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Plasma really worth it?


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84 replies to this topic

#1 of 85 Jon Cheung

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Posted October 21 2003 - 01:56 PM

Hey, I was in the area so i checked out futureshop where they had the pani 42" plamsa there (forget the model number), anyways i was takin a look at it and then lookin at the projection tv's and they were a lot cheaper and the picture looked incredible! I was lookin at this Toshiba and it was nice Posted Image and my question is is plasma really worth it? Are you just paying the extra coin because it's really thin? Thanks

#2 of 85 Jack Ferry

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Posted October 21 2003 - 03:25 PM

Sure, it's thin, but for a really thin screen go with projection! Posted Image

#3 of 85 Lev-S

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Posted October 21 2003 - 05:03 PM

From what I've seen, plasmas just can't put out a nice solid black (although Panasonic has just about proved wrong). For a fraction of the price, get a nice Projection system, or even a DLP!
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#4 of 85 John_F

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Posted October 22 2003 - 01:37 AM

"...and my question is is plasma really worth it?"

In my opinion, yes. Many people say plasma being thin is its advantage, I do not care about thinness of my plasma, I love its beautiful picture.

Regards,
John Flegert

#5 of 85 ChrisWiggles

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Posted October 22 2003 - 10:25 AM

It's mainly thin-ness. RPTVs, and CRT projection crushes it for less, and if you take the time, FAR less money. Plasma just doesn't do it for me, in terms of PQ.

#6 of 85 Father John A

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Posted October 22 2003 - 12:28 PM

ChrisWiggles,

Your comments make me curious indeed.

Would you mind quantifying your staement? I am in no way disputing what you said but in my experience (admittedly limited to BB and other such stores) I have never seen a RP that looks even close to a plasma (though the KF42WE610 I saw yesterday is getting really close).

My main objective here is to be convinced as I cannot afford a plasma!

Thanks
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#7 of 85 BruZZi

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Posted October 22 2003 - 03:57 PM

Quote:
In my opinion, yes. Many people say plasma being thin is its advantage, I do not care about thinness of my plasma, I love its beautiful picture.

Regards,
John Flegert

Same thing here.Posted Image

#8 of 85 ChrisWiggles

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Posted October 22 2003 - 04:07 PM

It's all calibration. God knows I wouldn't compare tvs at all at a chain store without going in and calibrating them myself. Good stores may or may not be setup well. Basically, if you are looking at a wall of TVs and they all look different, some WAY better than others, etc etc, then you know that you should 100% ignore any viewing comparisons there unless you calibrate yourself. Walking into a store that cares enough to do basic calibration, you will immediately see that most of the sets look almost the same. Look closer, and you will see differences, yes, but not the VERY different picture you will see between sets at, say BB.

Also, critically viewing PQ with all the bright lights at BB is pretty difficult. I would put RPTVs at one step below a CRT projector in terms of absolute PQ when done right. I *personally* would probably choose a digital projector instead, to get a larger picture, and sacrifice the PQ given by a good, and well setup RPTV. I have, fyi, gone all-out, and gone CRT projection, which can't be touched unless I sell my car. (I don't have a car to sell, so that pretty much eliminates THAT option Posted Image)

Plasmas can look great. But they are quite expensive. And for me, i'm ALL about the performance, whether it be speakers, video, whatever. I could care less about convenience(within reason, although "reason" for me is still not very convenient), size, looks, weight, mobility, etc. Putting PQ above all else, (reliability is one thing that i definitely take into account though... the best PQ isn't so great if it never works...), then plasma isn't really that great. But if you've got the cash, aren't picky about the video so much, and you don't want to have a huge, very heavy RPTV that needs to be setup, and re-converged from time to time (you can do it yourself, but then you gotta be willing to learn it all), then obviously the value in terms of absolute PQ is overshadowed by all the other priorities.

The last thing, is that while I am not *super* picky about video, I know enough to be able to evaluate differences in video, and know what good video looks like. The vast majority of people just want the brightest, most colorful, "sharpest" picture out there, not knowing that the dim, at first fuzzy-looking, not-NEARLY as colorful tv over in the corner is probably correctly setup. My point is, it's almost impossible to evaluate TVs, projectors, plasmas, etc if they are all just out of the box and uncalibrated. And I can guarantee that almost all chain stores never calibrate their sets, unless there is some employee who actually knows enough to spend his own time doing it.

#9 of 85 John_F

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Posted October 23 2003 - 02:19 AM

Jon, just to give another point of view.

Like I said before, I love the picture on my plasma. I do calibrate it (using Avia). No, I have not had it ISF calibrated. I also had a RPTV (for three years). It too was calibrated with Avia. It was not ISF calibrated. I prefer (very strongly) the picture on the plasma, and currently wouldn't think of going back to an RPTV.

You will get a lot of opinions about picture quality. My opinion is trust no one, judge for yourself. So I guess you can ignore my advice. Posted Image

Regards (from someone who prefers "the brightest, most colorful, "sharpest" picture out there" over "the dim, at first fuzzy-looking, not-NEARLY as colorful tv"), Posted Image
John Flegert

#10 of 85 Jon Cheung

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Posted October 23 2003 - 06:04 AM

Ok, i see your guy's points, thanks for the input. Say you were to properly calibrate both a plasma and a projection tv (are those called CRT's or RPTV's?) and say those two are top of the line. Would the picture quality be equally the same or would the plamsa have a better picture quality because it's a plasma?

#11 of 85 Jon Cheung

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Posted October 23 2003 - 06:05 AM

I really dont get the reasons to have a plasma right now. I'm not too too knowledgable about tv's at this point, the only advantage i see when i look at a plasma is that it's thin, what advantages are out there when compared to "normal" tv's?

#12 of 85 Jim-M

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Posted October 23 2003 - 07:54 AM

Quote:
I really dont get the reasons to have a plasma right now. I'm not too too knowledgable about tv's at this point, the only advantage i see when i look at a plasma is that it's thin, what advantages are out there when compared to "normal" tv's?

I've always preferred the picture on direct-view CRT TVs compared to rear projection TVs. To me, a good plasma basically has the same or better picture quality than a CRT. But you can't get a big-screen CRT (except for Sony's 300lb behemoth). With plasma you can get a big screen TV with a very high picture quality and a reasonable size and weight. When I see RPTVs now, the picture seems flatter, less 3D-like than plasmas. Sure, plasmas cost more, but RPTV purchasers should thank the proliferation of plasmas for helping to drive the price of new RPTVs way down.

Other less subjective advantages to a plasma compared to RPTVs: better viewing angle, both side-to-side and vertically, and better in rooms with lots of ambient light.

But if the picture on a plasma doesn't blow you away, don't get it. Get what looks best to your eye, not ours.

#13 of 85 Darryl

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Posted October 23 2003 - 07:58 AM

Thickness isn't the only dimension where plasmas have a size advantage. I have limited space in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Tube TVs have a much bigger cabinet for a given screen size. Your typical 42" plasma takes up about the same space as your typical 34" tube set. In my case the plasma could be 3 feet thick instead of 3 inches thick and it wouldn't bother me; it's the width and height that matter to me. Projection TVs don't even come close to fitting in the space I've got available (plus I don't like their PQ in the least). I'm not interested in wiring for a projector (I had more than enough fun wiring my surround speakers). So in my case it comes down to a 34" tube or a 42" plasma. I'm gonna hold off at least another year and get the plasma.

#14 of 85 ChrisWiggles

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Posted October 23 2003 - 08:24 AM

what advantages are out there when compared to "normal" tv's?


First there really aren't any "normal" tvs anymore. The various technologies each have their pros and cons. and keep in mind when I use RPTV, i assume a CRT-based RPTV, which is often no longer the case. Many RPTVs now use digital projectors, thus making them much lighter, smaller, no longer need convergence, etc etc etc. Then again, the debate between digital and CRT projection is a whole 'nother can of worms that won't end.

The advantages are many, and I'll let the people with plasmas chime in as to what advantages they found, such as dimensions, which obviously is a very big reason for plasmas. They are not fussy, you don't have to keep them converged, as you would with an RPTV. Viewing angle isn't as good as a direct view set, but usually better than an RPTV.

That being said, properly calibrated in a dark room, plasma is no match for RPTV in terms of PQ. Plasmas are very "slow," and this bothers me. Add that to not as natural color, and poor black levels, and PQ is not as great as a well setup CRT. Key being well-setup. I would take a well-setup plasma any day over a poor condition, or poorly setup CRT. And not to bash plasma picture as being *bad,* it's not in any stretch of the imagination bad. It's just that from an absolute reference standpoint, yes there is better. Obviously, looking at the huge populaity of plasmas today, people are choosing *slightly* inferior pq, for a much more convenient display. And given that the VAST majority of people don't even know of calibration, any possible advantage that another technology, whether it be CRT or whatever, might have is really moot, since poorly setup, an out-of box plasma might well look better.

Just keep in mind that plasmas are also susceptible to burn-in, which some people think only affects CRTs. I tend to be on the safe side myself, but as long as you are calibrated well, then you should really have problems with either technology.

And this is a very useful FAQ about plasmas that you should read as well:

http://www.avsforumfaq.com/~plasma/

Hope my insight proved useful, and I didn't mean to insult or degrade plasma PQ, because sometimes people get very defensive about "their" purchases, technological "allegiances", etc etc. I meant no such thing. From, what I hope was a more objective standpoint, I hope that you learn as much as you can about the various options and technologies out there, and their pros and cons, and make the best choice for YOU.

Also keep in mind, that the MORE you learn about these various displays and all their weaknesses(as ALL have many, significant weaknesses, they all just fall in different areas), you may be less and less impressed with a given picture. If you start looking for all these weaknesses, like rainbow with DLP, or convergence problems with CRT, or black level problems with plasmas/dlps/lcds, you might wish you'd just closed your eyes and bought something that made you happy and be ignorant of all the annoying artifacts. Posted Image I tend to disagree with this notion, I think an smart consumer is one who takes the time to know what it is he's buying, but it's yet another approach. Sorry for making things so complicated... Posted Image

#15 of 85 BruZZi

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Posted October 23 2003 - 01:17 PM

Quote:
the only advantage i see when i look at a plasma is that it's thin, what advantages are out there when compared to "normal" tv's?


* They have a 160-degree viewing angle.

* No geometric distortion. - The plasma panel's accurate cell structure produces a picture that is geometrically perfect.

* Even light output. - The plasma panel is perfectly evenly illuminated - no dark or hot spots

* Perfect focus. - The plasma panel has perfect focus across the entire screen

* No susceptibility to magnetic fields - The plasma panel is not affected by magnetic fields

Posted Image

#16 of 85 Christopher a

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Posted October 23 2003 - 05:23 PM

No way in hell I will ever pay $3000.00 + for a monitor that can't produce good black levels. Yeah, Plasma, LCD, and DLP are thinner and cooler looking with no convergence issues. Yet, they can't produce black. Period. Anyone looking for accurate picture quality should not be looking at these new technologies...at least not yet.


Quote:
Regards (from someone who prefers "the brightest, most colorful, "sharpest" picture out there" over "the dim, at first fuzzy-looking, not-NEARLY as colorful tv"),


Personal preference is very important. You should be happy with the image your watching. Just be aware that there is a difference between personal preference and the accuracey of an image. So while you may like that "sharp, coloful image, it's not how it was projected in the theater, nor how it was intended to look by the filmakers.

#17 of 85 John_F

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Posted October 24 2003 - 12:58 AM

Quote:
...Just be aware that there is a difference between personal preference and the accuracey of an image. So while you may like that "sharp, coloful image, it's not how it was projected in the theater, nor how it was intended to look by the filmakers
Of course you are correct, it was intended to look "dim, at first fuzzy-looking, not-NEARLY as colorful". I really don't want to get into the "Film makers intent/how it looked in the theater/film like" debate. Posted Image

In my opinion, plasma can reproduce how I see things in the real world. To me this means that a plasma is able to accurately reproduce what it is being fed. I will take this over "how it looked in the theater" any day of the week.

John

#18 of 85 RickGr

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Posted October 24 2003 - 02:19 AM

Plasma and CRT sets picture will degrade over time. DLP and LCD should remain as bright and vibrant as the day you bought them as long as you change the bulb when need be.
DLP/LCD have some shortcommings as well. No display is perfect.
Rick

#19 of 85 Phil Iott

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Posted October 24 2003 - 03:10 AM

Can you explain more clearly what you mean by saying that plasmas are "slow"? Thanks.
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#20 of 85 WayneG

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Posted October 24 2003 - 03:11 AM

My Dad, being older and wiser, said that for the extra money of the plasma you could build an addition to the house and thus not care about the thin-ness. Posted Image

This was while looking at a Panny that retailed for $15,000 Canadian.


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