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Author Topic: Plasma vs. LCD  (Read 14889 times)

Offline Carolyn

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Plasma vs. LCD
« on: 07/02/2008 19:53:44 »
Hubby and I are shopping around for a new flat screen HD TV.  I would like to go with somewhere around 42" to 50". (sorry Nic....it's going in our bedroom!)

The problem is I have no idea what the difference is between plasma and LCD. 

Is one better than the other?  Could someone please explain the difference to me?  Preferrably in "TV's for Dummies" terminology.

Oh, and someone told me that the quality of standard definition TV  on a larger screen HD TV was poor.  Is that true?


 

Offline Pumblechook

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #1 on: 07/02/2008 21:24:16 »
I don't see any Plasma screens in Bristish TV Shops these days.  They all seem to be LCD now.

This is a bit out of date....

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/askjack/2005/09/plasma_or_lcd_tv.html

I was very impressed with the picture on a large LCD HD Screen and then the bloke told me it wasn't HD material being shown at the time.  Made me wonder why bother with HD?

« Last Edit: 07/02/2008 21:28:02 by Pumblechook »
 

Offline Pumblechook

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Offline JnA

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #3 on: 08/02/2008 05:33:25 »
Last year we purchased a HD LCD (Sony Bravia) and it's great.

However, while TV shopping we were also inundated with many conflicting preferences.. so in the end we just went for the one who's picture we liked the most.

We were told that LCD was the wave of the future, at that time LCD's were more expensive than their Plasma counterparts, however, for us, the picture was nicer and we liked the overall look of the TV (it fitted better with our home).

Personally I don't think that one is 'better' than the other.. one might supersede the other (in the way of VCR and beta cord) but that will be more to do with competition than performance IMO)
 

Offline techmind

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #4 on: 08/02/2008 22:46:08 »
Hubby and I are shopping around for a new flat screen HD TV.  I would like to go with somewhere around 42" to 50". (sorry Nic....it's going in our bedroom!)

The problem is I have no idea what the difference is between plasma and LCD. 

Is one better than the other?  Could someone please explain the difference to me?  Preferrably in "TV's for Dummies" terminology.

Oh, and someone told me that the quality of standard definition TV  on a larger screen HD TV was poor.  Is that true?

I work in the industry, on screen design, so can clarify the main differences:
Broadly speaking, plasma sets can be better for viewing in a dark room, while LCDs are better in brighter rooms. The reason is that, although they are improving all the time, LCDs always leak a certain amount of light in the dark colours, and so you see what should be black as a grey if the room is dark. On the other hand, LCDs have very good antireflection coatings, so blacks are black even in bright rooms. Plasma sets really don't emit any light in the dark regions of a picture (so still look good in dark rooms), but don't have much anti-reflection, so you'll see reflections (and murky greeny-blacks) if your room is bright.

LCDs can be made with very small pixels, so you can potentially have a very high-resolution (HD-TV) screen even with modest screen size. There is a limit on the smallest practical pixel size for plasma, so the highest resolution screens will tend to only be available in 40- or 50- or more inches upwards.

LCDs are getting better, but the colour/brightness of the screen still depends to some extent on your viewing angle - particularly standing up compared to lying on the floor, for example. The "160 degree" (or whatever) viewing-angle figures the manufactures feel obliged to quote are quite misleading (they refer to the angle over which the picture contrast exceeds 10:1 (!) - the perceived colour and quality of the picture varies enormously over that range).
A plasma screen, like a traditional old CRT telly, looks the same from all angles.

Potentially plasma may be better for fast-action (less motion-blur).

To many in the industry, plasma is a dying technology ...that refuses to go away! A small number of the biggest players (eg Panasonic) are still throwing significant research effort at improving plasma and reducing power consumption.

If you have young children, then a plasma may be more durable and easier to clean. LCD screens are made of very thin glass (depending on screen-size, as little as 0.5mm or less) which is very fragile, and usually covered with an easily-scratched multilayer plastic film. If you have young children you should consider looking at LCDs with an additional piece of substantial protective glass in front of the display itself.


Personally I see psychadelic yellow/green flashes in plasmas as I flit my eyes around the screen owing to the way they modulate the light, which would put me off buying one... but I think most people don't see or don't notice this effect. I seem to be generally quite sensitive to flicker compared to the population average anyway.


Not available in the shops at sensible prices for a few years yet, but up-coming OLED screens will offer amazing picture quailty in an extremely thin form factor. Look up Sony OLED XEL-1 to see the future! This is an 11-inch standard definition set currently costing around £1000, released in Japan in December 2007, and USA in January 2008. I've yet to see the Sony first-hand, but from what I know about the technology (and the early demonstrators I've worked on) it will look incredible. There's still, possibly, some lifetime/burn-in issues to be proven though.


A standard-definition TV picture has something like 720x576 pixels, and will inevitably start to look ropey if enlarged too much - especially if you're too close to the screen (or your room too small!). Some sets do a better job of enlarging the picture than others, but at source it's a fundamental issue. I think traditional picture-quality assessments of standard TV are supposed to be done from a viewing distance of 5 to 6 "picture heights". With a big TV you can easily be much closer than that!
« Last Edit: 08/02/2008 23:11:46 by techmind »
 

another_someone

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #5 on: 09/02/2008 01:17:40 »
One thing that I don't think has been mentioned (although hinted at in techmind's response) is that LCD is considered more energy efficient (and consequently cooler) than plasma.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #6 on: 09/02/2008 14:06:41 »
The picture quality of of both types degrades over time but LCD is supposed to last twice as long as plasma.

Also for that size you need view from at least 6 to 8 feet away as neither will give a great picture close up unless your viewing in HD format that is.. Ive got a sony bravia a bit expensive but worth it quality wise, i haven't had a Sony TV breakdown on me yet ,my oldest 32 inch in the bedroom is twelve years old and still going strong.

Touch wood :)
« Last Edit: 09/02/2008 14:19:59 by ukmicky »
 

Offline Carolyn

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #7 on: 10/02/2008 03:50:33 »
Thanks everyone for your answers.  I think we've decided to go with an LCD.

Techmind - thanks for the very good explanation.  I actually understood what you were saying!

Michael & JNA - I'm jealous!  I would LOVE to get a Sony Bravia...but WOW!  I looked at those.  I can't believe how expensive they are.  For the size I want, they're over $3,000.00!  I just can't talk myself into spending that much for a tv.  Plus, I want to get one for the family room as well, so now I just have to decide on a less expensive brand.  I may go with a smaller screen for my bedroom.....Hubby's chair is about 8' away, but from my side it's only about 6'.  Maybe will go with the larger screen for the family room.
 

Offline Simulated

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #8 on: 10/02/2008 22:12:30 »
Caroyln you need our TV.

48 inch samsung plasma tv. its great.

and the only bad part about plasma is if you let a image just sit on the screen it'll burn in and be there forever. i'd go lcd
 

Offline Carolyn

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #9 on: 10/02/2008 23:28:59 »
Caroyln you need our TV.

48 inch samsung plasma tv. its great.

and the only bad part about plasma is if you let a image just sit on the screen it'll burn in and be there forever. i'd go lcd

WOW!! Thanks Ryan!  It sounds like a sweet TV.

Send it on over!
 

Offline daveshorts

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #10 on: 15/02/2008 09:46:55 »
Ive got a sony bravia a bit expensive but worth it quality wise, i haven't had a Sony TV breakdown on me yet ,my oldest 32 inch in the bedroom is twelve years old and still going strong.

In our house the only TV we have is a black and white 12 inch possibly ferguson which is at least 30 years old and works ok. It is a bit odd on weak signals but it has the great advantage that the picture isn't good enough to grab your attention which means you only really watch things you actually want to watch, hence less wasted time.
 

lyner

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #11 on: 15/02/2008 13:12:49 »
Perhaps you should also wear a hair shirt and sit on a bed of nails, too. Then you would hardly evey watch it!
How can a chap exist without a dose of Eastenders of Big Brother?
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #12 on: 15/02/2008 13:49:40 »
As far as I know , Plasmas do have a limited shelf life..........but I suspect that you would have replaced it by the time it begins to degrade. The early ones didn't last too long.
I didn't realize LCD suffered from long term degradation.

I was also going to mention OLED but see Techmind has done a right tour de force !

George makes a good point though abut the running costs. Even in standby..plasmas are expensive.

Has anyone mentioned about dead-pixels ?

You could always get a projector !!

 

another_someone

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« Reply #13 on: 15/02/2008 15:47:39 »
I didn't realize LCD suffered from long term degradation.

Has anyone mentioned about dead-pixels ?

These are also issues that in theory you would have with LCD screens on laptops and modern desktop computers, but they do not seem to be noticeable on modern screens (there was a time when dead pixels and hot pixels were a major problem with LCD screens, but not in the last few years anyway).
 

Offline that mad man

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« Reply #14 on: 15/02/2008 16:01:44 »
How can a chap exist without a dose of Eastenders of Big Brother?

Easily.

I have not owned or watched TV for over 10 years and miss it very little, sad I know but I prefer Radio 4!

When you don't have one its amazing how many people talk to you about their previous nights viewing and talk about soaps as if they were real.
 

lyner

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Plasma vs. LCD
« Reply #15 on: 15/02/2008 17:56:23 »
I know that TV soaps are not real but THE ARCHERS? Ambridge just has to be a real place.
I want live R4 piped into my ears as I lay in my final coma on my death bed. The family will not get a look in.
 

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« Reply #15 on: 15/02/2008 17:56:23 »

 

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