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fastEddie
fastEddie Dork
6/2/08 10:49 a.m.

New house, new TV time. What's the low down on each technology? I'm leaning toward a DLP right now as I'm not really concerned with having some thin thing I can hang on a wall like a picture and DLPs seem to have the best $/in ratio right now. Second choice would be an LCD.

Personal experiences? Opinions? Links to reviews, comparisons, etc.?

Thanks!

Gearhead_42
Gearhead_42 HalfDork
6/2/08 11:04 a.m.

Yes.

But more specifically, what's your room size?

Room Size ---> Screen size

Over 42-46" --- DLP, no brainer there

Under that, what angle will you be viewing from? If even a little off square, go plasma. If straight on, I like the contrast of lcd for movies, but sports guys will prefer plasma for color

I have Samsung DLP in 50", and a Samsung 26" LCD flat panel... great TVs.

Where to buy? Vanns.com is tough to beat for selection, free shipping, and no sales tax.

jeffmx5
jeffmx5 New Reader
6/2/08 11:16 a.m.

Make sure you don't see the 'rainbows' with a DLP. Some people are very susceptible to them. I believe it is not as common with the newer DLPs.

I have a 2006 Samsung 50" DLP that replaced an earlier 2005 model (under warranty - long story). I rarely see rainbows on the 2006 model, far less than I did on the 2005 model.

If this TV were to die, I would replace it with a direct-view or rear-projection LCD, not another DLP. Provided I could get one with a fast enough refresh rate.

fastEddie
fastEddie Dork
6/2/08 11:19 a.m.

I've got concerns with the life span (dimming over time) on plasmas and I've been trying to find some LED DLPs to get around the bulb lifespan/cost issue but it seems they're fairly new and pretty much only in 50"+ sizes which is bigger/more expensive than I really want or need.

Anybody know a good site for LCD reviews?

wcelliot
wcelliot New Reader
6/2/08 11:20 a.m.

The DLP's are the best of the projections but IMO all of these lag far behind LCD or Plasma. With 42" plasmas under $1000 now, I'd think that would be the easiest choice...

Bill

GlennS
GlennS Reader
6/2/08 11:26 a.m.

do plasmas still do the screen burn "acid trip flashback" thing after a couple of years?

Do plasmas really have a better image. I cant tell the difference between them and good rear projection screens(LCD?) that my friends have and i think i have decent eyes.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
6/2/08 11:28 a.m.

Plasmas are cheap now because they are being phased out. Check Circuit City, for instance; the majority of TVs sold are LCD and DLP. DLP= you gotta replace a $250 bulb every 8-10,000 hours. LCD/plasma = if it pukes you buy a whole new TV. That had a lot to do with my decision when shopping for a new set.

I bought a 60" Sony DLP recently and have been very impressed.

aircooled
aircooled Dork
6/2/08 11:54 a.m.

From what I have researched, the LCD's are the future, that is what I went with. Some points to consider:

  • DLP is definitely the economical choice at this point.

  • LCD will replace Plasma's eventually, but Plasmas are currently more economical in the larger (48+) sizes.

  • Plasmas use a LOT more power than LCD's, almost twice from what I have seen, that mean more heat also. Not sure about how DLP's rank, but I would assume more in the LCD range.

  • Modern LCD's (120hz) do not have motion problems and have a very wide viewing angle (good ones have no angle problems). If you get a good one, they are perfect for sports viewing (old rule is that plasma was the way to go for that).

  • LCD's are much better for computer / game display, which of course is a potential future use consideration.

  • Plasma's and LCD's are can be hung on the wall, which is a great space saver.

  • Plasma's CLAIM no burn it and 50,000 hour life, but they still have ghosting when shut down and white wash features to clear ghosts, so I don't really believe it. I have personal experience with and older $8000 plasma that burned in and was crap in two years (the manual said NOTHING about burn in).

  • This IS a good time for a wide format HDTV, there is a lot of content out there on cable / satellite. I would not suggest going with a 4:3 format at this point, it is going away fast.

  • A good set (signal processor) combined with a decent DVD player will display very nice. No need to rush out and get a BluRay, the difference is not as obvious as you might think.

  • DON'T pay a lot for HDMI cables, lower price ones are great for almost all uses (except long runs with lots of interference).

  • TV's are like computers, they will only get better, cheaper and larger every year. Try to avoid the top of the line, yesterdays models (Costco), or cheapo models. There is always a sweet spot of price / features. If you really don't need it, wait, they will only get better.

  • Make sure to consider the viewing distance and display size, as well as ambient light / reflections.

  • DON'T just look at the demos in BluRay or HD feed. Better sets (better signal processors) will display low def feeds better (as well as standard DVD's).

  • Be wary or projectors. They are comparatively dim, require a dark room and have VERY expensive bulbs that need pretty frequent replacement.

Fosters
Fosters None
6/2/08 12:16 p.m.

I bought a 50" Samsung Plasma at the end of 2007, and I love it. It was the #3 rated plasma by Consumer Reports (1&2 were basically the same TV on 42" and 50"). Based on their information, I choose a plasma due to the angles that we would be viewing (both straight ahead and from the sides).

My dad has a DLP that is probably 4 years old or less, and the best spot to see his TV is from the kitchen table (ironic). My screen looks the same from any angle. DLP is cheaper, but it wasn't worth the viewing angle to me. The plasmas and LCD's are easy to move around due to the (lack of) weight. I might be sorry later with a plasma, but I'm still happy (had a view friends over last weekend, and I overheard one say she loved our TV). :grin:

Josh

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/2/08 1:03 p.m.

Plasmas are only good if you want a huge screen that doesn't need to last long and cost is not an issue. Get a DLP or an LCD, whatever looks and costs best to you - just keep in mind that LCDs are better on power and are less likely to crap out on you entirely than a DLP, but LCDs can also get dead pixels.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/2/08 1:06 p.m.

I have a panasonic 50" DLP that is now about 3 years old. Absolutely love it. it was teh top of the line model then and is still a great set, especially when watching BluRay movies.

The viewing angle is actually wider than you can get to in the room. Some DLPs are not this way. Look at them carefully in the store to tell. And DLP picture is vastly different from manufacturer to manufacturer. I spent a lot of time looking at various TVs with various input sources to decide. Personal preference in picture is really more important than some esoteric set of specs, as long as you get the basics down.

carguy123
carguy123 Reader
6/2/08 1:14 p.m.

Don't bother with a DLP, after you've seen a few LCDs hung on the wall and all the space that saves you then you will begin to think of your DLP as big and clunky which will make you buy a new TV much sooner than if you'd just bought the LCD now.

Do NOT buy a Phillips LCD. I have had 2 and will be returning the second one today. The picture is great, but they have a sound issue. It's all muddy. You will be hard pressed to pick out the voices from the background noise. We just about wear out the rewind button on the DVR playing and replaying the sound trying to understand what is being said.

Sony has a Voice accentuation mode that really makes things clear.

fastEddie
fastEddie Dork
6/2/08 1:14 p.m.

Chris, how is the brightness of your DLP given the amount of lighting shown in the room above? The room where mine will be going is similarly bright during the day and that is a concern.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
6/2/08 1:20 p.m.

The Sony I bought is plenty bright for high light situations and as noted it's hard to get to a shallow enough angle for it to 'wash out'. I've been happy with everything except on a non HD broadcast the picture is just average. On HD it's super sharp and clean.

slefain
slefain Dork
6/2/08 1:29 p.m.

None of the above. Get a projector. Prices have gotten stupid cheap. I have only $625 in my projecter (Epson Powerlite Home 20).

I have one wall of my living room painted white. I watch the news at 60" wide (4:3 format) and movies at 87" wide (16:9 format). Those measurements are width, not diagonal. No huge hulking box hogging my living room when I'm not watching TV, just a small grey box sitting between some books on a shelf, and some speakers hanging on the walls. As a bonus, I have my Mac Mini plumbed in on the VGA port. Thanks to my wi-fi setup, I can watch an insane amount of TV shows freely available on the web. Use a wireless keyboard/mouse like I do and you'll never notice the Mini chugging away behind the books on the shelf.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/2/08 1:36 p.m.
slefain wrote: None of the above. Get a projector. Prices have gotten stupid cheap. I have only $625 in my projecter (Epson Powerlite Home 20). I have one wall of my living room painted white. I watch the news at 60" wide (4:3 format) and movies at 87" wide (16:9 format). Those measurements are width, not diagonal. No huge hulking box hogging my living room when I'm not watching TV, just a small grey box sitting between some books on a shelf, and some speakers hanging on the walls. As a bonus, I have my Mac Mini plumbed in on the VGA port. Thanks to my wi-fi setup, I can watch an insane amount of TV shows freely available on the web. Use a wireless keyboard/mouse like I do and you'll never notice the Mini chugging away behind the books on the shelf.

Also a good idea, but projectors actually take up a great deal of space when they're on. If you have the space, go for it. The only other thing to watch out for is sunlight hitting your projection surface.

wcelliot
wcelliot New Reader
6/2/08 2:55 p.m.

I actually use a projector for watching TV/movies outside (after dark) and it works great. But you really need low ambient light...

Bill

aircooled
aircooled Dork
6/2/08 3:22 p.m.

Projectors generally have a rather short (relatively) bulb life (the projector will dim) and the bulbs can be expensive. Best way to get a REALLY big picture though. Probably not recommended for regular daily TV viewing.

slefain
slefain Dork
6/2/08 3:36 p.m.

Projectors do have their down sides. I'm on track for about 3,000 hours out of my bulb. I do have excellent light control in my living room. Viewing angle is no problem though. And you need a unit tailored to your room. My projector has a zoom lens, and optical lens shift to move the image without moving the projector. The wall space I use really isn't that big, and it's right next to my front door. You can watch it during the day, even with the ceiling fans lights on so my wife can read. It's all about bulb settings. It's not the ideal answer for everyone, but it's perfect for me. We don't watch that much TV really.

And I'm on my 3rd year of doing Movies on the Lawn in my back yard. We watched Transformers last Friday. Nothing like having a 12' X 18' screen in the back yard. Gotta love it! Next up, surround sound in the yard!

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/2/08 4:22 p.m.
fastEddie wrote: Chris, how is the brightness of your DLP given the amount of lighting shown in the room above? The room where mine will be going is similarly bright during the day and that is a concern.

It's surprisingly good. Never had a problem watching TV in the daylight. Direct sunlight will wash it out, though, but most of the time it's very good.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn Dork
6/2/08 6:20 p.m.
Do NOT buy a Phillips LCD. I have had 2 and will be returning the second one today. The picture is great, but they have a sound issue. It's all muddy.

I have a 42" Phillips plasma. The picture is very good but the sound is mediocre at best. Eventually I'll get around that by setting up a reciever and some speakers, but it would have been nice if the built in speakers at least sounded halfway decent.

Ryan9118
Ryan9118 Reader
6/2/08 7:06 p.m.

I remember hearing that Plasma TV's are really bad in direct light. Somebody was telling me that their friend had a plasma TV in his living room, and he had to have black shades during the daylight to see much on the TV. Was that only on the early plasma TV's or does it still happen to an extent?

I really want a big HDTV, but whenever I look at them I just can't manage to spend the money. A lot of LCD TV's just don't look that good to me for the money, especially from angles other than straight on or up close. Plasma TV's do look really good, but I don't see many of them for sale anymore.

Rumnhammer
Rumnhammer New Reader
6/2/08 9:33 p.m.

I've had a Panasonic 42" Plasma since 2003 with no issues whatsoever. This was one of the few plasmas with True black technology back then, so I have no issues with clarity from any angle. This plasma was purchased back when external speakers were required, since they were not part of the tv, and neither was any type of tuner. The picture has not faded, gotten any burn ins or any other problem in 5 years of heavy usage.

Panasonic and Samsung are both the leaders in tv technology these days. Sony also make some really nice sets I've seen. We use the plasma in our basement for most of our viewing, a lot of which is from the computer, so quite a bit of watching is from about a 70degree angle to it, and the picture is still clear from any angle. I've not noticed any issues with heat or anything else in the time I've owned it.

I would not hesitate to purchase either a new plasma or LCD from Panasonic. Very good picture and quality. Chris Rummel

MitchellC
MitchellC New Reader
6/3/08 2:53 a.m.

Just know that this is where you should buy your cables:

Monoprice

They're significantly cheaper than any B & M store.

InigoMontoya
InigoMontoya New Reader
6/3/08 4:44 a.m.

Got a Panasonic Plasma 50" 1080P this past christmas, since we have a bank of windows down one side of the room we opted for the model with an antireflective coating. Honestly it looks a bit like an LCD that way. We are extremely pleased.

Currently have a ps3 and a high def tivo for source and a separate receiver+speakers for sound.

I looked at lcd, but would have spend another 6-800 bucks for the size I wanted in 1080P (got a good quality one)

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