Are the thin plasma TV's good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alec guapo, Jun 10, 2002.

  1. Alec guapo

    Alec guapo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I heard in some other forum that the picture on the flat-digital-plasma TV's are not as good as the big-bulky-HDTV's. I was wondering if this is true. I know that the flat plasma TV's are really expensive, but is the only benefit of having them the size? Does anybody know why this is? Thanks.
     
  2. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2000
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0
    Opinions and models vary tremendously on the effectiveness of plasmas vs. rear project TVs vs. CRT-based HDTVs. They each have advantages and disadvantages.

    Plasmas (the good ones, such as current Pioneer and Fujitsu 50", and the Fujitsu 61") can reproduce an astounding HDTV image if the unit has been setup and is fed currectly. Plasmas tend to be used in situations where (a) someone has a lot of cash, (b) wants/needs a low profile, (c) has a lot of ambient light in the room.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    Moving this to Display Devices (TVs/Projectors), where you're likely to get a wider range of answers.
    M.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of the Plasma units I've seen were downright awful--- of course my main exposure to the format came right when it was being introduced into popular consumption, things have probably improved.

    I think of Plasma displays as the "James Bond" device of the current HT era. Every era of technology has a somewhat silly but flashy piece of electronics that people associate with the super-rich, and therefor must be the ultimate in technology. I sometimes refer to these as "Lottery Wishes" (as often when a previously poor yokel type is pulled into the spotlight for his/her 15 minutes after winning a lottery jackpot, this is one item he/she immediately lists as a first purchase).

    Other stuff like Bose speakers and in the 80's "big screen tee-vees" in general- which have more appeal as a trapping associated with wealth rather than a real excellent electronics device. As a reslt, Plasma screens seem to be all the buzz-- especially among those who cannot afford them who dream of someday affording a killer system with a Plasma screen and top of the line Bose speakers.

    But, if the displays I saw a couple years back were any indication- decent "bulky" RPTV displays can offer an extensively better picture for a much more resonable price. The only advantage of the Plasma would be in rooms with large amounts of ambient light- but even then I think the advatage would be minimal.

    -Vince
     
  5. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Real Name:
    Michael
    I would simply say that Plasma screen technology needs to mature. Back in the 80s RPTVs generally had crappy picture quality, looked dark and were also outragously expensive. Now they are considered to be the best simply because the technology has improved so much. Will plasma screen technology improve to the point where it's better then current RPTVs at an affordable price? Well, depends on how the technology evolves but they have already started coming down in price. The computer market is moving towards these types of screens and now I see average people like joe-shmoe with plasma monitors.

    So yeah, I think for the money you can easily get a better picture with an RPTV. Will this always be the case? I hope not, but I predict that within 3 to 5 years Plasma screens will become very popular to the point where they will start replacing the big bulky CRTs. RPTVs should still have that size/cost advantage along with that "film like" look we love so much.

    - Mike
     
  6. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2001
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    A good plasma monitor will kick an RPTV's butt, if set up properly and fed the correct signal. I've seen the Pioneer Elite on HDNet's high-def feed, and it's astounding -- sharp, colorful, and bright from every angle. It also looks amazing with a good DVD player. A plasma is a fixed-pixel display, and if given a high-quality signal, a good plasma will beat a good RPTV or CRT (in which the picture is scanned, L to R and top to bottom, 30 times a second) any day. Older plasmas (and some of the current "cheaper" ones) had a problem with contrast, but the better plasmas today have, by and large, corrected this problem.

    The thing to keep in mind, though, is that a plasma is designed to display HDTV signals, not current cable or off-air broadcasts... the displays are so good that they reveal how truly bad the old-style broadcast is, and the truth is that on cable TV or even satellite, a plasma can look pretty bad. If you played an 8-track through a $30,000 pair of speakers it would sound awful, but you can't blame the speakers... same thing with plasmas. Although plasmas definitely have the cool factor going for them, it isn't enough to make me want a plasma until there is enough content out there to make it look as good as it can look, and by that time they should be a bit cheaper, too.
     
  7. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2000
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    If a cost/performance ratio is part of the equation, then plasmas are not going to fare very well against RPTV's (CRT based). But you should expect this when comparing a relatively new technology like plasma against a mature one like CRT.

    As to displaying current signals and looking bad, a plasma is only as good as the signal it is fed, and I'm not talking about High Def. Since plasmas are high resolution, fixed pixel devices, they must deinterlace and/or scale any incoming signal that is not at it's native resolution and in a progressive form. Most built-in electronics in plasmas do this poorly, though they are getting better. This leads to many artifacts that were not in the original source. Artifacts of this type can be eliminated by using an external scaler set to the plasma's native resolution. Flaws and artifacts in the signal itself, like from cable or satellite broadcasts, become more noticeable and annoying as picture size, and possibly resolution, increases regardless of the technology used to display it.

    Ask any user of Front Projection and they will tell you of the horrors of DSS and Cable. DVD's tend to look just fine when the signal is processed properly, and so do videogames.
     
  8. Alec guapo

    Alec guapo Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your replies. I recently got my bonus here at work and was entertaining the idea of picking up a Plasma TV. I live in Japan and there seem to be alot of quality thin-plasma TV's here. When you mention that the Plasma will look good with the proper signal, do you mean a component input? Anway, I will probably wait a couple years until the price goes down like some of you suggested.
     
  9. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I own one of the new-generation Panasonic Plasma TVs.

    To those who still think plasmas have a weak image...go see the latest models from Panasonic, or the Fujitsu models that use the Panasonic glass (Fujitsu 5002). Plasma quality has grown by leaps and bounds in the last two years. I'd done a year of research before I decided on which display I was going to buy (I'm a film buff, so I was concerned with a display's performance on DVD).

    The plasmas reign in the 42" to 50" range. They seriously kick the *ss of every other technology I've seen. I have never had that "looking through a window" experience from any other technology, certainly not RPTV, CRT or Projection (and I've seen the best). It depends on what type of image turns your crank. What I see on a good plasma, when fed a good image, is a clarity, vividness, smoothness and "density" to the image that is unavailable unaware else. Sometimes it gives me the impression that I'm looking through the lens of the movie camera upon the scene.

    Frankly, as an avid movie-goer, I've been pretty disappointed by the images I've seen on other home display technologies. All seem to be a poor substitute for the "real" film experience, in terms of clarity, beauty, and richness of the images. In contrast, the image I get on my Panasonic plasma blows my mind every single time I use it. Even on old films and lesser quality transfers it still brings the images alive.

    Last night my brother and his girlfriend sat down to watch
    a movie on my plasma. They were simply in awe. She remarked: "The image is so amazing....it's like when you see something totally new, something you KNOW you haven't seen before...like when I first heard a CD..."

    In our local high-end AV store they have lots of good plasmas displaying images, DVD and HDTV. People stand in front of them marveling at the image (not simply the "flatness) grinning like little kids. Nobody looks like that in front of the CRTs or RPTVs on display.

    So, bottom line is, I don't have lot of money. I saved for a year to buy a plasma strictly because I felt they had the best image I've ever seen. Now that I have one, it has surpassed my expectations more than any other tech item I've ever purchased. Almost every plasma owner I know feels the same way.

    --- Personal Testimony Mode: OFF -------

    Rich.
     
  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Rich,this is a very fast evolving technology,and just in the last 2 years it greatly improved,as a matter afact,I haven't seen a CRT based RPTV that I liked nearly as much as the comparably sized plasma tv.The only drawback is the price right now but that will change as well.I think this is clearly the future of TV,especially as the living quaters shrink these days,at least here in SOCAL.
     
  11. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,373
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    I dont agree :)

    every plasma I have ever seen has no black level (ie: watch Attack of the clones at a DLP cinema), and a lot of artifact in everything under 20 IRE.

    But if you need high WAF and a reasonable picture in a brightly lit room then it is the way to go.

    As for comparing with any CRT, perhaps one day, but not yet.
     
  12. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gregg Loewen wrote:
    "As for comparing with any CRT, perhaps one day, but not yet."
    (First of all Gregg, I certainly enjoy hearing from someone with a contrary view...but I hope you don't mind if I take another stab at this [​IMG]
    Gregg, I find this fascinating. This type of comment, like yours quoted above, seemed apropos even perhaps up to a year and a half ago, but I'm baffled to see some people still repeat this line.
    I'm in the film business and I have access to all manner of professionally calibrated display devices - CRTs, Projectors etc. We have several Loewe CRTs, often touted as among the best CRTs you can buy. I watched the olympics in HD every day on the Loewe Aconda. The Panasonic/Fujitsu plasmas totally and utterly blow the Loewe away as a viewing experience (and I've seen them side by side with HD and DVDs). I mean, it just seems laughably obvious to me...on an HD hockey game the numbers on the players, the text on all the rink advertisements..the plasmas were so sharp you could read them all. I could not do that on the Aconda. The BEST a CRT has ever looked to me, inevitably on HDTV, is like a really good "TV." The Fuji/Panasonic can be like, I'll say it again, "looking through a window at real life."
    I constantly hear comments by people in front of a plasma with an HDTV or DVD feed. Over and over I hear "Wow, it's so three-dimensional." "It's so realistic" "It's like I'm there!" I've never heard that once said by people standing in front of a CRT.
    I guess that's why it baffles me to hear anyone say "plasmas don't look as good as a CRT yet." I ain't seen nuthin' that looks like the images I get with my plasma.
    I see you are a video calibrationist, which obviously gives you experience in evaluating pictures. But I wonder, respectfully, if an attention to details has missed the "big picture." First of all, have you seen the latest Panasonic or Fujitsu 50" models? Even reviewers who have calibrated these sets remark that the blacks are superb.
    But even if the plasma blacks on whole were not quite CRT level yet, that's just one parameter of evaluation is it not? Every technology is poorer in some areas and better in others. There's a big list of technical parameters in which CRTs simply cannot compete with plasma as well (as I'm sure your aware).
    Specs and technical nit-picking aside, it still blows me away that anyone could have seen the best of the new plasmas and still prefer a CRT.
    Enjoy your big ol' CRT...someday you'll join us in the future...
    :)
    Rich
     
  13. Corey Holter

    Corey Holter Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I can't comment with as much authority as Rich H (not in the business), I looked at RPTV (Pioneer Elite) and plasma televisions and went for the plasma. Aside from meeting other needs of mine: size and ambient light, the picture was simply better.

    I did "compromise" a little by getting the 42" Panasonic instead of the 50" that I would have really liked because of the $3K difference in price. That said, I am extremely pleased with my decision.

    I'm very surprised to see the "bias" against plasmas on this forum. To my eyes, plasma is clearly better than RPTV. Do note that not all plasmas are created equal. It's safe to say that in the 42" category, the Panasonic is the "king of the hill" and has awesome black levels. I saw one that looked terrible at the local Costco.

    The other thing to realize with plasma is GIGO - Garbage in, Garbage out. The plasma looks excellent with HDTV feeds and DVD's. The only area it may not "superior" to RPTV is with a cable feed (although digital cable is pretty good).
     
  14. Peter Hunt

    Peter Hunt Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Going to add my 2 cents,

    I work in film and we always have a viewing room for clients. We've had Wega's, tube HiDefs, film prjectors, whatever. We had a 50" Plasma and well, it blew anything I had ever seen using source material before it had even been transfered to film (CG effects shots in this case). It looked so good it was almost disorienting. It was like looking through a window, and standing beside it and viewing from a sharp angle just added to that. When we were setting it up on a table I sat on the table beside it and had the same feeling you get when you hop on a window ledge and almost lose your balance... And this only happens because you're so far up and your mind knows this.

    This wasn't a consumer model, don't know how much it was, but man it looked good. When I went home to my Wega I almost cried after looking at a plasma all week. *tear rolls down cheek* Not tech reasons was it was better, just an impression.

    Peter
     

Share This Page