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Television Media Displays Technology Entertainment

New Larger TVs Favor LCD Over Plasma 211

Information Week is carrying a Reuters story examining the shift towards LCD technology in recent large-screen television models. Though some analysts acknowledge that plasma displays have faster response times over large surfaces, the industry seems to be betting that consumers will prefer higher resolution images over time. From the article: "CPT's Wu agrees that plasma panels, especially 50-inch and larger ones, do excel LCDs in some aspects of picture quality, but he says the sheer size of the LCD camp will help LCD panels overcome whatever drawbacks they have in a timely manner ...With the 40-inch-class market gradually taken over by LCD TVs, plasma models need to migrate to the market for 50-inch TVs and above, but demand is not as well developed there, analysts say. 'The United States accounts for more than 70 percent of demand for 50-inch plasma TVs and larger. In other words, there is virtually no 50-inch-class plasma TV market outside the United States,' DisplaySearch director Hisakazu Torii said."
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New Larger TVs Favor LCD Over Plasma

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  • Energy efficiency (Score:5, Informative)

    by pe1chl ( 90186 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:43AM (#16999376)
    It may not be a factor in the US market, but here in Europe plasma's have a bad reputation because of their energy consumption.
    Household equipment is rated in the shops on an energy efficiency scale, and LCD screens score much better than plasma.

    Furthermore, plasma has a tendency to burn in. Of course every manufacturer and salesman will tell you that "this is no longer true", but once the problem has happened they are not so firm in their statements anymore.
    This causes trouble when watching 4:3 transmissions in true 4:3 format (rather than stretched to 16:9).
    It also sometimes causes station logos or newstickers to burn in.
    • As I understand it, the problem with comparing plasma and LCD energy ratings is that LCD's power consumption is independent on the image displayed, whereas plasma's consumption varies with the brightness of the image.

      Manufacturers such as Panasonic claim that under normal conditions consumption is about the same. I simply don't know. But I suppose plasma's figures could look unfairly bad if consumption figures are calculated while the TVs are displaying a bright standard test pattern or set of colour bars
    • by larryj ( 84367 )
      I'm on my second plasma and I've yet to see ANY sign of burn-in. I even play a lot of games (Xbox, 360, PS2, Wii).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by walt-sjc ( 145127 )
        I even play a lot of games (Xbox, 360, PS2, Wii)

        I would be VERY surprised if anyone already has burn-in from playing games on a Wii.

        Lots of different games wouldn't cause any burn-in. Playing the SAME game on a dedicated "gaming" plasma for many months on end would be a whole different story.

    • Re:Energy efficiency (Score:4, Informative)

      by CaxDot ( 869821 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:03AM (#17000074)

      The reason LCDs are outselling plasma displays is mainly that they are sold in brightly lit stores, where you won't easily see the enormous difference in contrast ratio. On the contrary, LCDs are fabricated to look black in direct lighting, while plasmas sometimes tend to look greyish.

      Good stores should have dampened lighting in the TV dept. Plasmas are like projectors, you don't really see what they are capable of in bright light. Turn the lights down on an LCD, and you will see the disastrously poor contrast of LCD technology manifesting itself as glaring, grey areas that are supposed to represent black.

      The other reason is that LCD are preadjusted to do a lot of clipping in white and black areas (which people don't always easily react to) to make the picture look less washed-out. If you correctly calibrate an LCD you will see this limitation quickly.

      To further fool the customers, LCD vendors have a fantast-number called "dynamic contrast", which represents total contrast after frame-by-frame contrast distribution. It would be OK giving ut this specification, had they not omitted the real number. After all, "dynamic contrast 8000:1!" doesn't sound less cool than "contrast 5000:1". It's dynamic, like Batman & Robin. Too bad the real contrast is 1200:1.

      So sure, LCDs may be better for use with a computer, but that is not the reason why they are winning the battles in the elecronics stores.

      • by The-Bus ( 138060 )
        Wouldn't it make sense for consumers to buy LCDs which will be in environments mimicking their own? I like watching movies in a dark room but it doesn't make sense to have all the lights out if you're just watching sports or news. Or the kids are just watching a video and playing at the same time. If I were to take a guess as to what kind of rooms these TVs would be in: brightly lit rooms or pitch black rooms, I'd take the former.

        It doesn't mean that's the best environment to replicate the movie theatre exp
    • German magazine Video tested LCD vs. Plasma under real world conditions (OK, Sin City and Ice Age in a loop). The result: Plasma consume a bit more energy, but not much more.

      While LCDs use nearly the same amount of energy regardless of the picture, the plasmas energy uses climbs with the brightness of the content. LCD uses background lighting and the LC filter out light/colours. 200 watts if the picture is white, 200 watts if the picture is black. Plasmas "create" light and a plasma uses much more energy wh
  • by Onan ( 25162 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:48AM (#16999402)

    I'm not very much of a television watcher, but I do sometimes have friends over to watch movies and such. I recently picked up a projector, and now have a 100ish" display that becomes a blank wall when I'm not using it.

    I'm pretty happy with it, projectors are hardly a specialty item any more, and I doubt it was significantly more expensive than a 50" plasma or lcd television. So I'm having a hard time seeing why anyone who wants a big display would ever purchase anything other than a projector.

    Is there something here I'm missing?

    • by tsa ( 15680 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:54AM (#16999438) Homepage
      Most people don't have a spare wall to use as a TV screen. Besides, many people don't have the space for a projector. You need to have nothing between the projector and the wall, which is difficult to realize in a small room.
      • And to get the best out of a projector you need a screen (which means the "blank wall" thing goes out of the window) and lower light levels than an LCD or flatscreen - which means curtains during the day or watching at night.
      • by TheVoice900 ( 467327 ) <kamil@kamilkisie ... inus threevowels> on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:13AM (#16999516)
        I find your comment puzzling. I live in Japan and many of my friends have projectors because their apartments are too small to be able to fit even a modest sized television. With a projector they can have a large screen while taking up very little space. Newer LCD projectors are no bigger than a regular sized laptop and fit easily on a shelf or projector mount. Add to this a screen that you can hang from the ceiling on some hooks, and you can get a 50" TV in a tiny space.
        • by hey! ( 33014 )
          I think he's thinking of the old front projection systems from the 1980s. They had a coffee table sized console that was placed maybe 2m from a large, rigid screen. The screen had to be rigid because it was curved to compensate for off axis optical distortion. Placing the system far enough away from the screen to avoid optical problems would have defeated the purpose of the large screen: you can't sit in front of the projector without blocking the picture.

          Modern projection systems are much more compact, an
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What you're missing is 2-fold.

      First you have contrast ratio. Unless you keep the display compleately dark, a black screen isn't really black. Normal lighting sources boost the dark areas and destroy contrast and to a lesser extent color balance. You can get around this by keeping the room compleately dark, but thats not really practical. It might be workable for movie night, but I'd hate to be forced to do all my TV watching in a dark room. Not to mention windows and other possible light sources that m
    • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:22AM (#16999566)

      I'm not very much of a television watcher, but I do sometimes have friends over to watch movies and such. I recently picked up a projector, and now have a 100ish" display that becomes a blank wall when I'm not using it.

      Is there something here I'm missing?

      There are a number of reasons why people don't want or can't use front projection.

      • Not enough room. You need to have a sizeable room for front projection if you really want to get to that 100" size. Being able to project the image is only part of the equation. Optimal viewing distance for a 50" set is between 6 and 10 feet (depending on HD or SD content). Do you really have a room big enough to accomodate a 20ft viewing distance for your 100" image?
      • Not enough control over ambient lighting. Front projection needs a relatively dark room, much moreso than a rear-projection TV (CRT, LCoS, DLP, LCD) or direct-view (CRT, LCD, Plasma).
      • Wife-acceptance factor. Try telling your wife that she has to make sure the blackout shades are down if she wants to watch her soaps or Oprah in the middle of the day.
      • You realize that size isn't everything. Sure, you can get a 100" display, but depending on the technology in your projector you'll likely suffer screen-dooring or pixelization (especially for low-end consumer-grade projectors). 1280x720 (16x9 720p) at 100" diagonal is 14 pixels per inch.
      • You realize that the price of the projector isn't everything. For proper viewing, you really need a good screen. A flat, white wall is merely "okay". A flat wall with special paint is better. A proper screen is best. Bear in mind that most people don't have truly flat walls, since drywall is usually somewhat textured. It might look flat, but project an image on it and you've suddenly got a bunch of little bumps causing little shadows all throughout the picture. A screen is really the way to go, and that's not cheap, especially if you want a roll-up model so it hides easily.
      When all of the variables are right, front-projection is nice. Getting everything to come together for a proper viewing experience either requires extreme luck or large amounts of money. You can certainly go overboard, like a friend of mine who just put in a $15,000 theater, but even a modest projector + screen + blackout curtains will run you more than the $2000 I spent on a 50" rear-projection DLP.
      • by Technician ( 215283 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:34AM (#16999636)
        There are a number of reasons why people don't want or can't use front projection.

        I'm suprised nobody has mentioned lamp life yet. It's a pricy part and has a short life.

        2. Video projectors have a very limited bulb life. In other words, if you are watching TV on your video projector about 3-4 hours every night, you would have to replace the light source bulb about once a year at 200-400 dollars a pop.

        snipped from

        http://hometheater.about.com/od/hometheaterbasicsf aq/f/htbasicfaq5.htm [about.com]

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Osty ( 16825 )

          I'm suprised nobody has mentioned lamp life yet. It's a pricy part and has a short life.

          Because you have the exact same problem with DLP sets, and a similar issue with LCD (backlight). DLP bulbs are replaceable, though they usually last 2-3 years before replacement. Buy yourself a good store warranty for $100 and you'll get a free lamp replacement out of it (the only time store warrantees are worth anything). By the time you need a second lamp replacement (around the 5-6 year mark), you may as well b

          • Because you have the exact same problem with DLP sets, and a similar issue with LCD (backlight).

            It is true that DLP projectors have the same issue with lamp life. The article was comparing plasma and LCD which is why I didn't mention DLP sets. Both my laptops are older than 3 years old and get more than 3 hours of use per day. Neither has required a lamp replacement. The 1500 to 3K hour life of a high intensity projector bulb is considerably shorter than a typical cold cathode lamp in an LCD set.
        • Video projectors have a very limited bulb life.

          I would hardly call it "very limited". I've been using my Sony projector to watch films about every other day for about three or four years and I haven't had to change the bulb yet.
        • My projector (Viewsonic PJ501, el-cheapo) has a lamp rated for 2000 hours of lamp life in "normal" mode or 4000 hours in "whisper" mode (it runs the lamp at half brightness and slows the fan down). 4 hours a night is not going to burn that bulb out for 2.74 years (2 years, 270 days). And you get the benefit of being able to see the front-projected image in any light (because it's at half brightness, rather than the overpowering "normal" brightness that makes everything look like glare). I'm watching it righ
      • by smoker2 ( 750216 )

        Not enough room. You need to have a sizeable room for front projection if you really want to get to that 100" size. Being able to project the image is only part of the equation. Optimal viewing distance for a 50" set is between 6 and 10 feet (depending on HD or SD content). Do you really have a room big enough to accomodate a 20ft viewing distance for your 100" image?

        My projector [infocus.com] is about 13 feet from the screen and I get a nice 84" diagonal. I view it from my bed, so my head is underneath and in front of t

        • by smoker2 ( 750216 )
          Forgot to add the link :

          The screen in action [headru.sh] 31MB file but you can stream it in VLC or Xine.

          Clockwise from top left = DVB broadcast tv, VLC player streaming the X Files from my media server, WinDVD playing chronicles of Riddick, and RealPlayer streaming NasaTV live. The resolution looks crap, but bear in mind that it is only 800x600 and the video has been run through DrDivx ! Also it's hard to focus the camera on a live screen. The monitor is a 19" CRT at 1600x1200.

    • I have both a projector and a big TV. The projector is great for movies, however, who wants to watch the news, for instance, on a big screen in a darkened room? Also, I get motion sickness if I play video games on the projector, but not with the TV.

    • by nmg196 ( 184961 ) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:55AM (#16999748)
      > I'm having a hard time seeing why anyone who wants a
      > big display would ever purchase anything other than a projector.

      Because most people also use their TVs in the DAY or with lights on and projectors are absolutely crap in the daytime. The contrast ratio falls to next to nothing if there's any light in the room whatsoever.

      The darkest black a projector can display is the black that you see when you look at a WHITE wall. Look at a nearby white wall NOW and decide for yourself if that's an acceptable BLACK level. If LCDs or Plasmas had a black level that bad, NOBODY would buy them and we'd all still be using CRT screens. The ONLY advantage of a projector is it's picture size, but the vast majority of people aren't prepared to cope with all the drawbacks just to get a bigger (washed out) picture.

      Also, projectors are very difficult to site in the average living room. They need to go at the opposite end of the room to all your AV kit and preferably high up on a wall or ceiling. You either have to move all your AV kit to the back of the room and fire your remote controls backwards, or run a signal cable the whole distance of your living room to feed the projector.

      They're great if all you want is a big picture in cinema-like blackout conditions, but they're hardly practical for the average family who needs to install it in a room with windows.
      • All of which is why you have a reasonable sized TV (27" or 32" come to mind) for regular daytime watching, and have the big-screen in a nice home theatre setup, where you can watch your favorite HD content, movies, and so forth.

        Frankly, the idea of have a 50"+ screen in my living room is simply laughable. A living room is for more than just watching TV. A gargantuan TV dominating the space is just ugly, IMHO.

        Which is why I plan to build a separate A/V room in my basement. Then I can have the big screen d
      • Not true. You just aren't doing it right.

        1) Turn the brightness down. Many projectors have a half-brightness mode, usually named after one of the other benefits of not running full-blast (long-life, whisper-quiet, etc.). Use that mode and you'll have no problem seeing the picture during the daytime.

        2) Don't use a white wall. Get a screen. White walls reflect all sorts of light (depending on the paint finish). Screens (even cheap ones) diffuse light just the right amount to give a good black level while allo
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:51AM (#16999418) Homepage
    I understand the arguement for LCDs, but "Plasma" just sounds so much cooler. In order to make sure that LCDs are the winnning technology, I propose that companies who make LCDs start referring to their displays as "Liquivision" TVs and high-def LCDs as "Extreme Liquivision Plus".

    Also, they should put racing stripes on them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I think you've hit the nail right on the head there.
      A mate of mine just knows that Plasma is the one to get, not this LDC (sic) or whatever...
      I work with his partner, and have been educating her as to the benefits of LCD.
      Recently they were out shopping and passed by an A/V store, so they went in for a look - he wanted to prove that LCDs were crap and Plasmas were without a doubt the one to get.

      He walked purposefully into the store, had a good look over the various screens on display and then walked over to
  • Power consumption! (Score:4, Informative)

    by YeeHaW_Jelte ( 451855 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @05:57AM (#16999446) Homepage
    Plasma power consumption BAD
    LCD power consumption GOOD
  • by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:10AM (#16999498) Homepage
    I'm waiting for one of those VR sets they promised us back in the 90s.
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:14AM (#16999520) Homepage Journal
    Why is it that every comparison of HDTV technology is always plasma vs LCD, with never any discussion of DLP? I know there are DLP sets, and some of my friends say that DLP provides a much better picture than either LCD or plasma. Why aren't these sets part of the comparison?
    • by eebra82 ( 907996 )
      It could have something to do with the fact that LCD screens are directly competing with plasma screens and not so related to DLP technology, which is only used in projectors. How would such a comparison look anyway?
    • I think because they're not flatscreens, and this is off-putting to a lot of people who want something they can mount on their wall.

      I'm not entirely sure of this, but my understanding is that DLP "televisions" are really rear-projection TVs: they have basically a DLP projector in the back, shining on the screen. That means you also need to factor in bulb replacement costs.

      I think those two factors, plus general unfamiliarity in the marketplace, has led to them being less popular. And then there's the issue
      • From what I have seen, the viewing angles of rear projection is much worse than either LCD flat panel or plasma. Plasma generally has much better viewing angles than any type of LCD (other than front-projection.)
    • You're not comparing apples to apples - please correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't have a flat-panel DLP screen hanging on your wall... a DLP is more like a rear-projection set (or used in a projector for a front-projector system)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You're not comparing apples to apples - please correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't have a flat-panel DLP screen hanging on your wall

        I'm not sure why anyone would find this appealing though. Where do you put your cable box, DVR, home theater receiver, DVD player, etc.? All that shit goes in the stand under my 32" CRT TV now. I don't know where the hell I'd put them if my TV just hung on the wall. I guess you could go crazy and build it all into shelves on the wall, but you'd still have the ugly cable

        • In the corner [photobucket.com], out of the way. :)
        • by afidel ( 530433 )
          In my setup it will go in a low profile credenza. Setup the speakers next to the credenza and the LCD handing on the wall overhead and it looks MUCH better than my current hutch. Some people even go with cube type speaker setups to get a really clean look, but I'm a geek so the floorstanding tower speakers fit my aesthetic =) As to the cables, yes you run them through the wall or install channeling to hide them. Not a big deal if you own, can be a hassle if you rent though a friend got permission for channe
        • Um, why is it nuts to want to put all that extra equipment, which is fairly ugly, out of sight? It doesn't take THAT much effort to put wires in the walls. I just made a wiring chase from the area behind the TV down to the basement. All my equipment is in the basement below the living room, and all you see in the living room is the tiny little Xantech IR receiver. A myth box and a 400 disk DVD changer eliminate the need to ever physically touch the equipment for normal usage. If I rent a movie (which is rar
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      DLP implies having a honking great big set in the room or an overhead projector of some kind. I suspect LCD is most often compared to plasma because the form factor is more comparable.
    • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @12:05PM (#17002312)
      DLP has the following limitations:

      1. It is inherently a projector technology, which means:

      a. For a front projection situation, DLP image quality is directly dependent upon the illumination within the room and the screen.

      b. For a rear projection situation (i.e. the one that looks like a stand-alone TV), DLP requires a screen that has inherently poor viewing angles, particularly when viewed above or below the vertical screen limits. Even older LCDs without the "180 degree" viewing angle are far better than any DLP RPTV screen.

      2. It is a technology dependent upon light sources that (currently) have inherently poor lifetimes. Lamps are expensive replacements. When LEDs and lasers come more into the fold, this should alleviate this problem.

      (Note: this could also be construed as an advantage since you'd have all new luminance and you can't replace the CCFL backlight in an LCD which has a tendency to degrade unevenly over time).

      3. It is a technology that, unless you use three separate DLP chips for the primary colors, will be prone to rainbow effects. Even in the 3DLP setups, convergence can also become an issue.

      DLP is good for certain applications but will never be the primary volume driver of the market. Two years ago, it was the only way to get a decent screen size for HD, but not any more. The whole industry has dogpiled onto LCD direct-view, and it'll only get cheaper from here.
    • DLP better than LCD or Plasma? Not any that I've seen. I have seen numerous DLP screens in stores and the picture looks wierd on every one of them. The only advantage that DLP has is lower cost, and that's rapidly disappearing as LCDs and Plasmas get cheaper. When watching a football game on DLP, you can see the pixellation on the black colors and the motion really lags. Colors in general just don't appear correctly.

      This is why HDTV discussions ignore DLP. The marketplace will ignore it too within about a y
  • there is virtually no 50-inch-class plasma TV market outside the United States,

    OK, but how much 50-inch-class LCD market is there outside of the United States.
    My guess is it's pretty limited as well, after all, 50 inches is huge. I have a large house by English standards, and a 50 inch screen would simply look idiotic in my lounge. Anything larger than about 32-35 inches is simply too big for most houses.
    • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      I was thinking that too. My front room is 11'x11' and there are tens of thousands of identical Victorian terraces around here. My 32" looks big in that room, a 50" would be ridiculous.
    • Indeed. American houses and rooms tend to be much bigger than the norm elsewhere. That was part of the reason behind the initially slow takeup of home cinema in general in the UK. An average lounge (12x18 feet or less) looks pretty full when you stuff in a big AV amp, 5 speakers, sub, DVD/laserdisk player and a 40inch TV. My old lounge was I think 10x12 and the home cinema gear took the entire width and 4 feet of that space leaving just 10x8 to stuff in a sofa, my PC, bookshelves and a gas fire.
      • by vidarh ( 309115 )
        Comparing UK lounges to American ones and pronouncing American rooms tend to be much bigger than elsewhere is rather silly - my first impression when I moved to the UK (from Norway) was that I'd never before seen such cramped, narrow lounges anywhere.... The UK suffer from high population density coupled with a legal system and regulatory system that have made it unattractive to build in height (London for hundreds of years even had a regulation preventing building higher than four floors).

        As a result you

        • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
          Indeed. I would blame it on the antiquated nature of Britain's housing, but it seems that a lot of the new houses being built have equally small rooms.

          Personally, I'd like to knock through my two ~12' square reception rooms into one, but I think my landlord might have something to say if I did.
          • Actually rooms in central Europe tend to be bigger than in the UK as well, overall I have seen average houses in the US and central europe and they are pretty up to bar roomsizewise. I am not talking about mansions here, just general average middle class houses. Actually the roomsize even tends to be bigger here than in many suburb s in the US, but Plasma did not take off here, due to energy reasons.
        • >elsewhere is rather silly
          Well pardon me for not visiting lounges in every country in the world for research purposes. Just going by what I've been told. I'm very happy you have a big one though.
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      That's true to a degree but the suckitude reverses when the screen size approaches that if your actual wall. If your entire wall is a screen you don't look like jackass anymore. Plus, you can have it display an image of Big Brother watching you when you're not using it to watch TV. Plus if it has picture in picture you can have the picture of Big Brother watching you even when you ARE watching TV...
  • eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:48AM (#16999698)
    'The United States accounts for more than 70 percent of demand for 50-inch plasma TVs and larger. In other words, there is virtually no 50-inch-class plasma TV market outside the United States,'

    Funny how 30% becomes virtually nothing when analysts work their magic.
    • by thona ( 556334 )
      Not really, it makes sense.

      Note that he talks of MARKET, not sales.

      Yes, there are 30% sold outside the US, but this in MANY countries. That means in many markets, which would have to get distinct marketing. in each country, sales are possbily to small individually to talk of a "market". Together, they are nice - but then, this is not ONE market.
    • The rest of the world has 20 times as many people as America, yet only 40% of the 50" plasma TV demand. This means America has over 46 times the demand than outside America. I'd say that counts as virtually nothing.
  • I use my plasma TV for two things: Watching DVDs and watching sport. It is while watching sport that the faster response time comes into play. Although I love the higher res of LCD I've yet to see an LCD TV where you can watch cricket on without the ball becoming streak.

    I'm sure there are some US Slashdotters who have the same experience with sports like baseball.
  • I'll be standing over here, with either a highly compacted form of the DIY LCD projector (I'm working on making it near laptop-sized and dealing with heat issues) from Tom's Hardware, or I'm gonna be standing next to that Laser television with a big grin on my face as I pull resolutions higher than the meager 1366x768 most LCD screens come with, far better color gamut, and with no burn-in like a plasma.
    • by afidel ( 530433 )
      There are quite a few 42" LCD's with 1920*1080 resolution on the market today. They generally have ~8ms response times and can be had as cheap as $1,300 for monitor only models or ~$1,600 for ones with integrated tuners. Other than a PC you aren't going to currently find any source material with more resolution than 1080p so there's little point to having more. Heck even the digital cinema projectors are only 2048x1080 and they project onto a >20m wide screen!
  • Can't stand LCD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vidarh ( 309115 ) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Monday November 27, 2006 @07:32AM (#16999934) Homepage Journal
    The problem is sharpness rather than slow updates.

    I just bought a 42" HDTV capable plasma, and had to turn the sharpness down to 50%, as otherwise all non-HDTV contents, including DVD's looked extremely blocky and I could see the MPEG artifacts everywhere - the default image was far too clear. I shudder at the thought of how horrendous it would have looked on an LCD screen, as I usually notice the pixelation far easier on LCD screens than I do on plasmas.

    Maybe I'll consider an LCD screen when I'm using all HD content, or if they start supporting adaptively blurring lower resolution content sufficiently.

    Sharp images only works for me when the DPI of the source is high enough that you can't see individual pixels at normal viewing distances.

    Yes, I realize that means that I've on purpose chosen a screen with a "lower" picture quality, but the end result is far better with 90%+ of the content available to me. And it was cheap enough to replace in a couple of years if a usable LCD screen (or other tech) comes along.

    • Maybe the problem is that you're sitting too close to your television?

      I believe the ideal distance to sit from a TV was between 6 and 8 times the diagonal. For your 42" set that's roughly 6 to 8m.

      If, for example, you're sitting 4m from the TV (a common distance in a living room in an appartment), it's not that surprising that you see the pixels on the image.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iainl ( 136759 )
      That sharpness is not a nice, crisp, clear image, but artificial edge enhancement. The fact that it looks hideous with the sharpness up is not a fault of your plasma; it's the case with LCD and even CRT as well.

      If anything, I've got too much softness by default on my LCD; I've been using the upscaler in the XBox 360 for DVDs instead, to avoid it.
  • plasma vs lcd (Score:2, Interesting)

    by scharkalvin ( 72228 )
    OK, when WILL plasma tv's offer 1920i resolution? (LCD's have it now)

    When will LCD's offer 10000:1 contrast ratio (IE: good blacks). Plasma has it now.
    When will LCD's be made in 50" screen sizes at prices under $2000-$2500 (can get a plasma in this size
    and price now).

    I currently have a 40" direct view tube tv and will be looking to replace it with a HiDef in the
    near future. Translating the 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 means that to get a screen with the same height
    I want at least a 46" display. (42" would be
  • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @10:34AM (#17001054) Journal
    This discussion mirrors an article [ieee.org] that appears in the current issue of the IEEE Spectrum magazine [ieee.org]. They review the pros and cons of LCD and Plasma technologies, with a brief look at DLP, SED, LCOS.

    Their take on it? It won't be settled for another couple of years, and there will be two distinct categories: screens below 50" (or 42"), and screens larger. LCD will dominate the smaller screen size market, though SED may replace that when the cost comes down (after 2010?). For larger screens, don't discount projection technology, particularly in terms of cost.

    Incidentally, the cover article [ieee.org] for this issue is on Blake Ross [wikipedia.org], whom they call the Firefox Kid.
  • IEEE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Monday November 27, 2006 @01:17PM (#17003324) Journal
    As a member of IEEE, I have read about plasma and LCD in a recent article appeared on Spectrum (I read it on the print edition, but I think the online version [ieee.org] is similar if not the same). The article confirmed what we all know: Plasma is impractical; Long live LCD! The winning technology must be cheap, reliable, with a long lifespan. LCD has all of these characteristics, but Plasma has none of them.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"