Plasma vs. LCD LED in hot environment - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-06-2013, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I know this is a discussion you will not like to see again but as technology changes so do some disadvantages and advantages. I have read go with Plasma if you can control the light and want superior quality and LED if you cannot control the light. I will be moving to Las Vegas and they have some pretty extreme heat there, sometimes up to 120F. While I will not let the home get to that temperature it will probably be pretty hot regardless. I guess my main concern here is heat output and energy consumption.

I understand that Plasma's do draw more energy and put out more heat and while at the store I see the yearly cost of energy differences only in the tens of dollars. What I am wondering is does this take into account the cost of additional AC cooling needed which I don't think it does and if I were to account for it how much more energy would I consume just to even out the heat output. I am assuming just doubling the difference right?

Also, I have a family member that repairs televisions and just going by personal experience it seems that Plasmas seems to need repairs more often than LCDs, with biggest things to go the Y and X sustain boards and power supplies. What do you think about this?

I really care about picture quality and black levels which is why I am still considering plasma even though they have higher energy consumption and heat output. And I can hold off until the August or possibly even later to purchase a TV if more efficient plasma models are coming out at reasonable price levels.

Thanks for your advice.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-06-2013, 11:14 AM
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Plasmas are already very much more energy efficient than they were 3 or 4 years ago, I wouldn't be concerned about this unless the tv's going to be on 24/7. As for heat output, this also isn't a problem unless your AC system is really poor and the set's in a very small room.

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-06-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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One of my concerns is that the heat and energy will increase my total power bill by say $10 a month. At $10 a month that is $120 a year and over 4 years that's $480 that could be spent on a different tv or something else.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 02:21 PM
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What size tv are you considering? If it's anything like 60" you'll have to spend at least a thousand dollars more (realistically something like $2500 for a Sharp Elite or Sony 950) for an led/lcd that even approaches the picture quality of something like a VT series Panasonic plasma, which even with the ludicrously pessimistic $10 a month power bill penalty (my guess would be $2 at most) puts you $520 in the hole after 4 years.

I understand the desire to save on the power bill--it's one of the reasons I bought a BD player to use for movies/streaming content instead of my somewhat power hungry PS3 Fat--but a piddly $10 or $15 a year savings for the typical LED/LCD vs plasma over the course of an entire year just doesn't make sense if pq is of paramount importance.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 04:22 PM
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Just to echo and amplify Steve's comments, you will in fact spend a bit more to power your plasma than an LCD and you will spend a tiny bit more dealing with the fact that the room will be a tiny bit hotter, but the numbers are nowhere near $10 per month.

We can actually do a quick "back of the envelope" calculation. If you assume the plasma will run 200 watts above the LCD (a pretty reasonable guess in the larger sizes), you will use 1 additional kilowatt hour per day of electricity (assuming 5 hours of viewing). That's 30 kw/hour per month or about $2.50-4 depending on where in the country you are. The incremental cooling is really hard to measure, but over the entirety of your house, the plasma is like running the equivalent of 3 more 60 watt light bulbs worth of heat. I cannot believe the cost of cooling that is more than $1-2 per month and it's partly offset by the countervailing heat in the winter. Let's just call this $1 per month on average.

If we take those together, we're at $5 per month in markets with pricey electricity (like California) although if one were buying "Tier 3" power in California you could even end up close to $10 per month. In Nevada, however, power runs around 11 cents kw/hour and this would get you below $4 per month all in.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the comments. I was thinking something along the lines of a 50-55" TV and saw some good deals on a 50" ST50 for $800 from Sears, and many deals on the UT50 for significantly cheaper. I see the new ST60 will also be one to look out for however I feel as though a 55" ST60 will not be around $800 by August this year, but who knows. I will be keeping this TV for about 4 years. I personally do not use the TV anywhere near 5 hours a day every day however I will be having a roommate the following years and do not know how often they will use the TV.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, how are the LG plasmas? I see they are much cheaper in comparison and I see a huge thread with people going into the set and adjusting the pots on the boards to obtain very good black levels and picture quality. My skill with electronics is relatively high and I have a voltmeter but not an oscilloscope. I read one person said that the service manual states to use an oscilloscope to adjust one of the pots. I am considering this option as well mainly due to the lower price of LG plasmas and passive 3D meaning significantly cheaper 3D glasses.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 10:24 AM
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LG plasmas use active 3D, not passive as is the case with their LED/LCD 3D models. Modding one to equal a Panny or Samsung's black levels would void the warranty.

The 60" ST50 never dropped below $1300ish even on closeout, doubt if a 60" ST60 would hit $800 by August (or ever, for that matter). If you can find a 50" ST50 for $800 in stock grab it if that screen size is adequate.

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