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TV Advice for a non tech please (1 Viewer)

Greykell Dutton

May 20, 1999
Hey all,

I'm a big fan of watching movies and tv, but don't know much at all about the technical end of things. We're paying to have someone do our home theatre for us and he's given us several possible choices for the tv for our theatre.

I've tried looking these tv's up in this forum and online but I really don't know enough about them to have any strong opinions. Does anyone have any strong opinions good or bad about the following tv's.

(Money is technically no object although I'm probably not too crazy about the most expensive of the bunch simply because it costs so much more)

TV Options:
Yamaha PDM 5520 55" high definition Plasma TV ($8500.00)
NEC Plasmasync 50XM3 50" high definition Plasma TV ($6500.00)
Yamaha PDM 4210 42" high definition Plasma TV ($5500.00)
Samsung HLP5663W 56" DLP high defiintion TV ($3995.00)
Panasonic PT60 LC14 60" LCD high definition TV ($3695.00)
Panasonic PT60 LC14 50" LCD high definition TV ($2795.00)

If people are desparately interested I can post the rest of the dudes suggestions for the speakers and receiver and stuff, but we're pretty much going with his suggestions on that one, it's only the TV that he gave us a major choice on.

I am concerned with the lifetime of the plasma tv's. I seem to see guesses from 1 year to 7 or 8 years of life in a plasma display. I could pay 6500 bucks for something I'm gonna use for 7 or 8 years, but I think I'd be a little cranky to spend that much and only get one year out of it.

Hope I'm in the right forum for this one, feel free to move it if I'm not, but it didn't seem to belong in the newbie home theatre spot.

Greykell Dutton

Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Apr 15, 1999
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
While a plasma should last more than 1 year, they are subject to burn-in (perhaps even more so than a crt based rptv) and are also the most expensive at a given screen size. Panasonic, Fujitsu, and Pioneer are reputed to make the best Plasmas, but those brands aren't on offer to you.

LCD sets are not subject to burn in, but are a tiny bit lacking in producing true blacks compared to crts and dlps.
They tend to do a better job with standard definition sources than plasma or dlp, however, and have no moving parts other than the fan to keep the bulb cool. (all of these technologies use cooling fans, btw, only crts don't).

DLP sets are better at true black than lcd. Many people experience a "rainbow" effect when watching them, and most of them never see it in the store, only once they've gotten it home. They also use a "color wheel" spinning at high rpm as part of the light engine, something lcd sets don't need. They tend to have a "trailing" effect on fast moving objects when displaying SD material, as do some plasmas.

I do have to watch the pennies a bit, but even if I didn't I would choose the LCD Panasonics over the other choices you've been given. I think they'd give you the best SD picture, no rainbows or trails, least troublesome guts, no burn-in. I'd definitely go for the 60" version unless you're going to be sitting closer than about 10 feet from the screen.

If I were not restricted to the choices you've been given I'd choose one of the new Sony XS series lcd sets, or a 65" Mitsubishi crt based model with 9" crts.

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