Plasma Revolution

Discussion in 'Displays' started by fierson, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. fierson

    fierson Auditioning

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    I'm considering a Plasma TV and have the requisite cash for my needs but people keep telling me to hold off because the "revolution is coming." Insiders at HDNet and others say, somewhat mysteriously, that the technology will be changing radically and prices will be bottoming out in the next 6 months. No one, however, seems to provide exactly what the nature of this change will be and, more importantly, any independently verifiable claims. Now I'm a novice but there doesn't seem many available information outlets; I'm skeptical of vendors only because their interest is to vend but have found several knowledgeable guys who haven't been able to confirm. I appreciate any and all help.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    The longer you wait the better technology you'll get for less money. Trouble is after you waited, it'll still be true.

    But I really feel sorry for people who spent $20K+ on a Plasma a few years ago and the best video inputs they have are component.

    My $.02 CND. Never buy any model car its first year of production, never install version 1.0 and wait for the first wave of repairs on any new display technology so you know what can go wrong.
     
  3. Dan Wesnor

    Dan Wesnor Second Unit

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    I'd guess that pretty much every TV that will be available in the next six months has already had its MSRP fixed. And if there were some major new breakthrough available in the near future, we'd have seen it at CES, or at the very least, in a press release.

    No company with half a brain is going to trash the value of its inventory by dropping prices radically in that short a time period. Apple did that sort of thing in the early nineties, and it nearly sank them.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You can wait forever. And not have a TV during that whole period.

    And you can also wait forever waiting for something to come and best the best display out there, which is still arguably CRT. And has been for decades. And strangely enough, this is also one of the biggest bargains out there. The hidden cost, though, is upkeep.
     
  5. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    The "revolution" that you are hearing about is most likely tied to the Intel announcement at CES2004 (Jan-04). Intel says they have broken through the technological barriers to mass-produce LCOS chips and such chips will be available at a breakthrough price in 2H-2004.

    LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) will be a formidible challenger to present DLP & LCD RPTV's. Today, these sets (43"-61" diag, 16:9 AR) are 720p native displays are are typically ~17" deep. They run $3K-4K and are available from numerous mfrs. The best are from Samsung (DLP) and Sony (LCD). Panasonic will also be a big player in 2004.

    Alot of people believe that DLP & LCD RPTV's are already better than Plasma (& quite a bit cheaper). They have brighter colors, darker blacks, and longer life. Also, plasma is delicate (hard to move) and can't run at altitudes > 5000 ft.

    Regarding LCOS... here's the big news ... 50" LCOS RPTV's will be rolling out to consumers in 4Q-2004 (or 1Q-2005) at under $2000! Intel also says that they expect to be able to produce LCOS RPTV's that are only 7"-10" deep. Now you're talking hang-on-the-wall depths. LCOS also promises to be brighter and not suffer from the DLP "Rainbow" problem.

    Of course, other technologies are not standing still. DLP RPTV's from Samsung will also be < 10" deep in 2004 and carry significant improvements. Expect DLP prices to drop in late 2004 in competitive response to LCOS. Also DLP will be Gen-4 in 2004, while LCOS will be Gen-1 in late 2004.

    The last wildcard is LCD panel TV's. They are widely available in 30" screens at $2500. The best are from Sharp (Aquos line), but DELL & Gateway are scaring the hell out of the Japanese mfrs. with very nice models. It is said that larger LCD panels are very close to happening. A 50" LCD panel could, for sure, be a plasma-killer if the price is better.

    You might guess that I'm also in the market now, but have decided to wait until Aug-Sep to see what happens. As of right now, I'm expecting to bring home a new Sammy HLP-series DLP in fall 2004. Who knows though, this stuff is changing monthly. Regardless, I'm convinced Holiday-2004 will reveal a real step-change for the Global RPTV market.

    Scott
     
  6. Davis

    Davis Agent

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    Scott, thanks for summing things up so well.

    Your post mentioned that the new generation rptv's have a longer life than plasma. I thought plasma's were touted to have a very long life?
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I thought the only consumer LCOS (a toshiba) was 1080i native?
     
  8. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    Scott, not to come down on your appraisal of current technology, but I think we could use some other perspective as well....



    How about if the picture is better (at least for most folks like us who want the best picture we can get)? A 50" LCD panel with the same picture performance as most LCDs will look relatively crappy compared to a good plasma unless it has much improved black levels, scaling and has solved the motion smear problem (which will really show up at that size). LCD is currently much more expensive per square inch than plasma, for generally poorer all around picture quality.

    Thanks,

    Rich H.
     
  9. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    I'm going to go out on a limb with a terrible generalization.

    Any sequential color display will suffer from rainbows.

    Thus, if someone comes out with a cheap 1-chip LCOS set, it's gonna flicker.

    On the other hand, if it means that people can start making good 3-chip LCOS projectors for less than $30,000 (like the one JVC was showing two weeks ago at NAB-04,) then there's a real winner.



    Again, look at the pro market. Christie Digital had a stellar projector at NAB-04, new for their D-Cinema line-up. (3-chip, 'black chip' DLP, 2k resolution.)

    Granted, most people aren't looking to spend $30-$120,000 for TV, but if it's happening there, it'll eventually happen at the affordable level.

    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     

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