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Direct view or plasma?

455 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NorthJersey
I'm looking to upgrade my display. Right now I have a 7 year old 27" Zenith that only has composite, no SVideo. I'm serioulsy looking at plasma displays but wondering if direct view would be a better value for me. Here's my situation:

1) 80% of the time I use a Sony SAT-T60 to watch Direct and Tivo.

2) 10% of the time I play Gamecube. Using a plasma here has me concerned.

3) 10% of the time I watch DVDs.

4) I don't plan on getting HDTV any time soon, as I'd only upgrade to DirecTV w/ HDTV, which doesn't exist yet. PLUS, I'm not willing ot pay the extra $$$ to watch HDTV on only a handful of channels. The compressed DirecTV is fine for now. I can wait till there's more content available.

5) I don't want a HUGE TV taking up the living room, but I'd like at least a 32" widescreen format. DLP and LCOS are unlikkely candidates because of size.

6) I don't necessarily need the plasma form factor because space isn't that much of a premium, i.e. I don't need to wall mount it.

7) I'd like to keep the TV base to be about 32" wide so I can still use my (new) existing TV/audio stand, or something similar.

8) I'm willing to spend
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It sounds like money isn't a constriction for you to an extent. If you are very sure that wide-screen is what you want, I would suggest go with plasma. Plasma is just amazing from what I've seen, only problem for me, is that they are only 16:9, so its a right-off.

If you are going to ever increase your gaming % or watch lots of 4:3 content, you are advised to stay with direct-view 4:3. I haven't seen or heard too many great stories about stretching 4:3 to 16:9. If you have experienced 4:3 stretched to 16:9 or don't mind a 4:3 box, then plasma is the way for you.
Uh, DirecTV is already broadcasting HD content. I've got it. ESPN-HD, Discovery-HD, HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, HDNET and HDNET movies. The HD DirecTV boxes also include OTA (over the air) HD tuners, so you plug in an antenna and if you are like 85% of Americans, you can get HD over the air for network TV too.

I'm a big tube fan, I'd say get the HD tube over a plasma. Plasma is still a rather new technology with kinks to be worked out. I also find it strange that since you watch mostly 4:3 material that you are going for 16:9.

I only mention widescreen because it's a nice to have for DVDs. I figure if I upgrade my display, it'd be nice to take advantage of widescreen. I wouldn't mind the black bars on the sides for 4:3 mode, as long as that doesn't degrade the display, as it seems to do w/ plasma.

I'm aware of the DirecTV HD content and broadcast as well. However, much of my viewing is not on those channels. I suppose that I'm saying that most of my viewing is 4:3 but I want to have the option for 16:9 when watching DVDs.

Sounds like PQ is still going to be better w/ direct view? Is that a good assumption?
There's a train of thought on this. You will always get much better "black levels" on a CRT over a plasma (this measures how black the "blacks" look, whether it's in a night shot, or someone wearing a black outfit, etc). The other is resolution, most HDTV's support the 1080i resolution, while some plasma's only support up to 480p, like the Gateway, while the more expensive (+$10000) support 720p. If you ever decide order HD channels over DirecTV, this is something to consider. Also, the bigger TV you get, the more you are going to notice how compressed the picture on DirecTV appears. Many on AVS have mentioned this - check the boards.

I myself have a 34" direct view CRT, and viewing is the following

- sports, both in HD or SD if hd not available (20%)

- dvd's (35 % )

- movies on digital cable (35 %)

- ps2 (9.9%)

- vcr (
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