Plasma vs LCD...let the debate begin

mpwdmomNovember 29, 2007

We are shopping for a large screen TV, 42"-46" size. My head is just spinning from the pros and cons of each. This is what I've been told or have read:

*LCDs have fade out when viewed from an angle

*LCDs are brighter than Plasma

*Plasmas are subject to burn-in of images

*Plasmas have darker blacks and contrast

*Plasmas generate more heat

We're really tired of sitting on the fence and just want it done with! Consumer Reports doesn't seem to fall on either side, they recommend models in each category.

I want to know your real-life experience, particularly if you've purchased a TV this year.

Thank you!


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Please read my posts for info.

Here is a link that might be useful: read me

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 8:52PM
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Thank you, that was a useful read. : ) But I still don't know.

We have no Playstation here though I guess the grandbabies may someday bring one over. Our room isn't too bright unless we turn on the overhead cans, which we don't do when watching TV.

Co-workers tell Dh we'll be SORRY if we get a plasma. The Panasonics are rated highly and I've been happy with them in the past. I just can't believe Con. Reports would recommend Plasma models if there was big trouble with the format itself?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:50PM
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I've had a 42" Panasonic plasma for 5 years. Haven't regretted it for even one second. Except I wish now I had gotten a larger size. My neighbor got a 50" Panasonic earlier this year. He tells me everybody that has seen it is amazed at the HD picture quality.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:13PM
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Well that sounds you've had none of the typical Plasma issues we've heard about?

Thank you so much for responding, I appreciate your input!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 1:34AM
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The warnings about burn-in are overblown, IMO. It certainly can happen, but there are things can be done to reduce the risk ... such as properly adjusting the picture so it isn't eye-burning, unnaturally bright; don't leave static images such as video games running for hours at a time; periodically rotate the brightness of the sidebars.

Plasmas do generate some heat, but not enough to be a problem. Certainly not enough to roast a chicken, or even heat a cup of soup, LOL. You can check how much easily enough ... go to your local electronics store that has plasmas and LCDs on display and have a feel at them.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 4:25AM
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OK, after a trip to Best Buy I can say the heat-output for Plasmas is not such a big thing. If the sales clerk was telling me the truth, burn-in isn't a huge concern either, unless you leave the TV on a static image for days at a time. The only potential problem I could see was that the Plasmas did have a bit more reflection than the LCDs...but I have to wonder if it isn't about the same reflectivity that we experience with our old TV??

The Panasonic plasmas had the best picture. At first it wasn't so noticeable but eventually we watched long enough for some mostly black and white scenes (a bear) and on the Plasmas, the blacks were black. On the LCDs, the blacks were bluish. It didn't look natural.

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 12:43AM
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Most good plasmas,such as the new Pioneer Kuro models can be engaged with a slight movement of the picture that is impossible to detect when watching, so even when playing games burn-in is quite unlikely. With a Pioneer or a Panasonic plasma a good rule of thumb is don't use it for gaming during the first 100 hours of watching or for static scroll lines on the picture bottom, such as on ESPN and some news channels. After that, good plasmas have a white-out feature in case of the slight chance of residual burn-in--it basically erases it.

Since I am a videophile that loves watching good movies and shows, I watch in a dim to dark room. Without a doubt a Pioneer Kuro and even the latest Panasonics have a much superior contrast than any LCD model and this makes thepicture more natural and richer, or if youn want, the colors POP with exactitude.

In a bright room and if you have gamester kids and grandkids that frequent the HDTV, I would get a Sony XBR or Samsung, or even one or two of the JVC models. But the 52" Sony's, Samsungs, Sharps,and JVC's aren't quite as good as their 46" and 40" models. The Sony 46" XBR4 or 5 and 40" XBR 4 or 5(and even a 32" XBR 4 or 5 for the bedroom) are about as good as LCD's get at this point. I have a 40" Sony XBR 4 in my bedroom and love it, but compared to my Pioneer Kuro 50" (5080) and in my media room my Pioneer Elite PRO-150FD 60", the Sony isn't in the same ballpark.

If your room is dim enough and a 50" plasma is large enough I would save money and the new Pioneer Kuro PDP-5080. While it isn't a 1080p screen, as long as you sit at least 7 feet away it will look as good as any 1080p screen and it is available online between $2,375-$3,000 delivered. Just don't buy the way overpriced warranties. Panasonic sells a 1080p 50" plasma a little cheaper, but I find the Pioneer better. If you want to get an even bigger screen either get the Panasonic 58" 1080p which can be gotten online delivered between $3,200-$3,900. The 60" Pioneer Kuro PDP-6010FD will cost delivered online between $4,050-$5,000--with some dealers asking for full price--up to $6,500. I would get the 60" Pioneer over the 58" Panny, unless budget is a huge issue.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 2:41PM
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How far away will you sitting? Are there any severe viewing angles involved?

When you go view display units keep the following in mind:

It is best to view displays that are in a setting similar to where you will have your set. In other words, you wont have 20 beautiful sets adjacent to each other under a 40 foot ceiling with 10,000 candlelight bulbs. Look for realistic displays even if you won't buy the unit from that store.

Make sure you can "play" with all the settings on the TV. You do not want to get the unit home to find that you do not have much control when it comes time to calibrate the set. If a store will not let you adjust the picture, don't shop there. Display units are usually set up with everything cranked.

Sometimes the difference between the newest just released models and the previous model is imperceptible or perhaps the newer model has 6 hdmi connections instead of five. If this is the case, you may save a lot of money on the previous model if they have any left. I'm not talking about a floor model, I would stay away from a floor model.

One thing I would strongly suggest is that you go with a 1080p set, even if you do not have or plan to purchase a BLU-RAY or HD-DVD player at this time.
Eventually, cable and/or satellite service will provide 1080p, they don't now (they provide 1080i), and you'll be sorry for not planning ahead. The difference between 1080i and 1080p is clearly visible.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Do the channel logos cause burn in? We watch 2-3 hours a day of stuff recorded from Link and the logo is always in the upper right corner. Should I get a plasma will this logo burn in?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 1:42PM
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I want to know that too, about the logos.

Also, now I've become concerned about the reflection issue since we have french doors on the wall opposite the TV. The only thing I am sure of is that we are definitely getting 1080p.

Thanks all.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 2:29PM
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