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Plasma Newbie


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Lamb

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Posted July 13 2005 - 11:23 AM

I am looking for a new HDTV. It will be in a relatively bright room with a need for a wide viewing angle. My choice is a Plasma TV for these reasons.

I have read that there are burn-in problems and potentially bars that are formed based on various formats of programs (wide screen vs. standard).

I would like to purchase a 50 inch Plasma. The investment at this level is pretty substantial.

I would like advice on how to select a great HDTV and things to watch out for (like burn-in).

Thoughts?

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted July 13 2005 - 11:06 PM

This really should be in "Displays." That said,

step one: any sales-droid who tells you that "plasmas don't burn" needs to be beaten with sticks.

step two: plug in and power on.

step three: immediatly set contrast to, say, 20%

Step four: set brightness down to a comparable level.

Step five: avoid displaying anything static for long periods of time.

step six: get the set properly calibrated, but make sure they don't overdrive the contrast and brightness.

pointer one: Plasma screens can be bright. But the only displays that can really compete with bright areas are LED displays - and a small LED display makes an 80" plasma look cheap.

Leo

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Rick_Brown

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Posted July 14 2005 - 12:51 AM

Another thing to help avoid burn-in is to use the "stretch" mode on 4:3 material. Not for purists, but it does fill out the screen by progressively stretching the edges of the screen to make it look like 16:9.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 14 2005 - 01:34 PM

do you have specific reasons you want the thin panel? If not, why not a micro display rear proj. For brightness the JVC D-ILA (LCOS) is very bright-and a good picture.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 15 2005 - 06:10 AM

plasmas can burn-in, but imo, you really almost have to abuse the poor thing to get it to that point. as long as you don't play videogames on it, don't keep it on the same channel, and use the stretch modes for 4x3 material ... you will be fine. plus, some plamas have buklt-in features (like orbiting pixels) to help minimize burn-in.

when looking for a plasma, (or any tv for that matter), look for sharpness and true color. look at the fine details (trees, hair, etc) to see if they're sharp or blurry. look for true color (blue sky, natural skin tones, green grass) as well.

-----

leo - did you mean lcd display? if not, what's an led display?
 

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted July 16 2005 - 05:52 AM

Ted,

I meant an LED (Light Emitting Diode) display - where each 'pixel' has at least three LEDs behind it (Red, green, and blue, of course.) Some of the older 'jumbotron' style would have, say, 3 red, 5 green, and 2 blue, or something like that, but the good modern LED boards (often seen at the ends of football stadiums, or in front of most hotels in Las Vegas..) use only 3 leds/pixel.

Most of them have the three emitters behind a frosted 'pixel' or are built into a single package.

The finest resolution I've seen is a 6mm square pixel. When they go to full white, at three or four meters, you can feel the light - I'm not kidding, either: they put out enough light that you feel it as heat.

(Barco i6 panels, for reference.)

Leo

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Lamb

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Posted July 16 2005 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Again, my room is pretty bright (2 story windows opposite of TV location) and I have a wide viewing angle. I've never seen a rear projection that would cut it for football games on Sunday afternoon in this environment. Isn't plasma like about the brightest picture and most ideal for this condition?

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Scotty P

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Posted July 16 2005 - 04:03 PM

166 ft-L for the JVC, don't think plasmas come close (looked up reviews on a couple and they were in the 30s ft-L). Check out the review for the JVC at Hometheatermag.

Plasma will have a wider viewing angle. Measure your room for viewing positions, then find one to look at to see if the angles work. The brightness may overcome any viewing angle issues anyway.

I have seen some led displays in multimedia shows. they are definitely bright, and at 20 ft the smaller pixel displays look pretty good. I don't think they have anything close to being good enough resolution for home use though.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted July 17 2005 - 07:39 AM

Quote:
I don't think they have anything close to being good enough resolution for home use though.


For some displays, I start seeing more 'picture' than 'pixel' at about ten feet, but yes, twenty is better.

This, on the other hand, would be a fantastic way to do outdoor screenings... Drive-ins, anyone?

Except, of course, the fact that you need a small nuke plant handy to provide the power to run the sucker..

Leo

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Lamb

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Posted July 17 2005 - 10:05 AM

I'm looking for about a 50". My viewing distance is about 15 feet normally.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Mort Corey

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Posted July 18 2005 - 06:14 AM

A fifty inch plasma display at 15 fett viewing distance will give you a really nice, immersive, viewing experience. Panasonics unit is about the best bang for the buck. I've seen them priced at $4.5K and slightly below. It'll give you good results in a well lit room and at virtually any angle.

Mort

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted July 18 2005 - 06:41 AM

Greetings

Even a major plasma player like Panasonic says that for the first 100 hr ... contrast should be no more than 50% and no widescreen or video games or anything with static images.

The next 900 hours after that is still 50% contrast and only 10% W/S movies or things with static images.

The units are most susceptible to uneven wear in that first 500 hour time frame.

The ISF even recommends that home installers pre-burn the sets 200 hours or more prior to installing the units in the homes.

Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Lamb

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Posted July 18 2005 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for all of the info. Are there features I should look for? I plan on using a TIVO with DirecTV for HD as well as a local channel.

Also, do I need special types of connectors?

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted July 19 2005 - 02:14 AM

Now that's interesting - about the pre-burn 'issue.'

But when you say "no wide screen," I imagine you mean, no Cinemascope, but full screen HD is okay?

Leo

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted July 19 2005 - 02:59 AM

Greetings

Yes ... no programming with w/s bars ...

1.78 is fine and 1.85 is fine as well (as long as no bars show up)

Industry folk like to throw around the magic number of 500 hours of break in ... but they don't talk publically about it much.

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Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Lamb

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Posted August 03 2005 - 04:08 PM

I will definitely make sure to do as the suggestions above to avoid a burn-in situation.

Currently, I have my TV set up to:
Run basically on it's own (local antenna)
Through a TIVO - channel 3
Through another receiver - mixed as channel 22
or
Through a Anthem Processor in which case I can select any of the above or other inputs such as a DVD player.

My current TV has several connections to allow me to do this. Do I need any special connections to do this with a plasma? Is it best to purchase the plasma as just a monitor without a built-in tuner?

Thoughts?