New HDTV used exclusively for HTPC, pros & cons of plasma versus LED versus LCD and your preference? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is a LCD, LED or Plasma best for use with an HTPC?
LCD 0 0%
LED 5 20.00%
Plasma 20 80.00%
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post #1 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Was hoping to get some opinions & experiences from HTPC users on the pros and cons of Plasma versus LED versus LCD, when the sole use of the new HDTV is as an output for the HTPC. What do you like about your current HTPC to HDTV setup? Do you have Plasma, LCD, or LED and how old is it? What would you do differently next time?

More details/requirements on the new HDTV:
  • It will be in a fairly bright room and connected to an new AVR Yamaha RX-V671
  • Used 75% of the time for OTA Antenna ATSC 1080i content via WMC
  • Used the other 25% of the time for Netflix, internet streaming-it seems text shows up better via an HTPC on a non-plasma?
  • Mainly viewing sports & movies-so want to avoid the picture freezing & pixeling issues
  • 60" plus HDTV for under $3k

Plasma burn in doesn't really seem to be an issue anymore-especially if a screen saver is in use. Plasma is better for viewing at different angles, but worried about being able to read the text off the HTPC...

Thanks for your thoughts!
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post #2 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 06:16 PM
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This is what I have. Absolutely phenomenal for HTPC, HDTV, and Bluray (I don't do 3D so can't comment on 3D). I would purchase again in a second.

I have a similar thread here on AVS with a fantastic discussion from the forum on this subject. In the end this is what I chose.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIERA-TC-P65ST50-65-Inch-Plasma/dp/B00752VKE6
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post #3 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

This is what I have. Absolutely phenomenal for HTPC, HDTV, and Bluray (I don't do 3D so can't comment on 3D). I would purchase again in a second.
I have a similar thread here on AVS with a fantastic discussion from the forum on this subject. In the end this is what I chose.
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIERA-TC-P65ST50-65-Inch-Plasma/dp/B00752VKE6

Thanks Assassin, I am happy to hear that confirmation! That Pani Plasma is actually one of the TVs I was strongly considering... My main concern was how it handled sports and movies via the WMC OTA Antenna setup-do you notice any issues with freezing or pixeling? Secondary concern was the readability of text on it-how does this compare to an LCD or LED (if you have had the chance to compare)?
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post #4 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE View Post

Was hoping to get some opinions & experiences from HTPC users on the pros and cons of Plasma versus LED versus LCD, when the sole use of the new HDTV is as an output for the HTPC. What do you like about your current HTPC to HDTV setup? Do you have Plasma, LCD, or LED and how old is it? What would you do differently next time?
More details/requirements on the new HDTV:
  • It will be in a fairly bright room and connected to an new AVR Yamaha RX-V671
  • Used 75% of the time for OTA Antenna ATSC 1080i content via WMC
  • Used the other 25% of the time for Netflix, internet streaming-it seems text shows up better via an HTPC on a non-plasma?
  • Mainly viewing sports & movies-so want to avoid the picture freezing & pixeling issues
  • 60" plus HDTV for under $3k
Plasma burn in doesn't really seem to be an issue anymore-especially if a screen saver is in use. Plasma is better for viewing at different angles, but worried about being able to read the text off the HTPC...
Thanks for your thoughts!

You can get a 65" Panasonic VT50 for under 3 grand now:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIERA-TC-P65VT50-65-Inch-Plasma/dp/B00752VLSG

We use ours for:
  • HTPC - XBMC mostly
  • PS3
  • XBOX360
  • Dish

I've calibrated mine and it's simply stunning.

Plasma TV's offer better blacks, motion handling, off axis viewing and color reproduction.
LED's are thinner...

Yes I'm biased, but then again you can go to any review site and see things like this:

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-hdtvs/

4 out of 5 of these TV's are plasmas.

Looky here!
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post #5 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

You can get a 65" Panasonic VT50 for under 3 grand now:
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-VIERA-TC-P65VT50-65-Inch-Plasma/dp/B00752VLSG
We use ours for:
  • HTPC - XBMC mostly
  • PS3
  • XBOX360
  • Dish
I've calibrated mine and it's simply stunning.
Plasma TV's offer better blacks, motion handling, off axis viewing and color reproduction.
LED's are thinner...
Yes I'm biased, but then again you can go to any review site and see things like this:
http://reviews.cnet.com/best-hdtvs/
4 out of 5 of these TV's are plasmas.

Thanks, I saw the VT50 on Amazon, but even on the cheap not sure the extra $$$ is worth it for me so would probably go with the ST50 unless you have some compelling reasons that fit for my situation... Motion handling is a key for me, so glad to hear that works well on the plasma.
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post #6 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE View Post

Thanks, I saw the VT50 on Amazon, but even on the cheap not sure the extra $$$ is worth it for me so would probably go with the ST50 unless you have some compelling reasons that fit for my situation... Motion handling is a key for me, so glad to hear that works well on the plasma.

The key things are:
  • Better black filter
  • 10pt grey scale and CMS controls
  • ISFccc day and night modes so calibration adjustments can be made using software like Calman 5 or ControlCal.
  • 24p playback at 48/60/96hz

Personally I think the physical design is a lot nicer as well.

Either way they're both outstanding TV's.

Looky here!
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post #7 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 08:58 PM
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Plasmas work perfectly for HTPCs. I have a Pioneer KRP-500M and a Panasonic ST50 both connected to HTPCs. Text is perfectly fine. Text might appear fuzzy compared to an LCD if you literally walk up to the plasma and look at the text from inches away. From normal watching distances the text is perfectly crisp.

Plasmas absolutely have a better picture than LCDs for the money, and the Panasonic VT50 has the best picture quality of any TV this year. IMO, if cost is an issue, just go with the ST50. The VT50 is reserved for those who want the absolute best. The ST50 is really not far behind.
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post #8 of 39 Old 01-08-2013, 11:21 PM
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What about the Panasonic GT series?

I was at Best Buy / Magnolia the other day looking at 50" TVs & the salesperson said the GT was just a notch below the VT and IIRC was about $150 more than the ST. And the GT had a THX setting like the VT. What I did not like was the glossy screen which most plasmas seem to have.
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post #9 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 05:57 AM
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There is no such thing as an LED TV. It is an LCD with an LED backlight. Do they even make non LED LCD TVs anymore? At least ones worth buying.

I have a 65" Panny GT30 plasma and would buy another (well, I'd probably go for the latest ZT60 or VT60).

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post #10 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

What about the Panasonic GT series?
I was at Best Buy / Magnolia the other day looking at 50" TVs & the salesperson said the GT was just a notch below the VT and IIRC was about $150 more than the ST. And the GT had a THX setting like the VT. What I did not like was the glossy screen which most plasmas seem to have.

For $150.00 more I'd do it.

Looky here!
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post #11 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 06:46 AM
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The picture quality will be virtually identical between the ST and GT. The GT probably has nicer styling, and I believe it has a dual core processor instead of a single core processor, which may be nice if you plan on using all the Smart TV functions. There are a couple other minor differences but I don't remember. I don't really see much of a point IMO, although it's still worth looking into.
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post #12 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 07:22 AM
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I am running Samsung 58” plasma. I have both OTA and FiOS via a SD-HDHR3 and Hauppaug 2250 tuners. Actually 85% of our viewing is via OTA; the HDHR3 logs shows it kicking in for ESPN and stupid FoodTV (argh).
I have a large collection of photos taken on our off-road adventures in Utah. I set my cameras for 16:9 aspect ratios and snap away. We often sit down and just watch our pictures using the WMC slide show. Photos of family events are also popular at holiday gatherings; guests really enjoy seeing the wonderful collection of candid family photos that often include themselves.
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post #13 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 AM
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So which model Sammy is that and what are the pros and cons?

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post #14 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

The picture quality will be virtually identical between the ST and GT. The GT probably has nicer styling, and I believe it has a dual core processor instead of a single core processor, which may be nice if you plan on using all the Smart TV functions. There are a couple other minor differences but I don't remember. I don't really see much of a point IMO, although it's still worth looking into.

Since I have a nice WMC HTPC hooked up to it I dont really plan on using the "Smart TV" functions. I am leaning towards the ST, but trying to find the best deal online and timing it right might be tricky... I will be putting it in an living room that opens to the nook and kitchen a decent ways away so would like to get the bigger 65" over the 60", but the price difference is pretty significant on Amazon for only 5" difference. Amazon has the 65" for $2289 and the 60" for $1675-DILEMMA?!? eek.gif http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00752VKE6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=freetveecom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00752VKE6
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post #15 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

For $150.00 more I'd do it.

yep the GT is only $2499 on Amazon, just not sure if the little extra $$$ adds any value for my situation?
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post #16 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE View Post

Since I have a nice WMC HTPC hooked up to it I dont really plan on using the "Smart TV" functions. I am leaning towards the ST, but trying to find the best deal online and timing it right might be tricky... I will be putting it in an living room that opens to the nook and kitchen a decent ways away so would like to get the bigger 65" over the 60", but the price difference is pretty significant on Amazon for only 5" difference. Amazon has the 65" for $2289 and the 60" for $1675-DILEMMA?!? eek.gif http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00752VKE6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=freetveecom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00752VKE6

Good god those prices have dropped! I think I paid $1250 for the 50" ST50 a few months ago. That price for the 60" is a steal. If I were you I'd go for that!
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post #17 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:16 AM
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I have a slightly older Panny plasma and I love it as well. I will stick with plasma for as long as they are available.
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post #18 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Good god those prices have dropped! I think I paid $1250 for the 50" ST50 a few months ago. That price for the 60" is a steal. If I were you I'd go for that!

I know that is a sweet TV at an incredible price! "Lockdown" you should have at least waited a few weeks for the holiday deals to start... ;-)

If I didnt have to see the TV from so far away in the kitchen at times I wouldn't even hesitate and just grab the 60". To go up to the 65" it's like an extra $100 per 1", pretty pricey 5". This is starting to sounds like one of those penis extension ads... eek.gif No more $ to " discussions.
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post #19 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 10:39 AM
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Well if you look at it this way, you'll be paying 36.7% more for a 17.6% increase in screen surface area. Although I can understand the desire to get the largest TV possible.
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post #20 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Maybe I will sleep on it tonight and decide tomorrow... Anyone else have any thoughts or experiences?
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post #21 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetvEE View Post

yep the GT is only $2499 on Amazon, just not sure if the little extra $$$ adds any value for my situation?

The 50" GT was on sale at BB when I saw it. IIRC was something like $1250. The salesperson said the ST was typically the best value, but with the sale pricing the GT was only about $150 more making it the best value. The VT was several hundred dollars more.

The gloss screen is probably a deal breaker for me. I know people say that glossy screens provide a better picture. But when I see all the reflections in the store I can't call that better. If you had a perfectly dark room then it would be OK. However my family room is quite open & it seems there is always a light on somewhere.
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post #22 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 02:57 PM
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I'm shopping for a new TV as well for my main HTPC/Theater. I've settled on a 60" ST50, but something to consider is that CES is going on this week so all the manufacturers just announced thier 2013 model TVs. Panasonic announced the ST60 series as the replacement for the ST50 series. So now the game is either to patiently wait for the new 2013s, or play the game of cat and mouse to see how low prices may (or may not!) go on the 2012 models. Personally I'm going to play cat and mouse on a 60" ST50. Prices were less on ST50s before Christmas, so I'm guessing for the 65" you are looking at there are at least $200 in discounts waiting to happen before the 2013 models hit the shelf.
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post #23 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

The 50" GT was on sale at BB when I saw it. IIRC was something like $1250. The salesperson said the ST was typically the best value, but with the sale pricing the GT was only about $150 more making it the best value. The VT was several hundred dollars more.
The gloss screen is probably a deal breaker for me. I know people say that glossy screens provide a better picture. But when I see all the reflections in the store I can't call that better. If you had a perfectly dark room then it would be OK. However my family room is quite open & it seems there is always a light on somewhere.

FYI, the ST, GT, and VT have a very powerful filter the blocks almost all light coming from above the display, which is great for overhead lights. These are also some of the brightest plasmas made, which helps ameliorate reflection problems. It's hard to imagine any normal house lights cause a big issue. I would only be concerned if you have tall windows directly facing the display and plan on using the display frequently in the daytime (this is actually my situation, and it still doesn't bother me that much). If you absolutely must have a matte display unfortunately your options are limited. Most of the high end LCDs that try to compete with the Panasonic plasmas are also glossy.
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post #24 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 03:56 PM
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My Samsung LN40-650A has a glossy screen and it was made in 2008 or 2009. It doesn't bother me too much except on a bright day when light leaks through the blinds that are directly behind the couch and 180 from the screen. I usually tone down the lighting at night when watching..

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post #25 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WylieKylie View Post

I'm shopping for a new TV as well for my main HTPC/Theater. I've settled on a 60" ST50, but something to consider is that CES is going on this week so all the manufacturers just announced thier 2013 model TVs. Panasonic announced the ST60 series as the replacement for the ST50 series. So now the game is either to patiently wait for the new 2013s, or play the game of cat and mouse to see how low prices may (or may not!) go on the 2012 models. Personally I'm going to play cat and mouse on a 60" ST50. Prices were less on ST50s before Christmas, so I'm guessing for the 65" you are looking at there are at least $200 in discounts waiting to happen before the 2013 models hit the shelf.

Yep, I considered that the 65" might drop a bit with the new models from CES, but I am also wondering if retailers have less of the 65" in stock compared to the 60" which is why they are quite a bit more $$$ now? If so then maybe they will actually increase in price since they have gotten such good reviews and are the biggest screen option in the ST class... I might wait a day or 2 and see what happens.
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post #26 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 07:20 PM
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From what I have heard here are the pros for:

Plasma:
blacks are absolutely black
color is richer
motion is handled better
- best picture

LCD
Better for a bright room
Much lower power consumption
probably longer life span
- most practical

Hopefully OLED's will go mass market and combine the best of both worlds.
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post #27 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

From what I have heard here are the pros for:

Plasma:
blacks are absolutely black - depends, LG Plasmas need potentiometer tweaks to have blacks better than their LCD's. Samsung blacks aren't as good as Panasonics, but better than Samsung LCD's
color is richer - yes
motion is handled better - yes
- best picture - yes

LCD
Better for a bright room - depends, the lower end plasmas like the U series are terrible with direct light on them. The ST50 and up, and the Samsung plasmas perform very well in bright room.
Much lower power consumption - I did the math on the power consumption between my VT50 and the Sharp Elite's. It would take 14 years of constant use before the cost of the power consumption caught up to the higher price of the Sharp.
probably longer life span - Current plasmas are rated at 100,000 hours of use. If you go halfway to 50,000 hours, that's 15 years at 8 hours a day.
- most practical - How so?

Hopefully OLED's will go mass market and combine the best of both worlds. - I hope so too, hopefully Panasonic and Sony will have better luck than LG and Samsung did.

Looky here!
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post #28 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 08:07 PM
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I consider my Sharp 80" LCD/LED the best bet for the money.
But to each their own, LOL.

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #29 of 39 Old 01-09-2013, 08:16 PM
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To echo what robnix said, I don't think the lifespan comment is really valid. I still have an 9 year old plasma that works just as well as the day I got it. I also don't see how LCD's are more practical.

In practice, the power consumption thing doesn't really matter. The extra cost over a year ends up being very small. Also keep in mind there are plenty of LCD's that have glossy screens, making them just as reflective just like plasmas.

Also, I wouldn't quite say any plasma does absolute black, although some like the VT50 are very close smile.gif
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post #30 of 39 Old 01-10-2013, 04:55 AM
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+1 on the Panasonic Viera 65VT series - absolutely superb. Anything above 42" really needs to be plasma IMHO and, as regards longevity, I have a 42" Pioneer plasma that is 10+ years old but the picture is still fantastic
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