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Plasma in a well lit room  

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Planning for my first flat panel, replacing a 6 year old 36" 200 pound monster. I have a large enough room for a projector but there's too much ambient light {which I prefer anyway} so I'll be looking for the largest flat panel with a quality picture.

Do I understand that plasmas don't show as well in a bright room? I'm somewhat sensitive to power usage but I don't know if that's a factor anymore. I'll probably be watching a lot of network TV and sports.

Any advice is helpful including specific recommendations. Thanks.
post #2 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHands View Post

Planning for my first flat panel, replacing a 6 year old 36" 200 pound monster. I have a large enough room for a projector but there's too much ambient light {which I prefer anyway} so I'll be looking for the largest flat panel with a quality picture.

Do I understand that plasmas don't show as well in a bright room? I'm somewhat sensitive to power usage but I don't know if that's a factor anymore. I'll probably be watching a lot of network TV and sports.

Any advice is helpful including specific recommendations. Thanks.

I have a Pioneer Kuro, and IMO, it looks 3-5 times better (subjectively) in a dim or dark room than in a well-lit one. I've noticed that ambient sunlight really makes the TV screen look a grayish color, which ruins the blacks during the daytime (picture for demonstration purposes only, I doubt it'll be this bad):



LCDs suffer much less from this, so if you're going to use a TV in a well-lit room, I think LCDs would provide better picture quality on average. True, it won't look as good at night, but you won't have to sacrifice the PQ during the day.
post #3 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHands View Post

Do I understand that plasmas don't show as well in a bright room? I'm somewhat sensitive to power usage but I don't know if that's a factor anymore. I'll probably be watching a lot of network TV and sports.

Any advice is helpful including specific recommendations. Thanks.

Plasmas have improved on their anti-glare over the years. However it does seems that reflective glass gives better contrast so now even LED LCD are using it and hence also having some reflection issue. So depending on your ambient brightness you may want to grab a non LED LCD. It's a tradeoff between PQ and glare.

Plasma used to consume 600W or more 3-5 years back but nowadays are only half of that. Some will say LCD consume 1/2 power but 1/2 of 600 is not the same as 1/2 of 300 LED backlit generally will consume about 1/2 power of CCFL backlit LCD. Just a simple rule of thumb
post #4 of 64
How bright is bright? I have no issues with my plasma in the family room, 4'x6' windows on North and South ends of the room, 10'x6' Bay Window on the East wall. During the day I do not have any treatments on the windows, and no viewing issues. I don't do any serious watching during the day however, but the picture is fine for casual viewing.
post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 
How bright is bright is a good question and I'm not sure how to answer it. I live in Florida so frequently lots of sunshine altho nothing direct on the screen. At night I keep the room well lit but that's probably too subjective to give a good idea. I think my best bet is to compare sets in a well lit store and see how they look.
post #6 of 64
Ambient lighting isn't going to hurt a plasma or LCD of any kind. Direct lighting, be it artificial or solar, is going to wreak havoc on anything but a matte screen LCD, and even on a matte screen it reduces picture quality.

If you have a ton of windows bringing direct sunlight in at certain times of the day (and those are times when you watch TV) you are going to want a matte screen LCD. However if you are able to control the light coming into your room, a Plasma or Glossy screened LCD should be just fine.

If the OP were to post pics of the room in question, better and more specific advice would be possible.
post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHands View Post

How bright is bright is a good question and I'm not sure how to answer it. I live in Florida so frequently lots of sunshine altho nothing direct on the screen. At night I keep the room well lit but that's probably too subjective to give a good idea. I think my best bet is to compare sets in a well lit store and see how they look.

If it's not shining directly on the screen you should be alright with plasma.

It might actually be worse at night if you have a lot of lighting that would reflect directly off the screen from your viewing position.

Can I ask why you keep the room "well lit" at night when watching TV? (You don't have to answer.....just curious since the typical recommendation is to turn off as many lights as possible when watching TV....maybe a little "ambient" lighting from behind the set)
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHands View Post

How bright is bright is a good question and I'm not sure how to answer it. I live in Florida so frequently lots of sunshine altho nothing direct on the screen. At night I keep the room well lit but that's probably too subjective to give a good idea. I think my best bet is to compare sets in a well lit store and see how they look.

Here is a Plasma vs. LCd

thread link.

You're best bet is to do a lot of reading on AVS.
post #9 of 64
iam new to the forum and geting back in to tv tech .
my cosuin has a older 47 inch panny plasma .and his liveing room and its bright he has high hat lights and stuff and there is no glare off his screen transformers and dark knight
look pretty awesome
post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazz3 View Post

iam new to the forum and geting back in to tv tech .
my cosuin has a older 47 inch panny plasma .and his liveing room and its bright he has high hat lights and stuff and there is no glare off his screen transformers and dark knight
look pretty awesome

I don't think electrical lights affect the screen as much as ambient sunlight. I can turn a bunch of lights in my room at night, and the screen is still very dark gray. However, if I open the blinds, then the sunlight will cause the screen to go gray.
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astropin View Post

If it's not shining directly on the screen you should be alright with plasma.

It might actually be worse at night if you have a lot of lighting that would reflect directly off the screen from your viewing position.

Can I ask why you keep the room "well lit" at night when watching TV? (You don't have to answer.....just curious since the typical recommendation is to turn off as many lights as possible when watching TV....maybe a little "ambient" lighting from behind the set)

Not the OT, but in my case, my wife loves to read while listening and glancing at the TV at night. Lights all over! I already gave a plasma to my son & family and replaced it with a 60EX700 than not only does a stellar job at suppressing the ambient lights, but provides a beautiful picture as well.

If I had a dark room, I'd probably choose a plasma.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughh View Post

Not the OT, but in my case, my wife loves to read while listening and glancing at the TV at night. Lights all over! I already gave a plasma to my son & family and replaced it with a 60EX700 than not only does a stellar job at suppressing the ambient lights, but provides a beautiful picture as well.

If I had a dark room, I'd probably choose a plasma.







Sorry.....I'm being kind of a smart ass tonight.
post #13 of 64
Hail, she's reading off a wifi iPad! Anyway, at my age I can't hardly see in the dark. I don't want to spill my wine all over the floor (:

In daylight hours we enjoy the natural sunlight that comes in the early morning hours through the 25' high cathedral windows and later in the day through the long floor to ceiling windows in our living room.

As I said, if I had a bat cave, I would already have a Kuro just like my brother has. Without a doubt, best TV I have ever seen!!!
post #14 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astropin View Post

Can I ask why you keep the room "well lit" at night when watching TV? (You don't have to answer.....just curious since the typical recommendation is to turn off as many lights as possible when watching TV....maybe a little "ambient" lighting from behind the set)

That's a question I can answer and it's simple: it's a comfort level thing. My eyes are just more comfortable watching TV in a well lit room.
post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHands View Post

That's a question I can answer and it's simple: it's a comfort level thing. My eyes are just more comfortable watching TV in a well lit room.

LCd would be the best choice because you like a lot of light when you watch TV.

post #16 of 64
Here's a Pioneer Kuro in a well-lit room:

Best plasma you can buy, it is.

Yes, this is an extreme example, and you can see that the person in the photograph is using a flash to take the picture. But in a similarly lit room, I could not stand anything but a full-on matte screen LCD. Some people can apparently tolerate having the room reflections overlaying the screen, I'm not so tolerant.

YES the Kuro has what passes for an anti-glare coating on the glass screen. (Note that the black bezel actually reflects more than the screen.) But it is basicly a piece of flat glass. The Sony VVega I formerly had in my room had similar issues in daytime - I had to use a TV cabinet with doors on it and leave the doors open to control glare and reflections. But still, TV was better at night.
post #17 of 64
The Worst part about it is that the bigger the TV is, the harder it is to control reflections.

It all comes to "the best TV for your viewing environment".

I would love to upgrade my iMac to the latest 27" that just came out. However, my iMac is the last one Apple made with a non-reflective screen. I'll never again get another computer with a reflective screen like the one prior to my present iMac..
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Here's a Pioneer Kuro in a well-lit room:

Best plasma you can buy, it is.

Best TV one could buy at the time and still the standard by which others are still measured.

What's the purpose of you showing an extreme situation of a TV that you have never owned or viewed in your home? If you have a particular experience of what the OP is asking for then share it, but wouldn't it be best to let those that actually own a particular set and have real world experience give their opinion on it?
post #19 of 64
Although my Kuro's blacks get washed out during the daytime in a bright room, the picture is still very good... it's much better than my 2 year old 32" matte Sceptre LCD. When watching with the LCD during the day, I think the picture looks plastic and artificial but still good. The blacks are blacker with the LCD during the day, but colors on the Kuro still look better for some reason. The Kuro provides a more convincing "through-the-window" look (I use ISF-Day).

I'm not sure how newer matte LCDs will look, but I think glossy / glass screens will always provide a more convincing picture with the drawback of glare.
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

Ambient lighting isn't going to hurt a plasma or LCD of any kind.

Baloney. Plasmas will wash out much faster than a dark-coated LCD/LED. They will look worse.

Quote:


Direct lighting, be it artificial or solar, is going to wreak havoc on anything but a matte screen LCD, and even on a matte screen it reduces picture quality.

Direct lighting wreaks havoc even on a yucky matte screen. I know from personal experience. The reflection just gets smeared all over the screen, and the blacks and colors wash out, and you end up with no pop, along with an annoying fuzzy blob of reflected light.

Never get a yucky matte screen if you can help it!

Quote:


If you have a ton of windows bringing direct sunlight in at certain times of the day (and those are times when you watch TV) you are going to want a matte screen LCD.

Nope. Never get a yucky matte screen if you can help it!
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astropin View Post

If it's not shining directly on the screen you should be alright with plasma.

You say he should be "alright". That's not the point. The point is, why should the person settle for merely "alright"? A good LED/LCD would look much better than alright--it will look fantastic in a bright room! (at least compared to a plasma). Even the best plasmas on the market fall apart in a bright room. The only reason people should tolerate the washout on their plasma is if they do the majority of their viewing in dim or dark conditions. Then I could see suffering with the occasional washout during the day for less critical viewing. But if the majority of the time the display will be viewed in sunny Florida daylight, definitely go with a good glossy-screened LED. Note that I qualified that it must be a good one, for LG makes some awful glossy screens.

Quote:


It might actually be worse at night if you have a lot of lighting that would reflect directly off the screen from your viewing position.

At night you want to be careful to place your lighting behind your plasma, not anywhere in the 180 degree radius in front of it. Ceiling lights aimed away from the screen and facing toward the viewer is another option.
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTguru3 View Post

What's the purpose of you showing an extreme situation of a TV that you have never owned or viewed in your home? If you have a particular experience of what the OP is asking for then share it, but wouldn't it be best to let those that actually own a particular set and have real world experience give their opinion on it?

I have a Kuro just like that one in the picture. It's true what everyone says---it is the best PQ out there (under $10k).................in a dark room!

But in a bright room a good $1500-2000 LED will wipe the floor with it.

There is no magical display that gives you top-notch PQ in both bright and blacked out rooms.

Kuros for the dim/dark room
LED's for the daylight

Anything else must involve a compromise.

I'm not sure why this is so hard for some people to accept here on AVS.

P.S. No matte screens either! Yuck!
post #23 of 64
[quote=DocuMaker;19083599]


Quote:


Direct lighting wreaks havoc even on a yucky matte screen. I know from personal experience. The reflection just gets smeared all over the screen, and the blacks and colors wash out, and you end up with no pop, along with an annoying fuzzy blob of reflected light.

The reflection is only visible when the screen is dark on a Matte LCD, and even then it is significantly muted and still watchable. I know from personal experience with the sun coming through my living room window in the late afternoons to glare on my matte screened LCD. I could still watch it without cringing. Couldn't do that with my old CRT or any glossy screened flat panel.

And a reasonable amount of ambient lighting isn't going to significantly affect any decent Flat Panel display with anti-reflective coatings. I have seen a Sammy A650, one of the glossiest of the glossy screened LCD's in a room with tons of lights including large skylights that made the room very bright during the daylight hours, and the A650 performed admirably in said environment with minimal reflectivity and almost no loss in picture quality. (of course you could see yourself if the screen went black, as with any glossy display, but with normal content on the screen, no reflectivity was evident)

And while PDP's do tend to lose some of their advantages in high amounts of ambient lighting, they are far from unwatchable. But in the same case, LCD's oftentimes perform better as the ambient lighting makes their black levels appear deeper. Any time I've ever seen a TV unwatchable due to light levels it has been because of a source of direct light, and never because of the amount of ambient light.

Now I'm sure there are some instances where an extremely high amount of ambient lighting could possibly make an HDTV (even a bright-as-hell LCD) unwatchable, I just haven't encountered it yet.

Quote:


Never get a yucky matte screen if you can help it!

I got a matte screen on purpose because I hate glare more than any other problem with displays. I'd rather have grey blacks and clouding and motion blur than to experience the glare I used to get on my old CRT. Reflective glare makes the picture quality worse than all of the other problems combined.




Quote:


Nope. Never get a yucky matte screen if you can help it!

Well, we differ on that opinion, thats for sure.
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocuMaker View Post

I have a Kuro just like that one in the picture. It's true what everyone says---it is the best PQ out there (under $10k).................in a dark room!

But in a bright room a good $1500-2000 LED will wipe the floor with it.

There is no magical display that gives you top-notch PQ in both bright and blacked out rooms.

Kuros for the dim/dark room
LED's for the daylight

Anything else must involve a compromise.

I'm not sure why this is so hard for some people to accept here on AVS.

P.S. No matte screens either! Yuck!

A compromise also involves controlling your room lighting. So if you want the superior PQ of a Kuro, close the friggin' blinds and place the TV somewhere where it won't have to reflect God's ray gun. Unless the sun is shining directly on the glass, newer plasmas still looks great in a bright room.

If you're in the habit of watching TV in your backyard next to your grill, however, buy an LCD We have the technology to control these factors when we design our houses and living spaces, so why not use that to our advantage? It's a compromise whichever route you take, just consider what's more important.
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by trem0lo View Post

A compromise also involves controlling your room lighting. So if you want the superior PQ of a Kuro, close the friggin' blinds and place the TV somewhere where it won't have to reflect God's ray gun. Unless the sun is shining directly on the glass, newer plasmas still looks great in a bright room.

If you're in the habit of watching TV in your backyard next to your grill, however, buy an LCD We have the technology to control these factors when we design our houses and living spaces, so why not use that to our advantage? It's a compromise whichever route you take, just consider what's more important.

My family room is a "Great Room" with combined family room, kitchen, dining room and living room - all the public spaces in my home were remodelled into one large room by removing walls - quite deliberately. There are two large double glass doors and five windows. And I live in sunny California. When my buddies come over, we sit in the home theater with front projector, and darken that room. But my great room has glass on sides - the center of my house is an atrium open to the sky, and glass on the fourth wall. And I definately do not want to live in a freakin' cave just to watch TV.

You termed it a "compromise". I would call it a lifestyle change. Instead of owning a plasma which would only have a viewable image at night, I own a matte finish LCD screen and I have calibrated it once for natural light from all directions and once for incandescent lighting bright enough to read by from both ends of the couch at night. These are seperate viewing modes. In either scenario, a plasma sucks. In both scenarios, there is enough ambient light in the room to keep your pupils constricted and make the LCD blacks plenty dark for a bright, contrasty - and fully calibrated - image.

I don't know why plasma fanatics can't understand the simple facts that plasma displays impose a severe image compromise in well-lit rooms. It is seldom the case that me or the wife are not either reading a book/paper/magazine, or using a laptop or mobile device from the couch at one or both ends.

You pick your display to match your lifestyle, you don't change your lifestyle to match the compromised display technology that you mistakenly think is "better".
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

My family room is a "Great Room" with combined family room, kitchen, dining room and living room - all the public spaces in my home were remodelled into one large room by removing walls - quite deliberately. There are two large double glass doors and five windows. And I live in sunny California. When my buddies come over, we sit in the home theater with front projector, and darken that room. But my great room has glass on sides - the center of my house is an atrium open to the sky, and glass on the fourth wall. And I definately do not want to live in a freakin' cave just to watch TV.

You termed it a "compromise". I would call it a lifestyle change. Instead of owning a plasma which would only have a viewable image at night, I own a matte finish LCD screen and I have calibrated it once for natural light from all directions and once for incandescent lighting bright enough to read by from both ends of the couch at night. These are seperate viewing modes. In either scenario, a plasma sucks. In both scenarios, there is enough ambient light in the room to keep your pupils constricted and make the LCD blacks plenty dark for a bright, contrasty - and fully calibrated - image.

I don't know why plasma fanatics can't understand the simple facts that plasma displays impose a severe image compromise in well-lit rooms. It is seldom the case that me or the wife are not either reading a book/paper/magazine, or using a laptop or mobile device from the couch at one or both ends.

You pick your display to match your lifestyle, you don't change your lifestyle to match the compromised display technology that you mistakenly think is "better".

I have a plasma in a room with ambient light and it works just fine with a more than adequate picture. Sure, maybe an LCD would work better during the day, but most of my viewing is in the evening and I don't have any off angle degradation of the picture that you have in your great room from various viewing areas. It all comes down to compromises but when one uses terms like plasma fanatics, I immediately dismiss the opinion as one filled with bias.



PS- I also have 2 Samsung LCDs in my house so very much aware of each type of panels capabilities.
post #27 of 64
I dragged home twp Panasonic plasmas in 2007 - both considered very good but not in the same league as a Kuro. I returned both for severe image quality issues - in my sunlit great room with no light control and sheer draperies. At night, with two people on the couch opposite the TV, if either end of the couch were lit for reading, the viewer on the other end of the couch saw a perfect reflection of the other person overlaid on the TV image.

That sort of performance is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE if one is serious about image quality. I should not have to own room-darkening treatments for five windows and two large glass sliders, either - even the sheer draperies I have cost $4000 without such additions. We simply want to enjoy the sunshine - not live in a cave.

I have darkened bedrooms with full light control. My guess is that a plasma would provide adequate performance in such private spaces. But I'll never know - I have a large vvega in one and a 32" Samsung LCD in the other, both providing fine performance already.
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTguru3 View Post

I have a plasma in a room with ambient light and it works just fine with a more than adequate picture. Sure, maybe an LCD would work better during the day, but most of my viewing is in the evening and I don't have any off angle degradation of the picture that you have in your great room from various viewing areas. It all comes down to compromises but when one uses terms like plasma fanatics, I immediately dismiss the opinion as one filled with bias.



PS- I also have 2 Samsung LCDs in my house so very much aware of each type of panels capabilities.

You know, I used to wonder about the off-angle degradation everyone was talking about around here. I'm sitting about 70 degrees off angle to my tv now (my kids are watching a Dinosaur documentary...cool stuff) and see no degradation in the PQ. Of course we're watching via streaming netflix, so the PQ is already questionable to begin with...but having watched my Avatar BD from an off-angle a few days back, I didn't notice any degradation from that either.

However, my roomie has a Vizio LCD and I do notice a bit of degradation in the off angles when watching that TV, but its in the angles quite a bit beyond 60 degrees. And I wouldn't consider it unwatchable, just that the contrast takes a small "hit" in the off-angles. I think most people around these parts like to blow things like this way out of proportion. I'm concerned about things that make a tv unwatchable (giant ball of light reflected from the center of the screen that actually blocks out viewable content etc)
post #29 of 64
All LCDs are not created equal when it comes to viewing angles.

Both LCD and Plasma have come a long way in recent years, to the point that there is a large overlap in the middle - maybe 80% of all rooms used for TV viewing - where one is able to select the technology that you prefer, because both do a good job.

But the 10% of brightest rooms demand a quality LCD with a matte screen. Such displays should not be used in total darkness - as they will be much inferior to a display with a clear glass screen.

Likewise in the 10% darkest rooms, you don't want an LCD, you want a plasma with a clear screen. Such displays excell in totally darkened Home Theater rooms. But as the ambient lighting increases, the plasma starts to suck more and more.

The displays that buck the trend in a mistaken attempt to widen the appeal of the set - such as LCDs with clear screens and plasmas with agressive anti-glare finishes - compromise performance at the two bright and dark room lighting extremes. They have little purpose IMHO.

So the only people who are absolutely WRONG in this debate are those that believe one display technology is "better" than the other. It all depends upon the viewing conditions, including the seating arrangement and ambient lighting.
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

All LCDs are not created equal when it comes to viewing angles.

absolutely. Depends on quality and panel type. The laptop I'm posting this from has some of the worst viewing angles I've ever seen. My PC monitor is quite a bit better but can't touch my HDTV, which has an incredibly solid viewing angle for an LCD. I challenge anyone who doubts to come to my house and view my LCD from 70 or more degrees from the center and tell me that my LCD has bad viewing angles.

Quote:


Both LCD and Plasma have come a long way in recent years, to the point that there is a large overlap in the middle - maybe 80% of all rooms used for TV viewing - where one is able to select the technology that you prefer, because both do a good job.

I think LCD has come a much longer way than plasma. Certainly in the realm of IR and Burn-in, PDP's are much improved, however LCD's have improved image quality, viewing angles, black levels etc. I used to work at Best Buy back when LCD's first started being used as PC monitors and HDTV's and they were horrible back then. I never would have considered purchasing one.

Quote:


But the 10% of brightest rooms demand a quality LCD with a matte screen. Such displays should not be used in total darkness - as they will be much inferior to a display with a clear glass screen.

Indeed. My own matte screen LCD performs admirably in any lighting condition except near total darkness. The blacks look dark grey in that condition. If I turn on a few lights (the stairwell lights and the light above the front door, neither of which shine on the screen) they turn black again. I leave a couple of lights on and I don't have any issues.

Quote:


The displays that buck the trend in a mistaken attempt to widen the appeal of the set - such as LCDs with clear screens and plasmas with agressive anti-glare finishes - compromise performance at the two bright and dark room lighting extremes. They have little purpose IMHO.

I beg to differ. LCD's with clear screens tend to put out quite a bit more contrast/brightness than matte screen versions. This is part of why the A650 has such a phenomenal picture quality for the LCD's of its time. And as long as you didn't have direct light sources shinning on the screen, you were good to go. And its blacks looked black, even in the dark. I'm now in a house where the living room has only 2 small windows, neither of which face the sun, so while I love my matte screen LCD, I really wish I had an A650 for the increase in awsomeness because there are now no light sources that would destroy its PQ at my living space.
The problem I have is that my baby's mama likes to rearrange furniture on a whim and I could come home from work one day to find every light source in the living room pointing directly at the center of the screen. That's happened to me more than once. That happened back when I had my CRT and the reflection made the tv completely unwatchable and myself completely unhappy, thus the decision to buy Matte over Glossy when I finally broke down and purchased an LCD.

Quote:


So the only people who are absolutely WRONG in this debate are those that believe one display technology is "better" than the other. It all depends upon the viewing conditions, including the seating arrangement and ambient lighting.

That I totally agree with. Pretty much all the technologies currently being used are fine. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and like every other technology out there, they aren't perfect, but they do their jobs admirably and there are plenty of models that perform above and beyond the call of duty. Thats pretty much all anyone can ask for in a tech.
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