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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am now in the market for a new tv. I have briefly looked at and researched some things about each type od tv and was looking for some advice. I am looking for around 42" and $1500. I have heard that plasma's will get screen burn-in. Does this still happen? DLP is kinda new to me and worries me a little, so I'm leaning towards LCD. Is there one charicteristic that sets one apart from the rest?
When buying a flat-panel what should i compare? Contrast ratio, response time, and resolution seem to be that main things, is this correct? 1080p doesn't seem neccessary, but might as well since i plan to have this tv into the future. Is there one type that lasts longer than the other? I will be sitting about 8.5 feet away. Please help with any suggestions, thank you!!
 

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Welcome to the forum :wave:

I own a DLP ... beside the characteristics you mentioned (contrast, resolution, etc.) you need to consider the size of the TV box, my DLP is like 14" - 16" thicker compared to 3" - 4" for the plasma or LCD :yes: ... if your room is small, I think is better to get a Plasma or LCD.

You mentioned a viewing distance of 8.5 feet ... so I'm assuming you already measured the room, that distance is from the wall or you already considered the thickness of the TV??? ... another thing you need to consider is the placement of your seats, you can't seat to close to the back wall ...:yes:

I think you can get a bigger DLP for the same price of a smaller LCD or Plasma :yes::yes::yes:

Good Luck.
 

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Burn in, aka differential phosphor aging, is a real possibility on PDPs, particularly if the contrast is left at max. Reducing it as much as possible will make it much less of an issue, if an issue at all. If, however, one leaves the same pattern on the screen continuously, you will burn a PDP. LCD direct view sets will likely be the most reliable product, with better quality DLPs likely next. Projection LCD and three chip systems in general, are IME, too likely to have problems with the light path and panels and are more of a gamble than DLP.
 

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Check out the newer DLP sets from Samsung with the LED technology. I've been impressed from what I've read on these and just ordered the 61". The LED supposedly eliminates replacing bulbs, although I suppose if you kept it long enough you might end up have to replace one.

I personally wanted a plasma set, but the pricing for the DLP was more in line with what we could afford.
 

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I recently picked up a Panasonic plasma, and have been very pleased with it (720p, 58", about 13 feet viewing distance). The 1080p model was ridiculously expensive, and I wanted screen size. No problems so far.

I did quite a bit of reading about burn-in, and it does seem to be a real problem, but rather limited. I ran some "burn-in" files in the beginning (it just scrolls through a variety of full colors) and I've kept the intensity controls to their midpoints. It will greatly depend on your usage, of course. If you are not watching things with static images (e.g., video games, news stations with crawls along the bottom and sports with constant scoreboards), you should be especially fine. OTOH, there's evidence that people do use PDPs for these types of activities without problem. I'm sure the companies are actively working to overcome that issue. I have some glare from the PDP, but it's a lot better than what I had previously. The glare looks diffused, and that's because of the screen itself. And that isn't even their best anti-glare screen. I like the brightness and viewing angle of the PDP, as well as the blacks. All in all, a great TV, and a good deal from Costco.

Previously, I had a Mitsubishi 52" DLP. While my room is big enough to support that size TV, I grew tired of the boxy TV as well as the big box it was sitting on. It really wasn't a big deal, but I just wanted sometime sleeker. We don't watch tons of TV (generally some in the evenings; it's not on all day long), and we never had a problem with the bulb. This picure was very good as well, but it was "dimmer" than the PDP. Also, blacks were not as deep as the plasma and off-axis viewing was poor (e.g., if you're sitting on the floor, it's a different experience than sitting on the couch; not so with the plasma). Ambient light was more of a problem with the DLP, and the anti-glare screen wasn't so good (but this TV was purchased in the 2005, so these things have since evolved).

I don't have much experience with the LEDs, but they do appear to have less glare problem. I'm no expert, but I think it's because of the actualy material used for the screen itself (I think plasma requires glass, but LED doesn't). IIRC, LEDs have some (probably minor streaking) problems with fast motion (e.g., hockey games).

Anyway, all the techonologies have been around a while now, and I think you'll do well to have any of them. One thing that I ran into -- if you're thinking about going bigger, do it. Once I got a 52" in my house, I started thinking that I should have gone a little bigger. At 58", I think I'm happy!

Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, i guess plasma is out. i heard they are not good in bright rooms and mine is. and sports is pretty much all i watch. id hate to have an espnhd logo burnt in the side of my screen. i do some gaming too. so i guess lcd it is. i dont know anything about dlp. anyone got any good links? i have a 53" rptv now, so size isnt really an issue. i have found in comparing that 1080i's with high contrast ratios look beter than 1080p's with a lower contrast. is the 1080p important, or is it just blu-ray and hd-dvd using this? saw an 42" lcd insignia at best buy for 996. contrast ratio of 1500:1. they also had a samsung 42" lcd for 2000 with a 15000:1 ratio. granted the samsung was sharper, but how much does it matter? should i concern myself with technical numbers or just go by what looks best?
 

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Sonnie just gave you the BEST 3 links out there for finding your tv.
If you can't find something on those 2 links.........well......ummmmmm give up.
The only thing I would add is you can find some good deals at Tiger direct
Not too long ago I saw a deal for a 65 mits. DLP, new model for $1500.00 That's just crazy

Also mite want to check in at price grabber

samy 56' DLP $1200 here if you dont mind a few extra inches here

But if you end up going through Amazon go through the shack link.

and a 65" mits DLP $1700 here
 

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Just to reiterate a bit based on my findings and experiences. Plasma has a reflective screen which I find distracting in all but pitch black rooms. Plasmas also don't appear all that sharp and crisp to me due to the pixels not being filled completely. It's hard to describe, but look at a plasma from about 1' away and the pixels have rounded off corners or something where there is a lot of black void space between each pixel. I don't see that on any of the other technologies except old analog tvs. For me, plasma was no good.

DLP and LCoS rear projection sets were two options where you can get excellent size for a low cost - main issue for me was the fact that you need to replace a bulb every few years at ~$300-$400 a bulb. I didn't care for the idea of having to perform preventative maintenanve on my HDTV. Between the two technologies, I found LCoS (Sony SXRD or JVC HDiLA) to give the better picture - sharper and crisper with more vivid colors and no graininess or blur issues.

LCD won out for me due to color vividness, detail/sharpness, non reflective screen, long lifetime, and just a general "pop" to the image that I like. In my opinion, nowadays, you can't really go wrong with most LCDs out there - response time, inputs, processing, etc. are all good on most sets. The lesser known brands like Vizio and Westinghouse are extrememly competitive with the major brands like Sony and Samsung for a fraction of the cost. The main thing you need to observe for yourself with LCDs is contrast or black level, as that is the one area where they still have a little work to do. Websites like www.hometheatermag.com measure the contrast ratio of LCD displays for you and that can be VERY helpful so you know what to expect in your room, but you still need to go to the store and compare them imo. The other thing to research is overscan, or how many pixels on a claimed 1080p display are cut off. The goal is to have all 1920 x 1080 pixels filled on a 1:1 ratio from the image source which would be no overscan. Some sets use processing to zoom in or cut off some pixels, meaning the whole image is slightly stretched. Some of the bigger brands like Samsung have a bad history of high overscan.
 

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A local shop has a great demo set up. They have the Sony XBR5 LCD against the Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma. These 2 tv's are among the best, if not thee best of each technology type. You've got the best LCD against the best Plasma. Its a great demo to compare technologies side by side. Both have been calibrated to optimize their picture. You can't go wrong with either set, but I, personally, find the Plasma to be better at black levels. This little thing results in what I see as more detail and a slightly more crisp image. Its more cash to go for the Pioneer Elite, though. LCD technology has come a long, long way in the past 2 years. If money were no object, I'd go with the Plasma. Since money is an object for most of us, then it comes down to what you can and are willing to spend. If you can't drop $4000-$5000 on a tv, then the DLP suddenly looks very attractive. There are many fantastic options at every price bracket, even $1000 or less.
 

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DLP and LCoS rear projection sets were two options where you can get excellent size for a low cost - main issue for me was the fact that you need to replace a bulb every few years at ~$300-$400 a bulb. I didn't care for the idea of having to perform preventative maintenanve on my HDTV. Between the two technologies, I found LCoS (Sony SXRD or JVC HDiLA) to give the better picture - sharper and crisper with more vivid colors and no graininess or blur issues.
With Samsung's new LED DLP technology, this will virtually eliminate bulb replacement.

Here are a few of the positive snippets from 151 Amazon reviews on the 61" LED DLP:

I bought this to replace a 3 year old 61" Samsung DLP (720p) set. The picture quality is noticeably better, especially color and contrast. Equal to the high end 32" Samsung LCD set we have. I don't understand why the press (and Consumer Reports) leaves the DLP sets out of most of the ratings. The lack of shadows when viewing fast motion makes them better than LCD when viewing sports. Compared to the standard lamp in the older DLPs, the LCD lamps in this set will never need replacement and there is no fan noise.
As far as TV is concerned, I was comparing this with SONY 60 inches SXRD and I find this better in terms picture sharpness, slick model, USB input and an inch bigger size. I love it!
We went to CC to see the picture up close and personal and it simply blew the models beside it and it was the light wheel version. I waited and bought this model for it LED light engine. My main reason was I didn't want to have to change a bulb every 2 years. Bonus the colors seemed brighter compared to the one we looked at.

If you're into movies you'll love the contrast. I love that the blacks are black and the whites are whites and not a muted gray haze. I could see shadow details which I couldn't on the lcd.
I had done my homework before going to buy a new TV, and even though I had read nothing but excellent reviews about DLP technology, I still had my heart set on a flat panel... until I got to the store. When I saw the picture that DLPs are capable of in comparison to those produced by LCDs and plasmas, I was blown away! I really love the fact that the LED light engine in this model will last much longer than the lamps in traditional DLP sets and there is no spinning wheel, so no rainbow.
When I went shopping for an HDTV to replace my 8 year old 36" CRT set, I wanted the best picture I could get for around $2000 that was 46" or larger. I considered the Toshiba 65HM167 and the Sony KDS-55A3000 and after a good 6 months of looking was actually about to buy the Sony when I noticed this set. The LED backlight was the deciding factor for me. A higher contrast ratio, better color and never having to change a bulb (at least I suspect I'll have replaced the TV long before the end of its claimed 20 year bulb life) won me over.
Of course as with any set that sells thousands like this set has, there are those reviews where people got bum sets. Our Toshiba that we own now is a replacement of the first set we got that blew out a circuit board and it took us 2 months to get the replacement. It's been an excellent set since. Just one of those things.
 

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Of course as with any set that sells thousands like this set has, there are those reviews where people got bum sets. Our Toshiba that we own now is a replacement of the first set we got that blew out a circuit board and it took us 2 months to get the replacement. It's been an excellent set since. Just one of those things.
Its called the vocal minority. There is nothing like a few upset customers who feel the urge to scream at the top of their lungs to let everybody know who they feel they got taken for fools. A tiny little isolated problem suddenly seems like an epidemic when it turns out to be nothing at all. I don't put too much value on Amazon reviews in general, but I do listen to Shack members.
 

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I'll have to take a look at that set in the future Sonnie. Are DLPs still using wobulation to achieve their claimed 1080p or can they actually display the full 1920x1080 pixels?

Samsung also came out with LED backlit LCD where it can locally turn off the LEDs for dark areas on the screen, resulting in a contrast ratio better than even the best plasmas. Only thing is the technology is brand new and I'm sure there will be several issues popping up. I'd give it another two years or so for everything to be ironed out and I can see LED LCDs dominating the market.
 

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I see hometheatermag reviewed the 56" version of Samsung's LED DLP set - 995 contrast ratio and 3.5% overscan for high def inputs.

Thomas J. Norton from hometheatermag.com said:
It uses a high gain screen, as do most rear projection sets. The brightness in the center of the screen measured twice as high as the brightness halfway from the center to the top or bottom. And there was a shift in color, as well, with a subtle blue tint above and below the center. But it was clearly always there.
I wonder why this was - I'm assuming they are using multiple LEDs as opposed to one, yes?
 

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I have mitsubishi 73" dlp which I am quite happy with, but I just met with the mits rep yesterday and discovered they are going to release a laser dlp at 108' wall mountable (drool), also discovered that mits tried plasma for a short period and dropped it period. They are also playing with some other ideas...
 

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Are DLPs still using wobulation to achieve their claimed 1080p or can they actually display the full 1920x1080 pixels?
I have not seen any mention of this in anything I've read anywhere. :huh:

That same hometheatermag.com review you quoted below may have answered your question:

The Samsung also had first-rate resolution. The best DVDs looked good, the best HD discs often exceptional. Most of my HD viewing was from 1080p/60 sources, which produced excellent results. On superior HD releases like Kingdom of Heaven, (Blu-ray), both the color and resolution from the Samsung were often striking.
I see hometheatermag reviewed the 56" version of Samsung's LED DLP set - 995 contrast ratio and 3.5% overscan for high def inputs.

I wonder why this was - I'm assuming they are using multiple LEDs as opposed to one, yes?
I guess it depends on what set you get... I'm not sure. The Contrast Ratio is rated at 10,000:1. I'm surprised at his comments about black level since nearly everything else I've read, including a lot of user experiences, say the black level are really good.

The same guy at hometheatermag.com had this to say:

Even before calibration, I was impressed by the Samsung's punchy, vibrant, sharp picture. Its color performance, before calibration but with the user controls set carefully (see Measurements for recommendations), was very good. After calibration it was even better. Greens, in particular (depending as always on the program material), were often exceptional, and less artificial looking than on most digital sets.

Sound and Vison Magazine: by Al Griffin • December 2006

Color temperature (Movie Mode/Warm2 Color Tone):
20 IRE: 7,051 K
30 IRE: 6,564 K
40 IRE: 6,590 K
50 IRE: 6,584 K
60 IRE: 6,596 K
70 IRE: 6,535 K
80 IRE: 6,571 K
90 IRE: 6,559 K
100 IRE: 6,590 K

Brightness (100-IRE window): 35.3 ftL

With the Samsung's Movie Mode and Warm2 Color Tone presets selected, its grayscale hit the 6,500-degree kelvin standard right on the nose; no additional tweaks were required. Grayscale tracking measured within ±60 K from 30 to 100 IRE. That's outstanding performance, although a considerable degree of color decoder error (-20% red and -10% green) showed up in Movie Mode via the HDMI and component-video inputs. Color points, which describe the accuracy of the red, green, and blue primary colors, were extremely accurate — the HL-S5679W measured better in this respect than any other HDTV I've tested.


PICTURE QUALITY As I watched the opening scenes of the thriller Firewall, the 1080i-format HD DVD picture looked impressively crisp and clean on the Samsung. A close-up of an LCD TV in Jack Stanfield's kitchen had an eerily present effect, with the texture of the TV's speakers so three-dimensional that I wanted to reach out and touch them. Colors looked vivid yet natural in this scene and others. Close-ups of faces showed a range of subtle skin tones, while a wide exterior shot of Jack (Harrison Ford) leaving for work revealed a rich range of colors in the idyllic landscape surrounding his house.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As a recent plasma purchaser I thought I'd share a couple thoughts about the process I went through in the decision.

I've watch DLPs, LCDs (both projection and flat) and the Plasmas for quite a while. I also worked as a sales person during the time period when the first plasmas, LCDs (no bigger than 20") and both DLP & LCD projections hit the sceen. There have been some tendencies I didn't like in each of the technologies and there have been some tendencies I did like in each of the technologies.

Plasmas have a tendency to "glow", meaning their blacks are less deep. For example, when you look at a plasma on display, you will notice that blacks actually look like deeper shades of grey (of course, that lessens at higher price points). However, in home performance really does lessen this as two things occur: 1) no comparison and 2) you adapt your expectations. (Obviously, these would apply to any of the particular technologies) Note too, the brightness does have an upside as color and picture brightness here can be great strengths. Burn in might be an issue too, but I've had a hard time finding a consensus on an answer. Most models (of recent manufacturer) include software/protection which should eliminate this, with the exception of all but the most blatant scenarios.

Flat LCDs were my second choice. However, I really liked the 120hz models and loved the new Samsungs which include an new LED lighting system. However, I didn't want to spend $4000 on a TV, which pretty much put these items out of reach. The typical LCD just has too much motion blur for me to watch. It was especially noticeable on the Samsung displays which would play half and half (half with the new technology on and half with it off). Arguably, thats not a real world experience, but for me, it just highlighted a problem I've always had with the original generation LCD projections and even the more recent generation of flat LCDs (this even includes my laptops). Having said all that, I think with an unlimited budget I would have gone with the new 120hz Samsung LCD flat. Great picture, deep blacks and none of the burn in problems from the plasmas. I also believe that LCDs will use less power than other types of big tvs; it might not be a deal maker for everyone, but could be something to push a certain buyer towards this technology.

Projections I kind of lumped into a single category. I get a little distracted from both displays use of what are essentially squares. DLPs seem to always include hard edges; sometimes distracting, sometimes not. Mostly though, I do not like the off axis viewing. In our particular position, only two of six seats have a direct view of the television. The low degree off axis that many projections still suffer from is just not acceptable, even though their price point is quite a bit lower. Also, and granted this is really picky given the options that were available about a decade ago, but the project sets are bulky. In our room, it is longer than wider (viewing is on the width portion) and less bulk just seems to work better. Of course, in many rooms none of these factors would apply and given the price point versus other types of technologies available, the projection sets may rule the day.

Finally, another pet peeve with projections is the brightness level. One thing the Plasmas have set the standard on is color and brightness - they are simply just much more vivid. Now, I understand the new LED projections are a big step forward, but in a bright room, I'm not convinced its enough. (Although, my brother-in-law has relayed to me the opposite opinion.) If you purchase the projection and its set-up in a room with significant window exposure, I would definitely test it before your return policy expires.

Huh, I wrote this out and it comes across more middle of the road I than what I had in mind when I began writing. But perhaps that is exactly the point: each type has strengths and weaknesses and many decisions will turn on the particular use. Like many things, its about personal preference. If nothing else, enjoy the process and just remember what choices you used to have not but 7-10 years ago! Everyone can agree, these technologies are an improvement over that.
 

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Grouping sets together by technology and making assumptions across the group is a very bad idea. There are variances within the technonolgies which often are greater than the differences between. One should compare specific brands and models. There are some valid generalizations but variations between brands and even models can be more significant than assumed differenes due to the technology. Calibration and source differences account for a great deal of variance as well.

There are aspects of some sets from 10 years ago that not everyone would agree have been bested. Like I said, for a meaningful comparison and the best buying decision, compare specifics.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The need to compare specific sets is a good point. The reasons I didn't go into specifics was a result of the initial questioners generic question. So, undertaking a review of every set I looked at or considered seemed a bit over the top. Also, I have no idea what the posters preferences were, his budget or other necessary information. And frankly, I can't account for every possible exception to the rule in any posting. It also seems a waste of time to review a specific set when it might not be available to the poster to whom I was responding.

Actually, I think your point about calibration makes the use of generalizations somewhat more necessary. Each set as viewed in my local retailer has NOT been calibrated and indeed, most likely, has been set to settings for sale, not for best use. Therefore, an average shopper can not necessarily rely on that sort of information too much either.

Knowing a technologies strength and weakness can at least set a shopper on the path to choosing their own set. This, I think, is an application of general knowledge applied to specific items + individual preferences; which was a point I also made. It also can be applied to products specifically to show which individual products excel (i.e. outperform the average in a weak area).

I guess you would have preferred I make my final note specific too: with regards to the old CRT projection sets, I think most people would agree the technology now is better than the choices then.
 

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The need to compare specific sets is a good point. The reasons I didn't go into specifics was a result of the initial questioners generic question. So, undertaking a review of every set I looked at or considered seemed a bit over the top. Also, I have no idea what the posters preferences were, his budget or other necessary information. And frankly, I can't account for every possible exception to the rule in any posting. It also seems a waste of time to review a specific set when it might not be available to the poster to whom I was responding.

Actually, I think your point about calibration makes the use of generalizations somewhat more necessary. Each set as viewed in my local retailer has NOT been calibrated and indeed, most likely, has been set to settings for sale, not for best use. Therefore, an average shopper can not necessarily rely on that sort of information too much either.

Knowing a technologies strength and weakness can at least set a shopper on the path to choosing their own set. This, I think, is an application of general knowledge applied to specific items + individual preferences; which was a point I also made. It also can be applied to products specifically to show which individual products excel (i.e. outperform the average in a weak area).

I guess you would have preferred I make my final note specific too: with regards to the old CRT projection sets, I think most people would agree the technology now is better than the choices then.
There is no need to defend your post. I was not trying to correct you nor trying to critique. There was nothing really wrong with what you said. I was just offering an alternative perspective. It is useful to generalize about many things, but in this complex arena of HT, the correct answer more often than not is "it depends." My real point here is that there is almost always more to the story than assumption and generalization imply, and more specific questions and research almost always pay off.
 
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