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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the deal. I've been a diehard plasma guy for ages (for flat panels). I love my blacks. I still have a lovingly-calibrated 65" CRT-based RPTV in the living room, as an example.


I've had a low end Akai EDTV plasma in the bedroom for years that I've wanted to upgrade forever. It's holding me back.


Thing is, my wife doesn't give a fig about TV. She's happy with the Akai, but we want to upgrade to the new AppleTV (for NetFlix streaming mostly, else our existing ATV would be fine) and need at least 720 and HDMI for that.


I DO care. I really really want the Panny G25 plasma. But realistically, it's just not in the budget.


I've been eyeing the Panny TC-42PX24 at Costco for some time. It's plasma, which I prefer, but I just can't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on a set that's so barely HDTV, IMO. It's not even "really" 720p, since it's a 1024x768 panel (native res).


Today, Best Buy has both the Samsung LN40C500 and Sony KDL40EX400 panels on sale for a similar price to that bottom of the barrel Panny plasma. But both LCD's are true 1080p. And one thing I very much appreciate about LCD is the lower power consumption and utter no-burn-in worry aspects. (The wife is not great about remembering to turn the set off when she leaves the room, and often leaves it on pause or on menus for long stretches... although so far no burn-in issues with the current EDTV plasma.)


I've read the official thread on the Sony set, and am cautiously optimistic about being able to live with it, but I haven't found many mentions of the Sammy set. The Sony does have a lot more AV inputs, though, so that's a big point in it's favor. And I'm usually a fan of Sony in general, although I haven't looked too closely at their LCD lines, since I've been mostly a plasma fan, and have preferred a true 42" set.


Audio is utterly unimportant to me, since all audio is routed through my AV receiver. Viewing position is pretty much dead-on, so that's barely a blip on the radar, too.


Black levels are important to me, though, esp. since the bedroom in question is fairly dark. Non-glare isn't much of an issue since the windows are to the side and don't really produce a lot of glare.


We don't game (rarely, but never on this TV). We're not big on sports. We watch a lot of movies, though (DVD at the moment, ATV-streaming (DVD-quality stuff) and some day perhaps a BR), and my wife watches lots of TV. The channels she watches (DirecTV) are a mix of HD and a fair number of SD channels, too. I've toyed with some day setting something up to connect a dedicated computer to the TV.


I hate losing 2" of screen... going from 42" plasma to 40" LCD hurts my teeth, but perhaps I can live with it. There are a few advantages to LCD, of course (power consumption, burn-in, computer use), not to mention the higher native res makes them considerably more future-proofed.


Should I seriously hold off until I can afford the plasma of my dreams (Panny G25 or successor)? Or buy the bottom barrel plasma? Or should I cave to LCD and get one of these panels instead, now? And if so... which one?


Sorry for the long post.
I try to think of all relevant details I would want to know when giving someone technical advice...


Opinions very much appreciated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani /forum/post/19548821


So here's the deal. I've been a diehard plasma guy for ages (for flat panels). I love my blacks. I still have a lovingly-calibrated 65" CRT-based RPTV in the living room, as an example.


I've had a low end Akai EDTV plasma in the bedroom for years that I've wanted to upgrade forever. It's holding me back.


Thing is, my wife doesn't give a fig about TV. She's happy with the Akai, but we want to upgrade to the new AppleTV (for NetFlix streaming mostly, else our existing ATV would be fine) and need at least 720 and HDMI for that.


I DO care. I really really want the Panny G25 plasma. But realistically, it's just not in the budget.


I've been eyeing the Panny TC-42PX24 at Costco for some time. It's plasma, which I prefer, but I just can't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on a set that's so barely HDTV, IMO. It's not even "really" 720p, since it's a 1024x768 panel (native res).


Today, Best Buy has both the Samsung LN40C500 and Sony KDL40EX400 panels on sale for a similar price to that bottom of the barrel Panny plasma. But both LCD's are true 1080p. And one thing I very much appreciate about LCD is the lower power consumption and utter no-burn-in worry aspects. (The wife is not great about remembering to turn the set off when she leaves the room, and often leaves it on pause or on menus for long stretches... although so far no burn-in issues with the current EDTV plasma.)


I've read the official thread on the Sony set, and am cautiously optimistic about being able to live with it, but I haven't found many mentions of the Sammy set. The Sony does have a lot more AV inputs, though, so that's a big point in it's favor. And I'm usually a fan of Sony in general, although I haven't looked too closely at their LCD lines, since I've been mostly a plasma fan, and have preferred a true 42" set.


Audio is utterly unimportant to me, since all audio is routed through my AV receiver. Viewing position is pretty much dead-on, so that's barely a blip on the radar, too.


Black levels are important to me, though, esp. since the bedroom in question is fairly dark. Non-glare isn't much of an issue since the windows are to the side and don't really produce a lot of glare.


We don't game (rarely, but never on this TV). We're not big on sports. We watch a lot of movies, though (DVD at the moment, ATV-streaming (DVD-quality stuff) and some day perhaps a BR), and my wife watches lots of TV. The channels she watches (DirecTV) are a mix of HD and a fair number of SD channels, too. I've toyed with some day setting something up to connect a dedicated computer to the TV.


I hate losing 2" of screen... going from 42" plasma to 40" LCD hurts my teeth, but perhaps I can live with it. There are a few advantages to LCD, of course (power consumption, burn-in, computer use), not to mention the higher native res makes them considerably more future-proofed.


Should I seriously hold off until I can afford the plasma of my dreams (Panny G25 or successor)? Or buy the bottom barrel plasma? Or should I cave to LCD and get one of these panels instead, now? And if so... which one?


Sorry for the long post.
I try to think of all relevant details I would want to know when giving someone technical advice...


Opinions very much appreciated.

Based on all of the reports of an extended sale period this year for TVs, you should have good choices into February. What resolution you should get is a factor of viewing distance. Unless you are quite close, you shouldn't be able to distinguish between a 1080P and a 720P.


Screen size differences are much easier to see. Get the biggest you can cram into that bedroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy /forum/post/19548933


Based on all of the reports of an extended sale period this year for TVs, you should have good choices into February. What resolution you should get is a factor of viewing distance. Unless you are quite close, you shouldn't be able to distinguish between a 1080P and a 720P.


Screen size differences are much easier to see. Get the biggest you can cram into that bedroom.

The absolute max size set that will fit in the space is 42". And even there, it has to have a relatively small bezel (and no side-mounted speakers). Trust me, I'm totally a size whore.
That's one reason it kinda kills me to give up the 2" going from 42" plasma to 40" LCD. (Why on earth can't more LCD makers go with the more standard 42" sizing? Come on, Sony!)


While I agree you can't always distinguish 720p vs. 1080p depending on distance (8' in my case), one place it does make a difference is displaying photos or when using with a connected computer. Especially, of course, if you step a little closer for a moment.
Then there's the future-proofing issue. While 720p is somewhat commonly accepted now, going forward, it's going to be a 1080p world. As someone stuck with 480p EDTV now, I've been bit by discarded resolutions before (such as the AppleTV that won't run at anything under 720p), so I'm certainly leaning towards NOT getting an older, nearly-obsolete resolution. (and honestly 1024x768 is NOT even true 720p!)


1920x1080 is a huge difference to 1024x768 for computer use, or displaying photos.


Thanks for the thoughts, however. I appreciate any input, here.
 

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I have pretty much the opposite problem. The space I have restricts me to only a few 40'' LCD sets (no 40'' plasma avaiable anymore). I tried 2 Samsungs (UN) and a Sony (EX710), and will probably settle for a Sharp 700UN, but I must say I am disgusted by the LCD technology, and I don't know if it's because of the price point. Viewing angle is beyond horrible on every single LCD I've seen. The above mentioned edge-lit Samsung and Sony have extremely bad screen uniformity on top of that (especially the Sony). If only my space allowed for a 1080p Panasonic plasma...

What in the world is going on? How can these manufacturers sell this crap (LCD) to people? I am thinking of calibrationg the TV, but ISF calibration on an LCD sounds like an oxymoron to me - what good is it when the moment you move 15 degrees off-axis the colors and everything washes out to hell?

Stick to plasma while it's still available. Be happy they still make 42'' plasmas. I'm so glad I purchased a 60'' Kuro when they were available - display technology is actually going downhill in the last three years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to cap off this thread, I ended up going to Costco. I found a little extra money in the budget (sold the old TV for a little more than I thought) and decided to check out the Panasonic TC-42LD24 (42" 1080p LED edge-lit LCD).


UGH. That lasted all of one night before flinging it back to Costco as fast as I could manage. The black levels were HORRIBLE, and the right 2/3 of the screen was significantly lighter than the left.


I nearly gave up on LCD technology entirely, but while retuning the Panny, I decided to try out the Sony KDL40EX401 that Costco had, since it was (a) there (and I needed something on the wall even if I ended up returning it and going with the Panny G25 Plasma) and (b) saved me a chunk of money. It wasn't great out of the box, but after calibrating it with my DV Essentials bluray, it was surprisingly tolerable. I'm sure the G25 would have been superior, but the wife really likes this Sony, and I gained major points for saving money. Plus more savings to come (over my old, power-hungry plasma) with LCD's power-sipping tech (it's SO much cooler-running than my old plasma!), and I don't have to cringe every time she leaves the set on while leaving the room for an hour or three ("I was going to be right back...") or leaves the plasma paused on the Tivo menu for 45 minutes.


Overall, I would have been happier with the Panny G25, but she is happier with the Sony LCD, and that makes my life easier. TV is ok... certainly a step up from the EDTV we had before in some cases, and at least tolerable on others. We watched a bluray and it was pretty damned good, I have to admit. The Sony has a slightly bigger black bezel than my old set, so the loss of 2" isn't quite as noticeable as I through it would be. In fact, the 40" set fits the space a smidge better than a 42" set did.
 
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