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I'm opting for the projector (after going through the same confusion decision process myself!)


The thing that swayed me was the image size. Plasma is still limited on this and the overall longevity & maintenance of the Plasma units are still unknown (from what I've read & heard) as they are a comparatively new technology.


But, it sure would be cheaper (for me at least) to go Plasma, as I could hang it in my Great Room and be done with it. With my LCD (which I plan to buy soon), it's gonna cost me thousands to build a room in my bsmt and a lot of overall hassle. (Tho I'm convinced it's gonna ROCK when I'm done!)
 

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After struggling with the issue of whether to go for an RPTV, projector, or plasma, my personal exeperience has taught me that plasmas are not quite ready for prime-time. Unless you're watching Toy Story or some digital animated movie, I'm not convinced that the picture quality is where it should be in terms of black level, false contouring, and that inescapable "plasma gas" look that requires you to sit ungodly distances away to not notice it (and no, Panasonic has not solved these issues)


In my view, plasma supporters are either those fascinated by the technology and its possibilities (i.e. those who lurk on the plasma forum), or those who seek to acquire them as architectural devices in their living rooms and/or as status symbols (which undoubtedly they are).


While I have no doubt that plasmas will one day make RPTV production obsolete and that further advances in technology will permit 65" screens to be routinely priced at $100 an inch or less, I could not understand why someone would buy one now unless (a) they recognized value in the status symbol aspect; (b) they truly needed to save space; and (c) they earn roughly over 150K a year and don't live in Manhattan (imagine spending more than 10% of your yearly income on a 42"-50" TV: that's just dumb).


With respect to projectors, the issue should be clear: if you want a movie theater in your home, a plasma ain't gonna do it. For me, the "wow" factor of a projector (even out of the box), is tenfold to a plasma or RPTV. Not for watching the nightly news, of course, but for watching DVDs.


While digital projectors are still in their infancy, great ones can be found for cheap (the NEC LT150 for instance). Once they start releasing 3-chip 16:9 DLPs (or even 2:35:1 DLPs) with 3000 lumens, compact design, low fan noise, and priced for the consumer market - wow! Of course by then, plasmas will have invaded the mainstream market.


In short, if you want a movie theater in your crib, go projector, if you want to show your friends that you make good money, or truly desire to save space and think that plasmas are "cool" (but you're not concerned with image quality or economic value for the products you acquire), then go for plasma.

 

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I don't mean to sound too critical, but the previous poster has obviously NOT seen the Panasonic plasma sets. They look night and day better than any RPTV I have ever seen, and with the exception of black, better than every CRT-based display I have seen.


- Marc


p.s. I got a plasma to save space. The fact that the picture is incredible is an added benefit...
 

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Marc,


I have not seen the Panasonic in person but with the numbers that Peter Putman posted after his tests at www.projectorexpert.com ("Hall of Mirrors" test report). It has better than CRT performance on everything except black level. However it had nearly 700:1


However, it isn't $5000. If someone could get me one for $5000, I would already have it.


-Mr. Wigggles


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The Mothership is now boarding.
 

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Numbers are one thing, but the Runco 42 incher I saw, which is based on the Panasonic, was incredible on DVD with subjective blacks that were as good and perhaps better than most CRTs! It annihilates any straight-out-of-the-box RPTV I've ever seen.


The Panasonic is already being sold at around $6400 on the web, by the way, so we're not far away from that magic $5000 price point.
 

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Thin is in.

Also, in a few years projectors will seem pase' (IMHO)



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NextGuard = Paul from Atlanta
 

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Nobody mentioned one other problem with Plasma panels - they are susceptible to phosphor burn as are CRTs. This is a serious problem even for a 16:9 plasma panel, because of the many many movies in wider AR's such as 2.35:1.


Nor did anyone mention the one clear advantage of plasmas - under high ambient light conditions, they lose less contrast and apparent brightness than a RPTV or a FPTV. If you are attempting to recreate a cinema in your home, this is not so important, but plasma panels are outstanding presentation tools in smaller brighter conference rooms.


Gary



 

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To answer the question, try phrasing it this way: "Should I buy a really neat TV, or should I put a movie theater in my home?" Seriously, if you have the space, there is no comparison between watching a movie on a big screen vs. a 42 inch TV, plasma or otherwise (at least in my opinion).
 

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As someone who enjoys having cake and eating it, I decided on a plasma for the new family room (where we want the TV to be inconspicuous) and a projector for the "theater". I must be nuts!


- Marc
 

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Marc, you are one smart cookie! I essentially did the same thing. Not with a plasma, but I have a Pioneer Elite for "regular viewing" and casual DVD viewing, and a projector in another room. Ain't life grand!
 
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