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PCWorld Article


"TV Screen Battle: Plasma vs. LCD

Wed Dec 11, 1:00 PM ET


Yardena Arar, PCWorld.com


MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA--Dreaming of a supersize flat screen for your home entertainment center? Plasma isn't your only option: In a few years, large-format LCDs will compete with plasma displays for your pocketbook, industry officials predict.


By the middle of the decade, competition between the two formats is widely expected to be fiercest in the market for 42-inch TVs. "It's going to be a real battleground," says Sweta Dash, LCD analyst for the research firm ISuppli/Stanford Resources.


The subject of large, skinny televisions came up repeatedly Tuesday during opening sessions of Stanford Resources' 19th Annual Flat Information Display Conference, which features presentations by analysts and by executives from display technology companies worldwide.


Prices Drop


While striking large-format displays remain expensive by CRT standards, prices definitely are coming down from the $5000-plus points of years past. Gateway recently released a basic, low-resolution 42-inch plasma display priced at $2999, and ISuppli/Stanford Resources analyst Rhiddi Patel expects to see better-quality plasma displays available for $2500 by 2005.


But the real news is the prospect of competition from LCDs of similar size. Until recently, the manufacturing facilities that produce the panels used in LCD displays simply weren't geared for such large-format products, and today the largest LCD TV screens are about 30 inches (measured diagonally).


However, new and upcoming generations of LCD plants will be able to efficiently produce 42- and, eventually, 50-inch panels. By the second half of the decade, the cost differential between same-size LCDs and plasma displays probably won't exceed 10 percent, ISuppli/Stanford Resources senior vice president David Mentley told conference attendees.


Plasma Now, LCDs Later


"Right now, plasma has gotten an early jump into the category, and rightly so," says Al Giazzon, vice president of marketing for NEC/Mitsubishi Electronics, which sells both LCDs and plasma displays.


That's partly because, at the moment, vendors of large LCDs simply can't compete on price. It's also because plasma screens don't have the response-time issues that make LCDs less than optimal for moving images such as video or games. The principal drawback of previous-generation plasma screens--the tendency of stationary images to burn in and produce permanent ghosting--has diminished greatly in newer products. NEC, for example, has developed technology to deal with the problem by moving stationary pixels just enough to prevent such burn-in, Giazzon says.


But LCDs have some advantages over plasma, Giazzon adds. If you're contemplating a home entertainment setup involving a PC--perhaps running Windows XP Media Center Edition--or other activities involving text as well as graphics, you'll get a crisper, brighter image from an LCD.


The LCD Edge


Carl Streudle, marketing vice president for LG.Philips LCD America, concurs. LG.Philips makes LCD modules for use in all types of products, from handhelds to monitors to TVs. The company projects that worldwide LCD TV sales in all sizes will total about 1.5 million this year and 3.2 million in 2003. Most of these, however, will have screens no larger than 20 inches or so.


"Going forward, we do see a shift to larger sizes," he says. And prices will fall, too: The 30-inch models that go for $5000 to $5500 today should drop to $2000 to $3000 in the next two years--"and that's being conservative," he said.


Streudle believes that consumers will move to LCDs for better screen quality, higher reliability (LCDs have none of the burn-in issues associated with plasma), and longer product life. LCDs last for about 50,000 hours versus 30,000 hours for today's plasma screens, according to LG.Philips.


Streudle says that LCD TVs weigh 10 to 15 percent less than plasmas of comparable size. They often look better in daylight than plasmas, though Streudle concedes that plasmas have a brightness advantage at night.


As for response time, Streudle says that it will drop from today's 25 milliseconds (and in newer units, 16 milliseconds), to less than 5 milliseconds in 2004.


Stanford Resources' Dash expects LCD TV sales to grow tremendously over the next few years, to 9 million in 2005 and to over 18 million in 2006. But while larger-format LCD TVs will increase in popularity in the second half of the decade, she doesn't anticipate that they will kill off plasmas.


"I think they can coexist," Dash says. "Forty inches will be the real battleground."


:rolleyes:
 

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I'd rather have an LCD than a Plasma. LCDs used to be real crap, like the cheaper LCD computer monitors, which have a very slow refresh rate. But, as long as LCD can refresh really fast, I'd rather have that. For one. It's cheaper. For another, LCDs don't burn in as bad as plasmas do. LCDs also use less energy. If I had a choice between LCD and Plasma, I'll choose LCD. Right now. I'm shooting for a DLP RPTV. I want something I don't have to use that STRETCH MODE crap on 4x3 material. I think it's TERRIBLE. Just my $0.02. Anyway. I'm glad big screen LCD displays are coming out. And the prices are MUCH better than plasma.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Garrison
And the prices are MUCH better than plasma.
Quote:
The 30-inch models that go for $5000 to $5500 today should drop to $2000 to $3000 in the next two years--"
$3000 for a 30" LCD display in 2005? Gee, I can hardly wait, in fact, I won't.....
Quote:
Anyway. I'm glad big screen LCD displays are coming out
Actually, we're all glad when competition means innovation and lower prices on whatever floats your boat.
 

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lcds r nice. but they are still very expensive and employ younger tech that still needs some time to fully mature at those sizes.


i have a 1600sw sgi that has good refresh rates and low dpi, and hdtv @720p is the best picture i've seen to date. if the technology matures and they can make large screens perform similar to this quality, it would nuts.


just have to wait and see.


MMAfia
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Garrison
And the prices are MUCH better than plasma.
Uhh, you have no idea what you are talking about. Please do more research before posting on a topic you know nothing about.
 

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Panasonic makes a great 15 inch LCD with a dvd input slot. It plays progressive with all dvds that are put in it. It has great color, contrast and brightness. I have owned it for about 6 months and it the best I have seen for its size. Merry Christmas Greg Young
 

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I thought flat panel LCDs were BIGGER than 30 inches. Aren't they making them in 40-50 inches now? I guess that only applys to LCD Rear Projection sets. I'm doing a little research right now and I don't seem to be finding any LCD Flat Panel displays over 30 inches. I guess I wouldn't say LCD is MUCH cheaper than plasma. And you're right. I don't really know crap about Plasmas and LCDs. I've looked at Plasmas at the store and played with the RPTVs. But, since I don't own any. I don't have a full knowledge of that stuff. This is what AVS Forum is here for. I sure know a lot more than I used to. Somebody earlier posted a thread about a 50-some inch flat panel LCD HDTV and posted a link to the Amazon website and the price was sure cheaper than any 50 inch HDTV Plasma out there. That's what I was basically going by. I'll take your advice, kronium, and do a little more research.
 

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Biggest LCD you can easily buy in the U.S. is 30". The mythic Samsung 40" LCD is allegedly for sale, but I still know no one who has bought one or seen one at retail.
 

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Ken, the 50 inch LCD you are referring to was a LCD RPTV. It was a misleading ad.


BTW, sorry I was in a testy mood earlier, just thought you were another plasma troll! Very very cool how you took my comments in a constructive manner. Anyway, welcome to the Plasma forum. Stick around, and you'll soon learn like I have, that besides projectors, Plasmas currently give you the best image quality to be had out there.
 

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Yeah. I figured it was a RPTV. I looked at that ad again and YES, it IS a RPTV. Heh. I saw a Panasonic LCD RPTV at Sears for $3000 and I thought it was a FLAT PANEL!!! But, when I looked it up on the internet, it said RPTV. Then I thought, no WONDER the picture didn't make a pretty pattern when I pressed on the screen. :D I have to admit. Plasmas are really cool looking and I hope they improve and solve that burn in problem they have. I saw another thread about a 50-some direct view LCD with a Japanese lady holding it up. And I can see that there are screw holes all the way around it. So, you could probably hang that on a wall and mount some trim around it and it'd probably you're looking out a window. I'm very interested in to see how BOTH these flat panel displays turn out. Once everything goes to HD and everything is in 16x9, except for the older TV shows, then burnin won't be much of an issue anymore. I see more and more TV shows being presented in 16x9, even on regular DirecTV. If I get an HDTV NOW while still using the regular DirecTV system, then I can use the ZOOM modes on anything that's widescreen. Of course, it'll look crappy, I know. I especially like watching the movies on TCM, FMC, and IFC. Of course. I watch mostly 2.35:1. I'm attracted more to 2.35:1. I think that's a really cool aspect ratio. And I understand why HDTV chose 16x9. So, maybe if I get a plasma, it'll look like this. Only the CORNERS of the TV won't be burned in. I watch a lot of TV shows like Galloping Gourmet, Matlock (please don't kill me, but I like that show :D), and a few cartoons here and there. And most of the movies I rent and buy are 2.35:1. I'm gonna start buying some 1.85:1 movies eventually. I'm a firm believer in OAR, so, I won't use the zoom or stretch feature on ANY 4x3 material, and I won't use the zoom to make the 2.35:1 stuff fill the whole screen.


Hey, Kron. Apology accepted. I understand we all can get out of hand in these forums. I don't really like to start any riots or anything. I'm almost always looking at ALL the subjects on this forum, like CRT Projectors, and what have ya. I'd like to know a little about everything so later down the road, I'll know what I want. I'm kinda shooting for DLP RP right now. But, I've never seen one in real life. Just on the internet. So, I'm not sure if I REALLY want it or not.
 

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Ken, new model plasmas rarely get burn-in now days. A little ghosting here and there, but it goes away. I play static display video games on mine all the time with no problems. As for that panel you saw with no bezel... most manufacturers will display prototype displays in this fashion. DLP looks good on paper, but realize that it is a new technology, meaning it will take a few generations to reach it's potential. The same goes for LARGE screen LCDs. If you want the best picture and plan on buying now, plasma is the way to go. If you're waiting a few years, things will be getting interesting with maturing DLP, LCD and new OLCD.
 

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I wasn't going to respond at a few of your first posts, because I assumed the same as Kronium. Your dialogue here has made it clear that you are reasonable and are open-minded. So FWIW, here's my input on the aspect and stretch modes.


1) There are a LOT of people here on AVS that were convinced that they hated the stretch modes. I was one of them; Rogo was another. But believe me, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be before I actually owned a plasma. I hate non-linear distortion; always have and still do. But that's not your only option... I, for instance, have found a compromise between horizontal stretch (linear) and chopping a little off vertically. It works great, and I MUCH prefer that over 4:3 mode, as does everyone who I've shown my TV to. I realize that there might not be anything I can do to convince you, but I sincerely feel that the stretch modes work great. In fact, I would much rather have my material stretched a little than having a CRT where I can't control overscan. To have control of the overscan is much more of an improvement that having to stretch or zoom is a hinderance. See this thread for a full recounting of what I do for stretching. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=183378


2) The burn-in issue is much overrated. Even the other thread you posted to represented a situation where 6 months of watching primarly 4:3 with NO bars had minimal burn-in. It could probably be combated with only the white scroll bar. So if you want 4:3 mode, just set some grey side bars and I'm sure you can watch 4:3 material for a long time with no worries of burn-in. Although, as per 1) above, you may just find a stretch solution that suits you.
 

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Maybe you could make some little velvet curtains to block off the sides over the grey bars like they do in movie theaters! ;)


Actually, that's not a bad idea....anyone tried this? Maybe velcro them on when you are watching 4:3 stuff......
 

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"But LCDs have some advantages over plasma, Giazzon adds. If you're contemplating a home entertainment setup involving a PC--perhaps running Windows XP Media Center Edition--or other activities involving text as well as graphics, you'll get a crisper, brighter image from an LCD. "


Couldn't help but pointing out that this just plain is not true IMHO. I have been doing my professional work on an LCD for many years. LCD's are based on a backlight which is IMHO not as good of an approach as the plasma which is actually actively emitting the light. When I bring up PC images even stuff like this forum on the plasma it just blows me away with its clarity and brightness.


The only "disadvantage" of plasmas is the cell size and for a 50" display that's not a disadvantage. As for burn-in thats a myth as far as I am concerned, it would take significant effort to burn in a display.
 

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IUnknown: so true. I posted that in some other thread. The notion that an transmissive technology that uses filters to BLOCK OUT MOST OF THE LIGHT of the light source is better than an emissive panel that actually shows you the light it is creating is ludicrous. At least in DLP, the light is only filtered somewhat. In LCD, the whole thing is based on blocking most of the light and leaving behind something that is visible in the color. Hee hee. It RULLLLLLLLLLESSSSSSSSSSSS.
 
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