Should I upgrade to a Plasma?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan_J_H., Nov 23, 2002.

  1. Dan_J_H.

    Dan_J_H. Stunt Coordinator

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    A month ago I purchased a Sony KV-34XBR800 34" 16:9 tv. The store I bought it from has a 60 day upgrade policy. I see the Panasonic 42" plasma tv (TH-42PWD5U-Y) is priced about $3500.

    My question is: How does the Panasonic's picture compare to my Sony XBR800.

    The larger screen would be NICE! Does this sound like a smart move?

    Feel free to suggest any other 42" plasma tv's at $3500 or below.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    That Panny plasma is not HD, while the XBR is. The Panny's max resolution is 480p... some places are calling this EDTV (E for Enhanced) instead of HDTV. The coolness factor would go up if you get the plasma, but the picture quality would go down. You'll have to start looking in the $6000-$7000 range to get a 42" plasma that does true HDTV.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And even then, the jury is still out on plasma displays. The Achilles Heel of plasma are still the relatively lackluster blacks; even the best produce only dark grays. No denying their sex appeal, but more work needs to be (and is being) done. Someday, maybe.
     
  4. Dan_J_H.

    Dan_J_H. Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the info. I will keep my beautiful XBR800 and save my money. I'm sure by the time the plasma tv's are made to do better blacks, they should be much less expensive too.

    Dan
     
  5. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Interesting how depending on who answers first in a thread, major purchasing decisions are made. Go to the store please and look at the Panny 42" and do your best to compare it to your XBR. The lower resolution on ED panels, particularly the Panasonic, is not what people assume it to be. But you need to be your own judge.

    Make sure that the store panel and your own set are calibrated reasonably well before attempting a comparison.
     
  6. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    IMHO, plasma displays are still way too expensive for the picture quality and size. If you're going to spend $3500, I would get a HD RPTV or a front projector. Plasmas are definitely very cool, and I love the space-saving design, but as with any new technology, you pay a hefty premium to get it.
     
  7. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    RUBBISH! Enhanced definition plasmas can look wonderful on HD material - much better than on many RPs, in fact. From 5'-6' away most people can't even tell the difference between the ED & HD 42" plasmas.

    Go look at the 42PWD5U-Y. I have seen the Panny in question many times and it looks excellent. Especially on standard definition signals like cable and sat, the ED plasmas can look even better than the HD panels. They are certainly brighter than the HD models. And they look fabulous with DVDs. (For why this is so - go to avsforum.com's plasma forums, the best place on the web for plasma TV info.)

    This particular plasma is one of the best bargains available for the $$. There is no perfect HDTV, and there are trade-offs with the Panny plasma - you will not get as much shadow detail as you will with your Sony XBR CRT properly calibrated. But you will get a bigger screen, perfect geometry, perfect convergence and the sharp detail that you can only get with a fixed pixel display. Contrary to previous posts, the Panasonic plasmas have very good blacks, nice and deep, with very good contrast. You just don't get as much detail in the blacks. For that, you have to go to a Pioneer (better detail but not as deep a blacks) or the Fujitsus (LOTS more expensive.)

    Be aware that the Panny WD5UY is a monitor - no speakers included (optional), no tuner, no DVI, and like RPs, it has burn-in issues. If you like the picture, I wouldn't let any of the above stop me. The Panny looks that good. Remember, current plasmas are big improvement over older models - they're into 3rd and 4th genertaion displays now. A lot of people haven't seen and compared recent plasma models.

    I have a 34" Philips direct view, but I bought it refurbished and I'm betting I paid considerably less for it than you did for your 34XBR. Frankly, it was an interim move - we're still looking for our "uber-display". We're hoping either 50" plasmas come down in price, or the DLP/LCD sets will get the bugs out, or LCoS will succeed...or something. (I have issues with every type of current technology.) But we plan to eventually put the 34" in a den or bedroom. The Philips is an excellent set, but it is what it is. We're not fooling ourselves that 34" is the bees knees for HT impact.

    Your 34XBR800 is a very good set too. How important is size to you? There's no question that the best size for the buck is in RP - and let's face it, quality FP is still pricey and they're hard to set up in normal rooms. But if I had been prepared to spend 2K on the Sony, I might have gone ahead and quite happily spent 3.5K on the Panny .

    So read up on plasmas, go look at the Panny again, then make up your mind. I can't think of another plasma that has the quality in this price range - Panasonic pretty much owns rhis price-point. Stay away from the Sampos and Samsungs and Daewoos for now. If you like your Sony better keep it. If you like the plasma better, upgrade and rejoice.
     
  8. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  9. Dan_J_H.

    Dan_J_H. Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you Claire for taking the time to write a nice reply. [​IMG] I'm going to hit the stores today and take a look at the Panny and other plasma tv's. I would love to have a front projection system but it would not work in my living room.
     
  10. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I love front projection too, but it wouldn't work in my oddball family room either - 40' of windows, no walls, whole family wants to watch AMC :) I needed one TV that all anyone had to do was to press "power" on the remote. Plug 'n play was what I was after and pretty much what I got.

    Just leave preconceptions at the door and enjoy - either way, you'll have a great display.

    Neil, can you get a really *good* quality FP system for $3500 or under, from *scratch*, even used?? Projector, screen, installation, not even counting calibration? Two years ago, I thought anyone who bought a plasma over FP was totally nuts. Plasma's come a long long way since then.

    Meanwhile, I've prowled the FP forums, and my impression is 5-6K is about the minium entry level for the whole package, and that's not buying new. I'd love to hear otherwise - we're moving to a new house within the year. I don't think any of the fixed pixel displays will have their issues all solved, or drop enough in price, for me by then. 5K is my absolute limit.
     
  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Claire, just for me [​IMG] can you post such a thread in the displays area? State your criteria for PF as well as the coming under $5K. I really would like to see the outcome.
     
  12. Gary_Sc

    Gary_Sc Agent

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    Claire,

    I recently finished a portion of my basement as a dedicated theater. I was a total newbie when it came to front projection systems so I spent a few months on AVSForums doing some research.

    I was originally going to go digital and the figure you quoted of about $5,000 was close. All the digital projectors seemed to have some tradeoffs so I couldn't decide which technology (LCD, DLP, LCOS) to go with.

    Then I stumbled across the CRT Forum at AVS. It was the best move I made. I spent another month or so researching used CRT projectors and decided that was the route I wanted to go. I ended up with a high end 8" NEC XG model and could not be happier. It puts to shame any current RPTV and all the current digital projectors. The high def picture is amazing. You would be suprised at how much I spent.

    Used NEC XG110 with mint CRT's $2500
    Calibration $600
    DIY screen $200

    I installed it on the ceiling myself with the help of some friends. I also built a HTPC to play DVD's. The total cost of my HTPC was well south of $1,000.

    Before anyone gets excited about the low cost of my theater there are a few things you need to know. First of all, CRT's are not for everyone. They are not plug and play. They do require an initial setup and occasional tweaking. Mine has been installed since April and I have spent a total of about 30 minutes "tweaking" it since the initial setup. Also, CRT's require a totally light controlled environment. But for anyone interested I would highly recommend AVSForums for anything related to CRT. There are several guys who sell refurbed and used CRT's for a steal and are they are always available to answer any questions.

    Gary
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  14. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    It does seem like Plasma TV's have exploded.

    My local BestBuy just a few months ago only had 1 Plasma TV (a Phillips).
    Now they have about 5 brands and some of the prices are getting down into the reasonable range.

    I read this past Sunday that there is a brand called Gateway that sells a 43" Plasma for $2999.

    I'll be in the market for my first Widescreen TV next year and these Plasma's are walking into the Ballpark!
     

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