LCD Flat Panels Are Getting There..BUT... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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....damn, they still haven't got that viewing angle thing licked yet.

Year after year LCD manufacturers like Sharp make big boasts about improved viewing angles - i.e. that picture contrast is maintained over a wide horizontal viewing angle so people sitting off-axis can enjoy as rich an image as those taking the center seat.

But, every year I read the new boasts and every year I can't help but notice they are close to bunk. Just today while I was in Best Buy I was moving slowly down the lane of displays. I was looking at one RPTV and glanced at the next one beside it. The black levels looked awful on the adjacent display - like I was looking at an LCD RPTV from four or five generations ago with their terrible gray/blue elevated black levels.

Then I stood in front of that adjacent display and the black levels dropped down to a richer level and I discovered it was actually the new Sharp 52" LCD flat panel. Yikes. Certainly the contrast looked quite nice when I stood directly in front of it but wow did it ever emphasize yet again how even a top manufacturer like Sharp hasn't beat the off-axis viewing problems.

Now, most consumers I think wouldn't find it much of an issue. Most consumers will be watching content in lighted conditions in which the contrast changes with viewing position aren't as obvious (even though I found it obvious in a well-lit store). But this is one of the reasons why a lot of us home theater fans still have trouble with the idea of choosing an LCD flat panel over a good plasma. Especially once you turn the lights down to watch a movie - as a lot of us like to do - the shifts in luminance in the dark areas especially become too prominent. I often watch with guests and I'll let them get the on-axis seats. Not everyone can get the "prime" seat in front of a set. The way the black levels rise in something like the Sharp LCD as I move
off axis (and not even to extreme angles at all) would drive me nuts...like watching a 2nd generation plasma or something.

Right after I viewed the new Pioneer Kuro 50" plasma and what a difference!
Far richer image, way deeper blacks, and I was released to enjoy an equally rich image no matter where I situated myself.

So...LCD flat panels just aren't for me yet. I don't know if or when they'll ever be able to maintain consistent contrast across different viewing angles, which makes me hope plasma sticks around for quite a while.

(That's not to say LCDs don't have advantages over plasmas as well. I'm just talking about what LCD doesn't do that I, and not a few other HT enthusiasts, value).
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post #2 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 12:48 PM
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[quote=R Harkness;11569510]So...LCD flat panels just aren't for me yet. I don't know if or when they'll ever be able to maintain consistent contrast across different viewing angles, which makes me hope plasma sticks around for quite a while.[quote]

Yup, LCDs are still just for dual use with PC or gaming, or needed due to glare.

HD-DVD is dead, so now I'm a Gary McCoy fanboy.
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post #3 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 02:01 PM
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i returned my 5084 for the 4671... the lcd picture is just as good if not better. viewing angles? can't really tell and i usually sit in front of the tv to enjoy the content.
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post #4 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 05:56 PM
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Although i have respected Rich from being in the plasma forums for a long time and him being fair i just don't understand the point of coming into the LCD forum and pointing this out. Viewing angles are well known by even the newest of newbies. A viewing angle is no big deal to many people who have a primary viewing spot. Blacks on the newer LCD's are either approaching plasma or passing them. Just read some pro reviews and see the actual measurements being done especially ansi. I have always loved Pioneer and Panny plasmas, however, and i have said this many times, the TV should not dictate your viewing habits, you should be allowed to enjoy the set without worrying if a breaking story on CNN will ruin your $4000 TV. All displays have their faults, but to come out of nowhere and make a post like this makes it appear to people not familiar with you that you are a plasma fanboy.
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post #5 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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lipcrkr,

I appreciate what you are politely saying, but, the reason I posted it here is because it was an observation/gripe about LCDs in particular and this is the LCD forum. Doesn't make sense to post it in the plasma forum, does it?

It's even in the title that I think LCDs are getting there...BUT...I don't see much progress on this one issue which is why I'm not ready to buy LCD. For some reason today I was just taken aback by how little progress there seemed to be with this issue, from a major LCD manufacturer that makes big claims about viewing angles. And these forums are where we come to discuss our AV experiences. And actually, I've seen plenty of people (for a few years now) claiming the viewing angle of LCDs isn't much of an issue anymore. Lots of "I don't see it" and "it doesn't bother me" owners. I know it doesn't bother lots of people, but I'm pointing out why it does bother some of us, and under what conditions.

On this forum we hash out the good and bad about various displays. Gripes are allowed to. It wouldn't be much of a discussion forum if only positive things were allowed to be said of each technology in each forum.

I am still blown away by the clarity and palpability of the best LCDs, despite this problem.
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post #6 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 06:59 PM
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what do you guys think of the viewing angles of the samsung 4042h? i was looking at it at bestbuy and circuit city and it seems pretty good to me, but i'm a newbie so i dunno. i don't think it'll affect me either way since i wouldn't be watching it from any extreme angle but i was just curious. thanks.
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post #7 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 07:01 PM
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Actually, it appears to me that LCD's recently have gone downhill in wide viewing angle performance relative to on-axis performance. It seems that in the effort to improve contrast, they are just scattering the light off axis. My Samsung 4661 has poor off-axis performance, but superior on-axis. I had a samsung 5296, last year's model, and it had better off-axis relative to its on-axis performance than that of the 4661.

One thing I will state again about off-axis viewing is that it is not an appropriate way to do serious viewing (i.e. videophile). Any widescreen presentation will be squashed horizontally (the cosine effect, e.g. part of why it is cold in winter in the northern hemisphere even though we are closer to the sun), the aspect ratio will be unacceptably changed. Any serious videophile should consider off-axis viewing verboten, no excuses.
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post #8 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 07:06 PM
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Come on Rich - Slumming again with your Bias? Of course, must be bored. Sorry but damn you must have professional calibrators up Toronto way since I've seen two Kuro's locally and they were not impressive at all. Samsung 5084 beat it at both locations.

But of course you can cherry pick can't you. I have no viewing angle issues whatsoever and at least I can see my friggin picture in the daytime and not be staring at the inventory of the room. Bias as usual - admit it you'll never find an LCD you'd favor over plasma so go back to your PDP corner would you and enjoy your Panny. Now that the blacks are dramatically improving you have to find another straw to grab and that's a pretty weak one for most of us that own them.

This is an LCD section so all your doing is placing a flame bait thread to justify your Bias. BORED aren't you. Funny how 24/7 the LCD thread more than double participation of the PDP threads - does that get you lonely? Flame Bait is desperation!

Yes, a plasma without daytime washout and no shadow details and reflection city that's our goal? Sorry but I have no problems with viewing angle and I own four of them and at least I can see Picture instead of everything else in the room from your viewing angles. .

Mark - For someone that likes bitching about LCD you sure as hell spend alot of time focused in the LCD Threads - the Kuro is ready and waiting for your money and so whats stopping you? Or is it more fun to bitch and whine over here - this seems to be your new hobby here so why cannot you choose a plasma? No one is forcing you to be here.

"Plasma's are getting there with light controlled rooms BUT. . ."

Plasma =

inferior whites on many panels especially the Panny which has yellowish/gray dirty whites. What good are better blacks when CR is WHITE to Black range - PDP owners/fans will rarely discuss the whites.
Plasma = TIR/IR - while burn-in is mostly resolved and rare on many plasma's image retention is very real even now.
Plasma = Reflection City - Do you want to compete with the inventory of the room of the windows with what your trying to view?
Plasma = Washout when the sun streams into the room and I mean big time - just try viewing a dark based movie or football or playing dark video games while 80% of the view is washed out during daylight hours and even if you have blinds the light seeping through will reflect in the panel unless it's housed in a wall unit and enclosed.
Plasma = Break-in Periods and Cautious Viewing Safeguards while LCD has no such issue or concern.

Samsung 65F8000, 60D8000, 40HU6350, Panasonic 50E60 LCD's
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post #9 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 View Post

Come on Rich - Slumming again with your Bias? Of course, must be bored. Sorry but damn you must have professional calibrators up Toronto way since I've seen two Kuro's locally and they were not impressive at all. Samsung 5084 beat it at both locations.

But of course you can cherry pick can't you. I have no viewing angle issues whatsoever and at least I can see my friggin picture in the daytime and not be staring at the inventory of the room. Bias as usual - admit it you'll never find an LCD you'd favor over plasma so go back to your PDP corner would you and enjoy your Panny. Now that the blacks are dramatically improving you have to find another straw to grab and that's a pretty weak one for most of us that own them.

This is an LCD section so all your doing is placing a flame bait thread to justify your Bias. BORED aren't you. Funny how 24/7 the LCD thread more than double participation of the PDP threads - does that get you lonely? Flame Bait is desperation!

Yes, a plasma without daytime washout and no shadow details and reflection city that's our goal? Sorry but I have no problems with viewing angle and I own four of them and at least I can see Picture instead of everything else in the room from your viewing angles. .

Mark - For someone that likes bitching about LCD you sure as hell spend alot of time focused in the LCD Threads - the Kuro is ready and waiting for your money and so whats stopping you? Or is it more fun to bitch and whine over here - this seems to be your new hobby here so why cannot you choose a plasma? No one is forcing you to be here.

"Plasma's are getting there with light controlled rooms BUT. . ."

Plasma =

inferior whites on many panels especially the Panny which has yellowish/gray dirty whites. What good are better blacks when CR is WHITE to Black range - PDP owners/fans will rarely discuss the whites.
Plasma = TIR/IR - while burn-in is mostly resolved and rare on many plasma's image retention is very real even now.
Plasma = Reflection City - Do you want to compete with the inventory of the room of the windows with what your trying to view?
Plasma = Washout when the sun streams into the room and I mean big time - just try viewing a dark based movie or football or playing dark video games while 80% of the view is washed out during daylight hours and even if you have blinds the light seeping through will reflect in the panel unless it's housed in a wall unit and enclosed.
Plasma = Break-in Periods and Cautious Viewing Safeguards while LCD has no such issue or concern.

well done
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post #10 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 08:36 PM
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Wait, so are you guys saying plasmas are better than lcd's?
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post #11 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

lipcrkr,

I appreciate what you are politely saying, but, the reason I posted it here is because it was an observation/gripe about LCDs in particular and this is the LCD forum. Doesn't make sense to post it in the plasma forum, does it?

It's even in the title that I think LCDs are getting there...BUT...I don't see much progress on this one issue which is why I'm not ready to buy LCD. For some reason today I was just taken aback by how little progress there seemed to be with this issue, from a major LCD manufacturer that makes big claims about viewing angles. And these forums are where we come to discuss our AV experiences. And actually, I've seen plenty of people (for a few years now) claiming the viewing angle of LCDs isn't much of an issue anymore. Lots of "I don't see it" and "it doesn't bother me" owners. I know it doesn't bother lots of people, but I'm pointing out why it does bother some of us, and under what conditions.

On this forum we hash out the good and bad about various displays. Gripes are allowed to. It wouldn't be much of a discussion forum if only positive things were allowed to be said of each technology in each forum.

I am still blown away by the clarity and palpability of the best LCDs, despite this problem.

But Rich, when people look at an LCD, or any display for that matter, they know for the most part how many people and where the people will be watching it from. So the evaluation of the viewing angle is very simple and quick. You will not be standing off to the side and say "gee, even though this TV will be fine watching in the living room i was hoping i could watch it from the bathroom also".
Like i said, i love plasma, especially the Pioneer and Panny, however, if you look at the specs for the new Pioneer it states that is has a feature to scroll (or whatever) the screen after you acquire IR. I will be honest, i really would prefer a plasma, specifically the new Pio 5010, but nobody has been able to convince me that i can game, use it as an HTPC, or watch CNN without having a nervous breakdown. Otherwise, i'd be watching a plasma now instead of delaying for months a new HDTV.
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post #12 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 View Post

Come on Rich - Slumming again with your Bias?

Goodness. I thought that version of westa had disappeared.

Are you really trying to say that the changes in contrast that happen off-axis
in LCDs are simply a case of my bias an not an objective fact????

As I've always said, people have differing criteria, preferences and tolerances. But you can't argue with facts. I'm simply talking about a fact
of LCD technology that I had hoped, given all the bragging time by LCD manufacturers, would have actually improved more than it has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 View Post

I have no viewing angle issues whatsoever

So you have in your place the first LCD that does not change image contrast/luminance off axis? Amazing. Which model is it?

If instead you mean "Whatever alterations in image quality occur off axis don't seem to bother me at all" that's another story, and as I originally posted most people are likely not bothered either. But...it's there nonetheless for those of us it does bother.

If you can point me to a current LCD that does not significantly rise in luminance (especially at the bottom portion of the screen) when you move off-axis, the please do. I'll check it out. I admit I'm doubtful this year's models have made a quantum leap over last year's models, which exhibit precisely what I'm talking about, seen in the photos in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...57#post8629257

And there's no need to go into all the pluses of LCD as if I weren't aware of them for goodness sake. I've seen LCDs blow away lots of plasmas, particularly when playing content to their "strengths" and under challenging lighting situations. Crisper, brighter, sharper...etc. I have never denied the strengths of LCD and have said until I'm blue in the face how much I appreciate what LCDs do well. But THIS problem - the viewing angle - ain't licked yet by a long shot from what I can see, which is what makes LCDs hard to swallow as a home theater display for me and quite a few other
folks.

For others the strengths of LCD will outweigh the strengths of plasma. No need to go through all those silly battles.
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post #13 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 09:26 PM
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Viewing angle is one of those things you must take in to consideration with everything else in the room. If your seating arrangement is such that people are sitting way off axis then you might consider alternatives. Same goes with bright light and reflections. Viewing angles on LCDs still seem much better than RPTVs. Everytime I drool at a 70" RPTV screen in the store at a very resonable price all I have to do is move a few feet. My Panasonic plasma has a double image when I get far off angle.

I too am ready for the nearly perfect TV to appear, but it still looks like it is at least 5-10 years away. Until then I will just settle for resonable compromises.
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post #14 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lipcrkr View Post

But Rich, when people look at an LCD, or any display for that matter, they know for the most part how many people and where the people will be watching it from.

Absolutely! And if the LCD viewing angles suits their needs they're fine!
Need I repeat again from my OP: "...most consumers I think wouldn't find it much of an issue."

I'm expressing why it is an issue for me and others like me.

And I'm not talking about extreme off-axis angles either. I found almost as soon as I started deviating from on-axis I could see the black levels rising and the contrast lowering. If I simply had two other people watching a movie with me, as I often do (I watch with family and friends a lot), then someone is going to be seeing an image with less contrast...at least on the LCDs like the Sharp I was viewing today. And as I said, often enough I end up off-axis somewhat and I would notice the lack of contrast immediately.

Other people, it won't bother. But it's there, and it's an issue for some of us.
Just last week or so I had three friends over to watch "The Host" in HD-DVD.
There's no way all of us could be right on axis to the image. But on my plasma I could enjoy the rich contrast from somewhat off-axis. With the Sharp LCD, contrast would suffer and that, to me, would be a bummer.

I'm not trying to say everyone should be as bothered as I am by this problem...only that it IS an objective issue still and that it hasn't improved enough to make me consider an LCD as a home theater display. (If I were still going to replace my plasma with a new flat panel...but for HT it looks like I'm moving to projection anyway).
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post #15 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 View Post

But of course you can cherry pick can't you. I have no viewing angle issues whatsoever and at least I can see my friggin picture in the daytime and not be staring at the inventory of the room.

Mark - For someone that likes bitching about LCD you sure as hell spend alot of time focused in the LCD Threads - the Kuro is ready and waiting for your money and so whats stopping you? Or is it more fun to bitch and whine over here - this seems to be your new hobby here so why cannot you choose a plasma? No one is forcing you to be here.

You have classic Sharps - they have better off-axis viewing than recent Samsungs. I own a recent Samsung. The off-axis performance is terrible for darker content, terrible, worse than my 800:1 Sharps.

I am an LCD fanatic, I have been buying these things since the days a 15" monitor was >2K. I don't want a plasma for reasons similar to yours. I am critical of LCD performance because, as Rich says, its not there yet. If my criticisms are in error or without merit, state your case rather than make unwarranted insinuations directed toward my motivations for offering criticism.
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post #16 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 10:16 PM
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Not exactly on the Plasma<-->LCD discussion, but something I've been pondering for the last few weeks does seem relevant to the title topic.

It seems to me that most of the technologies that are needed to bring LCD displays to a level of true excellence now (or soon will) exist, but nobody has put them all together in the same display and/or executes reliably enough in the manufacturing process that I'd be able to buy a "high end" set today and feel confident that I'd still be satisfied with it in 5 years.

6ms or faster panels
Local dimming LED backlighting
120hz or other motion smoothing/compensating tech
Thin frame displays
Lots of input/output options and multiple user adjustable viewing presets

Plenty of sets offer some of these features to some degree or other, but nobody's put it all together in a package that just works.

What we get instead is sets missing key features, or poor implementation of some of them, or sets that look fantastic on paper, but fall short on manufacturing, leaving us with fun stuff like:

Banding
Clouding/flashlighting
Color push issues
HDMI handshaking issues
Ineffective motion smoothing
etc... etc... etc...

I'm pretty sure that at least several of the major brands will work these issues out over the next few years, but between the flaws in the current models and the general "computer-itis" of flat panels that remain with us, I'm feeling less and less like sinking considerable bucks into replacing my "disposable" two year old Sceptre with a big brand set, knowing that I'll want to replace it again come fall '09 or '10. It may be pretty feeble by today's standards, but I do think I've gotten a good value for what I spent, even moreso if it will last another year or two before dying.

Sharp, fix your banding.
Toshiba, fix your green push.
Sony, fix your clouding (props for doing better this Gen.)
Samsung, build a matte version of your 71 series.
Mitsubishi, a 1:1 pixel mapping mode is required, not optional on a high end LCD these days.
Mitsu/Sony/Samsung: might want to reconsider those prices on your top end sets a bit.

/me orders a wake up call for CES 2010
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post #17 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 10:19 PM
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Another LCD advantage might also be less power consumption. I'm not sure how the latest TV's compare but generally my understanding is that LCD's are very power friendly. Also isn't the LCD panel lifespan supposed to be pretty good as well?

Blazar!
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post #18 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

Another LCD advantage might also be less power consumption. I'm not sure how the latest TV's compare but generally my understanding is that LCD's are very power friendly. Also isn't the LCD panel lifespan supposed to be pretty good as well?

Generally they're about 60,000 hours. As far as power consumption, yes, LCD's are generally rated <300 watts, however, plasma is not all bad with power, yes, you may see 400> watts but that's peak activity. If you are watching a movie with a fairly consistant blend of brighness/darkness the power consumption is lower, not peak. I would never let power consumption sway away from plasma. The bill may be slightly higher but may offset somewhat by having less lights on at night watching the plasma.
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post #19 of 303 Old 09-09-2007, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I am still blown away by the clarity and palpability of the best LCDs, despite this problem.

Rich,

OT to the viewing angle issue; however:

I am a fan of your opinion wrt to pq (been reading your posts a long time) and I have had plasma since early 2001. I currently have a Pio 5060; but am moving to a bigger house and am going to have to have something that's watchable with lots of direct light; and I'm also looking to get something that I don't have to worry about as far as burn-in during long gaming sessions, etc. I will be moving the Pio to the bedroom, and will be looking to get something in the 60" range.

All that said, based on your observations, which do you consider the best LCD's? Black level is not so much a concern in this application.

Hal
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post #20 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

....damn, they still haven't got that viewing angle thing licked yet.

So...LCD flat panels just aren't for me yet. I don't know if or when they'll ever be able to maintain consistent contrast across different viewing angles, which makes me hope plasma sticks around for quite a while.

(That's not to say LCDs don't have advantages over plasmas as well. I'm just talking about what LCD doesn't do that I, and not a few other HT enthusiasts, value).

Plasmas are washed out messes in most lighting situations emphasis on MOST. To get any performance out of Plasma you have to darken the room to black. Not lower the lighting....turn off the lighting.

If you have a dedicated home theater for watching MOVIES ONLY. You are fine. If you want the plasma for sports the odds are you will not want all the lights down. So you accept a washed out picture, as a trade off for very modest better blur resistance. A plasma fan post a picture of his blurproof plasma of a tennis match....the player is tossing up two balls at the same time during serve.....he claims its from the source.....well if so...then on live sports Plasmas have no advantage because the benefits is reduced at the source.

But I digress.

You have to basically get up on a hill and then say you can run faster down the hill. In a dark room my plasma is great. Well most the world of HDTV viewing is not on hills. Its it well lighted rooms. And horror of plasma horror....near a window in the daytime.

In the store all TVs look small....and when you get off angle looking at the wall of TVs you are really really off angle compared to a home. For the most part the tier 1 LCD don't have any significant viewing angle problem.

Most plasmas canot have a high contrast ratio in the proximity of any normal room lighting.
Plasmas display whites that are in truth just bright grays
Most plasmas are low resolution, so the argument is if you step far far far back you can not tell.

To get a LCD that equals a plasma you spend about 1.5K
To get a Plasma that equals a LCD you double that.

120hz LCD do motion better than Plasmas for sports, in their Gen1 form.

Leaving plasmas with one advantage.....which is "Well if you put this plasma in a pitch black room, to watch a movie....it looks great. Maybe it does, maybe it blows away the LCD in the pitch black room.

You know the Plasma vs LCD war is near over....when the Plasma guys are saying we hold the viewing angle turf.

Samsung is about to launch the plasma killers.....the low cost 120hz matte finish LCDs. with Static Contrast >2000-1 and Dynamic at > 15K-1. Somehow I don't think pitch of Stand 7 feet back and 15 feet to the left and look at the picture.....is going to cut it.

For >50 inch panels used for dedicated home theater rooms with controlled lighting.....Plasma is King in performance and price.

For everything else....LCD is winning....or right in the front Peloton with a better price.

When LCD contrast ratios hit 1300-1 static with 160 to 178 angles and 8 ms.....the die was cast.

Summary version of all the above reply:

" is NOT!"
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post #21 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Well there was so much wrong in tombaker's post it could really derail things to go through it (not to mention some of the very strange psychology that appears on these forums) but....

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Originally Posted by tombaker View Post


Most plasmas canot have a high contrast ratio in the proximity of any normal room lighting.

Untrue. Especially in regards to the subject I'm discussing in this thread.
If you want to argue plasma doesn't display high contrast ratios in lighted conditions vs LCDs, you'll find yourself having to explain photographic evidence to the contrary.

Look at these photos taken of one of the most popular plasma brands (a Panasonic) surrounded by LCDs, in normal lighted conditions in a store:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...57#post8629257

The plasma is clearly the one holding deeper contrast (particularly, deeper blacks). Certainly strong light sources CAN wash out plasma images. They can also wash out LCD images as well (also documented in the photos, as you can see washed out areas on the LCDs from store lights). And LCDs generally do better at rejecting ambient light. But not all "normal" lighting conditions wash out plasma. I've seen plenty of plasmas perform very well when the lights are on.

Not that plasmas have the ambient lighting rejection think licked either. I've seen plenty of manufacturers claims but still find plasmas as reflective as ever. And if anyone showed up in the plasma forum griping about that, I'd agree. (Which, again, doesn't mean they automatically wash out severely in lighted conditions - it depends on the lighting conditions).

And btw, I find the idea of "bias" crops up in these forums as one of the most over-used, and mis-used concepts. Preference is not bias. It would be bias if someone were, for instance, to habitually misrepresent a particular display technology.

I own an old ED plasma. How much bragging rights could that give me? And I'd love to replace the old thing. If a flat panel comes along and does what I want, I don't give a damn what it's called, LCD, OLED, SED whatever. And I've seen a number of LCD flat panels that I'd prefer over a number of plasmas. But at this point I still prefer certain top plasmas over any LCD I've seen for some of the reasons I've stated. It's silly to get apoplectic and defensive when someone is simply stating their preference. I'm sure your LCD is wonderful. Better than my old ED plasma. Really. It's ok...

Prof.
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post #22 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

....damn, they still haven't got that viewing angle thing licked yet.

Year after year LCD manufacturers like Sharp make big boasts about improved viewing angles - i.e. that picture contrast is maintained over a wide horizontal viewing angle so people sitting off-axis can enjoy as rich an image as those taking the center seat.

But, every year I read the new boasts and every year I can't help but notice they are close to bunk. Just today while I was in Best Buy I was moving slowly down the lane of displays. I was looking at one RPTV and glanced at the next one beside it. The black levels looked awful on the adjacent display - like I was looking at an LCD RPTV from four or five generations ago with their terrible gray/blue elevated black levels.

Then I stood in front of that adjacent display and the black levels dropped down to a richer level and I discovered it was actually the new Sharp 52" LCD flat panel. Yikes. Certainly the contrast looked quite nice when I stood directly in front of it but wow did it ever emphasize yet again how even a top manufacturer like Sharp hasn't beat the off-axis viewing problems.

Now, most consumers I think wouldn't find it much of an issue. Most consumers will be watching content in lighted conditions in which the contrast changes with viewing position aren't as obvious (even though I found it obvious in a well-lit store). But this is one of the reasons why a lot of us home theater fans still have trouble with the idea of choosing an LCD flat panel over a good plasma. Especially once you turn the lights down to watch a movie - as a lot of us like to do - the shifts in luminance in the dark areas especially become too prominent. I often watch with guests and I'll let them get the on-axis seats. Not everyone can get the "prime" seat in front of a set. The way the black levels rise in something like the Sharp LCD as I move
off axis (and not even to extreme angles at all) would drive me nuts...like watching a 2nd generation plasma or something.

Right after I viewed the new Pioneer Kuro 50" plasma and what a difference!
Far richer image, way deeper blacks, and I was released to enjoy an equally rich image no matter where I situated myself.

So...LCD flat panels just aren't for me yet. I don't know if or when they'll ever be able to maintain consistent contrast across different viewing angles, which makes me hope plasma sticks around for quite a while.

(That's not to say LCDs don't have advantages over plasmas as well. I'm just talking about what LCD doesn't do that I, and not a few other HT enthusiasts, value).

It still reads to me like Rich was talking strictly about LCD viewing angles.

Why are so many people talking about every thing else, power consumption, reflections, etc, and saying nothing about the one aspect that he said he still found lacking. If he has got that wrong, then why not provide evidence that the viewing angles on LCDs are not as he said he found them to be?. Are they improved in that area, and which brands and models do the best job of handling off angle viewing.

As LCD panels are growing into the 50inch and larger sizes, will they not be used more for family room viewing, including when guests are present, and will be required to provide decent off center viewing quality. How do the latest 52 inch LCD models rate, in that particular area?.
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post #23 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Exactly greenland.

I've said the contrast of the Sharp LCD looked good on axis, that most people probably won't find this a big issue, that LCDs have plenty of virtues etc. etc. and that this is ONE area of performance I'm discussing.

And you are right that with ever growing screen LCD screen sizes being adopted for viewing movie and other content, the issue of viewing angles increases. Last year I was in a room that was completely light controlled, viewing Panasonic/Pioneer plasmas along with the Sharp 65" LCD flat panel. On that big LCD screen the reduction of contrast (and uneven back lighting in general) was particularly evident, especially when the lights were turned low and I moved even a little off-axis, the unevenness of the black areas stood out. I hope LCD manufacturers can conquer this issue. A lot of people may not care or notice, but a lot of us do. And until it gets better I'm not comfortable with the idea of sales of LCD displays causing plasma to go away. I'd hate to loose what to me is a strong virtue, in terms of consistanta contrast over wider viewing angles (and consistant contrast along the whole screen, which I still find problematic with LCDs, even on-axis).
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post #24 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenland View Post

...Why are so many people talking about every thing else,...

How do the latest 52 inch LCD models rate, in that particular area?.

Rich got a big turnout from the veterans, but let's address the issue. For example,VVV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_1080p View Post

Actually, it appears to me that LCD's recently have gone downhill in wide viewing angle performance relative to on-axis performance...


HD-DVD is dead, so now I'm a Gary McCoy fanboy.
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post #25 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
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Rich,

OT to the viewing angle issue; however:

I am a fan of your opinion wrt to pq (been reading your posts a long time) and I have had plasma since early 2001. I currently have a Pio 5060; but am moving to a bigger house and am going to have to have something that's watchable with lots of direct light; and I'm also looking to get something that I don't have to worry about as far as burn-in during long gaming sessions, etc. I will be moving the Pio to the bedroom, and will be looking to get something in the 60" range.

All that said, based on your observations, which do you consider the best LCD's? Black level is not so much a concern in this application.

Rich, hello... can you hear me?

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post #26 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Whoops, sorry Enigma.

While I have certainly observed the latest LCDs in our local AV stores (including the high-end stores), I can't say I've been consciously keeping track of the best brands and model numbers, since I'm not really in the market for a flat panel at the moment.
(Saving money for my projection HT set-up).

I can only say that at various times I've been impressed with all the big name LCDs - e.g. Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Sharp. I think you'll get some better advice from others in this forum who are more into the LCD market. (Although, for whatever reason I've seen some Panasonic LCDs that were particularly good for off-axis viewing vs the other brands. I don't know if this still holds in the very latest Panny models).
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post #27 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 02:06 PM
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I prefer plasmas for the most part, but last time I saw a bank of current name brand LCDs, the viewing angles seemed fine. Nothing like the LCDs of a few years ago, where the picture would begin to wash out if you were even a few degrees off.

Perhaps at really extreme angles the picture started to change, but that would be unwatchable even if the picture weren't washed out.
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post #28 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Exactly greenland.

I've said the contrast of the Sharp LCD looked good on axis, that most people probably won't find this a big issue, that LCDs have plenty of virtues etc. etc. and that this is ONE area of performance I'm discussing.

And you are right that with ever growing screen LCD screen sizes being adopted for viewing movie and other content, the issue of viewing angles increases. Last year I was in a room that was completely light controlled, viewing Panasonic/Pioneer plasmas along with the Sharp 65" LCD flat panel. On that big LCD screen the reduction of contrast (and uneven back lighting in general) was particularly evident, especially when the lights were turned low and I moved even a little off-axis, the unevenness of the black areas stood out. I hope LCD manufacturers can conquer this issue. A lot of people may not care or notice, but a lot of us do. And until it gets better I'm not comfortable with the idea of sales of LCD displays causing plasma to go away. I'd hate to loose what to me is a strong virtue, in terms of consistanta contrast over wider viewing angles (and consistant contrast along the whole screen, which I still find problematic with LCDs, even on-axis).

Yes...I use a 22" LCD for my PC and it reminds me daily of why I like my plasma so much.
Sorry RH, I wasn't going to post in here but since they are already calling you a plasma fanboi, I figured...why not.
It's sad that those of us who do like both technologies are not allowed to voice thier opinion without an uproar.
I just didn't think it would happen to you.

My HT

In the words of English philosopher Edmund Burke, ÂAll that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.Â
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post #29 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 02:48 PM
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again i had the 5084 for two weeks and now the lcd 4671 for a weekend of viewing... i can't tell the diff on viewing angles. both are much better than the hd rptv i had. there's a clarity to the lcd that the plasma cannot reproduce. i do think the plasma handles motion better for the most part.

lcd is dominating sales and i see for good reason. sure it's marketing, but hey people are buying and $s speak loudly.

bottom line, they're both solid and y'all are obviously leading some healthy lives to be able to spend time hairsplitting in front of a computer with strangers.
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post #30 of 303 Old 09-10-2007, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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again i had the 5084 for two weeks and now the lcd 4671 for a weekend of viewing... i can't tell the diff on viewing angles.

A lot of people don't notice or don't care to notice. That's perfectly fine.
But when you say you "can't tell the diff" I'm not sure if you mean that you've tried but actually can't see an image change off axis, or if it just doesn't bother you in your day to day viewing (which would be a good thing).

If you want to see what I'm talking about you could put on a movie with dark night scenes. Observe the black levels and then start to move off center. Watch what happens to the black levels...they will get lighter and usually less even, with the bottom of the screen getting lighter than the top. You could also put on a 2:35:1 aspect ratio movie with letterbox black bars and observe what happens to the black bars as you move off axis. If the lights are down for nighttime viewing, then it becomes even more visible.

Not saying you have to go doing this; just if you are scratching your head over what I'm describing you can check it out for yourself.
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