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Vintage_Hi_Fi

I need a new TV - LCD vs Plasma vs LED??

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Hi all,

well the time has come for me to upgrade my tv and I have no idea where to start, there's 3 formats out there that i'd consider, LCD, LED or plasma but not sure which represents the best picture quality and reliability.

I am looking for 42" minimum but unsure how much to spend and does price really give improved quality and longevity - especially when I've heard many examples where good quality and expensive LCD's such as LG or Panasonic have failed after 3years... Am i better off buying a cheaper brand and if it lasts the same distance just upgrade at the time?

Appreciate anyone's advice out there.

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First up let me say that the question should be Plasma V LCD. LED is simply an LCD with LED Back-lighting, which is a minor technical difference.

So lets look at the Pros and Cons of either

Plasma

Pro

Superior rendition of Black. (Very important in dark night time scenes)

Handles fast motion better

Cons

Higher electricity consumption. Possibility of Image Retention. Only available in larger screen sizes

LCD

Pro

All sizes available. More Brands to choose from. Lower Electricity consumption. Image Retention not an issue

Con

Inferior rendition of Black. Not so good at reproducing fast moving scenes

So there is no one size fits all solution.Take your pick!

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great thanks for your help - certainly something to consider! next question will be how much is the right price to spend to get value but also quality

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I would say that it depends on what your primary use of the TV is going to be

LCD or LCD/LED if:

  • The screen size you want is less than 50 inches
  • Your primary use is to watch actual TV - SD or HD, Austar, Foxtel etc
  • Your room is bright, you have limited light controlling capacity and you watch a fair amount of daytime TV - daytime sports for example
  • For playing games - here especially LCD is your best choice

Plasma is definitely the go if:

  • You are looking at the bigger screen sizes - 50 inches or more
  • You will be watching DVDs and/or Blu Ray a fair amount
  • You can control the light during the day, if you watch during the day
  • You want a more "lifelike" rather than "etched" picture
  • You want seamless fast motion onscreen
  • You don't plan to play games on the TV

In the larger screen sizes, Plasma is still cheaper although the difference is narrowing. They give better blacks. They are definitely superior (IMHO) for movies and even more superior for High Definition movies. It is true that Plasma uses more electricity, if this is a concern. But "issues" such as screeen "burn in" are no longer relevant.

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Just to note: Plasma's maximum power consumption is rated on a full black screen (Black screen needs more power to produce) since most motion pictures don’t use a very dark black screen, the actual power consumption will be less than the rated power.

IMHO Plasma is far better most viewing conditions...

Cheers:

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OK! this is very helpful, sounds like LCD is the best fit all rounder for a 42inch - brands/models?? any preferences here people?? I'm assuming Japanese still make the best TV's - does anyone still make LCD's in Japan? I remember Panasonic did a few in the past???

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The Sony XBR LED LCD TVs use an array of red, green and blue LEDs across the entire surface of the screen rather than white LED edge lighting with a mirror. The former offers some definite advantages over traditional fluorescent back-lit LCDs in terms of black level, colour gamut, and brightness uniformity over time.

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I would say that it depends on what your primary use of the TV is going to be

LCD or LCD/LED if:

  • The screen size you want is less than 50 inches
  • Your primary use is to watch actual TV - SD or HD, Austar, Foxtel etc
  • Your room is bright, you have limited light controlling capacity and you watch a fair amount of daytime TV - daytime sports for example
  • For playing games - here especially LCD is your best choice

Plasma is definitely the go if:

  • You are looking at the bigger screen sizes - 50 inches or more
  • You will be watching DVDs and/or Blu Ray a fair amount
  • You can control the light during the day, if you watch during the day
  • You want a more "lifelike" rather than "etched" picture
  • You want seamless fast motion onscreen
  • You don't plan to play games on the TV

In the larger screen sizes, Plasma is still cheaper although the difference is narrowing. They give better blacks. They are definitely superior (IMHO) for movies and even more superior for High Definition movies. It is true that Plasma uses more electricity, if this is a concern. But "issues" such as screeen "burn in" are no longer relevant.

Well said Brumby, I agree completely. We have a 32" Sony Bravia LCD upstairs and a 42" Panasonic Viera plasma downstairs. As long as your room is not too bright, plasma wins hands down IMHO. More natural, 3D, lifelike and palpable.

If you think of the stereotypical conceptions of tubes vs solid state in hifi (ignore the exceptions and recent merging of the two), then the "accurate/sharp/detailed/impressive-at-first-listen" solid state sound is equivalent to LCD. The "full bodied/round/lush/palpable/organic/dimensional" tube sound is equivalent to plasma.

Now where did I put that flak jacket ...

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thanks everyone thats great to get some insight....argh i don't like sony when it comes to hi fi but maybe they are better in tv's! I've heard a lot of people comment on the old CRT tv's regarding their quality - particularly some of the old philips and loewe - is there any merit in this or are these people just being nostaglic??

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If it is important to you, the Sony XBR LED LCD TVs are manufactured in Japan. I believe that some of the Panasonic plasmas are also made in Japan and if I was looking for a really big screen then this is where my money would be directed. For really big screen viewing under light controlled conditions I would wait for the raft of new front projectors with RGB LED light sources that will provide lower running temperatures and consistent brightness over their considerable lifetime.

YS

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thanks everyone thats great to get some insight....argh i don't like sony when it comes to hi fi but maybe they are better in tv's! I've heard a lot of people comment on the old CRT tv's regarding their quality - particularly some of the old philips and loewe - is there any merit in this or are these people just being nostaglic??

I still have the 86 cm Sony Wega KVHR36M31 the last of the Sony CRTs and the picture still better then any plasma or LCD and is only limited by its screen size(my opinion only)

That said I have my eye on the Panasonic 65inch for HT..

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I would say that it depends on what your primary use of the TV is going to be

LCD or LCD/LED if:

  • Your primary use is to watch actual TV - SD or HD, Austar, Foxtel etc

I went looking for a new tv late last year and recieved advice similar to that already posted in this thread. My primary viewing is free-to-air TV and the kids would be playing video games on it, too. So I looked at all kinds of LCDs whether flouro, side LED or back LED lit and ended up buying a Panasonic plasma based on several lengthy viewings. To my eyes no LCD could handle broadcast TV at all well (using the less-than optimum ariel setups in large retailers).

I'm just saying get a demo with the material you'll actually be watching or you might end up with a theoretically ideal but in paractice disappointing set.

ES

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I went looking for a new tv late last year and recieved advice similar to that already posted in this thread. My primary viewing is free-to-air TV and the kids would be playing video games on it, too. So I looked at all kinds of LCDs whether flouro, side LED or back LED lit and ended up buying a Panasonic plasma based on several lengthy viewings. To my eyes no LCD could handle broadcast TV at all well (using the less-than optimum ariel setups in large retailers).

I'm just saying get a demo with the material you'll actually be watching or you might end up with a theoretically ideal but in paractice disappointing set.

ES

And herein lays the sad facts. Most discount retailers never set up the sets correctly. Just compare the "wall" of different colour variances and an over abundance of colour saturation and excessive contrast. Every manufacturer tends to put a "spin" on their product. In the case of TVs, they tweak the internal settings so the "standard" picture setting is usually less than satisfactory on critcal evaluation. To the untrained eye the chocolate box colours and excessive contrast razzle and dazzle. Later when they get it home and have watched it for a few days they wonder why they just want to chunder.

Many moons ago I graduated from a 29" 800 lines resolution 4:3 aspect CRT JVC Interiart TV to a 52" Sony X series Bravia LCD. One thing I can say about the X series Bravia sets. Using the Digital Video Essentials HD Basics test Blu-ray disc, the Sony didn't need any colour correction to pass the colour balance tests using the "standard" picture setting. All I needed to do was reduce the overall colour saturation to my personal liking which is generally a lot lower than most people prefer. Result is a very cinema realistic picture from HD sources such as Blu-ray disc. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for a mate's recent acquisition of a Samsund 50" HD plasma set. No amount of tweaking of either the basic or advanced picture settings could get the colour balance correct.

With regard to the comments re "pixel lag" or "motion blurring" on larger LCD screens I say it's a load of cobblers. Sure on FTA broadcasts it's quite evident on quick moving objects (horizontal panning in fast sports like the football), but even plasmas have the same problem on FTA digital transmissions. The motion blurring is a function of trying to keep up with the changes in source picture information and trying to cram it into a small restricted bandwidth. Compare the same movie on 1080i FTA versus Blu-ray via HDMI 1.3. No comparison unless the picture is a still frame. Blu-ray discs typically have picture information data rates as high as 35Mbits/s. FTA at 1080i is significantly lower. Why? Because in FTA transmissions, the broadcasters typically squeeze 2 x 576i (SD channels) + 1 x 1080i (HD channel) + audio for all the channels into a tiny 7MHz bandwidth (the same as one analogue TV picture + stereo sound). To achieve this in the digital domain one hell of a lot of digital compression is going on. That digital compression is going to introduce artifacts into the picture. Think of it as a little like HD audio compressed into 128kbit/s MP3.

To put things into perspective. SD 576i is DVD quality. DVD has tha capacity to deliver 1 x SD picture and LPCM or DD5.1 or dts5.1 audio in a 10MHz bandwidth. FTA is doing virtually the same in a 7MHz bandwidth except in FTA you've got 2 x SD + 1 x HD + audio. Of course something has to give and it's the picture quality that suffers. Anyone who judges the potential PQ of a TV from digital FTA is a fool. It's just the same as putting on a really crappy recording on CD or vinyl on a high end sound system and blaming the system because the sound is awful.

Cheers,

Alan R.

Edited by Alan Rutlidge

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I still have the 86 cm Sony Wega KVHR36M31 the last of the Sony CRTs and the picture still better then any plasma or LCD and is only limited by its screen size(my opinion only)

Not just yours Stump mine to, a mate of mine has the same tv and I to believe the picture quality still out drags LED and Plasma.

For me Plasma is the go but must admit those Samsung LED's look very good.

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