    I'd say most people I know would spend a minimum of 4 hours a night using the television. (be it watching programmes, films or using it for games) and more at weekends. That means in 50 days time you'll have spent as much time watching it as you did saving for it. I'd say a television will last at least two to three years, or more if you want. (personally I like to keep up to date, so I upgrade every few years) So going by 4 hours a day usage (and possibly more) you're definitely getting value for money in my opinion.

    Yes, there will always be something better and cheaper if you wait; but if you're not happy with your current display (I can't stand CRT blooming, geometry distortion, flicker etc) then it makes sense to buy now. You could play the waiting game forever if you wanted, but you'd then be stuck with an average, or below-average display for years.
     
  4. FlyingBig

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    Yes, i HATE crts as well, things of the past if you ask me. Best choice at the moment is a DLP projector then plasma then LCD in that order. If dead pixels didn't exist then LCD would replace plasma but that ain't the case so 3rd it stays.
     
  5. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    But what about SED and OLED displays which are just around the corner, with fantastic brightness and contrast ratios compared to current models? and what worries me is the rapid model replacement policy that each manufacturer is undertaking - how can something be really good one minute and be replaced the next?

    I don' t have a problem with the cost of a good TV, I have a problem with spending a fair bit of money on a product that the industry know will not cut the mustard in maybe only a few months. What about 1080p which I keep reading about on these forums? There are some members here who think that anything less will be almost obsolete overnight soon?
     
  6. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    But you can get dead pixels on plasmas too. ;)

    Unless it's three-chip, DLP is worthless in my eyes, and there's lag issues there. Not a problem if you're just watching TV / films, but kills the display if you're a gamer. Unfortunately I see "rainbows" very easily.

    Plasma isn't as good as LCD in my opinion; again, being a gamer means plasma isn't an option due to burn-in. (even "image retention" is inexcusable, as it can last hours) Colours are nice, but the flickering and grain isn't.

    No display tech is perfect out there, but as a gamer, LCD is the best there is, in my opinion. Black levels aren't really an issue on the best sets now, as long as you're viewing with some ambient light. It's terrible for your eyes not to anyway, and I would watch any display with a 6500k light on anyway.

    EDIT: SED has flickering just like a CRT, that alone rules it out in my opinion.

    OLED; will be good, but it's going to be some time yet, and the technology will have to mature. It will be years before we see OLED screens worth buying at affordable prices.

    I would rather get a high-end LCD (something like Sharp / Sony / Philips' latest models) and enjoy it for 3-5 years, then worry about what I'm going to upgrade to once these newer technologies have been out a few years, rather than sticking with a CRT for that length of time, waiting for the next best thing.

    What happens when SEDs and OLED displays hit the mainstream? Will you still be sticking with your CRT and waiting for NEDs or other technologies to arrive?
     
  7. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    I would be perfectly happy to get several years use out of any TV but as I understand it some of these products, such as 1080p are about to become the norm very soon and Sony, for instance are introducing their own take on OLED with far higher contrast ratios and better brightness soon also.
     
  8. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    It all depends on whether 1080p is of any advantage to you or not, and OLED will not be seen in a mass-produced television for some time to come. They are having problems with the longevity of the blue pixels. (it's roughly something like that)

    As a gamer, most games will be running in 720p for at least 5 years, and a 1080p panel would mean that anything I fed it would have to be upscaled, and look a lot worse than it would on a 720p native one.

    I also read an article a while back stating that, at proper viewing distances on average sized screens (around 32-40") the human eye cannot resolve any more detail than 720p provides, therefore cannot see the difference between 720p and 1080p. 1080p is really only necessary for the huge displays over 50/60" in size.
     
  9. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    Thank you for your reassuring response andrew, I really do want to buy a new LCD TV before Christmas, probably one of the new 40" Samsungs and perhaps I am now in the "too much info" stage.
     
  10. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    I too was being drawn into waiting for the next best thing, but after being without my 32" Samsung for a month, I just realised how hard it is to go back. (28" Panny CRT)

    I would not personally recommend the 40" Samsung though, and would say you should spend that money on a high end 32" set, as I was disappointed with many aspects of my 32" one. (I will be picking up a 32" Sharp GD7E to replace it once a refund is sorted out)

    If SDTV is of any real importance to you just now, the Sharp P50 series is the LCD to go for, in my opinion. If I wasn't a gamer (from December onwards, with the launch of Xbox 360, most games I buy will be 720p native) I'd be buying one of them, as HDTV won't be going mainstream any time soon in the UK. At least not at a reasonable price. SkyHD is far too expensive in my opinion, especially for only 6 HD channels, and BluRay / HD-DVD are rumoured to be £1k for a player of either format, with movies at £30.
     
  11. David Robinson

    David Robinson
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    I can remember similar statements being made when we first went from 405 lines to 625 lines. It is of course completely illogical. The optimum viewing distance is determined by the display resolution. You can't then choose your resolution based on the viewing distance... :rolleyes: :nono:
     
  12. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    It's really a mixture of both resolution and screen size.

    You only want to be so close to a big display, and this article was saying that the advantages of 1080p's resolution are past the point of comfort.

    I wouldn't want to be sitting 3ft from a 32" LCD, would you? (just an example; I have no idea what the optimum distance would really be)

    The optimum distance for SD content is around 3x the size of the screen, and for 720p about 2x the diagonal - would you really want to get closer than that? I know I wouldn't. Going from that, you would assume that 1080p would be the same distance as the diagonal. SDE would start showing up for starters.

    Either way, as a gamer, anything other than a 720p screen doesn't make sense.
     
  13. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    It's all very well to say that but in practice most people are not going to start rearranging their living rooms so they can sit closer to the screen once HDTV arrives. The fact is most of us are going to continue to watch TV at the same distances as they do now which is usually dictated by the size and layouts of their homes not whether the optimum viewing distance has decreased for HD viewing.
     
  14. chunkymonkey

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    I've got to support tugboatbill. I'm the first to want the latest technology but with my sensible head on I have got to concede that it is best to wait at least 6 months. In this case I think the argument about waiting for the next step in technology applies. If you do wait you are likely to get a good price/performance increase. Where as if you compare this to the PC market - yes you will get a price/performance increase but for an average home user who typically uses the internet and a word processor it is not going to make much difference.
     
  15. jedi-jae

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    andrewfee - I have to disagree with you about gaming on plasma screens.

    I have one and play games on it with no problem, I've never experiened retention or burn in, there is no lag, there is no grainy image - and this is on a PS2. What I get, via component connection, is a very sharp, very vivid image and it actually seems to be easier on the eye than my old CRT.

    From what I've read it is LCD that has the problem with lag unless you have bought one recently that has a good refresh rate.

    You'd have to have a game on for many hours, and showing the same image with the same graphics to get any kind of retention, let alone burn - on top of the fact that your eyes are suffering as much as the screen, remember you are supposed to take a break every hour! But games have different screens, menu's etc, aside from what you see while actually playing it and those changes are enough to keep a plasma happy - certainly in my experience.
     
  16. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Well lots of plasmas now have an "orbit" mode, which basically circles the image very gradually, spreading out the "burn-in" thinner, which is something I'm not a fan of. I agree with you on how they look; it's a very nice sharp, vivid image, but I have noticed grain in darker areas (although on 8th gen displays it's almost gone) however it's just not for me.

    Something many people don't know is that plasmas don't "clear" retention when you turn them off. If you play a game one hour a day for a month, with nothing else in-between, then it'll burn-in just the same as if you had just played it for that length of time non-stop. Changing the screen for a few seconds while you're in the menus isn't enough to stop it.

    Games have loads of permanent images onscreen (crosshairs, health, speed etc) and while you might be ok with playing games on a plasma, I could never spend that much on a display only to worry about whether I've played a game too long without displaying something else in-between. (and I don't necessarily mean in one sitting)

    It's really only DLP (or LCDs with interlaced content) where lag is an issue now.

    Panasonic recommend that 15% or less of your time with the set is spent gaming, with everything being played stretched to fill the screen.

    I'm not saying they're bad, just that they're not for me, or the majority of gamers. (in my opinion)
     
  17. igauk

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    I'm facing the same dilemma as tugboatbill. I've been thinking of changing the TV for a few months and LCD seemed the obvious way to go (certainly from a 14" Sony portable!). However, 99% of my viewing is standard Freeview and LCDs appear to be less than convincing for this. Given that I'd expect a new TV to be my only TV until it breaks (at least 10 years I'd hope) spending more on a technology that would give me a worse picture than CRT seems daft. Of course I like the fact that LCDs are longer lasting than CRT, use less energy and are better looking, but even waiting a couple of years to see how SED/OLED turn out might be a better option for me as I can't afford to get an LCD as a 'stopgap'.

    On a related note I also find it frustrating that so many magazine reviews focus on DVD playback and gaming. I would have thought that how a TV performs when watching TV should be the primary consideration!
     
  18. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    SED and OLED are fixed-pixel displays and will have the same "problems" as current LCDs and HD plasmas when watching regular television.

    If your primary use for a television is not HDTV, and won't be for a long time, buy a Sharp P50. (whatever size suits) It will display the best image out there for regular television / dvds, and is HD capable, so it's future-proof. (it will "downsample" HD, but it will still look fantastic)
     
  19. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    This is my point exactly igauk, i think there is something inherently wrong with technology which seems to be replaced almost on a bi-monthly basis.

    Andrew I am not sure what you mean about the Sharp P50 being HD capable but still a good purchase "If your primary use for a television is not HDTV" ? Also how does this model differ from the Sharp LC-37GD7E Sorry if these are dumb questions.
     
  20. Jim Barry

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    Have a look at http://www.sharp.co.uk/pal.html.

    Most LCD TVs have 768 lines, requiring PAL input signals to be deinterlaced and rescaled, which can really mess up the appearance of moving objects or camera panning.

    Whereas, the P50 has 540 lines, exactly matching the PAL broadcast format (after overscan is taken into account), hence no pesky deinterlacing or rescaling is required! The 540 line panel also affords clean down-conversion of 720-line and 1080-line pictures. (Obviously there will be information loss, but the picture will still look good.)
     
  21. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    Unfortunately I was typing out a large post and my browser crashed.

    LCDs will only display a truly sharp image at their "native" resolution; the Sharp P50's native resolution is the same as that of PAL broadcast television/DVDs.

    The GD7E is a 720p screen (1366x768 to be precise) and means that regular PAL content has to be upscaled to fit the screen, losing sharpness. It does however, mean that 720p will be displayed at full resolution, at its sharpest. The P50 will have to "downscale" to 960x540. However, downscaling still looks great (to a point) whereas upscaling looks poor, in comparison.

    I'm really torn between the P50 and the GD7E to be honest; I'll have to demo the two side-by-side, and see which I prefer. There are a couple of Xbox games that currently support 720p, so I'll have to buy one and take it into a store with me to see how good a job the P50 does of downscaling.



    Here's some examples comparing how the two should look. I've resized them in Photoshop to the proper resolutions. Unfortunately it's hard to show off the differences properly, so I've had to keep them in their native resolutions. Of course on the actual display, they will be physically the same size.

    Here's an image from "Naked Lunch" taken from this site, praising its transfer.

    This is the NTSC DVD at its native resolution (very similar to how it would be displayed on the P50)
    [​IMG]

    And here's how it would look on a 720p panel:
    [​IMG]
    (note: using an upscaling DVD player would sharpen things up quite a bit, but that does not apply to regular television)

    Here is how HDTV should look when displayed on the P50 however. (this is assuming that it does a good job downscaling)

    Original image taken from 720p clip found on Apple's Quicktime HD Gallery:
    [​IMG]

    Downscaled to 540p
    [​IMG]

    And here's a couple of game shots.

    "Gears of War" Xbox 360 game in 720p:
    [​IMG]

    540p
    [​IMG]

    "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" Xbox 360 game in 720p:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The other thing is that downscaling 1080i to 540p should be much easier than downscaling it to 720p would be. The Samsung LCD I had did not do a good job of this at all.

    Unfortunately we're in a period of transition just now, so we have to make a compromise somewhere. We either compromise on the quality of SDTV, which the majority of us will still be watching for many years to come, or sacrifice some resolution from HD content, although by the time HDTV broadcasts become mainstream, many of us will want to be upgrading our televisions anyway.

    The only thing holding me back is that Xbox 360 and PS3 will be running in 720p in every game, and the extra resolution there is more important than it is with television / film, in my opinion.

    While 720p should still look great on the P50, you loose a lot of the subtle details which HD is all about.
     
  22. daxie

    daxie
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    Brrr...

    Very dangerous and most of the times faulty comparison you make by those screens...

    Mainly, what you did, was take a 1280x720 res image, and scale it using photoshop or something...

    Different than scaling of a moving image...

    Plus you have to compare using same screen sizes...

    Off course you will hardly see the difference here.
    Why
    1) You're comparing min. 32" images on a 17" monitor...
    2) You're comparing resolution vs resolution, where you should compare resolution/size vs resolution/size...

    To be honest, the comparison you make isn't worth a lot.

    I'll try to do better...
     
  23. daxie

    daxie
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    Ok, here we have the original HD image...

    1280x720 at the fysical size you gave (which is wrong too, cause your image has 72dpi, while a tv has much much less)

    Now what will the Sharp P do with this?
    First, it will downscale to 950x540, as you correctly stated. BUT then the physical size would be less, image is smaller, as you show in your picture. Of course, you want the picture to fill the screen, so the sharp will have to enlarge the picture to the new physical size AND THUS DECREASING DPI!!!!


    Off course the comparison is still wrong, since you're seeing this on a high dpi computer screen, not on a tv, but it should point that the sharp will never give an equally sharp (no phun intended) as a real HD (ready) tv.

    Problem is I can't show you the difference... Why not? Cause your computer screen will rescale the image back to 72dpi, thus shrinking the image again.

    But I can show you the difference in detail it will have (albeit a wrong one).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I rest my case.
     
  24. daxie

    daxie
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    Oh yes, conclusion should be that there is nooo way to show the difference between a hd ready screen, and the sharp on a computer monitor.

    Only way to show it is to check them side by side. (Or use a good digicam on a tripod to take pictures!!)
     
  25. andrewfee

    andrewfee
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    While it doesn't show the size, it does accurately show the detail that you would lose from going down to 540p from a 720p source. If anything, your comparison just shows how 540p would look on a 720p screen.

    As you said, there is no accurate way of showing how it'll look on a monitor - downscaling and then scaling back up will soften the image far more than it will be on the screen - everything will look sharp on the P50. DPI is not really an issue here though; I don't know why you're mentioning that, as web browsers do not take this into account and will display all images at the resolution they are at, disregarding DPI.

    I agree that taking side-by-side pictures will do the job accurately with a good camera, and I'll try to do that when I get the chance to go and demo the units.

    I was just trying to show what the minimum detail loss there will be, with the feathers on the bird, the detail in the faces from GoW, and the fine detail from the armour being lost from dropping resolution.

    Resizing that DVD image does accurately show how it will look on a 720p screen, as that's how regular television looks on my Samsung LE32R41BX.
     
  26. daxie

    daxie
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    true that it is not an issue on a monitor, but we're talking about tv's here...

    that's why I can't show it through a web browser...

    I did not show a 540p on a 720p screen, where would you get that?
    I showed an original 720-image, and then a rescaled to 540-one, but taken the loss of dpi in account.

    We're both agreeing to the same conclusion though :cool:
     
  27. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    Thank you andrewfree and daxie for helping me to understand things more clearly.
     
  28. tugboatbill

    tugboatbill
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    The following link may be a pointer to where things are going with LCD technology regarding the price/performance ratio in the short to mid term.

    Sharp Begins Giant LCD Plant Construction

    Apologies if this is old news but I have just found it tonight.
     

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