Which TV display technology is better, plasma, LCD, LED or CRT is really a big question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Happy new year to everyone! I wanted to say what my problems and questions are about the new dispay technologies of television that began in the 1990s, first with plasma, then with LCD and others, and the newer LED TVs.

My personal opinion is that when Zenith first invented the plasma TV in the 1990s they made a mistake. And the newer LCD and also the LED TVs are not even as good as the plasmas. Besides the well-known issues of correct black and correct motion, let me also explain why I think that that is what the situation is:
Of course, since the 1990s HDTV has been the thing to have, which I think was a splendid idea. But I don't think that the newer display technologies measure up to the old CRT (tube type) TVs. Besides the well-known issues with that I mentioned before there is a thing that really confuses me: the old CRTs had much higher of what is called bit rate (which is how many million or billion shades of colors the TV can show); they had 34-bit rate or something like that whereas LCD and LED TVs have 6- or 8-bite rate and plasmas can have a 10-bit rate. So, the CRTs had billions of more shades of colors that could be displayed than even plasmas. So, we are talking about high definition, right? What kind of definition is that that they have, I would like to ask. confused.gif I am really confused.

I think that HDTV CRT TVs would be great. CRT is good so HD CRT (tube type) TVs are even better. That makes sense. I am really disappointed with those new display technologies that they have now.

I have an old Zenith System 3 CRT TV from the 1980s, which still has a great picture. I am reluctant to replace that even with a 3D TV.

As I said before I am really confused.

Edit: Sorry, I meant to say bit depth, not bit rate. It is also called color depth. But the essence of what I said is right.
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post #2 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 08:15 AM
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If you have CRTs that are still working, put out a big enough picture for you, and you are happy with that picture, I'd be inclined to stick with them, and maybe pay for a professional calibration from someone with CRT experience, if they think your set offers the type of controls to make calibration worthwhile.

3DTV is fairly worthless right now in my opinion. Active 3D systems require glasses that need batteries replaced/charged, suffer from crosstalk and flicker. Passive 3D systems avoid most of the problems of Active 3D, and use cheap polarized glasses, but they halve your resolution. I would rather not use 3D, than use either of those two systems. I think the future for 3D will be 4K resolution displays with passive glasses, as they will at least be capable of displaying a full 1080p image for each eye.

Plasma probably has the best value out there right now, with Panasonic being the obvious choice in my opinion. They offer decent contrast (about 10,000:1) good colour reproduction, and good viewing angles for a reasonable price.
They suffer from flicker (worse than a CRT in many cases, in my opinion) have poor gradation (what you refer to as "bit rate" - actually bit-depth) and put out a dithered/noisy picture. (I could go into more wrong with them, but that's a general idea)
I don't like motion on plasma, as I am able to detect "phosphor lag" artifacts when watching them.
Most plasmas have good uniformity; often better than CRT.

LCD has better-than-plasma contrast at the higher end (better than CRT even) but the high-end sets are very expensive. Anything else is edge-lit and probably has less contrast than most of the decent plasmas.
Viewing angle sucks on LCD, particularly if you watch TV in the dark.
The better LCDs have reasonably good gradation (I would argue that the "10-bit native" LCDs are maybe approaching a CRT being sent an 8-bit signal) and are sharper than the Plasmas, without adding dithering/noise to the picture.
The better LCDs also utilize motion interpolation and backlight scanning techniques that provide motion quality approaching CRT. (though interpolation can be prone to showing artifacts)
Uniformity on edge-LED sets is usually rather poor, LED backlit sets should have good uniformity.

OLED is coming, and in the next three to four years should hopefully start to be available at affordable prices in larger sizes.
OLED image quality will hopefully be the first thing to truly replace the CRT, with LCD-like sharpness and gradation, Plasma-like viewing angles, and better than CRT motion-handling.


"High Definition" is only referring to the resolution of the device. HD starts at 1280x720, and most displays are now "Full HD" with 1920x1080 resolution panels.
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post #3 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 08:34 AM
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I think CRT sets were just to heavy and bulky. My 36 inch WEGA is heavy fat ugly thing, a 50 inch plus CRT would be rediculous to move and take up a lot of space. Flat panels came a long way with improved picture quality and I believe a couple models offer better PQ than my Sony CRT. Plus the benefit of slim dimensions and big screen viewing.

The CRT models I owned had bad geometry compared to flat panel TVs and noticeable convergence imperfections as well.
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post #4 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 04:43 PM
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Plasma.

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post #5 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

Plasma.

Sure. If you don't mind IR/BI, slides that you should use for hours on end to hopefully prevent IR/BI, heat, etc. Every technology has it's pros and cons. It just depends on what compromises one is willing to make.
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post #6 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Sure. If you don't mind IR/BI, slides that you should use for hours on end to hopefully prevent IR/BI, heat, etc. Every technology has it's pros and cons. It just depends on what compromises one is willing to make.

Right. No tech is perfect. But plasma does give you the biggest upside with the smallest downside.

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post #7 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

Right. No tech is perfect. But plasma does give you the biggest upside with the smallest downside.

Maybe.
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post #8 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Maybe.

No. Definitely.

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post #9 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Maybe.

That being said there are some respectable LCD's out there. Just few and far between. I feel like 2012 was the year of "the step back" for a lot of LCD manufacturers.

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post #10 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

That being said there are some respectable LCD's out there. Just few and far between. I feel like 2012 was the year of "the step back" for a lot of LCD manufacturers.

On that point I would agree. 2012 was not a very good year for LCDs in general.
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post #11 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

On that point I would agree. 2012 was not a very good year for LCDs in general.

Here's to hoping 2013 is a step forward!
More full array LED/LCD's!
Down with the edge lits!
biggrin.gif

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post

Sure. If you don't mind IR/BI, slides that you should use for hours on end to hopefully prevent IR/BI, heat, etc. Every technology has it's pros and cons. It just depends on what compromises one is willing to make.
It's a wonder I ever jumped away from LCD with such "damning" problems apparent in the competing tech. Flabbergasted, I am, that I was able to ever overcome the fear, uncertainty and doubt.
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post #13 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 10:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

That being said there are some respectable LCD's out there. Just few and far between. I feel like 2012 was the year of "the step back" for a lot of LCD manufacturers.
Plasma took a step back in 2009 and has merely taken baby steps since.mad.gif
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post #14 of 38 Old 01-01-2013, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoozthatat View Post

Here's to hoping 2013 is a step forward!
More full array LED/LCD's!
Down with the edge lits!
biggrin.gif
As long as the vast majority of customers are happy with cheap edge lit displays the manufactures will never have the incentive to continue with full array local dimming LED displays. Only a few left now and no reason to build more. Last year I installed at least twenty 55" edge lit LED TV's all priced below $900. Every single person was thrilled silly with the PQ. Thought it was the greatest thing they'd ever seen.
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post #15 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 12:45 AM
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The dirty little secret here that isn't talked about at AVS is simply that picture quality is on the march downward!

if you mention that fact it will always be countered by the industry plants that always want to sell displays that are inferior and make the video display industry money.
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post #16 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

As long as the vast majority of customers are happy with cheap edge lit displays the manufactures will never have the incentive to continue with full array local dimming LED displays. Only a few left now and no reason to build more. Last year I installed at least twenty 55" edge lit LED TV's all priced below $900. Every single person was thrilled silly with the PQ. Thought it was the greatest thing they'd ever seen.
I have an LG 47LH90 that is like new I am selling. It was the flagship display in 2009. Full LED, Local Dimming, 240 Hz and THX Certified. I am having trouble selling it for a reasonable price because no one understands the tech. To most people it is "just a 47-inch tv". It sold for $2100 new and I can't get $500 for it now.

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post #17 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 06:41 AM
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I have an LG 47LH90 that is like new I am selling. It was the flagship display in 2009. Full LED, Local Dimming, 240 Hz and THX Certified. I am having trouble selling it for a reasonable price because no one understands the tech. To most people it is "just a 47-inch tv". It sold for $2100 new and I can't get $500 for it now.
That's nothing new though, just about anything AV or electronics related is like that.

You should only buy high-end if you intend on keeping it for a long time, as high-end stuff is worth just as much as low-end gear a couple of years on.
If a set isn't good enough that you would be happy sticking with it for 5-10 years, it isn't worth buying.

If you can't afford to buy a set of that quality (and few exist these days) then stick with what you've got and save until you can, or buy the cheapest thing you would be happy with, because you're going to lose less money on it. (the less you spend, the less you can lose)

I'll never understand the people I know that buy low-end or mid-tier TVs every 12-18 months, constantly looking for better image quality, when they could have just saved up and bought a high-end set and been happy.
Until OLED is actually here and affordable, which is not likely to happen for at least another three years, I will be sticking with my Sony HX900. Sure, it cost twice as much as any other TV of its size at the time, but two years on, I haven't even considered buying anything else.
Those friends have now bought two more TVs since then, spent more than I did overall, and none of them have nearly as good a picture. I expect them to be "upgrading" again this year. Once I've had this set for five or six years, then I might be thinking about upgrading to OLED.
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The dirty little secret here that isn't talked about at AVS is simply that picture quality is on the march downward!
I'm not sure that I would agree. Up until Pioneer's second generation of "Kuro" displays, and Sony's high-end LED backlit LCDs (the XBR8 and then HX900) I would say that flat panel image quality in general was terrible. I think those few sets have been the high-point of flat panel image quality that has yet to be matched, but everyone else has been making strides to improve, and Panasonic's latest Plasmas are looking pretty good now compared to how they used to be.

The move to Edge LED was definitely a step backwards as far as uniformity is concerned, but manufacturers are getting that under control, and image quality is gradually improving.
Colour accuracy on all but the cheapest flat panels is generally looking really good these days. Motion quality has drastically improved over earlier models, largely thanks to the introduction of 3D. Image quality is still improving every year.

We don't have anything that matches or surpasses those few sets yet, but image quality overall is going up, and few people bought those high-end sets anyway. Pioneer left the TV business as a result of that, and Sony is really struggling.
And if you bought one of them, you probably still have it.
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That being said there are some respectable LCD's out there. Just few and far between. I feel like 2012 was the year of "the step back" for a lot of LCD manufacturers.
In what way was it a step back? The biggest problem right now is the race to the bottom on pricing, particularly with the Korean-made sets. No-one else seems able to compete with that.
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post #18 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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In 2012, some TV manufacturers, like Samsung, moved away from edge-lit LED and they introduced full-array LEDs which are OK but they still do not have local dimming. Only some high-end models have local dimming.

I have learned that LG has invented a new form of LCD-LED display which is called Professional IPS, or P-IPS for short, which is an advanced type of IPS. IPS is a display mechanism for LED for the pixels which is used by Panasonic and others. Samsung invented their own type of IPS recently but they call it something else, I don't remember what. Well, that P-IPS that LG has made has a bit rate (the thing that I was talking about earlier in this thread) of 30, which would be fantastic. It produces about a billion colors. Maybe in a few years we will be seeing much more advanced LED TVs.
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post #19 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 09:49 AM
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I bought my first flat panels in 2007. I bought a panny pxz50 and pxz 58. To my eyes, they are still incredible. I have since purchased the sharp 80"led and a cheap 42" LG led. I also bought a LG 50" plasma(cheaper model) for my father in law. None of the sets come close to the PQ on my panny's. Furthermore, i have not seen many sets on display that compare favorably with my pannys. I will admit, though, that i am somewhat out of the loop now regarding the new models and PQ. I will be purchasing 2 more flat panels this year for various rooms and was wondering what the top dogs are for PQ. I am biased towards plasma's but am willing to change if someone can show me a better set.
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post #20 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

That's nothing new though, just about anything AV or electronics related is like that.
You should only buy high-end if you intend on keeping it for a long time, as high-end stuff is worth just as much as low-end gear a couple of years on.
If a set isn't good enough that you would be happy sticking with it for 5-10 years, it isn't worth buying.
If you can't afford to buy a set of that quality (and few exist these days) then stick with what you've got and save until you can, or buy the cheapest thing you would be happy with, because you're going to lose less money on it. (the less you spend, the less you can lose)
I'll never understand the people I know that buy low-end or mid-tier TVs every 12-18 months, constantly looking for better image quality, when they could have just saved up and bought a high-end set and been happy.
Until OLED is actually here and affordable, which is not likely to happen for at least another three years, I will be sticking with my Sony HX900. Sure, it cost twice as much as any other TV of its size at the time, but two years on, I haven't even considered buying anything else.
Those friends have now bought two more TVs since then, spent more than I did overall, and none of them have nearly as good a picture. I expect them to be "upgrading" again this year. Once I've had this set for five or six years, then I might be thinking about upgrading to OLED.
I'm not sure that I would agree. Up until Pioneer's second generation of "Kuro" displays, and Sony's high-end LED backlit LCDs (the XBR8 and then HX900) I would say that flat panel image quality in general was terrible. I think those few sets have been the high-point of flat panel image quality that has yet to be matched, but everyone else has been making strides to improve, and Panasonic's latest Plasmas are looking pretty good now compared to how they used to be.
The move to Edge LED was definitely a step backwards as far as uniformity is concerned, but manufacturers are getting that under control, and image quality is gradually improving.
Colour accuracy on all but the cheapest flat panels is generally looking really good these days. Motion quality has drastically improved over earlier models, largely thanks to the introduction of 3D. Image quality is still improving every year.
We don't have anything that matches or surpasses those few sets yet, but image quality overall is going up, and few people bought those high-end sets anyway. Pioneer left the TV business as a result of that, and Sony is really struggling.
And if you bought one of them, you probably still have it.
In what way was it a step back? The biggest problem right now is the race to the bottom on pricing, particularly with the Korean-made sets. No-one else seems able to compete with that.
I agree with your assessment of my situation. When I bought it I fully intended to keep it for a long time. The only reason I got another was to get a bigger screen (I got a 60" Panny ST). Its a shame to have it sitting in a box but I will find a use for it someday.

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post #21 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basil lambri View Post

In 2012, some TV manufacturers, like Samsung, moved away from edge-lit LED and they introduced full-array LEDs which are OK but they still do not have local dimming. Only some high-end models have local dimming.
I have learned that LG has invented a new form of LCD-LED display which is called Professional IPS, or P-IPS for short, which is an advanced type of IPS. IPS is a display mechanism for LED for the pixels which is used by Panasonic and others. Samsung invented their own type of IPS recently but they call it something else, I don't remember what. Well, that P-IPS that LG has made has a bit rate (the thing that I was talking about earlier in this thread) of 30, which would be fantastic. It produces about a billion colors. Maybe in a few years we will be seeing much more advanced LED TVs.
Those Samsungs are not technically "full array LED". They are "Direct lit". They have far fewer LEDs than something like my LH90. The 47LH has 1500 LEDs and the Samsung eh6000 has about 400 from what I understand. That is why they made them thicker. They had to place the LEDs farther back to get reasonably uniform lighting. Really just a marketing gimmick to get people to think they are buying a full LED display. Only real advantage may be reliability because there are no CCFLs to replace.

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post #22 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basil lambri View Post

In 2012, some TV manufacturers, like Samsung, moved away from edge-lit LED and they introduced full-array LEDs which are OK but they still do not have local dimming. Only some high-end models have local dimming.
Do Samsung have any full-array LED sets? I thought they were all still Edge LED, and the reason they no longer offered LED Backlit sets was due to losing a patent dispute with Sharp. (as usual, Samsung just decided to ignore the patents and implement it anyway)
I honestly don't pay much attention to them, because they tend to measure well but look bad in person despite that, and I would never consider buying a Samsung display.
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I have learned that LG has invented a new form of LCD-LED display which is called Professional IPS, or P-IPS for short, which is an advanced type of IPS. IPS is a display mechanism for LED for the pixels which is used by Panasonic and others. Samsung invented their own type of IPS recently but they call it something else, I don't remember what. Well, that P-IPS that LG has made has a bit rate (the thing that I was talking about earlier in this thread) of 30, which would be fantastic. It produces about a billion colors. Maybe in a few years we will be seeing much more advanced LED TVs.
I think P-IPS is just a variant of H-IPS that has 10-bit FRC (natively 8-bit panel) and AH-IPS is the best IPS panel type.

When you see numbers like 30-bit, that's the manufacturers inflating the numbers by counting red, green, and blue separately.

Anyway, you want to avoid any kind of display that uses an IPS panel. They are useful in monitors where contrast ratio is less of an issue, but IPS panels are far too low contrast for use in a high quality television.
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post #23 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 12:14 PM
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[quote name="Chronoptimist" url="/t/1448811/which-tv-display-technology-is-better-plasma-lcd-led-or-crt-is-really-a-big-question/20_20#post_22772941"

Anyway, you want to avoid any kind of display that uses an IPS panel. They are useful in monitors where contrast ratio is less of an issue, but IPS panels are far too low contrast for use in a high quality television.[/quote]

Really? I have an LG that has the S-IPS panel and off-axis viewing as well as pq is great (even with the less than optimal black levels that LCDs are noted for). Besides, contrast ratios are not that useful of an indicator because there is no standard way of measuring them so each mfr measures it in a way as to inflate the numbers and make it look impressive.
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post #24 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
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Really? I have an LG that has the S-IPS panel and off-axis viewing as well as pq is great (even with the less than optimal black levels that LCDs are noted for). Besides, contrast ratios are not that useful of an indicator because there is no standard way of measuring them so each mfr measures it in a way as to inflate the numbers and make it look impressive.
Native contrast ratios are not really subject to inflation. Any IPS-based panel is usually around 1000:1 native contrast, plus or minus 200. (I measured 1200:1 on my iPad, but I think it's actually using a Samsung PLS panel)

The better LCD panels used in TVs are around 2000:1 and the best panels are approaching 4,000:1 native. (I measure about 3500:1 on my HX900 which uses a Sharp UV2A panel, and is a couple of years old now) I'm actually curious to see what the latest panels from Sharp measure, and to see if IGZO improves things further. (or if it only improves efficiency and response times)

IPS panels look fine if you watch them in a well lit room, but terrible in the dark. (where contrast ratio matters)
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post #25 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 02:01 PM
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That's nothing new though, just about anything AV or electronics related is like that.
You should only buy high-end if you intend on keeping it for a long time, as high-end stuff is worth just as much as low-end gear a couple of years on.
If a set isn't good enough that you would be happy sticking with it for 5-10 years, it isn't worth buying.
If you can't afford to buy a set of that quality (and few exist these days) then stick with what you've got and save until you can, or buy the cheapest thing you would be happy with, because you're going to lose less money on it. (the less you spend, the less you can lose)
I'll never understand the people I know that buy low-end or mid-tier TVs every 12-18 months, constantly looking for better image quality, when they could have just saved up and bought a high-end set and been happy.
Until OLED is actually here and affordable, which is not likely to happen for at least another three years, I will be sticking with my Sony HX900. Sure, it cost twice as much as any other TV of its size at the time, but two years on, I haven't even considered buying anything else.
Those friends have now bought two more TVs since then, spent more than I did overall, and none of them have nearly as good a picture. I expect them to be "upgrading" again this year. Once I've had this set for five or six years, then I might be thinking about upgrading to OLED.
I'm not sure that I would agree. Up until Pioneer's second generation of "Kuro" displays, and Sony's high-end LED backlit LCDs (the XBR8 and then HX900) I would say that flat panel image quality in general was terrible. I think those few sets have been the high-point of flat panel image quality that has yet to be matched, but everyone else has been making strides to improve, and Panasonic's latest Plasmas are looking pretty good now compared to how they used to be.
The move to Edge LED was definitely a step backwards as far as uniformity is concerned, but manufacturers are getting that under control, and image quality is gradually improving.
Colour accuracy on all but the cheapest flat panels is generally looking really good these days. Motion quality has drastically improved over earlier models, largely thanks to the introduction of 3D. Image quality is still improving every year.
We don't have anything that matches or surpasses those few sets yet, but image quality overall is going up, and few people bought those high-end sets anyway. Pioneer left the TV business as a result of that, and Sony is really struggling.
And if you bought one of them, you probably still have it.
In what way was it a step back? The biggest problem right now is the race to the bottom on pricing, particularly with the Korean-made sets. No-one else seems able to compete with that.

Look at a brand like LG. They had nothing but mediocre offerings from their line. I was only impressed with the LM7600.

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Do Samsung have any full-array LED sets? I thought they were all still Edge LED, and the reason they no longer offered LED Backlit sets was due to losing a patent dispute with Sharp. (as usual, Samsung just decided to ignore the patents and implement it anyway)
I honestly don't pay much attention to them, because they tend to measure well but look bad in person despite that, and I would never consider buying a Samsung display.
I think P-IPS is just a variant of H-IPS that has 10-bit FRC (natively 8-bit panel) and AH-IPS is the best IPS panel type.
When you see numbers like 30-bit, that's the manufacturers inflating the numbers by counting red, green, and blue separately.
Anyway, you want to avoid any kind of display that uses an IPS panel. They are useful in monitors where contrast ratio is less of an issue, but IPS panels are far too low contrast for use in a high quality television.

No they don't have any "full array LED/LCD's."

The EH series are all direct backlit LED/LCD's.

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IPS panels look fine if you watch them in a well lit room, but terrible in the dark. (where contrast ratio matters)

With the use of a properly placed bias light (which is recommended) my LG looks sharp, clear, with lots of detail. Of course this is a 2010 model which I think was a stellar year for some of LG's line. Not so much now.
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With the use of a properly placed bias light (which is recommended) my LG looks sharp, clear, with lots of detail. Of course this is a 2010 model which I think was a stellar year for some of LG's line. Not so much now.
Bias lighting does nothing to help improve contrast in my experience. You need ambient light in the room, not a smaller light behind the TV panel.
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No they don't have any "full array LED/LCD's."
The EH series are all direct backlit LED/LCD's.
I own a Samsung UN32EH4003 LED TV which is of the EH series and I am pretty sure it is what some call "full array" which is back-lit but has no local dimming and as someone mentioned in this thread it has fewer LEDs in the panel than LED TVs with local dimming. Also the panel of the TV is thicker than other LCD and LED TVs.
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post #30 of 38 Old 01-02-2013, 09:18 PM
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Bias lighting does nothing to help improve contrast in my experience. You need ambient light in the room, not a smaller light behind the TV panel.

That's unfortunate. Most people I've talked to have seen a definite benefit with a bias light but everyone's different. How do you measure your contrast ratio? Static or dynamic?
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