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post #1 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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...as my 6 year-old DLP is on the fritz and I'm too busy to research it thoroughly to find what a few of the best HDTVs are today.

HTPC-centric.

Need a 60 inch or so in size. Recommendations to help cut down my research time? Is IPS worthwhile now?
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post #2 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 08:19 AM
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I've sold them at one of the big boxes the last few Christmas seasons

The two features that have creeped from only the premium sets to the mid range and even below models are 3D and smart apps. Any nicer tv is going to have both of them now.

How important is 3D for you? Understanding the different technologies (plasma active is different from LED active, LED passive is much more user friendly) will go a long way.

Do you have a plasma vs LED preference?

Last year, the best reviews were for the Panasonic VT series (plasma), Sony HX series (LED), and Sharp Elite (LED). The highest end models usually don't hit stores until Summer.

My HTPC front end set up
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Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #3 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

I've sold them at one of the big boxes the last few Christmas seasons

The two features that have creeped from only the premium sets to the mid range and even below models are 3D and smart apps. Any nicer tv is going to have both of them now.

How important is 3D for you? Understanding the different technologies (plasma active is different from LED active, LED passive is much more user friendly) will go a long way.

Do you have a plasma vs LED preference?

Last year, the best reviews were for the Panasonic VT series (plasma), Sony HX series (LED), and Sharp Elite (LED). The highest end models usually don't hit stores until Summer.

Thanks for the post and questions.

1. 3D not important but not opposed to it.
2. No preference. Either plasma or LED.
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post #4 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 08:35 AM
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A few general thoughts. I'll disregard the apps and streaming services since an htpc user has those more than covered.

-You will get a larger plasma screen for the same amount of $$$. They are cheaper to make.

-All plasma tv's use active 3D glasses. All LED tv's from Sharp, Samsung, and Sony use them as well. LEDs from Vizio and LG use passive glasses (the same ones you get at a RealD film).

-The price range on glasses is massive - $30 or so a pair to $100+. If you ended up with active glasses, rechargeable ones are they way to go, but they're also more money. Nothing like having the batteries in your 3D glasses die during a film.

-Samsung's colors are often lambasted by videophiles as overly saturated

-Personally, I can't really tell the difference between 120hz and 240hz. The 240hz tv will look better because they are the premium sets and have other features enhancing the picture. Both are a huge improvement over 60hz (with a film source).

-A 600hz plasma does not necessarily mean it can display the film cadence correctly.

-Plasma burn in? Not something to worry much about anymore, but I still wouldn't want to leave the taskbar up on it all night (thought I have one and have done it).

-LG touts a number of set up features, such as their sound modes and picture wizard as being the best and easiest to dial in colors (something I liked to show off to customers).

-Panasonic tv's have a proper overscan correction setting. Samsung's need to have their video input relabeled. I think Sony does too, not sure about LG or Sharp. This is big for htpc.

-Any video gaming going to be done on it? Having a "Game Mode" can mean different things. On Panasonics, its just a picture setting. On Samsung and Sharp, it completely turns off image processing to create less lag. Sharp's is considered the best in the industry. I've read of LG tvs having particularly poor lag.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #5 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 08:54 AM
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Thinking specifically about HTPC, here are the issues you could run into that would be manufacturer or model specific.

Overscan - how will it handle pixel mapping from a PC over hdmi

EDID/HDCP - you can have problems reestablishing a secure connection when flipping the power on and off. If, for example, you wanted to turn on a tv channel to listen through your receiver, but then shut off the tv, you could run into problems.

Colorspace - do you want a tv to take advantage of the pc's exteded color spectrum?

Picture in Picture - two ways to do this now - having two tuners in the set (not applicable) or matrixing two video inputs. A neat feature for using an Xbox 360 extender to bring up a second NFL game, for example.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #6 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 09:01 AM
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I've been looking for one for my Dad and here are some observations outside the usual:

First off, I am just going to say "LCD". LED is a type of backlight for an LCD so I am not going to qualify it.

LCD vs. Plasma: I've noticed that the height/width of the TV as a whole for a 50" plasma will get you a 55" in the LCD. This is because of the bezel.

LCD vs. Plasma: There is a big difference in the weight of the two with plasma being much heavier. This seems to be because of the glass (plasma).

LCD vs. Plasma: In the past, LCD would have a matte finish front and therefore be better for bright rooms. From what I've read, the newer LCDs are now using a glossy front, perhaps to make colors better, so YMMV if you have a bright room.

I have two 50" plasmas. One is a 2007 Panasonic 720p and the other a 2010 LG 1080p. In 2010, the price for a 50" was $700 while 55" LCD was double that. If the prices had been closer I would have gone for the 55" for my environment (bright room, < 52" width to work with).

You can also get full LED backlit LCDs now which might give a better chance of not having "clouds" around the edge of the LCD which seems to be a problem with edge-lit LEDs (clouds are the backlight leaking around the LCD panel). I am probably going to recommend a 55 or 60" LCD with full LED backlight for my Dad. They have a wall of windows in their room and he wants to put it on a stand for now and mount it later. It will be much lighter for him to deal with.

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post #7 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:


First off, I am just going to say "LCD". LED is a type of backlight for an LCD so I am not going to qualify it.

Nobody is making a "high end" LCD w/ CCFL backlight anymore. They are all LED.

Quote:


LCD vs. Plasma: I've noticed that the height/width of the TV as a whole for a 50" plasma will get you a 55" in the LCD. This is because of the bezel.

Very true on most of them, the higher end Panasonics (GT/VT) are surprisingly thin. I think the new LG leds have the nicest bezel and stand, but thats my personal preference rather than a functional issue,

Quote:


LCD vs. Plasma: There is a big difference in the weight of the two with plasma being much heavier. This seems to be because of the glass (plasma).

Correct. The other reason plasma gets more glare is because it is two pieces of glass sandwiched together, doubling reflection. Again, higher end ones are using different kinds of materials now.

Quote:


LCD vs. Plasma: In the past, LCD would have a matte finish front and therefore be better for bright rooms. From what I've read, the newer LCDs are now using a glossy front, perhaps to make colors better, so YMMV if you have a bright room.

All Samsung LEDs are glossy, Sony uses both, Sharp is mostly matte, LG uses glossy on their nice ones.

Quote:


You can also get full LED backlit LCDs now which might give a better chance of not having "clouds" around the edge of the LCD which seems to be a problem with edge-lit LEDs (clouds are the backlight leaking around the LCD panel). I am probably going to recommend a 55 or 60" LCD with full LED backlight for my Dad.

Very few tv's have full arrays (as opposed to edge lighting) and they are the most expensive. Sony HX929, Vizio XVT, Sharp Elite are to my recollection the only ones sold last year. You will see other phrases tossed around like microdimming and local dimming. Each company uses different marketing talk. Edge lighting allows them to be thinner.

It is hard to see the problems with edge lit tvs in the store with their odd lighting. It is much easier to see the "flashlighting/fogging" when you get home. All cheaper LEDs suffer this, no matter the brand.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #8 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 09:26 AM
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Plasma for more natural looking consistant picture. LCD for bright picture that (often un-naturally) pops, and not very consistent in general due to the backlighting methods (particularly edge lit). There are good and bad models with both, but the general rule still holds true. Really depends on how much of a videophile your father is. Most people seem to be into the asthetics and seem to think that the very bright often overblown picture of LCD's look best, even though even a low end plasma will give a better propper picture then pretty much all but some of the top end LCD's. Prices are getting low enough these days that it doesnt really matter. Just pick out whatever looks good to him no matter how impropper the picture technicly is. It's what looks good to them that really matters. As far as motion and the like, even the cheapo LCD's are fine these days for most people. Yes the videophiles can still pick out cadance issues and the like on em, but the people that consider such low end sets are oblivious to them and probably never would be able to pick out the set's picture issues on their own.

Anyhow, generally speaking, the Panasonic ST line of plasmas seem to be the best bang for the buck these days IMO. As low as you can find those for sometimes, they offer great picture quality for the money.
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post #9 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Very few tv's have full arrays (as opposed to edge lighting) and they are the most expensive. Sony HX929, Vizio XVT, Sharp Elite are to my recollection the only ones sold last year. You will see other phrases tossed around like microdimming and local dimming. Each company uses different marketing talk. Edge lighting allows them to be thinner.

There's actually quite a few full LED backlit, and LG has had them as well for several years. They have several models with what they term "NANO Full LED w/Local Dimming". Although I think they only go up to 55" on their LCDs. A year or two ago, their array included 2300 separate backlight sources, don't know what they are now.

Personally, I think the improvement in a full rather than edge lit LED is pretty apparent.

I have an LG 47LH55 from a couple of years ago (a 240hz full LED array local dimming unit) and am extremely pleased with it. It's also unbelievably thin and light, although this year's are even thinner.

BTW, we also have a Pioneer Elite plasma (Pioneer sold its plasma business to Panasonic in 2009, if I recall the date correctly) and my wife will never allow another plasma in the house. I think it has outstanding color (warmer than LCDs in my view), but it also pumps out a ridiculous amount of heat into the house (which she hates) -- a problem that does not exist with LCDs, and especially with LED lit LCDs. I don't know if that is still a problem with plasmas. I have noticed that LG and some other companies are back selling plasmas whereas there were only a couple of brands available a few years ago.
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post #10 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 09:58 AM
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speaking of plasma heat..

We have a 2011 Panasonic Plasma and it COOKS! Our livingroom was 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. We tried turning down the brightness to minimum, no post processing, etc. and it still was way too hot. We gave up and put the TV in the bedroom.

We went to Sams Club and bought a XVT full array LED Vizio. The picture, in my eyes, is just as good as our plasma without ANY heat. I couldn't leave my hand on the back of the plasma for more then 10 seconds whereas the LED I just barely feel a slight warmth.
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post #11 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:01 AM
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There's actually quite a few full LED backlit, and LG has had them as well for several years. They have several models with what they term "NANO Full LED w/Local Dimming". Although I think they only go up to 55" on their LCDs. A year or two ago, their array included 2300 separate backlight sources, don't know what they are now.

Personally, I think the improvement in a full rather than edge lit LED is pretty apparent.

I have an LG 47LH55 from a couple of years ago (a 240hz full LED array local dimming unit) and am extremely pleased with it. It's also unbelievably thin and light, although this year's are even thinner.

BTW, we also have a Pioneer Elite plasma (Pioneer sold its plasma business to Panasonic in 2009, if I recall the date correctly) and my wife will never allow another plasma in the house. I think it has outstanding color (warmer than LCDs in my view), but it also pumps out a ridiculous amount of heat into the house (which she hates) -- a problem that does not exist with LCDs, and especially with LED lit LCDs. I don't know if that is still a problem with plasmas. I have noticed that LG and some other companies are back selling plasmas whereas there were only a couple of brands available a few years ago.

While still warmer then current LCD's, plasmas arent quite the space heaters they used to be. I have a 46" Sony LCD from 2007, and a 50" panasonic GT25 plasma as well. The GT25 doesnt put out near the heat of the one it replaced, and seems about the same as my LCD in that respect.
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post #12 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:26 AM
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Forget all that and wait for this to come out

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_dot_display

 

 

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post #13 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:33 AM
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The LG 55LM6700 price has dropped a lot recently. Lots of features and it comes with 6 pairs of 3D glasses. I don't own an LG but I've heard a lot of good things about their 3D implementation and their app selection is quite good compared to the competition.

I was thinking about getting one but I'm holding off for $$ reasons.
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post #14 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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The LG 55LM6700 price has dropped a lot recently. Lots of features and it comes with 6 pairs of 3D glasses. I don't own an LG but I've heard a lot of good things about their 3D implementation and their app selection is quite good compared to the competition.

I was thinking about getting one but I'm holding off for $$ reasons.

A buddy owns a LG and absolutely hates the "trumotion" setting as it actually makes a trail behind standard HD TV on Directv.

Is there any way to turn this off?
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post #15 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:45 AM
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Yeah I'm the same. I have a 240hz Vizio and the TrueMotion makes everything look like a soap opera. Its good for high def sports though. There's a setting you can toggle to turn it off. I haven't tried setting up the harmony to do this on a macro but its probably doable.
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post #16 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

A buddy owns a LG and absolutely hates the "trumotion" setting as it actually makes a trail behind standard HD TV on Directv.

Is there any way to turn this off?

I think you find this as an issue with any of the "motion smoothing" processing on Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, LG and anyone else.

Mine has Low, High and Off setting. To be honest, I don't know if it's turned on or not, but we use it with DirecTV and I don't recall seeing that.

It's probably off because I have the THX mode and virtually all the other processing turned off.
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post #17 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on something like this: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_30560E8....html?tp=35945

(BTW I don't buy from Crutchfield but love their pictures)

I love the almost non-existent bezel.
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post #18 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Any thoughts on something like this: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_30560E8....html?tp=35945

(BTW I don't buy from Crutchfield but love their pictures)

I love the almost non-existent bezel.

By the way, for pictures and information, and for good telephone advice, give OneCall a try. Sometimes their prices are excellent, other times they are pretty standard, but they'll match others and have always given me really good service. Call them up, tell them what you are looking for or looking at, and get their suggestions.
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post #19 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 11:31 AM
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Thats pretty much Samsung's nicest 2012 tv. The 3D glasses use bluetooth to sync, so you have better off angle viewing. Their glasses are slightly less than some of the other brands as well.

It comes with a pretty wild remote too (bluetooth based - always wondered if someone could hack it for htpc use). That makes using the apps a little bit more intuitive if you find yourself using them. I love the fantasy football ones - the one app I would pay a lot of money for someone to create a WMC version of.

Any "problem" a videophile would find it in is probably nonsense. I'd be thrilled if you dropped this off at my door.

LG doesn't have a LM7600 out yet above 55", but that will probably be their comparable model this year. Sony times their new models differently, so they are still selling the HX929 (which is pretty expensive).

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post #20 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I just measured my cutout and its 61.5" wide.

So I can fit almost any 65" HDTV.

Now the decision gets even harder.
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post #21 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 12:37 PM
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That Samsung TV has a dual-core processor -- overkill for a TV .

 

 

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post #22 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:01 PM
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I've got a 65" Panasonic Plasma GT30. It is great and the 3D is nice to have, but I rarely use it. There were many deals on the ST30, GT30, and VT30s a couple months ago. Not sure if there are any around, but they are discounted to make room for the 2012 models. My GT is thin and has a small bezel. IMO it doesn't put out much heat. I also prefer to sit down and watch it and not stand next to it with my hands on the vents.

The main thing is to make sure you don't end up with something that can't do 1:1 mapping and can support 24Hz if you are interested in that option. Also, don't bother with non-1080p sets.

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post #23 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got a 65" Panasonic Plasma GT30. It is great and the 3D is nice to have, but I rarely use it. There were many deals on the ST30, GT30, and VT30s a couple months ago. Not sure if there are any around, but they are discounted to make room for the 2012 models. My GT is thin and has a small bezel. IMO it doesn't put out much heat. I also prefer to sit down and watch it and not stand next to it with my hands on the vents.

The main thing is to make sure you don't end up with something that can't do 1:1 mapping and can support 24Hz if you are interested in that option. Also, don't bother with non-1080p sets.

I keep coming back to the Panasonic P65VT50. I agree about the 3D and can't see myself watching a whole lot of 3D either.

What is the difference between the VT30 and VT50?
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post #24 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:06 PM
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What is the difference between the VT30 and VT50?

VT50 is the 2012 model.

 

 

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post #25 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I keep coming back to the Panasonic P65VT50. I agree about the 3D and can't see myself watching a whole lot of 3D either.

What is the difference between the VT30 and VT50?

If you can afford it, go for the VT50. The 50 series has significant improvements over the 30 series. The VT50 is probably the best TV you can buy right now, and arguably has the best picture quality. The Sharp Elite performs better in some regards but worse in others. The Sharp is also much more expensive.

You will not make a mistake buying the Panasonic. If you want something cheaper, get the ST50. The picture quality of the ST50 is almost as good as the VT50 even though it's substantially cheaper.

Also, in general, you get much better picture quality with plasmas than LCD's for your money. Plasma are also much lighter and thinner than they used to be, so I wouldn't worry about that. They don't have the ultra slim bezels like some of the Samsung and LG LCDs, but what do you care about more, picture quality or OMG tiny bezel?

The ONLY time I would ever recommend someone get an LCD over a plasma is if they have large windows facing there TV with direct sunlight that they simply can't control through blinds, shades, etc. Brightness is about the only advantage LCD's have over plasmas, but under normal conditions, you don't want your TV set that bright anyway. LCDs also consume less power, but the difference over the course of a year's use will probably be small, and it's not worth having crappier picture quality.
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post #26 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I can't really afford it. But I might as well go big if I have to upgrade.

BTW my DLP is starting to have the "white dot" issue (similar to this guy's) for the 2nd time. Right now I have 2 dots that appeared yesterday and today. The first time about 6 months ago Samsung repaired it for free even though it was about 4 years out of warranty as I guess this is some epic failure with some DLP sets.

In any event I want to see what's out there prior to it getting as bad as that other guy's.
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post #27 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:30 PM
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Plasmas have the best picture. When I upgraded, I went plasma, picture was awesome, BUT the thing put off loads of heat (Samsung D series). I have relatively small TV room with a bit of an airflow problem, room would heat up big time with TV on. Had to return it. Should not be an issue in most rooms, but something to be aware of.

Now have a Sony KDL55HX820. I see no clouding or flashlighting issues. Very satisfied, almost as good a pic as the plasma had. Have not tried 3D yet.
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post #28 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

Plasmas have the best picture. When I upgraded, I went plasma, picture was awesome, BUT the thing put off loads of heat (Samsung D series). I have relatively small TV room with a bit of an airflow problem, room would heat up big time with TV on. Had to return it. Should not be an issue in most rooms, but something to be aware of.

Now have a Sony KDL55HX820. I see no clouding or flashlighting issues. Very satisfied, almost as good a pic as the plasma had. Have not tried 3D yet.

I've never noticed heat from my Pioneer KRP-500M or my Panasonic ST50. My HTPCs and PS3 each put out more heat. My plasmas are only 50" though.
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post #29 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

Plasmas have the best picture. When I upgraded, I went plasma, picture was awesome, BUT the thing put off loads of heat (Samsung D series). I have relatively small TV room with a bit of an airflow problem, room would heat up big time with TV on. Had to return it. Should not be an issue in most rooms, but something to be aware of.

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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

I've never noticed heat from my Pioneer KRP-500M or my Panasonic ST50. My HTPCs and PS3 each put out more heat. My plasmas are only 50" though.

It's a few years old, but our Pioneer Elite plasma noticeably heated up the entire room. It was a total furnace. So significant that wife finally insisted we replace it with an LCD. And it was only a 43".
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post #30 of 181 Old 05-25-2012, 02:07 PM
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i have a 2009 panasonic s series (the s1) and its pretty warm. i considered the 2011 s30 pretty warm too. the 2011 gt30 was significantly cooler, nearly led cool and also as thin.

i remember lg's rep saying they had a hard time making some of their 2011 plasmas conform to the newest energy star ratings, which would suggest a warmer set. i cant remember if that was a big 2012 change or not.

i only think i notice mine because i try not to run any ac, i sit pretty close, and have it in a smaller room with a lower ceiling.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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