I was a fervent flat panel fan, plasma in particular, for many years so I still keep an eye on what is happening to some degree. I still get to see the Panasonic 103" plasma regularly. I've been checking out the Sharp (and Samsung) series of LCD flat panels as they have gotten bigger and bigger. I'd seen the 70" and 80" but encountered the Sharp 90" today, playing some demo material.
The good: Contrast was pretty amazing. Image sharpness, very good (though not quite what I see on my projection set up these days). The vibrancy of the image was luxurious.
I think I've become spoiled by the smoothness of the image on my RS55 projector. When I see one of the bigger flat panels I instinctively position myself to get a similar viewing angle like I get at home with my projector. But now when I do I'm particularly struck by seeing the granular, pixel structure on the flat panels. With E-shift on the JVC there is no visible pixel structure from any rational sitting distance and so it maintains a smooth "solid" feel in large and even huge image sizes. I just haven't had to think about pixel structure so it's a bit weird when it suddenly pops into view when looking at these flat panels. Of course the pixel structure diminished and the image looked smoother as I stepped further away. But then...I lose the immersiveness and it starts feeling smaller, like TV.
Also, the illumination of the image hot-spots on these LCDs (dimmer corners etc). Not to mention the variation of image quality with respect to the viewer position. WOW do these things wash out when you start to move off axis. It's awful! No such issue with the projected image at home (although I would have that issue had I chosen certain other types of screens).
Finally, the image looked flatter than I'm used to. At home I'm just used to a window-like depth of image. The effortless, immersive depth and sense of looking way into the space of the picture with my projection set up just wasn't there on this LCD, with this demo material. Everything looked sharp and vibrant, but flat.
Gawd I love my projection set up.
(BTW, the salesman said "beats any projector huh?" I said..."uh...I'm not quite sure about that. Not mine, from what I see here." He said "Oh, yeah, but the projector is going to cost 3 times the price!"
Er...no...this 90" flat panel was going for $10,000 CDN - my projector was half the cost. But, hey, that's salesmen for ya...")