Originally Posted by kartographer
I was telling someone about my having ordered a Samsung with the LED Engine and they asked me about the the difference between it Panasonic's LIFI and Samsung's LED Engine? I have no clue has anyone compared the two?
They are very different. Panasonic is LCD tech not DLP, LCD is generally considered the worst PQ out of three rptv techs (DLP, LCoS, LCD). Most people agree the pq is better on LED vs LIFI, even most who buy it. LIFI has poor contrast ratio and it shows- bright whites are pretty hard to get with it and when you try, blacks suffer a lot. It also has more uniformity issues than the LED (a white test pattern with it may have reddish casts in some places with lots of blue-gray elsewhere). Also it seems they all have light shadowy bands across the screen due to design, visible in very bright scenes. See CNET review and read through their owners forum. A major proponent of the set discovered the bands on his after a few weeks and took it back. Many have reported them. The difference is LIFI can be had much cheaper due to not selling well. I will also say it's build quality seems sturdier than the Sammy. I think it is discontinued though.
Yes many compared the two, because it's currently the only other rptv to offer a long life bulb solution. Sammy uses led's, LIFI uses radio frequency technology. Think of like this- instead of heating the gases inside a normal bulb with electrodes, take the wire electrodes out and have a "empty" bulb with gases inside it- then stick it in microwave to heat the gas inside and get it to glow. The idea here is wire electrodes degrade with heat and they are what breaks on normal bulbs. It should last a very long time, maybe longer than LED's, maybe same, no one really knows yet. Panasonic offers a 5 yr warranty on the bulb, only company ever to do that. The thing that trips some people up (like me) is the 5 yr warranty is original bulb only- they will replace it only once inside 5 yrs. And I believe they still charge labor if it's after the first year. The LIFI bulb currently costs around $700.
Granted the LED engine costs more and isn't warrantied past the first year! But then, I have experience with LED's lasting a long time (car dummy lights, etc). No one knows with LIFI yet. Also, some extended warranties cover the LED as part of tv (as they should) so you don't have to buy a bulb warranty. Not sure about LIFI. The LED is more energy efficient. And I suppose LIFI could interfere with phones, wifi, etc. being an RF device- though I doubt it's likely.
All in all, I "think" the LIFI would last a long time and is probably a good deal for you if you like it- it's very cheap right now. For me, the pq on the Sam is worth the price difference, considering I think the 5 yr warranty is a little bogus. Price on a 61 inch LIFI right now is hard to pass though.