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More than ever I understand why Plasma and any quality display is DOOMED (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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You guys who hang out on the Internet, read forums like these, and care
about quality displays will completely understand what I am about to share...

When it comes to televisions/displays, I always buy the best.

Presently, I own a Samsung 65" F8500. It is the last, great plasma display
we will ever see.

Similarly, the Panasonic VT and ZT series are also exceptional plasmas.

Most people will agree, right now, plasmas are the best displays to buy until
we get to affordable OLED technology.

However, most of the public doesn't understand this nor care.

Here is where I make my case....

I have friends who are very wealthy, and have just bought their dream retirement
home.

They contacted me to ask for a recommendation on purchasing large displays
for their home.

Now, up till recently, they had a crappy non-HD television with a DVD player.

They wanted to move up to HD. They wanted two 60" displays for separate rooms.

I attempted to recommend plasmas, even hoping they would spend the money for
at least one Samsung F8500. Sent them an email carefully pointing out the advantages
of going with a quality plasma display.

In the end, they bought two Vizio 60" LED displays that went for about $1500-$1700
apiece.

This past week, I was invited to their new home. I had the chance to look at these LED
displays. Quite frankly, the picture looked like shit.

I was with other friends who were "oohing" and "aching" about the glossy display that
almost looked 3D-like. To me, it looked very unnatural.

I didn't have the heart to tell my friends the picture looked like crap. If they were happy
with it, that is all that mattered.

I could have sat there, looked up some preferred settings on the Internet, and adjusted
the television to my liking. But, there just wasn't time.

All I could see was that the picture looked nowhere near the quality of what I was used
to seeing on my plasma, and I felt a real loss for what my friends purchased.

However, it was amazing to see how most people can't tell a bad picture when they see it.
This further drives home the point that consumers don't care about bad quality displays, and
therefor, we lose really good technology in the process.
 

Persianimmortal

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Sadly, this observation isn't just reserved for displays. Consumers don't really seem to care much about quality when shopping for most products, whether food, clothing, motor vehicles or otherwise. Part of the problem is of course that quality usually costs more. But the more critical part, in my opinion, is that being able to discern quality takes time and effort. Much easier to buy what everyone else is buying.
 

Keith Cobby

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I entirely agree with you about plasma (I have a Panasonic) and would also only upgrade to a 4K OLED. However I recently bought a projector and expected to use it a couple of times a week and perhaps more at weekends. I find I am using it every day, not only for blu-rays/DVDs but also for television.

I haven't got a dedicated room at the moment so have to set it up each time (takes about 5 minutes). My wife is more enthusiastic about it than I expected and this is the reason we are using it so much.

The bottom line is that we are using the television much less and can therefore afford to be patient for OLED.
 

schan1269

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The saddest truth...If the absolute crap went away...quality would cost less(there are certain items that never need to be "bargains"...if bought correctly...last years.)
 

atfree

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Ron, you're exactly right. Another example...

My in-laws bought a new 55" LCD Samsung last year a good model. It sits in their living room, on torch mode , and they love it. I told them I would bring my calibration disc and work on getting a better picture. Their response: "Why? It looks GREAT!"

Another example will be this years Black Friday sales. The "doorbusters" will be on cheap Element, RCA, Insignia, and other lesser brands but people will wait in line for hours to get a 40" display for less than $200 or a 50" for less than $300.

Unfortunately, TV technology caters to the lowest common demoninator.
 

revgen

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Plasmas are TV's for movie buffs.

If you watch movies often, both at the cinema and at home, and you've watched them for years, you can immediately tell how good a plasma is.

That's why plasmas have received such great reviews from professional reviewers.

Many folks turn on their TV to watch Dr Phil in the daytime, Big Bang Theory in the early evening, and the 11 o'clock news. Even with their TV's properly calibrated, most won't know what the big deal is with plasmas when watching these programs.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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This thread is so honest, and his "friends" had the cash flow for a top of the line HD TV. I have conversations with co-workers and from what I get from them they love those show room settings! I was at a Best Buy a few weeks back and they were showing off a Sony Ultra HD tv and they were playing Transformers was playiing on it and I kept thinking what on earth are they doing to the image quality. Of course they had noise reduction and motion smoothing as high as it could go. It made everything look like a waxy glossy pretty mess that tv buyers seem to love.

One co-worker said they loved having those bright colors just popping off the screen. Tried to explain to him that this isn't how it should look. but many don't care. I think the TV makers have given so many video setting options to destroy great HD images.

Black Friday comes to mind, many have gone thru upcoming early ads and I keep hearing "OMG they have this one TV for this much and it is 60"" etc etc.

Many TV buyers equate the size of their tv with being high quality. When I bought my final Panasonic Plasma last year someone asked me what size it was I said 65" and they said oh I have an 80" And I have seen a really bad 80" once I think it was LCD but wow it was bad. you could tell it was lighting odd from the back, the screen was dimmer in some areas then others esp around the edges. It looked like blowing up a poorly compressed youtube video on 80" and this poor guy thought it was the ultimate experience.

Luckily I didn't have to watch anything on it. I tend to have a Sheldon Cooper reaction to bad TVs and have excused myself to leave before when I felt like I had to subject myself to a poor presentation. As I explained to one person film is my religion and I can't practice it in these conditions.
 

Richard V

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I just have to play Devil's Advocate here. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, one man's trash is another man's treasure, etc, etc. Videophiles will always have one set of standards over non videophiles. I know that plasma is accepted to be superior to all other tech and it has a great picture, but TO ME, I just prefer the LCD/LED picture. My brain will tell me that plasma is best, but my eyes just don't agree with it. I'm going to go with LED because it is more pleasing to my eye. If that puts me in amongst the "crap loving" public, then so be it. I can live with that. One man's opinion.
 

David_B_K

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I don't know if I quite agree that Ron's experience means that quality displays are doomed. Even if his friends had bought the top of the line display, it would still look like crap on "torch mode". There's an old saying that some people have more money than taste. I agree with Robert. I think I would have said something about the picture. It doesn't have to be something like "that picture is crap and you people must be blind"; but I think I would have said "I don't think it is calibrated properly and it does not look very life-like".

I am more bothered by the fact that so many people would as well watch a movie on their phone as a large well calibrated display. We have had major breakthroughs in audio and video technology in the last 10 years, and most people settle for crap because it is convenient and fits in their pocket.
 

telzall

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atfree said:
Ron, you're exactly right. Another example...

My in-laws bought a new 55" LCD Samsung last year a good model. It sits in their living room, on torch mode , and they love it. I told them I would bring my calibration disc and work on getting a better picture. Their response: "Why? It looks GREAT!"

Another example will be this years Black Friday sales. The "doorbusters" will be on cheap Element, RCA, Insignia, and other lesser brands but people will wait in line for hours to get a 40" display for less than $200 or a 50" for less than $300.

Unfortunately, TV technology caters to the lowest common demoninator.
What's "torch mode"? and, please, recommend a reliable calibration disc.
 

Ejanss

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revgen said:
Plasmas are TV's for movie buffs.

If you watch movies often, both at the cinema and at home, and you've watched them for years, you can immediately tell how good a plasma is.
Yeah, but when I was buying my first set, I was told that plasmas were Evil, because they ate a higher power rate, their brighter contrast caused more burn-in problems, especially on screen-width bars, and in general were, quote, "the SUV's of home theater".

Evidently I'm a Middle American Dope, because I went with LCD/LED.
 

atfree

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telzall said:
What's "torch mode"? and, please, recommend a reliable calibration disc.
"torch mode" is generally the setting LCD/LED TV's are set on in showrooms......all settings, especially brightness and contrast, set to their highest settings. It makes them "pop" on the showroom floor. Usually the TV has one pre-set picture setting called "Vivid" or something similar that cranks everything up.

As for calibration discs, there are several. I use the Disney "Wow" disc....

http://www.amazon.com/Disney-WOW-World-Wonder-Blu-ray/dp/B0045ASBLG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415807691&sr=8-1&keywords=disney+wow

There is also the Spears and Munsil disc:

http://www.amazon.com/Spears-Munsil-Benchmark-Calibration-Disc/dp/B00CKWI13O/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1415807920&sr=8-3&keywords=hdtv+calibration
 

Worth

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And this is why 4K is going to be a non-starter - the settings most people use can't even take advantage of 720p properly.
 

Jason Charlton

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Persianimmortal said:
But the more critical part, in my opinion, is that being able to discern quality takes time and effort. Much easier to buy what everyone else is buying.
This.

People are just getting so lazy it's maddening. So many people don't want to take the time to educate/inform themselves on ANYTHING - be it politics, current events, television technology or even video games (don't have time to figure it out, gonna check the online walkthrough).

Heaven forbid someone buys a display that they have to ADJUST the settings in order to get the most out of it.

"If I buy it, plug it in and turn it on, it should do everything I want it to do!" seems to be the mindset.

About 3 or 4 years ago, my in-laws asked my opinion on what flat screen display they should get for their great room. I told them all about the virtues of plasma and how it would be the best option for them. They ignored me and got an LCD display that was horrible. Even they weren't happy with it after about a year. So they again asked my opinion, and I again suggested a plasma (at this point, the writing was on the wall about plasma's impending doom, and prices were dropping), but somehow they once again ended up with (or were talked into by a "salesperson") an LCD display - maybe the extra 5" was worth the $1k price premium they paid... picture still sucks, IMO.

Just glad I'm sitting pretty with one of the last Panny plasmas - should tide me over for several years. Best damn picture I've ever had.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Yeah I have to admit some sales people would trash talk plasmas a lot. The only ones who didn't were people that knew quality. I have a cheap TV in my bedroom and I'm not sure if it is LCD or LED I can't recall.
I mainly got it because I wanted a decent tv that I could watch all this classic TV shows I watch in the approx. 1.33:1 ratio like Hill Street Blues, Dark Shadows, Murder She Wrote, WKRP to name a few. I feel like I would be killing my plasma with the overuse of the black side bars over a long period of time.
I can tell it isn't the highest quality TV but it makes me appreciate my main TV.
 

David_B_K

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Powell&Pressburger said:
I mainly got it because I wanted a decent tv that I could watch all this classic TV shows I watch in the approx. 1.33:1 ratio like Hill Street Blues, Dark Shadows, Murder She Wrote, WKRP to name a few. I feel like I would be killing my plasma with the overuse of the black side bars over a long period of time.
I can tell it isn't the highest quality TV but it makes me appreciate my main TV.
The Plasma burn-in problem was one of the reasons I did not go with plasma. Even though I was told it had gotten better, I did some research online and it still seemed that it still existed. I watch so much stuff with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen or on the sides that I just didn't want to take the risk. Also, they had a very glossy screen and the room I was going to put it had a lot of light which would cause glare. My wife was against darkening the room because she likes the light. Ironically, we ended up putting in blinds that really darken the room, so the glossy screen would have worked.

Getting back to "torch mode". It is usually recognizable by the fact that it makes movies look like they werere shot on videotape, or like they are live on TV. I was shocked when I first saw it in a Fry's. I thought someone on a live show was recreating a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. Then I looked closely and saw that they were actually showing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In torch mode, it looked like a soap opera.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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When it comes to plasma burn in, I try to combat it by making sure I play a movie in 1.78:1 ratio for a decent period of time after I watch something when black bars are called for. This helps keep it in great shape. (my tv also has that scrolling bar I can use and I do) I find giving it full play so to speak keeps it "flawless"

also I am really over protective of this TV so I haven't experienced burn on on this model I am just making sure it doesn't come to that.

My tv is in a basement room and yeah light isn't allowed! :)
 

schan1269

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My Director Series Hitachi 50", 2008 by the way...Matte screensNo burn in at allUsed for Atari 2600 Flashback, Wii and XBox 360 for GTA and Skyrim.After gaming...it is set on some random channel on Directv for 15 minutes.I have two if those 50".Also have several other 42 and 46. All told, eleven plasma in the two houses. Even guest bedrooms have one.
 

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