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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I asked these questions in the Plasma TV sub-forum. However, maybe it would be more appropriate to ask the questions here:


1. I have been using a 46" LCD TV as a computer monitor for the last 6 years. I'm definitely a heavy computer user. I also watch TV/bluray on my computer as well. In the past, plasma TVs couldnt be used this way due to risk of burnin. I'm curious if modern plasma TVs can handle this kind of use. Magnolia hifi sales person assured me that burnin was covered by their warranty. However, if burnin is inevitable; and, can occur relatively quick, maybe it wouldnt be such a good idea.


2. Are current generation 54"-55" plasma TVs comparable to LCD TV brightness? Since I need the TV to act as a regular PC monitor; I'd need it to be roughly equal to LCD brightness (similar to the brightness one would expect from a typical LCD PC monitor at work under florescent lights). The plasma TV's I saw a couple of years ago didnt even come close.
 

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Modern plasmas are much more resistant but not immune to burnin. The newer phosphors utilised are better than those used in the early sets, also most except the very cheapest incorporate features that reduce the problem. This includes a system whereby images are shifted by a pixel nor and then (invisible to the end user) and turning the black pillars shown when a 4:3 image is onscreen to grey etc


This said, if you're going to have bright, fixed images on display for many hours a day I would be more inclined to use an LCD TV.
 

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I use an LG 50PK540 Plasma with my HTPC. I have used it exclusively via HDMI from a GT430 graphics card for 8 Months. The picture is beautiful. Burn in is a factor, but not one that I hardly ever notice. My menu bar is set to auto hide, the desktop background is set to change every 10 seconds (you could just go black), screen saver to blank after 1 minute. I use the HTPC for everything... 70% watching recorded TV from WMC & Hulu, 10% Movies, 15% surfing net, 5% maintenance and tinkering. The only time burn in is an issue is with a channel logo that does not move or change. But I only notice for a few seconds following a channel change.
 

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I've had a Panasonic Viera 50" Plasma hooked up to my HTPC for over 2 years now, mostly to watch ripped TV and Movie DVDs, but occasionally to play music or youtube. I'd be lying if I said there was no burn-in at all, but most of what I've noticed is a slight difference on the right & left from watching a lot of 4:3 TV with black bars, and then only when I do something like open Windows Explorer to full screen and I have solid white displayed all the way across the screen. In normal use, such as watching movies, it's not noticeable at all. There is also no noticeable permanent burn-in from things like desktop icons or menu bars, though doing something stupid like forgetting and leaving everything on overnight has left a temporary after image that disappears after a little use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much! Im curious what would happened if I used a plasma TV the way I do with my Sony Bravia 46" first generation. I've had it for over 5 years. Same desktop, same icon placement. No taskbar autohide. I watch TV in a window size that's pre-saved. I even have a program called autosizer that makes all my programs open up in the same size and same location. However, I never watch 4:3 TV content. I've already put in over 10,000 hours of use; which is why I'm now ready to upgrade to a nicer picture quality TV.


I'm going to Best Buy on my way home. I did a google search and found the Panasonic ST, GT series displays as well as the Samsung 51". Is there any particular display I should look for that would look closest to the brightness I would get from an LCD display?
 

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I've got a Panny TC-P50S2. I use it mainly with Windows Media Center, but I can comment on the image retention. After watching a hockey game where the score is in the same spot for three hours, or watching a lot of 4:3 content with black bars (e.g. Columbo on Netflix), I can definitely see image retention. I never notice it when other content is playing, but it is very noticeable on a black or white screen. It goes away after an hour or so of widescreen content, or I can run the IR tool built-in to the TV for fifteen minutes to get rid of it (it runs white bars across a black background).


I'd use the settings suggested above (hide the taskbar, go to black on idle, changing desktop wallpaper) if I were to use the plasma for primarily computer use (e.g. web surfing, email, word processing).
 

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I have a 5yo 65" panasonic which has never shown any image retention. Strangely I also have a new 50" samsung plasma which is terrible when it comes to burn-in. I could never use the samsung as a monitor.


I've read the higher you crank the brightness the more problematic burn in will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. It looks like things haven't changed a whole lot in the last few years; which isn't a bad thing. I just means I'll just stick with what I'm doing; just a newer generation TV.


I really optimistic that someone would say there's a new plasma model that was relatively close to LCD-like brightness and had the burnin resilience I'm used to on LCD. Ill have to revisit this topic 5 years from now when I'm ready to upgrade displays again.
 

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Please also consider, differences between burn-in, image retention, and uneven phosphor wear.


Others have done a great job covering the first two so I thought I'd talk about the 3rd. I screwed up my first Pioneer 5020 for precisely this reason



I used the 5020 as a secondary monitor. I was careful to watch for logos/backgrounds that were static, set the pixel orbiter up, and had a screensaver that blanked both screens whenever not in use. Everytime I turned the set off I would look for burn-in/IR and wouldn't see anything and would be relieved.


Since I cloned desktops, the secondary desktop (plasma) was in 4:3 mode whenever in use. What I was unaware of was that this caused uneven wear on the screen. I only noticed when I watched a movie, and specific colors were BRIGHTER in the left and right areas that had previously been letterboxed out. Let me just say that's the kind of thing that you wish you had a gun to shoot yourself with on a $2500 set.


I have another 5020 now that I use as a secondary monitor. Needless to say the desktop is extended at native 1080 resolution (albeit with slight cropping !#% ati drivers but that's another story). If I wasn't so picky about image quality I would go LCD next time.
 

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And oh, if you do decide to go Plasma, the Panasonic GT is a nice TV. The panels may be the same but the GT looks way better than the ST. The ST has the old large bezel that makes the panel look like a dinosaur - kind of like my Pioneer 5020. The GT is sleek and thinner than I thought possible. I have a 50GT30 that I use as another monitor and the light output is definately higher than the Pioneer, and looks fine in the day.
 

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Okay, I just got back from Best Buy. Well... it was pretty easy to spot the plasma TVs from a lineup.


I swear to god I dont mean anything negative by what I'm about to say; so, please dont reply with hash words. I'm just observing and curious about what my eyes see...


When I looked at the plasma TVs, when they were supposed to show black in the video, they had this deep dark grey color (sort of what I would see when I pump up the backlight on my first generation LCD TV a bit). I didnt see anything darker than that. It looks like all the plasmas there had this kind of effect. Is that desirable for a videophile? When I looked at the samsung TVs showing the same content, the blacks were deep, deep black; seamless with the high gloss grand piano black bezel on the TV. The whites were completely white and other solid colors were perfectly rich solid colors. The plasmas offered a faded version of that. I was trying to look at general TV scenes showing peoples faces and natural scenery, etc.. but I kept being naturally drawn to the samsung TVs. What is it that I'm supposed to be looking for when comparing the TV picture quality? Maybe the plasma TV shows blacks (and contrast in general) differently in the dark? I saw similar effects a few years ago when shopping for TVs; except he differences are much more pronounced with the newer LCD TVs. Again, please dont jump all over me for explaining what I was observing. I've always wanted to ask this; since a few years ago; but, been too embarrassed to ask. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked?
 

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Plasmas are older technology. There is a higher markup on the newer LCD/LED TVs.


So what you could be seeing is Best Buy trying to make plasmas looks worse on purpose. I wouldn't put it past them. They also like to use "Vivid" mode on almost everything which cranks up the contrast. These factors and their lighting and multiple TVs makes it hard to really compare picture quality.


A good plasma has one of the best pictures you can buy today.
 

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If you plan on getting a plasma the panny vt30 is awesome. I personally use a Samsung D6500 and have been very pleased with it. I browse the internet once in awhile on my htpc and never have seen image retention. Be warned though, the previous poster who posted about uneven wear is 100% correct. Make sure you dont always watch movies with black bars on the tv lol.


Some say you need to wear in the tv with those discs they have here. Not sure but Ive never done it. Also double check in the plasma section before you make your purchase! Theres been alot of problems with the samsung D7000 and 8000s but Im not sure if Samsung has addressed this yet.
 

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If you are really going to use a plasma to watch the same normal content you would without the HTPC. In other words as a TV/Home Theater display I see no reason you would not make the same value choices you would make between plasma and LED/LCD.


If you live in menus and at the desktop and are going to be using the Plasma a significant amount of time as more PC monitor than Home Theater display than get an LED/LCD or use sensible behavior to limit image retention and burn in.The better plasmas are a tremendous value in terms of size, image quality and price.. I think the real downside beside image retention and burn in for plasma PC monitor use is their high power consumption.


I have an older Panny 58" that gets occasional use with an HTPC, but for content playback not as a PC monitor per se. It is okay. I would rather have an LED in its place because I could use it much more casually without concern for any burn in, or the heat it throws off. BTW I have taken to remoting into that HTPC using Remote Desktop with the display off when I am going to spend some significant time configuring or doing other maintenance tasks.


I asm astounded by how little power some of these 2011 LEDs use. Now I know my older 58" Panny plasma is a near worst case but my brother recently bought a very nice Panny 42" LED and it only uses about 35 watts, combined with his G620 Sandy Bridge it makes a very nice low power HDTV and HTPC combo that he uses on the wall in his office, somewhere about 65 watts total PC and display. I am using a 37" Pannly LED as my desktop display and while it gets more use as a PC, than HTPC it too is in the 70 watt category for display and i3 Sandy Bridge wth GT 545 Nvidia. I have a Denon in between the two and the Denon idles around 35 watts. Can't beat a little over a 100 watts for receiver, HDTV and HTPC.. maybe 150 watts playing blu-ray and HD audio.


My brother also has a recent 50" Panny plasma low end 1080P unit that his wife uses with an XBOX and Connect. When you start to get a lot of activity on the screen that Panny is pulling nearly 300 watts... totally different league. The screen on the low end Panny looks dirty and the image is grainy somehow. I did not try to dial it in for him, but the 42" Panny LED upstair with PC driving it blew the Plasma away for the most part. The LED was more money.


Downside of HDTVs in general as computer displays is they don't have PC type power management. I would truly like to see this implemented. Should be a setting that would properly put HDTVs to sleep when the PC goes to sleep. Yeah I know there are domre power management capabilities but they are most about powering off, not sleeping and resume is not part of the tool kit.


I have a big DLP driven exclusively now by HTPC and the downside with it, is the fact it is not instant on and off. It has relatively high power use, it uses less power than my borhter's 50" Pannythough, so it is not really a criticism based on the size. Also iwth DLP 1 to 1 pixel match means overscans. The last piece is not really a problem for me personally a I have an Iscan Duo so I can quickly scale the desktop for those tasks that need zero overscan and the scaling is so good you often forget to set it back to native..


It is an 82" and so like the saying goes about American V8s... there is no replacement for displacement I live with the not so HTPC friendly aspects on this one. Now the latest Mits LaserVue is an 85 watt device which is not bad for 75 inches. I haven't seen the new one with the clear screen (2011) which is supposed to have an amazing image. It probably is much closer to instant on and off, but the overscan caveats still apply. Using the display driver to scale the desktop to my eye is only a band-aid useful for manintenance tasks.


Happily burn in is not a concern with DLPs... Mine will get replaced with a 92" DLP later this year or early next..


I don't belive there is such a thing as perfect display for HTPC, the better LEDs come closest if they can meet your size and pricing requirements.
 

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If you need to compare TV's before buying please go to a store that sets them up properly and is able to show you images from the same source on theones you're interested in. You also need to have a look at a variety of sources and these should include AT LEAST BluRay, DVD, HD broadcast and SD broadcast. That will give you a decent idea. Almost any home cinema store should be able and willing to do this for you - remember you don;t have to actually buy it from them.


Stores like Best Buy do the most horrible things to TV's - they chain connect sources, they set the TV's to the highest colour and gamma levels to make them look "better" in a brightly lit store from a distance and so on.


I think it's fairly well recognised that plasmas have the edge when it comes to showing things like deep blacks


It's certainly true that LCD's are less power hungry though


At the end of the day what looks "better" is very subjective and individual depending on your own perception and preferences.


I'd still be inclined to use an LCD if it's going to be doing something like displaying Windows desktop for hours a day.


LCD's are totally immune to any problems this might lead to, this cannot be said of plasmas
 

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Hi guys, I'm new here so pardon me if I say something that's already been said. I just figured I would post my experience here just in case it helps someone make their decision between LCD, LED, and Plasma.


After a lot of research on the web, I decided to go with the Samsung PN51D550C Plasma TV as my computer monitor. I have had it for about 4 months now and have been using it for a couple of hours (at least) nearly every day. I primarily have been using it for surfing the web and gaming. Occasionally I will watch a blu-ray on it, but my computer area isn't ideal for movies at the moment, due to seating and sound. Anyway, here are the positives I have found:
  1. The screen's colors are amazing and rich. I have not noticed the blacks to be grey or anything of the sort (I did a lot of adjusting the picture though)
  2. I have no trouble with mouse lag or jittering as I have read some people have dealt with when using LCD/LED tv's
  3. Games and movies are fantastic-looking!

However good the positives are, there are definitely negatives. They aren't that big of a deal to me, but I'm not that picky:
  1. The screen uses a LOT of power and gets pretty hot. I typically sit (this is going to sound really bad...) about 2 feet away from it, and I can feel the heat from it after sitting there for a short while. I do this because I'm limited by my desk. I don't recommend sitting this close lol!
  2. The screen is designed for a darker, more isolated room. That is where their true beauty comes out. If you try to use them in a brightly lit room, you will most likely be disappointed by the apparent dimness of the TV.
  3. Image Retention is noticeable when doing things like web surfing. If I am at a web page for any longer than a few minutes, a ghost-like image will remain for a little while. You can't see it unless most of the screen is white and if you look pretty closely, but it is there nonetheless. I have found myself using "scrolling grey bars" under the Screen Burn Protection area of the tv menu to undo the effects just as a precaution. I haven't had any burn-in yet though.
  4. The TV doesn't produce whites that well when doing everyday computing tasks. If you open a notepad window where it's at it's smallest size, the white background on the little window is super-bright. If you then begin to drag the window to a large size you will see the screen gradually turn more gray, or off-white, as it envelops the whole screen. A friend of mine thought this was terrible, but I didn't mind it. I typically work in a dark room at night, so it is more pleasant for my eyes. If the screen was much brighter it would probably make my eyes hurt


All in all, I'm pretty happy with the way things are now, but if I had it to do again I might choose an LED (so long as there was no mouse lag). For movies and games, though...Definitely awesome!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshaw88 /forum/post/20886217


I have a 5yo 65" panasonic which has never shown any image retention. Strangely I also have a new 50" samsung plasma which is terrible when it comes to burn-in.

I experience something similar though it's an image retention issue (temporary) vs. an actual burn-in issue. My 50" Panasonic 50PX75U never shows any image retention but the 9 month old 50" LG 1080p does so very easily. The RI goes away though.


Of course, the LG was 1/2 the price of the Panasonic and the difference in build quality shows so it's no surprise. The LG does a much better job though as a HTPC monitor though since no scaling is required like the Panasonic.


Choosing plasma over LCD was a personal preference based on what I saw and my budget.
 
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