Originally Posted by Amillennialist
Speaking of Paul's TV, I visited the La Habra location this morning to check out the A94. I was disappointed. Compared to any of the other televisions in the room, its picture was washed out and soft, a lot like my old 55" Mits 1080i CRT (still in operation). In fact, my current set, a 57831, looks a lot better than the A94.
I stopped also at Best Buy to check out the Sharp Elite. The Viera, Aquos, and Elite have beautiful pictures, much more vivid than the A94. Though I've always been a loyal Mits owner, this is the end. The next set will be a Sharp or Panasonic (or Samsung).
Can anyone tell me where I'm wrong?
I'm going to agree with Gtgray, you really can't be wrong, or go wrong, following your personal preferences. There are a lot of differences in preference and good viewing technologies to address them. But this is an interesting issue, so I'd like to offer a perspective on it as well. Buzz has spoken to the technical capabilities of the A94. From that and other posts on this thread they sound like excellent sets, although I don't own one.
What I like about flat panel displays is precisely what you observed. They look bright and sharp, even brilliant, in almost any light and from almost any vertical viewing angle. You can use them in office and courtroom settings, sports bars, gyms, airports, even indoor and outdoor stadiums, and they still look good, even up high. Under fluorescent lights or incandescent ceiling spots (big box stores and showrooms, for instance), they just blow away rear projection sets. Based on my personal experience, I don't think I could ever bring myself to buy a rear projection set just from comparing it to flat panel displays in showrooms. And yet, my current set is a 92840 and my previous set was a 73833. But I didn't buy them based on how they look under fluorescent lighting in showrooms. I bought them to watch in low-level, warm, ambient lighting in my home. I like watching flat panels in non-light controlled settings because they always look bright and sharp. I don't like watching them for very long for the same reason. Rear projection, like front projection, just seems more natural to my eyes--more film-like for want of a better term, and also less fatiguing to watch for long periods of time. Other people like the pop of plasma and LCD under all conditions. Diversity is great; nice to have choices!
If you like the flat panels you are seeing, and lots of people do, then how can you go wrong? But you spoke of being a loyal Mits owner, and I got the impression that you had been enjoying your 57831. If you really like the look of rear projection better than flat panel for home theater purposes, then I would encourage you to consider taking a chance that the newer DLP technology is both bigger and better than the older technology. I think that the larger the screens get the more the ambient lighting makes a difference. All of these large DLP's seem to flourish best in more light controlled environments--even more so than the smaller models did. But the reward in size and picture quality is worth it. I was lucky to have a really good 73833 (the first diamond model?), and my 92840, with the Clear Contrast screen, has just miles better PQ than the older technology. But I didn't buy either of them based on showroom fluorescent lighting, or ceiling spot lighting, comparing them to flat panel displays. The relative strengths of the various display technologies are just too different.
I decided to add a final thought to this. I am not sure that everyone sees a difference between front and rear projection technologies and various flat panel displays, or seeing, cares. Our preferences are all different. If you don't, you can't go wrong buying based on what you do see and like. Only if something specific about DLP's is appealing: whether it is a natural-looking picture; size vis-a-vis affordability; deep blacks, or thinner box of the Laservue; or whatever, is the opinion of other Mits owners relevant. But if you still lean toward rear projection, then it may be helpful to hear other owners on all three Mits threads say that the new DLP technology and resulting PQ is even better than on the old sets, for that seems to be the clear consensus.