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Why Plasma?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is there a big difference in what you get with plasma vs LCD?
post #2 of 21
Because it's better than LCD.

Seriously, black level aside, plasma displays simply look more life-like to me. LCD's have always had an artificial or unnatural image production. Though LCD's have improved, I still find plasmas to look more natural. I would only ever consider an LCD if in a room with lots of direct light on the screen.
post #3 of 21
I find plasma has a better picture than LCD. The blacks are blacker, and the colors are more vibrant and accurate. I also have a low light viewing area, and LCD's, especially LED/LCD's, seem to be painfully bright. The plasma works great in my area, and provides a warmer picture quality.
post #4 of 21
All tvs have strengths and weaknesses. When you list each side by side, plasma is better at almost everything you want in a tv experience:

Plasma:

black level
color graduation (never seen an lcd that did great pastels, piece of cake for plasma)
viewable angle
cost


LCD

Brightness
post #5 of 21
Different TVs are suitable for different applications. I own 3 plasma sets and one LCD.

Plasma is better at:
1) Black Level
2) Motion Handling
3) Viewing Angle
4) Contrast Ratios
5) More uniform panel coloration
6) More affordable at larger screen sizes


LCD is better at:
1) Brighter
2) Lighter (weight)
3) less reflective screen surface (in general)
4) the only option in smaller screen sizes
5) less burn-in risk

If I was buying a TV to play video games on 8 hours a day, I'd get an LCD due to the risk of burn-in. Likewise, I'd go LCD if I was trying to outfit a brightly lit bar or restaraunt with televisions for watching sporting events.

In most home theater applications, plasma is the reigning champ.

In my personal experience, the deal breakers for me with regard to LCD are the poor viewing angle, the marginal black levels and contrast ratios, and the motion tracking. And the one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the frame interpolation circuitry on some of those LCD sets, which cannot always be disabled (no matter what the user menu might suggest). For example, even when I turn off the frame interpolation setting on my mother's Samsung LCD, it is very clearly still running, making everything look like a soap opera. I hate that crap.
post #6 of 21
The above comments are pretty good. I will say the new sharp 80" LED looks very good though. But aside from that it depends on what you want:
Some people actually PREFER the bright, high saturation look of LCD/LED over the toned-down look of plasma. And plasma really does need light controlled conditions to shine. I have 2 plasma TVs and am very happy with plasma. A friend prefers the "vibrant" picture of his LED in near torch mode. To him my plasma looks dull. To me his LED looks poor - unnatural colors and skin tones. Different strokes for different folks.
post #7 of 21
If you want something that pops and looks like an impressive picture at first blush, get an LCD / LED

If you value PQ accuracy, get a plasma ..
post #8 of 21
One other negative to plasmas is that they use considerable more power. To me the superior motion ability of plasmas make them the best choice for the serious gamer. Burn in is not the issue it once was, but like many things on the Internet people continue to talk about issues even after they become nearly obsolete.
post #9 of 21
Define "considerable more power". A desktop PC uses more power than any plasma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert2011 View Post

One other negative to plasmas is that they use considerable more power. To me the superior motion ability of plasmas make them the best choice for the serious gamer. Burn in is not the issue it once was, but like many things on the Internet people continue to talk about issues even after they become nearly obsolete.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert2011 View Post

One other negative to plasmas is that they use considerable more power. To me the superior motion ability of plasmas make them the best choice for the serious gamer. Burn in is not the issue it once was, but like many things on the Internet people continue to talk about issues even after they become nearly obsolete.

Some plasma panels these days are extremely resistant to burn-in. I have a 4 year old 720p panasonic plasma that I've abused to no end and it doesn't have any burn-in at all (although TIR has been an issue every now and then).

However, people have anectdotally reported a higher incidence of burn-in among some of the newer sets (like the ST30 for example.. which I also own)... so I'd say it varies from set to set. And unfortunately anectodotal evidence is all we have. Overall the technology has improved a great deal in this regard, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's not something to think about when considering how the set will be used.
post #11 of 21
Many of the current LCDs are as reflective if not more so than plasmas. I would take that off the list as some kind of plus.
post #12 of 21
Don't underestimate the value of a good viewing angle. This carries much weight in my book for choosing plasma over LCD.
post #13 of 21
My plasma just looks more natural to me than my LED-LCD. I also paid about $300 less for the plasma than I did for my LED, and it's also 4" bigger

I have a 46" Sharp LE700UN (LED-backlit, no local dimming - 2009 model) and a 50" Panasonic G20 (2010 model) that I purchased a few months after the Sharp. I try my best to avoid "critical viewing" on the LCD. I'm very sensitive to its inherent motion blur (even with frame repetition on) and the viewing angles are poor. I also notice mild vertical banding during panning, which I can notice to some degree on many LCD based sets depending on content. Luckily my LCD has an almost completely uniform distribution of the backlight, although most LED-LCD sets available today have problems with this. The blacks are relatively deep for an LCD but not as deep as on my plasma; they also tend towards a slightly bluish hue in a dark room. The inherent overall "sharpness" of the LCD can look stunningly impressive on some content, e.g. animation on blu-ray, although that sharpness works against it when watching less than perfect source material like my over-compressed dish network signal. The plasma's softer overall image masks most anomalies from these types of signals.

What it comes down to is that I feel like there is a barrier between me and the content I'm watching when I watch my LCD - like I know I'm only watching a TV. That barrier is lifted when I watch a film on my plasma.

To be fair, I can notice line bleed occasionally on my plasma, and my model has the "floating blacks" problem that can get distracting. I have noticed that as I log more hours onto my plasma, occurrences of floating blacks seem to be fewer than when the TV was new.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CooperM View Post

Is there a big difference in what you get with plasma vs LCD?

I have 3 medium-sized LCD HDTV models (all with great pictures), and one large plasma HDTV, and the plasma unit definitely looks the best out of the four. One thing you might get with a lot of plasmas that may bother you is a fairly constant buzzing sound, but you can check the forums for plasma buzzing for more than enough info on that. On my plasma unit, the buzzing is low enough in volume that I don't notice it unless the audio is turned all the way down, and the room is very quite.

The plasma set is certainly the most fun to watch and the one that I'd give up last.
post #15 of 21
I am in the market for a 47-51" TV. I own a 55" LG LHX (full LED backlit TV) which honestly is the best looking picture I have seen amongst all of the houses I have been at, Plasma or LCD and regardless of size (32-65"). It's drawback (after a 2 month fight for a firmware upgrade) is it has a little DSE in 2 corners, but only noticeable when searching for it during a hockey game. Hell I am replaying Assasins Creed right now that has a ton of pure white, or limited text with white backgrounds and I struggle to find it.

That being said, plasma does have a more "real" look to the reproduction than LCD's have. I run my LHX in a moderately lit room 45 during the day and 30 at night and still have plenty of brightness. I would expect to run a plasma in the same environment much higher. I am leaning plasma due to the location of the TV and it's elevation, and the fact that I will have an articulating mount that will swing the TV out of it's cubby and towards the kitchen. No viewing angle or pitch issues with plasma.

I missed the ST30 50" blowout by a day or I would already own that TV. I am leaning towards the ST50 a month or so after release so I can let other people fight the initial problem battles out heh.

Power usage is minimal between the two, call it $2 per month more for plasma as a worst case scenario, and likely less. So basically a non issue I would think for anyone reading this forum.

Burn in is still a concern for plasma tv's. Every proponent of plasma will say that it is not an issue, and every proponent of LCD will say that it is terrible. If you watch ESPN 12 hours a day, or do a ton of gaming, than plasma may not be for you unless you want to make the effort of proper break in and IR management.

Movement, especially sports is better with plasma 99% of the time.

Better blacks with plasma pretty reliably, although if I ever have the money to afford a proper calibration I would venture a guess that my LHX would challenge any post 2008 plasma outside of a Kuro. New tech and energy restrictions have robbed power from plasma televisions, which I believe to be directly connected to the black level and their consistency; it's a function of plasma tech.

Either way, you are here and doing some research. Just keep in mind that you are generally "talking" to 5% or less of the television owning population for any given model, and most people don't come to a message board to shout a TV's praises, only complain about it's problems.

Fej
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Many of the current LCDs are as reflective if not more so than plasmas. I would take that off the list as some kind of plus.

I included that as a plus only because there are LCD sets that do not have an overtly reflective screen surface, whereas I've never seen a plasma that is not reflective. Obviously whether it's a plus for any particular LCD set can be determined at the time of purchase, provided one can actually see the set prior to buying it.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Nice View Post

Define "considerable more power". A desktop PC uses more power than any plasma.

That depends on the plasma, and the desktop PC.

I would guess you're quite right about plasmas released in the past few years, but power consumption was a lot higher on earlier plasmas.

Of course, power consumption keeps going down in desktop PCs, too, so... *shrug*

All that said, I'll take Plasma (such as my ST30) over LCD any day of the week, based on what's currently out there. Unless someone wants to donate me a free 70" Sharp Elite, that might change my tune. (although motion even on the Sharp Elite isn't quite as good as Plasma, IMO)
post #18 of 21
As they say..:"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

It's you money....your eyes....make your choice on what you consider is the best choice for you and your family..
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CooperM View Post

Is there a big difference in what you get with plasma vs LCD?

Certainly: With plasma you can get peeling filters, Rainbow Reflective filters, Spontaneously Cracking Panels, Fluctuating Brightness, Green & Pink Tinting, Image Retention, Blinking Red Light of Death, dirty whites, dim displays, blotchy blacks, distracting dithering, bothersome Buzzing, washed out images in semi-brightly lit rooms... along with a handful of other "Glitches."

And even that is almost certainly not a Complete List of the problems that have been reported on the 2011 Panels from the top three manufacturers!

Fortunately, of course, no ONE of the brands has been cursed with ALL of those flaws, but there appears to be a certain amount of risk involved in purchasing a set these days, as Quality Control seems to have followed Pricing: Down, Down, & Down.

Still, if you are lucky, you may end up with a better Overall PQ than you can obtain on all but the very best LCD sets (including LED-LCDs), and at a much lower price point. (Although some of the bargain 60" LCDs are now pretty cheap!).

But if one of my sisters was looking for a new HDTV, I might very well recommend an inexpensive LCD set right now: they would not be very "PQ Critical," would be much more likely to appreciate Bright Room viewing ability over Ultimate Home Theater viewing, and I would not have to worry about whether the kids are spending too much time gaming, or watching 4:3 programming, or hearing complaints about how the screen is too "noisy..."

FWIW: we have 3 Panasonic Plasmas in the house, and currently OVER A Dozen Plasmas (3 total brands) in the Immediate Family - many purchased at our recommendation.
However, we have also had a total of 5 2011 Pan Plasmas (again, in the immediate family) that have been RETURNED for obvious defects. With 2 more that are still "on the bubble": Within the return period, and still possible candidates for being sent back.

Times change, and the rush to the bottom has had its impact.
post #20 of 21
well, i was in this boat years ago and i can say this as my opinion only
if you are going to watch this TV in a bright room or has lots of windows and will be viewed in the morning, then i would avoid a plasma and go for a Led/Lcd.
however, if you are going to watch this on a light controlled room such as a room with blinds over windows and you can control light, then a plasma would be suggested. all the post above point to the same ideas I have stating. I am sharing my info (again YMMV) and it all depends on the viewers eye sight and ability to appreciate PQ. i had purchased a plasma, then repalced it with a Led/LCD ( i dont like LCD as they are not as bright as led/lcd) and after a few weeks got the same stinking model i returned.
I did this so many times that i think BB knows me

but I do this to satisfy the people I am helping to get the most personal satisfaction on their TV. Ultimatly, the viewer is the final person who will decide. as far as reliability is concerned, heck the previous poster said, all quality is going downhill. ha!! well i concur.
I still have and will not sell my old PDP-4280HD Ku. it is seldom used now as i have a 55 gt30, which repalced a 42g10. today TV are great, but i cannot seem to have heard longevity as a assets on this new sets
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dierkdr View Post

Certainly: With plasma you can get peeling filters, Rainbow Reflective filters, Spontaneously Cracking Panels, Fluctuating Brightness, Green & Pink Tinting, Image Retention, Blinking Red Light of Death, dirty whites, dim displays, blotchy blacks, distracting dithering, bothersome Buzzing, washed out images in semi-brightly lit rooms... along with a handful of other "Glitches."

And even that is almost certainly not a Complete List of the problems that have been reported on the 2011 Panels from the top three manufacturers!

Fortunately, of course, no ONE of the brands has been cursed with ALL of those flaws, but there appears to be a certain amount of risk involved in purchasing a set these days, as Quality Control seems to have followed Pricing: Down, Down, & Down.

Still, if you are lucky, you may end up with a better Overall PQ than you can obtain on all but the very best LCD sets (including LED-LCDs), and at a much lower price point. (Although some of the bargain 60" LCDs are now pretty cheap!).

But if one of my sisters was looking for a new HDTV, I might very well recommend an inexpensive LCD set right now: they would not be very "PQ Critical," would be much more likely to appreciate Bright Room viewing ability over Ultimate Home Theater viewing, and I would not have to worry about whether the kids are spending too much time gaming, or watching 4:3 programming, or hearing complaints about how the screen is too "noisy..."

FWIW: we have 3 Panasonic Plasmas in the house, and currently OVER A Dozen Plasmas (3 total brands) in the Immediate Family - many purchased at our recommendation.
However, we have also had a total of 5 2011 Pan Plasmas (again, in the immediate family) that have been RETURNED for obvious defects. With 2 more that are still "on the bubble": Within the return period, and still possible candidates for being sent back.

Times change, and the rush to the bottom has had its impact.

Agreed.

Although if you're going to list every possible flaw from every plasma ever made, you would be more fair to list every possible flaw from every LCD ever made. I think you'll find the list is just as long and frightening... along with worse PQ.
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