Originally Posted by Ken Ross
My awareness of ABL and its practical consequences has become much greater since I've been living with a Sharp Elite full-array LED display for almost 2 years. It's only then you see what so many brighter scenes 'should' look like. Your example of hockey is just one scenario where ABL rears its ugly head.
I think many people aren't aware of it because, as just with proper calibration, if people don't see what a given scene should look like, they'll never know that what they've got isn't 'ideal'.
I also think a lot of people on these forums are pretty hardcore about the traditional cinema experience, meaning they're always in a 100% dark room watching proper films which usually aren't too bad for ABL. Panasonic's ABL is definitely more severe than my old Pioneer 5080 (which can use way more power like the new Samsung). I don't watch hockey, but I do use my GT50 primarily for PC gaming so I certainly see the ABL in action fairly often. I won't go to any form of LCD (I seriously hate sample and hold motion blur, which is why I have the plasma for the PC in the first place) so I simply put up with it. When I went to BB recently to check out the flagship models for 2013 I couldn't believe how dim the ZT60 was (VT was somewhat better) even compared to my GT50.
Personally, if I were going to get super into building a theater cave I'd probably be looking at projectors, since 65" really doesn't seem big enough for a proper theater experience. I've heard that one of the Sony projectors has a pretty good dark frame insertion mode that wipes out the LCD motion blur, so I'd probably head in that direction for home theater purposes.
I will say that Samsung's 2014 plasma is definitely where I'm looking at the moment. All I really want to see is a little improvement to blacks and better input lag, then I'm sold on the ultra-bright plasma. Improvements to motion resolution also wouldn't hurt, but honestly it's a closer fight than people think: Samsung has more dither, Panasonic has more DFC. Of course there are rumors (started by the insider at the other forum) that Panasonic will try to match Samsung on brightness next year, so that could be interesting as well. I'm going to get a lot of heat for saying this, but even though Panasonic probably has the better plasma technology I honestly think Samsung could win this fight before it's over. Panasonic literally announced to the world that they were giving up and going broke (unless this is some kind of unreasonably clever trickery), and if I'm Samsung I'm thinking, "we've got stacks of smartphone cash, why not be the best at plasma just because we can?" Everyone in the industry knows that OLED is absolutely not
ready to go (hey guys, I've got this new display tech that combines LCD's motion blur with plasma's risk of burn-in, it's only $15,000), so plasma should still have a few years left. I guess what I'm saying is that 2014 is going to be an interesting year for display technology in general.
If you're into PC gaming displays I'd also be following lightboost monitors in the immediate future; It's only a matter of time before someone is going to figure out how to combine that perfect motion resolution with decent color and contrast.