What are the limitations of a Plasma?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Rob Varto, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    The title says it all. Recently I've been leaning towards purchasing a Samsung DLP, but I've always been intrigued by a Plasma screen. What, if any, are the drawbacks to owning a plasma? For example, I heard they have a lifespan of 5 years or so. Thanks!
     
  2. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    The lifespan for a plasma is not a definite number in years. Over time the plasma display's brightness will diminish from it's original brightness, but the time frame for this to occur depends on your viewing habits (2 hours a day, 6 hours a day, etc).

    Realistically you should plan on getting at least 8 to 10 years of use from a plasma if you watch it for a couple of hours a day, and then it will be time for a new technology to lure you into spending more of your hard-earned cash anyway. If it is your primary display and your kid's xbox is connected to it and you watch 6 hours of television a day, it would become unusable much faster.

    A 35000 hour half-life, half as bright after 35000 hours use, is a good estimate.

    The newest plasmas may improve on the half-life estimates.

    For me, the drawback is price. You can purchase a 56" DLP for around $4000 street, but the same size plasma (if there were one) would cost you $12000 to $15000.
     
  3. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Drawbacks of plasma,

    1) Price: ~$6000 for a good 50"
    2) Black levels

    Things which I do not consider drawbacks/problems, but some people do:

    1) Burn-in
    2) Lifespan

    If I had to make a decision between a 56" DLP (or LCD) and a 50" plasma, I would choose a plasma.

    Regards,
    John Flegert
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Plasmas will last longer if you lower the contrast. They use phosphors just as CRT's do.

    Some viewers will notice the rainbow effect that all current DLP TV's have, due to the alternating red, green, and blue content put on the single DLP element and a spinning color wheel.

    The 50" direct view plasma TV weighs somewhat more than a rear projection DLP TV of about the same size.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    To add to John’s list, plasmas only resolve 780 lines. However most people who own plasmas contend that the fixed pixel display is so superior that the picture clarity and definition (at normal viewing distances) is the equal of or superior to tubs or RPTVs. It is worth pointing out that no tubes (that I know of) actually resolve 1080 lines and only a few RPTVs do.
     
  6. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  8. John_F

    John_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Lew, can you answer my question about resloving "lines" versus "columns".

    As far as the comment "DLP is limited (today) to 720", is someone supposed to be releasing a 1080p DLP? I'm ignorant on the current trends for DLP.

    Thanks,
    John Flegert
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I think that I have read that some RPTVs will actually resolve HD fully, but I can’t put my finger on my source. Sorry John, if I come across it, I’ll PM you.

    In any event, due to the nature of CRT technology where horizontal scan lines are really a measure of vertical definition and that each scan line is physically an analog output, those measures get a bit questionable (at least in my mind—I would not necessarily challenge their accuracy—just its meaning).

    As for my parenthetical comment about DLP, I probably should have been a bit more precise. Commercial DLP projection (3 chip, to be sure) is already at a higher resolution than 1080i. I assume that what is commercial today will be a consumer product tomorrow. It is just a question of when tomorrow comes.
     
  10. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Clarification of some things said in this thread:

    1) Pretty much all CRT based RPTV's sold can resolve and display the full vertical 1080i image (2 540 line fields interlaced). That's easy. None can resolve the full horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels (or columns if you prefer). Doesn't matter much now since broadcasts are limited to a theoretical maximum of 1400 pixels across by the equipment currently in use (high end digital movie cameras notwithstanding). You're lucky to get 1000 - 1100 pixels of true resolution after filtering. This ignores the effects of overscan, which will reduce the resolution you see even more.

    2) All currently available DLP RPTV's have a fixed pixel grid of 1280x720 (720p).

    3) Most commercial cinemas that use DLP projection are using 1280x1024 (5:4) compressed with an anamorphic lens. Only the new generation of D-Cinema projectors has greater than 1080p resolution. TI currently has no plans to release a 1080p consumer DLP, though this will change when there is some serious 1080p competition to their 720p chip.

    Hope that helps.
     

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