HDTV Picture Quality

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Rob.melone, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    Like so many others, I am struggling with buying my first HDTV (actually I am going to buy three: Living Room, Family Room & Home Theater). I pretty much have decided to go LCD (32") for both Family Room and Living Room (both have outside windows) and Plasma (42 or 50") for the HT which is in the basement. Panasonic's seem to have a good rating for Plasma and I like Sony for LCD but am also looking at Toshiba and Panasonic. Since I don't have digital service yet (waiting for Verizon FiOS) all of these HDTV's will be used initially with SD TV and upconversion via Oppo for my SD DVD collection. My viewing distances are: FR - 7'; LR - 15' and HT - 10'.

    Here are my value minded questions:
    1.) Which brands will provide the best picture, dollar per dollar in the two categories of LCD and Plasma?
    2.) I was thinking of going 720P for the LCD's and 1080P for the Plasma, but will I regret not going 1080P all around?
    3.) Will I notice motion blur if I go LCD and are 120 hz refresh rates more desirable at 1080i?
    4.) I have read where Plasma's are supposed to have better contrast than LCD but when I look at some specs the Contrast Ratio of a decent Plasma (Panasonic 5000:1) is actually lower than some LCD's (Sony 10000:1)?
    5.) When all is said, done and spent, will I regret putting my three SD CRT TV's (Sony & Toshiba) on the curb?

    Thanks to any and all who chime in! R
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    1. No idea on LCDs, but check out the models from Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba. Sony's tend to be more expensive, though. I like Panasonic for plasma since they won't bust a budget.

    2. You may find that the current LCD models are mainly 1080p, I would look at 40" to 42" LCD models for the living room due to viewing distance. I haven't kept up with the smaller 32"-37" LCD models, so I can't offer an opinion. 1080p is mainly useful if you plan on playing HD DVDs and Blu-Ray discs because broadcast high-def content will be either 720p or 1080i.

    3. Motion blur in LCD usually shows up in sports programming, but can also show up in action-laden shows and movies. If I'm watching a film shot in 24fps, I dislike watching them on a set capable of 120Hz and used in that mode because it turns film to look too video-like, too smooth-looking, and does not look like its theatrical exhibition. At far as 1080i and 1080p goes, as long as the TV does a good job at de-interlacing 1080i, it shouldn't make that much difference unless you're a super-critical viewer.

    4. The first Panasonic 1080p plasma models released earlier this year had the lower 5,000:1 contrast ratio, but there are newer models that now have the 10,000:1 contrast ratio, but at a higher cost. For your purposes, a viewing distance of 10 feet makes a 50" plasma in 720p, TH-50PX75 (no anti-glare coating) or TH-50PX77U (anti-glare coating), fine for most viewing applications, and they can be found for $1600-$2000. The 720p Panasonic models are well into their 9th generation cycle, and their 10,000:1 contrast ratio is on par with the better performers, plus their black level performance is very good. The one thing I don't like about LCDs is that their overall picture tends to be a little bright/hot due to the backlight technology, and makes for continuous viewing a chore to sit through (viewing longer than 30 minutes), while plasmas tend to have a more pleasing picture quality that doesn't fatigue the eyes. YMMV. One more thing, the combination of LCDs and SD DVD/TV content doesn't necessarily look all that great, you'll notice some pixellation and distracting artifacts; while plasmas are more forgiving with SD content (TV or DVD).

    5. No idea, but 2009 is coming sooner than you think, so if not now, then next year for sure.
     
  3. Robert Powers

    Robert Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you looked into DLP sets? You can get a much larger picture with DLP for a much lower price than a plasma set. I have a Mitsubishi WD-57734 DLP set. I think the picture is amazing. If you have a well lighted room the plasma will show a glare on the screen. The glare on DLP sets is very minimal in well lit rooms.
     
  4. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Are you sure you want to go so small for your HT? With a veiwing distance of 10' your choice of 42" or 50" seems very small. Since it's a dedicated HT AND in a basement, have you looked at front projectors? If you don't want to go that route, consider a DLP as Robert mentioned. I've got the 65" version of the Mits he has and it is a beautiful picture. And there is also a 73" version. I've seen the 73" version anywhere from $2,999 to $3,299 and the 65" you can get for under 2k.

    In addition to our 65" Mitsubishi DLP, we have a 42" JVC LCD in the bedroom. Both have great images, but I'd rate the Mits DLP a notch above.
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Since your HT is in the basement, you might also consider a front projector and separate screen.
     
  6. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    What? Do you have me on ignore Aaron? [​IMG]
     
  7. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I also say front projector.
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    No, I think I have my eyes on "skip random words in posts." I read your post and somehow didn't register the projector part.

    Gettin' old. . . [​IMG]
     

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