Plasma glare - how big a problem?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-19-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally getting close to a decision on a new TV. Got my wife down to the store, and when she saw the plasmas she was convinced. My main worry is the glare - not really a problem in the store, but we won't be watching it there. It will go in our family room. It has one big window, which is a sliding glass door at right angles to where the set will go. The door gets sun for only about an hour in the morning, and the sun shines on the wall opposite where the tv will go - we never get direct sunlight on the tv. After about 10:00 in the morning, there is no sun on the window, after about 1:00, it's in reasonably deep shade. But we do like to keep the drapes open pretty much all day, and closing them would be a problem - the only time we leave them closed during the day is first thing in the morning when the sun shines in our eyes if we're watching any of the morning news shows. Is this a lighting situation that would be OK for a plasma. What we're planning on getting is a panansonic 46pz85u - but if there is one that would show less glare for around the same price, we'd certainly look. Thanks.
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-19-2008, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
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One more thing. At night, we never turn the lights off or down too low while watching TV. One of the family is often reading of finishing up some work on their laptop. So we almost always have a lamp on opposite where the set will go. I don't know if you get glare from a lamp across the room with a plasma?
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-20-2008, 01:35 AM
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Different plasma panels have different methods with dealing with that.
There are one's with glare coating, anti-reflective coating etc... some better than others.

Check in-store to see how they stack up.
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-20-2008, 07:02 AM
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Bob I, the glass coating on plasma panels is a major problem in a sunny room, don't let anyone kid you. The new LCDs produce a beautiful picture and dont have that problem. If you were using your tv in a basemnet I would go for the plasma as the image really pops.
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-20-2008, 07:16 AM
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Given the way you've described your situation, I don't think it would be much of a problem. Look at the pictures in the link in my signature to see the way my room is set up with my plasma; the TV is on the east wall, and the windows are on the west. There's A LOT of light in that room all day and the TV is pretty much unwatchable in the late afternoon/early evening without the blinds closed; other than that period though, it's not much of a problem even with the blinds open. Don't get me wrong; it's not reflection free, but the amount and intensity of the reflection during all but the late afternoon/early evening is such that it doesn't interfere with TV watching and during that late afternoon/early evening period, it's controllable with the blinds.

Like many, when I bought my TV, I had to decide whether the glare/reflection was going to be a big enough problem to warrant the picture quality tradeoff of going with an LCD. Even though my lighting situation is appreciably more difficult than the one you describe, I ultimately decided that it wasn't worth it to sacrifice the performance of a plasma to get the light-handling characteristics of an LCD. And, I am extremely happy with my decision. During those late afternoon/early evening times when light handling is an issue, I can control it; unfortunately, there's nothing you can "control" on an LCD to make it perform like a plasma.

Were I you, I'd find a store with a generous return policy; buy a plasma, put it in there and see if the reflection/glare issue is a problem you can live with and control or if it's just too much to be viable. If you can live with/control it to your satisfaction, keep the TV. If not, return it and get an LCD.

Good luck!

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post #6 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnatv View Post

Bob I, the glass coating on plasma panels is a major problem in a sunny room, don't let anyone kid you. The new LCDs produce a beautiful picture and dont have that problem. If you were using your tv in a basemnet I would go for the plasma as the image really pops.

You don't know what you're talking about. The coating on a plasma screen does not cause major problems in a sunny room - it actually helps to mute the reflections compared to the tube TVs we've all been watching for the past umpteen years. Also, i have auditioned the best LCD TVs and while they're better than ever before, they still don't look as good as a good plasma. And another problem that the LCD fanboys never seem to mention or acknowledge is how the LCD screen glows when the room is very bright causing the image to become somewhat washed out. I have both types of TV in my living room so i'm very familiar with both.

Bob I - here's a link to a good Plasma Glare/Reflection thread that should clear some things up for you.... and also note that the current Panasonic plasma's newer Anti-Reflective coatings do a little better job at reducing reflections than my older 2005 model PX50U in the pictures.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...61#post9182361

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post #7 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 09:43 AM
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My 42PX80U doesn't seem to have any glare or reflection issues with all the lights on.
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 10:02 AM
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Most people dont have a light controlled viewing environment or a dedicated Home Theatre Room, multi-purpose open plan living spaces are usually better served by LCDs, and that is why they are taking over the market place. Reflections are a HUGE problem.

That being said, in a light controlled environment Plasma clearly beats LCD on PQ, IMO, but still has finicky maintenence. But at that point, its time to start considering Front Projection, IMO.

Best regards

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post #9 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

Most people dont have a light controlled viewing environment or a dedicated Home Theatre Room, multi-purpose open plan living spaces are usually better served by LCDs, and that is why they are taking over the market place. Reflections are a HUGE problem.

True. Most people don't and those who do have dedicated HT rooms would tend to favor a projection set up I would think. There'd be no godly reason to even think about putting an LCD in such a room.

For those of us who don't have dedicated HT rooms, though, plasmas are a perfectly acceptable alternative (and, indeed, in most cases, the superior choice). Reflections are most certainly not a "huge problem" in most "multi-purpose open plan living spaces", but there's only one way to find that out -- buy a plasma, see if it works in the space; if it doesn't bring it back and get an LCD.

Unless you know for absolute certain that a plasma will not work in the space (e.g. there's completely uncontrolled and uncontrollable light streaming in solid glass windows on all walls of the room save the one on which the TV will be mounted), or unless you can't find a store with a suitable return policy, it is absolutely foolish to simply buy an LCD in the first instance out of nothing more than fear of the overblown reflection issue. I feel quite sorry for folks who are stuck watching an LCD because they were worried about reflection in a room where a plasma would have been just fine. The picture quality compromises that one has to make if you get an LCD are such that it should still be treated as a last resort -- get it if a plasma just won't work. Hence, the advice that the OP buy a plasma; see if it will work in the room; if it does, great; if not, then return it and get an LCD.

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post #10 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 11:04 AM
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My plasma is mounted in my great room which has 5 transom windows (20' ceiling) and 5 large windows virtually surrounding the plasma -- 6 of which (total) are facing the southern exporsure). The back of the room opens up into the kitchen and has a full length windowed door. Hypothetically, I don't think that anyone would suggest that this room would be "good" for a plasma set. Personally, while there is a 90 minute span of time in the afternoon where glare is an issue, at virtually any other point in the day, glare is a non-issue. I went a little overboard and bought an x-arm powered articulating mount just in case, but I've only had a need to tilt the screen twice in 16 months of ownership.

I would tend to agree with the folks here that for the best color reproduction, saturation and black levels, while LCDS have improved dramatically in the last couple of years (and no doubt will continue to improve), there is still a noticable difference (in plasma's favor). If there is a way to get the plasma and situate it out of "glare's way" or control the light in the room just a little, do it, you won't be disappointed. If not, get a Sony XBR4/5, a very good set, IMHO (it came down to the Sony LCD and Panasonic plasma for me). Whatever the case, let your EYES (in the form of actually looking at the picture side-by-side) make the decision for you, not some sort of spec sheet, technical white paper, or an enthusiast (myself included) on this forum.
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post #11 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 05:55 PM
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I think that I agreed with the above poster that the flaws of both technologies are generally overstated.....so plasma will work in quite a few situations, in open floor plans etc.

Personally for me, I cannot abide with nasty reflections of lamps, lights, and windows. It is a HUGE problem. The worst thing that can happen IMO, is a big ole reflection. Now I do know that AR coatings help reduce these. Im a HUGE fan of AR coatings, Im an optics nut. But they arent a panacea. And that God awful diffusion coating that Panasonic came out with is an abomination.

So, if I could only have one display, it would be a 42"+ LCD.

Tip to the wise......People who move alot are better served by LCD. Its lighter and better able to cope with the unpredictable environmental changes.

Cheers!

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post #12 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 08:37 PM
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Everybody's viewing environment is a bit different. The plasma was positioned on center and at eye height in front of a small couch that my wife and I sit on. Reading lamps are at each end of the couch. When one reading light is on and both people are present, the view the other person gets includes an image of the other person overlaid on the screen. This could be overcome somewhat by turning the brightness and contrast up but "torch mode" is not a good way to use a plasma set. This describes nightime use, daytime was worse.

I should mention we have light colored walls and light colored furniture. There is glass on all four sides of the room (The fourth side has a glass door facing a center atrium.) At any time of the day, the room is bright. A plasma panel is basicly a shiny piece of glass. Ours is now a bedroom TV. The LCD has been calibrated with one "viewing mode" for daylight, one for nightime and artificial lighting.

If you want to know pretty exactly what reflections you will have, get a piece of glass or glossy plastic the same shape and size as the display. Paint it black on the backside or back it up with a layer of black cloth. Now try it in various parts of the room under the actual lighting conditions, to see if reflections are a problem in your room.

No rule is universal. There are plasma displays with effective anti-glare coatings, but these screen finishes diffuse the image slightly and reduce contrast, and thus they don't have the specs favored by many AVS members. Most LCDs are anti-glare, but a few have shiny screens just as bad as plasmas. Your next step is to buy it from a local store with return priveledges, in case it doesn't work out like you want.

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post #13 of 37 Old 04-23-2008, 10:46 PM
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Bad reflections are just a myth, dont you know Gary?

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post #14 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

Bad reflections are just a myth, dont you know Gary?

Only for Plasma fanatics, those who must have what a magazine reviewer liked in a Home Theater room. Most people and most rooms would be better served with brighter and less reflective screens.

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post #15 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob I View Post

Finally getting close to a decision on a new TV. Got my wife down to the store, and when she saw the plasmas she was convinced. My main worry is the glare - not really a problem in the store, but we won't be watching it there. It will go in our family room. It has one big window, which is a sliding glass door at right angles to where the set will go. The door gets sun for only about an hour in the morning, and the sun shines on the wall opposite where the tv will go - we never get direct sunlight on the tv. After about 10:00 in the morning, there is no sun on the window, after about 1:00, it's in reasonably deep shade. But we do like to keep the drapes open pretty much all day, and closing them would be a problem - the only time we leave them closed during the day is first thing in the morning when the sun shines in our eyes if we're watching any of the morning news shows. Is this a lighting situation that would be OK for a plasma. What we're planning on getting is a panansonic 46pz85u - but if there is one that would show less glare for around the same price, we'd certainly look. Thanks.

I think the glare thing with plasma is greatly exaggerated. I've two large windows in my family room and I see no more glare on my Pioneer plasma than I did on my old CRT.
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post #16 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Only for Plasma fanatics, those who must have what a magazine reviewer liked in a Home Theater room. Most people and most rooms would be better served with brighter and less reflective screens.

I don't think anyone has argued that plasmas aren't reflective (not in this thread, anyway), but the reflection problem, imho, in most viewing environments is not nearly as bad as some would have you believe (i.e. that you pretty much have to be in a cave to have a plasma "make sense").

That said, as stated previously and adeptly described by you above, it's a case-by-case type issue. Some rooms are just not going to work with a plasma; some (I tend to think, "most") will work just fine. The general consensus is (and accurately so, imho) that while LCDs have made strides, plasma is still a fair amount ahead in terms of picture quality, so if a plasma will work in the viewing environment, there's no sense getting an LCD. The only way to tell whether the viewing environment will support it, though, is to actually get a plasma home, try it, and return it if it doesn't work for you. The "sheet of glass painted black" method may tell him what his reflections will be like while the set is off (even though it doesn't take into account the AR coating which really doesn't have much impact anyway), but it doesn't tell him anything about what his reflections will be like with the set on (which is really the important test; who really watches their TV off anyway?).

I've said this in every post in this thread, but it bears repeating. Assuming that the only advantage an LCD has over Plasma is in its ability to handle reflection/glare and that Plasma is superior in most if not all other ways (an assumption I think is generally fair), the way to find the "answer" of whether you need an LCD is to buy a Plasma, put it where it will go in the room, try it out for a couple of days at various times during the day, and see if it "works" in the room. If it does, keep it. If it doesn't, return it and get an LCD.

That's what I did and I think it's a good way of deciding the issue. I had my LCD replacement all picked out (Sony 52XBR4) for if the plasma I bought (Panny 58pz700u) didn't work out; and frankly, I expected the plasma to fail in my viewing environment and expected that I'd have to return it for the LCD. But, lo and behold, it "worked" and I kept it.

The OP can do what he wants, but I think he's doing himself a disservice by just deciding on one technology over the other simply because of fear of something that may not even be an issue for him.

--Mav
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post #17 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:37 AM
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Sigh. It all depends on two things: 1) Your precise room and how bright it is. 2) How objectionable you find reflected images.

With respect, NOBODY can pre-judge these things. Two messages back I offerred a simple, inexpensive way for a prospective HDTV purchaser to determine how much he cared about the reflected images. Making this assessment costs a few $ and an evening, but may prevent you from years of remorse about buying the wrong technology HDTV.

For all of you plasma fanatics, let me state for the record that in a light-controlled environment, or in a room where nobody reads or sews or does anything else requiring intense artificial light, then I HAVE NO DOUBT that a plasma is the best display.

But in my newly-remodeled great room, with light-colored walls and furnishings, sheer draperies, and lots of California sunshine from all sides, a plasma was clearly, distinctly, and obviously inferior. It wasn't even close. You absolutely cannot ignore the room or you will regret your multi-thousand-dollar HDTV purchase.

Drapes or other light-controlling window treatments may offer some flexibility here, but only if one is willing to foot a major expense. In my case, either plantation shutters or custom drapes lined with blackout cloth would have cost almost 2X the cost of the HDTV itself - nor did the wife and I want to darken our home during the day. You should not be changing your lifestyle because you mistakenly think "plasma is better" in any room - the truth of the matter being plasma is better in the darkened back room of the store, and in most basements.

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post #18 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

Tip to the wise......People who move alot are better served by LCD. Its lighter and better able to cope with the unpredictable environmental changes.

That's a very good point. I don't move a lot, so that never occurred to me, but yeah, if you do, an LCD is probably a safer choice.

--Mav
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post #19 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Sigh. It all depends on two things: 1) Your precise room and how bright it is. 2) How objectionable you find reflected images.

With respect, NOBODY can pre-judge these things.

I don't think anybody disagrees with this.

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Two messages back I offerred a simple, inexpensive way for a prospective HDTV purchaser to determine how much he cared about the reflected images. Making this assessment costs a few $ and an evening, but may prevent you from years of remorse about buying the wrong technology HDTV.

That's fine, but that method has no particular relevance to how a plasma will perform in the room when it's on (which is the time most people are interested in). I really think the only way to accurately make this call is to buy the plasma, try it, and return it if it doesn't work -- a method, which, I readily admit is no where near as quick, and inexpensive as the one you describe, but it's certainly more accurate.

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For all of you plasma fanatics, let me state for the record that in a light-controlled environment, or in a room where nobody reads or sews or does anything else requiring intense artificial light, then I HAVE NO DOUBT that a plasma is the best display.

But in my newly-remodeled great room, with light-colored walls and furnishings, sheer draperies, and lots of California sunshine from all sides, a plasma was clearly, distinctly, and obviously inferior. It wasn't even close. You absolutely cannot ignore the room or you will regret your multi-thousand-dollar HDTV purchase.

Drapes or other light-controlling window treatments may offer some flexibility here, but only if one is willing to foot a major expense. In my case, either plantation shutters or custom drapes lined with blackout cloth would have cost almost 2X the cost of the HDTV itself - nor did the wife and I want to darken our home during the day. You should not be changing your lifestyle because you mistakenly think "plasma is better" in any room - the truth of the matter being plasma is better in the darkened back room of the store, and in most basements

For the record, I'm not a plasma fanatic. In fact, I own both technologies (although my LCD is a piece of crap, so it's hardly a fair representation of what a good LCD is capable of), but I simply disagree with the suggestion here that plasma is [only] good "in the darkened back room of the store and in most basements" and/or that you have to blackout all other sources of light for it to "work" in any other environment. As you acknowledged, earlier, the question of whether a plasma will work or not is a function of the room it's in, and basements are not the only room that fit the bill. They will be just fine in many, many general purpose, well-lit rooms. It clearly didn't work in yours, but it does in mine. The only "lifestyle" change I had to make was to shut the blinds in the late afternoon/early evening if I want to watch TV during that 2 hour period; at all other times, the blinds are open and the room is as we like it -- open and airy. Again, to me, that's a relatively minor issue to me and worth dealing with to get the advantages of plasma over LCD; you appear to have had a much larger problem in your room; the OP will need to figure out whether his problem is closer to mine or closer to yours (and, again, I've suggested what I consider to be the best way for him to determine that).

--Mav
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post #20 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 07:59 AM
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FTR, Mav, I dont agree that Plasma is better than LCD in every respect than the Reflection issue.

LCD can get brighter for example. Useful for daytime viewing. Especially combined with its matte screen.

LCD is much better as a computer monitor. Why? Image retention, burn in.

So overall LCD can give a pleasing enough PQ in more situations with less fuss and muss. And that is why LCD is beating Plasma. Because Plasma is expensive at larger sizes where it must compete with Front Projection in light controlled rooms, Plasma gets the squeeze from both LCD and Front Projection DLP/LCD. To be honest with you, Id prefer a rear projection DLP or LCD over a plasma in a light compromised room, and even though they have improved, Im no fan of rear projection.

That being said.

I own an Optoma 852x480 DLP front projector and a Vizio 42" 1080p LCD and am looking to purchase a 852x480 Panny Commercial Plasma.

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post #21 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

FTR, Mav, I dont agree that Plasma is better than LCD in every respect than the Reflection issue.

LCD can get brighter for example. Useful for daytime viewing. Especially combined with its matte screen.

LCD is much better as a computer monitor. Why? Image retention, burn in.

So overall LCD can give a pleasing enough PQ in more situations with less fuss and muss. And that is why LCD is beating Plasma.

True. I just think "brighter" is a double-edged sword (probably helpful for daytime viewing, but problematic for nightime viewing); as for IR/Burn-in, I just don't think that's as big of an issue as it's cracked up to be (I don't think it's not an issue at all, like some others might have you believe; but, in my case anyway, it's certainly not a reason to pick one over the other).

I just don't think that an LCD's PQ is "pleasing enough" (as compared to that offered by a good plasma) to make it a good purchase in most situations...that is, unless, of course, the glare/reflection problems in the room make a plasma impractical.

--Mav
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post #22 of 37 Old 04-24-2008, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Sigh. It all depends on two things: 1) Your precise room and how bright it is. 2) How objectionable you find reflected images.

With respect, NOBODY can pre-judge these things. Two messages back I offerred a simple, inexpensive way for a prospective HDTV purchaser to determine how much he cared about the reflected images. Making this assessment costs a few $ and an evening, but may prevent you from years of remorse about buying the wrong technology HDTV.

For all of you plasma fanatics, let me state for the record that in a light-controlled environment, or in a room where nobody reads or sews or does anything else requiring intense artificial light, then I HAVE NO DOUBT that a plasma is the best display.

But in my newly-remodeled great room, with light-colored walls and furnishings, sheer draperies, and lots of California sunshine from all sides, a plasma was clearly, distinctly, and obviously inferior. It wasn't even close. You absolutely cannot ignore the room or you will regret your multi-thousand-dollar HDTV purchase.

Drapes or other light-controlling window treatments may offer some flexibility here, but only if one is willing to foot a major expense. In my case, either plantation shutters or custom drapes lined with blackout cloth would have cost almost 2X the cost of the HDTV itself - nor did the wife and I want to darken our home during the day. You should not be changing your lifestyle because you mistakenly think "plasma is better" in any room - the truth of the matter being plasma is better in the darkened back room of the store, and in most basements.

Let me state for the record.....You and your wife have to wear sunglasses at night to watch your LCD. The matter being LCD is best suited for outdoor patios and perched above the Wal-Mart check out stands.
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post #23 of 37 Old 04-26-2008, 07:39 PM
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Man, it's threads like this that confuse the heck out of people trying to decide between plasma and LCD. If anybody knows of a good honest thread comparing plasmas and LCD's I'd love to hear about it. Seems any thread I find here eventually ends up with people defending each technology to the point where the thread is no longer credible.

Note to most people posting here: The common man is looking for objective thoughts on this issue. We are not reading this to see who is more clever or cunning at making their point. Frankly, your sarcasm and snide comments are a big turn off.
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post #24 of 37 Old 04-26-2008, 08:10 PM
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Man, it's threads like this that confuse the heck out of people trying to decide between plasma and LCD. If anybody knows of a good honest thread comparing plasmas and LCD's I'd love to hear about it. Seems any thread I find here eventually ends up with people defending each technology to the point where the thread is no longer credible.

Note to most people posting here: The common man is looking for objective thoughts on this issue. We are not reading this to see who is more clever or cunning at making their point. Frankly, your sarcasm and snide comments are a big turn off.

Well, you're in luck. There's a thread dedicated to the plasma and LCD debate: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=767932

This thread, on the other hand, is not about "trying to decide between plasma and LCD"; it's about viewing environments in which plasmas can be placed and to what extent glare/reflection can be an issue. With the exception of the post immediately prior to yours, there is a fair amount of information from people with different experiences and different viewing environments addressing that very issue. There are also various suggestions on how the OP (or other similarly situated potential buyers) can go about making determinations on that rather narrow issue himself (or themselves).

Your point about people on this board tending to get defensive about the technologies they own is by and large true (although, I think you'll find that many of us own both), but this thread is hardly a prime example of it.

Perhaps your problem lies in you trying to find an answer to a question (which to buy -- LCD or Plasma) that was neither asked nor answered in this thread....

--Mav
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post #25 of 37 Old 04-26-2008, 09:04 PM
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correct Mav, my comment was really based on all the threads I've read on this issue. This includes this one since glare is a large determining factor in the decision. My apologies if my frustration was not conveyed in a specific enough manner. Thanks for the link to the thread. I'll check it out.
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post #26 of 37 Old 04-26-2008, 09:48 PM
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Sorry, you didnt appreciate my snide sarcastic humor. Just friendly ribbing, is all. Mav has the right of it.

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post #27 of 37 Old 04-26-2008, 10:40 PM
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My room draws in a lot of ambient light, and despite the "latest" coatings and anti-reflective tech purportedly used on my 6374 (plasma), it still bothers me to a point where I must close the blinds on a sunny day to eliminate unwanted reflections.
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I have a window directly behind my seating area facing the TV.. The glare off the TV is not even a problem.. I own a Sammy FP-T5084..

Glare is not an issue with my plasma... I looked at the Sammy LNT4071 and that had a glossy screen which caused more glare than the 5084 did right next to it...

As other people already stated this isn't an issue.
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post #29 of 37 Old 04-27-2008, 09:47 AM
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Gary - good points

Mav - I like your idea of just trying a Plasma out at first. Because, I don't think anyone can argue that the PQ of a plasma vs LCD is not a competition.

Anyone who reads this thread at a later time.

I really think, if you read between the lines of anything that might look like fanboyism, you can still find some truth and really see what the difference is and in what situations you might choose one over the other. I have yet to see anyone say, you have to buy this one type and no other technology is better. If they do, then just laugh at them.

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post #30 of 37 Old 04-27-2008, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnsalkire View Post

Let me state for the record.....You and your wife have to wear sunglasses at night to watch your LCD. The matter being LCD is best suited for outdoor patios and perched above the Wal-Mart check out stands.


Like my set, most HDTVs have "picture modes" that can be set with entirely different settings for backlight intensity, brightness, contrast, color, etc. I have one such mode calibrarted for full daylight, and an entirely seperate mode set for artificial light. This is because the light spectrums are different and any display set up for one environment or the other would be compromised by the other ambient light type.

Sometimes you want to watch a game in the mid day, with sunlight streaming into the room on all sides, an LCD does not fade into unusability. But I grant you, few rooms have as much glass as mine.

It is entirely possible that if you buy the absolute correct technology HDTV for a given room, that if you were to move it into a different room, it would represent a compromised image. There are three major technologies to consider:

DLP: The most screen for the money, but with compromised brightness and narrow viewing angles. Still, these could be best for Home Theater usage, especially for smaller rooms, or where a large display is desired behind a retractable front projection screen, and all the seating is centered. The two types of projection lighting are lamps and LEDs - the lamps representing a periodic replacement expense. Available in both 60Hz and 120Hz refresh.

Plasma: Intermediate brightness and contrast but with good color fidelity and the least blur of the three technologies. Often best for moderate light to full darkness, depending upon both the intensity and direction of the room illumination. An increasing susceptability to burn-in as brightness and contrast are increased. Typically limited to 60Hz operation, a select few expensive Pioneer displays support 72Hz.

LCD: The highest brightness, contrast, and color saturation available, depending upon type of backlighting - CCFL vs. LED. Total freedom from permanent burn-in, with a few exceptions that represent defective driver circuitry. Intermediate viewing angles, better than DLP, not as good as plasma. Many examples of 120Hz sets from many manufacturers. Sample-and-hold blur occurs which some viewers are sensitiuve to.

None of these three technologies are superior to the others under all conditions of use. The user must pick the type most suitable for his viewing environment.

Gary McCoy
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