Originally Posted by gamelover360
One thing I have learned over the last three years of closely following the TV industry and watching all the reviews, etc. is this:
We are now reaching a level of PQ among the top tier manufacturers (i.e. Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, Panasonic) where the differences from model to model and year to year are incremental and not important relative to other considerations.
Those considerations are.....
1) Will your room have windows?....if so then LCD is the way to go if you do any critical viewing at times other
than in a darkened room. The best PQ of a Kuro will be obscured by ambient light....CR destroyed, colors faded, etc. (interestingly enough Samsung has started a disturbing trend of coating their LCD screens with a reflective material that creates deeper blacks and more saturated colors to some eyes, but intriduces the glare factor that was once reserved for Plasmas!!!)
2) Do you prefer the inherent look of Plasma or LCD... LCD is like being there and looking at the content "live" with an unobstructed view. Plasma is like looking at the content through a pane of glass....which produces a slightly softer, warmer, cinematic, liquid like image that Plasma fans find intoxicating. Also LCD's are brighter whereas Plasma's are dimmer but produce a more accurate representation of the film in accordance with what the director intended. So LCD: bright, colorful, pop, slightly hyper reality or Plasma: subdued, classy, filmlike, and accurate.....but a bit of a party pooper to LCD fans. Of course these comparisons are assuming both viewed in a darkened environment. In a lighted environment LCD wins everytime.
3) The classis archetype of Plasma king of blacks...LCD king of no fear of burn in is past us now. The newest LCD's caompete very favorably with the best plasmas in terms of black level, and the latest plasmas bring no fear of burn in. So you decision must be based upon image preference (LCD vs. Plasma).
4) How much $$$ do you have to spend and what is the Wife factor. That will dictate the size screen you get. 46 inch and up seems to be the minimum for 1080p HD flat panels now, as that is the minimum size where you could start to see the benefits of 1080p if you sit close enough.
5) Don't expect great SD perfromance...especially on the larger panels. Processing can only "cover up" so much of a poor source that is being displayed on a large screen, which acts as a magnifying glass to peer at the poor source even closer (SD cable signal). So therefore how a set performs with a blu ray disc is to me at least, what I care about primarily. Will I take slightly better SD performance as an add on....sure. But I am buying based upon how the set performs with Blu ray/HD material.....thsi is why I am buying an HD set.
So while some research and review reading is eductaional and beneficial to yoru buying decision....don't get swept up in and become a neurotic nelly. If I were to set up the this years complete Sony, Samsung, and Pioneer lineups in a darkened room playing the same bli ray material (all calibrated of course), you would like things about EVERY set. Even the lower end Sony's. Would you have a favorite....sure. But you would be happy with all sets. I suspect the decision would hinge on which look you prefer....LCD or Plasma. And if you liked the LCD for instance, you would be hard pressed to pick a Sony or Samsung that really stood out.
In stores the sets are way out of wack in terms of picture settings...there are powerful lights beating down on teh showroom floor, encouraging them to further wack out the sets to compete with other manufacturers to attract Joe Blow who is lured in by pretty shiny stuff. But get that set home in normal lighting, and those settings would burn yoru retinas...and produce an innacurate picture to boot. It is not just a preference thing.....when you turn the color up to high, you lose detail. For example, a red sweater that is too red will lose the crease and wrinkles . If the brightness is too high same thing...........the snowy hill will lose the details of individual flakes because the brightness is cranked. So while a bright colorful picture is appealing at first, it woudl seem garish, cartoonish, and un-detailed set up in a darkened room next to a properly calibrated set.
So when deciding on your next set, do less hand wringing, pay less attention to marketing, and more time thinking about the basic decisons I laid out above.
For me, I own a Pany 700u. My next set may be a LCD due to glare considerations. But if the Kuro 5020 is too much to say no to when seen in person, I may have to stick with Plasma. Most of my viewing/gaming is at night, which eliminates a lot (but not all) of the glare considerations. Otherwise it will be a Sony LCD ( I refuse to buy a shiny paneled LCD....Samsung)...which model will depend mostly on when I see them in person with a good blu ray source. I am not gonna buy an XBR8 just because Cnet says so. It will have better black levels....but HOW much better and for how much $$$.