Originally Posted by avjeff
I really like the glass surface of plasma TVs. It's no different from the tube TVs I grew up with. It seems to me that the glass surface makes the colors much deeper, whereas to me LCDs look washed out. That's just my personal opinion. I have quite a bit of light in my living room where my plasma is, and I don't have any problems with it. We don't see reflections day or night. I think they are there at certain times, but we see through them. If I force myself to change my focus on the front of the screen, there are times I can see slight reflections, but I have to look for them. That said, I would not wax my screen.
I think the problem is that LCDs can go so much brighter than Plasmas, and are generally at their max out of the box, which creates a very bright and vivid, but completely unnatural image. Loads of LCDs out there can't even be set low enough, or if they can, the backlight starts to buzz. (but nowhere near as distracting as the buzz Plasmas make) Sony LCDs aren't like that - you can get them right down to the same levels as Plasma/CRT, and they're silent.
Reflections aren't an issue with Plasma, from my experience, but glare is. I didn't see things reflected off the screen like I would do with a CRT, but the image completely washes out and blacks turn grey in an instant, unless you turn the contrast right up. (which will kill the display)
Originally Posted by jawatkin
I agree with you. That's why I chose Plasma, too (Also for the off-angle viewing, you can't go much more than 45 degrees off center before the LCD starts to drop contrast). What's weird is no one (at least that I can remember) ever really complained about reflections when we were all using tube TVs!! Curved tubes tended to pick up more "side" reflections, as well...
Current LCDs are very different now - you get a good 100 degrees or more with good S-PVA panels (the BRAVIAs) before there's a noticeable drop in contrast, and there's no colour shifting or inversion. (the image just looks like you've turned the brightness control up slightly)
In our lounge here at least, reflections are annoying on the CRT, but it doesn't suffer from glare nearly as badly as Plasma - you'll maybe get one or two spots that aren't watchable, but the image overall still retains a lot of contrast.
Originally Posted by Destructo-Bot
That said, has anyone placed a plexiglass layer over an LCD screen? I'd imagine it would have similar effects as having a printout laminated... colors appear more saturated and blacks look deeper. You've seen some laptops with glossy screens... same effect really. A detachable gloss screen for an LCD would seem to be a useful add-on perhaps?
I'd be worried about how transparent and how uniform it would be if you were to stick something over an LCD, I don't think it would look very good to be honest. I believe Bang & Olufsen do LCDs with glass panels built into them though, and they would definitely have done it "properly."
Of all the displays I've had over the last few years (12+) my favourite is a glossy LCD - not one with a glass panel in front, but a coated one like Sony's XBlack LCDs. When I was still hunting for a HDTV, my old screen died, so I picked up a 17" Sony XBlack LCD monitor/tv combi unit, and when calibrated, it provides the best images I've seen at all. (note: the deinterlacer is awful, and anything other than DVI/VGA has a ton of edge enhancement)
Because it's an LCD, it has enough brightness to cope with bright environments while keeping good black levels and a vibrant image, and reflections aren't an issue other than with very dark scenes. (but they're a problem for anything other than a matte LCD) I mostly view in low-light conditions (a 9 watt, 6500k energy saving "daylight" bulb) where it is at its best. The slight gloss adds a lot of depth to the image, but there are no reflections - as far as LCDs go, it doesn't come close to the best out there for black levels and it only has an 800:1 contrast ratio, however there is far
more "depth" to the image. Colours "pop" much more too, yet they still retain a natural look. It's rubbish with the lights out, but when the lights are out, I'm using my DLP projector.
I honestly think that seeing one of these when properly set up would change most people's mind about LCD, but the problem is that Sony only make them up to 20" (I would have bought one, but it was announced a week after I got mine
The latest LCDs are fantastic too though - they're now definitely a viable alternative to Plasma - which is better depends on your needs. For me, the main question would be "Am I going to be viewing this in a pitch-black room or not?" because LCD has greater black levels in any other situation, from my experience. There are many other areas where you can argue about them, but I'd say that's the most important one.
Most of the issues are now dependent on the viewer, rather than one type of display being "better" than the other. Plasmas aren't better
than LCD for motion now, they're just different - neither is perfect, and the issues one has may bother you more than the other, or vice-versa, for example. (for me, it's LCD by miles, as the Plasma "rainbow" effect makes them almost unwatchable for me when playing games, and I've basically "tuned out" the LCD motion issues)