A Discussion of Plasma vs LCD Displays....which one for you?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Gregg Loewen, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Greetings.

    I thought that we should make a sticky thread to discuss this question.

    We welcome your thoughts and participation here.

    Gregg
     
  2. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    I just read a post by Michael Chen AKA: furrypig. I will cut and paste,
    Michael, thanks for your comments.

    What has driven HTF members to purchase one technology over another ?



     
  3. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    I recommend the first article in a new series by Dr. Raymond Soneira on LCD/plasma displays in the September issue of 'Widescreen Review.' He does a superb job of detailing precisely why and how LCD panels are inferior to plasmas in terms of faithful image reproduction. LCD panels can help with certain challenges in a given installation, but picture quality will suffer in the process. He surveys eleven panels in the elaborate shootout.

    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.
    A Lion AV Consultants Affiliate

    "Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
     
  4. JerrySki

    JerrySki Auditioning

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    Plasma v. LCD really has to do with three things: (1) the light environment in which the TV will operate, and (2) the viewing angle, and (3) personal preferance regarding the "look" of the picture.

    (1) if you will be doing most of your viewing during the daytime, in a normally lit daytime environment, then LCD with its brighter image, is probably the best choice.
    (2) if you need a large viewing angle, due to a large audience or high screen placement, then a plasma is a better choice.
    (3) if you like the look of a movie in a theater, then plasma will more closely resemble that. Some feel that LCD gives an un-natural look, although newer LCDs that use LED backlights may give a better picture.

    Less significant, but still worth considering is that LCD is more efficient, using perhaps half the electricity of plasma. Also, for the same screen size, plasma tends to be less expensive.
     
  5. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Bringing this thread to the top. (for obvious reasons).
     
  6. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi Casey. Actually, you would think your comment would hold true, but it doesnt. I have taken care of thousands of online enthusiasts over the years and the LCD / Plasma question is the question that is fielded to me most often.
     
  7. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I have had expereince with both lcd and plasma. I have darken my living room with the windows. I do get some glare when watching during the daytime on the plasma. its not that bad. the picture is so much better on plasma compared to the lcd. I didn't like the cloudy issues that i had with the lcd. I was concern about the burn in with the plasma. its much better then before. the PQ on the plasma is amazing. from the differnt movies, tv shows and sports that I watch. red is red and everything looks great. is one better then the other. some people like lcd over plasmas and vice versa. its really up to the person on what they want or need. the black on black with the plasma was what really sold me. hay its even plays 3d. I am happy with my plasma. Jacob
     
  8. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    Well from my perspective several of the things mentioned are a guide. From my perspective I buy LCD when I need a low cost solution. Hands down out of the TV's I have owned or looked at Plasma has been the best looking TV I have ever owned.
     
  9. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Somewhat late to the widescreen TV party, my first one was a 42" Vizio in 2007. The LCD deficiency I was most concerned about then was black levels, but with all the other new (for me) benefits I stood to gain at the same time (HD cable, Blu-ray, a serviceable Onkyo HTiB surround system), for the amount of money I was able to spend, there was enough of a dramatic improvement to keep me occupied and happy for a while.


    That system was, and still is, in the living room, for all to enjoy and abuse. Couple of years later, in my inner sanctum (the room with the record collection, the very decent conventional stereo system, and my old 25" Mitsubishi monitor on which I was still happily watching LDs and DVDs), my 1980s Kyocera amp started dying, so -- a lot of agonizing later, I decided its replacement would be a decent AV receiver, and that it was also time to upgrade my own movie viewing in there, where I needed to please no one but myself. To cut to the chase, a Pioneer Elite (21TXH) and Panasonic 50" VT25 filled the bill. Simply put, I was STUNNED -- that was a year ago, and I am still stunned at the incredible picture on this screen -- and I will never go back.
     
  10. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Chiming in on this one, for me it is the black levels on the plasmas that are causing me to delay from purchasing 2 new televisions. Right now, I can easily purchase LCD TV’s based on the price. I need a 37 inch in the bedroom and a 55 inch in the living room and the prices for LCD will allow me to purchase both TV’s under $1,000. But, it is the black levels in the plasmas that are causing me to wait and hold out to spend more. Side by side comparison between the two, plasma has a better film quality than LCD. The deep black level causes the colors to pop on plasma and as to the LCD models it's more gray hence somewhat faded out colors. I hope Black Friday will net me two good plasma TV’s.
     
  11. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    My company serves many film and video program production professionals around the world. Frequently, I get to talk to colorists, imaging industry engineers, and studio technicians at length on the phone. I also read the SMPTE Journal and American Cinematographer every month. The vast majority of input I've received from such motion imaging experts has revealed that most use plasma displays, rather than LCD panels, for critical analysis and showing off their work to clients. Viewing areas are designed so as not to interfere with picture performance. Of course, anything smaller than 42" has to be LCD. I advise my clients to consider plasma for their primary entertainment display. If ultimate picture quality is the objective when investing in a large format, primary display, to be used for movies (let me check.....yep, this is still the "Home Theater Forum"), I advise my customers to get a plasma, and make provision for adjusting room lighting as needed. There are plenty of other options for general, casual, television use. The mass market TV consumer does not understand, or value, ultimate image quality like the typical, avid, home theater hobbyist/videophile/dedicated cinephile. Most TV consumers want what looks "good enough," is convenient, simple, cheap, and reliable. Oh, yeah, and THIN!:banana::rock::dance: It's my conclusion that typical readers of this forum are not the average TV consumer. However, far too few videophile types still have not been exposed very much to reference-quality images, on calibrated displays, in correct viewing environment conditions. So who do you heed when seeking guidance for mega buck video equipment buying decisions? My advice is to listen to folks who are thoroughly familiar with reference imaging, if ultimate image quality is your top priority. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of less informed, comparatively inexperienced folks on forums eager to assertively voice their opinions. What is popular does not always equate with what is correct. Best regards and beautiful pictures, G. Alan Brown, President CinemaQuest, Inc. A Lion AV Consultants Affiliate "Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings That isn't a very popular thing to say Alan. :P What is funny is that the rules about Plasma being only good for light controlled rooms and LCD for well lit rooms doesn't always hold true anymore either. About 3 months ago, I replaced a trusty Samsung 50" plasma in my living room with a 55" LG LCD/LED model (Their top of the line in 2010). It is a well lit room with plenty of sunlight coming in. The friend that helped me do the lifting commented after we got the LG hooked up and turned on ... would you like to switch back ...? It turns out that the plexiglass like front of the LG was even more reflective than the glass surface of the Samsung plasma and even maxing out the backlight on that tv could not overcome the glare it produced. The Samsung plasma was a better performer in this brightly lit room. That is the sad part ... the high end LED models all have this plexiglass front on them that give them glare ... because the reflections make the displays look upscale. Unless one gets a lower more budget line of LCD with the matte finish screens ... then the saying that lcds are patently better in brighter rooms no longer applies. regards
     
  13. elwaylite

    elwaylite Stunt Coordinator

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    I too was amused that reflections were used to hammer plasmas for years, but now all the fancy LED LCD's are glossy and super reflective. The new "black" filters (louvered) on Samsungs and Panasonic plasmas do a great job IMO, especially on my D7000. I've tried two different LED LCD sets, and I just can't leave plasma.
     
  14. lvicious

    lvicious Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for your post Mr. Brown.


    Having read through some of Mr. Loewen's posts on calibration I understand exactly what you are saying above. I feel like I have been in the dark watching what I perceived as the best image on my set. I will definitely be looking to have my new plasma calibrated when it's delivered.
     
  15. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    I'm really surprised about how no one brought up the performance issues that plaque plasma tv's. I couldn't watch my previous plasma TV without being severely distracted by the ABL issue of brightness fluctuations with the strobing and flickering. Black levels were also lacking but this is determined more by the TV itself than the technology. While plasma has good contrast its actual brightness is inferior to CRT and LED. Unfortunately I fell into the plasma hype and bought one only to be disappointed with inferior picture quality to my previous CRT. Picture resolution and geometry was much better along with lack of analog noise although plasma has its own noise. I found my that my LED LCD TV has a much higher performance. The previous plasma was a LG 50PV450 and the LED LCD is a LG 47LW5600.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm glad you're happy with your LED LCD TV, but that doesn't mean others can't be happy with their plasma displays by not having the same issues you had with your previous television.
     
  17. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    Exactly, but don't down play one technology without stating the negatives of the other. If plasma was the end all, no one would have LED LCD TV's. Each TV should be based on it's own performance as many LED LCD TV's have higher performance. I hated LCD until I seen the performance of the newer LED LCD TV's with local dimming. What unfortunately is the ABL issues I'be seen on plasma TVs and that has been an annoyance to many going by the many complaint posts and threads.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's your opinion, but it's not shared by everyone.
     
  19. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    As is the praising of the Plasma technology. Newbies or others replacing their CRTs, will do good to know all up and downs of both technologies. They should be able to make an educated decision instead of being led to only one technology based on opinion. Professional reviews have sited TVs from each as being better than the other technology as I've also seen. So each TV, regardless of which technology it uses, should be based on it's individual performance.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You appear to be only one posting recently about how terrible Plasma is in comparison to LCD. People will make up their own minds on how to spend their hard-earned dollars and have the vast internet to do as much researching as necessary to make that correct decision for themselves.
     

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