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HDTV Buyer's Guide

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Last response: in Tom's Guide
January 22, 2007 10:01:31 AM

Are you ready to take the HDTV plunge but don't know where to start? Well, prices are dropping swiftly in just about every HDTV category and there are plenty of types and sizes from which to choose.

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January 22, 2007 11:39:01 AM

No mention of motion problems? Some HDTV Buyers will certainly use their sets for gaming or action movies. Not everyone uses them for slideshows.
January 22, 2007 2:18:33 PM

I believe that in the budget projector section, the Mitsubishi HD1000U would have been a better choice than the Optoma HD70. The Mitsubishi projector can be had for under $900 shipped. I have just ordered one from projectorpeople.com. While both brands and models are very good, it seems that the Mitsubishi model is more popular.
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January 22, 2007 2:20:43 PM

MartenKL,

I have not experience any issues with motion in the past 8-10 reviews I've performed with LCD, Plasma, etc. However, I should have mentioned that LCDs are much better suited for gaming and computer use than Plasma because of resolution compatability and brightness uniformity issues, etc.

I will add a mention of this to the article.

Thanks

Chris Iannicello
January 22, 2007 2:30:29 PM

Dujuremo,

Yes, I could have put in the HD1000u in there as well, as I think it is very comparable with the HD70. The Mitsu is probably better in Image Quality, especially out of the box. It is also brighter. The Optoma on the other hand, has a longer warranty (2 years vs. 1 year), which for me is extremely important as I find projectors much more tempermental than any other type of HDTV, etc. and many users have to send their unit back at least once during their ownership lifetime. The Optoma is also quieter during operation and a bit easier to place in a room, etc.

Thanks for the heads up, however.

Chris Iannicello
January 22, 2007 2:46:15 PM

replace the high end with Sharp's D92 series (available Feb) and Samsung's 81 series (due in July, 50,000:1 contrast ratio, 105% NTSC color gamut, uses LED backlight). Both of these refresh at 120Hz as well. Not sure if they support 120Hz inputs though (say, from a computer).

I'd stay away from the D62 and Sony's XBR2/XBR3 without knowing more about the widespread problems those sets have been having (banding for the former, clouding for the later).

Also you should at least mention in the high end which sets support 1:1 pixel mapping, especially important for people connecting their PC's.

I think there is so much confusion right now about the capabilities of these devices that there really needs to be a much more in-depth write up regarding things like which ones are most suitable for PC use (aren't media center PC's becoming more and more common?), which ones have the faster refresh rates (and what that means in terms of fps -- does a 120fps game actually have all 120 frames displayed, what exactly are these 120hz sets doing with the interpolation of frames and all that (note, see the D92 sets and the new Samsung)).

For people looking for a complete home entertainment solution > $3000, ie a display for both the PC and the home theater, now is NOT the time to buy! At the very least wait until some of these new technologies from CES2007 have been integrated into production. Someone who buys a 2000:1 contrast set today for $3500 is going to be very disappointed when 50,000:1 sets are available in the summer for the same price, and they'll be supporting HDMI1.3.
January 22, 2007 3:31:28 PM

Thank you for the suggestions.

I will try to update the suggested models as newer and better ones (like the D92) become available.
January 22, 2007 3:38:42 PM

sure! I am by no means an expert though.. I'd check out avsforum because of their huge user database and see what is being said there. lots of links for press releases and reviews there as well.

My old 19" Viewsonic A90f is dying to be replaced. At the same time I am ready to spend some moolah on a big screen for my apartment. I did read about some of those new 2500x1600 monitors, and there are some 30" but they aren't ready by my standards, but I also read about some 40"+ models that were shown at CES.

They keep making advances in LCDs every month it seems. 2007 looks to be a transitional year for LCD tech. Then again, sometimes reading what people say will get you more confused because there is plenty of misinformation out there. Maybe I just need to sit in front of one of these devices and do the spontaneous purchase thing.
January 22, 2007 3:58:58 PM

Yes,

AVS is great... really helped me when purchasing a projector a couple of years ago. I also agree with you that its a better time to by an HDTV if you have a budget of say, $1000 compared to if you're willing to spend $3000.

Thanks again,

Chris
January 22, 2007 4:10:23 PM

Come on OLED

those seem to not have as good of color as LCD(but hey lcd gets killed by CRT...IMO)...either way those make up for it in viewing angle.....i mean its like CRT.......I hope it makes it....

How is the power consumption compared to LCD?

EDIT
btw the only oled i have used is on the Creative Zen : Microphoto(and a blue on on a RCA mp3 player...but its blue so can not comment....).....and it is good....if you want to view images the angle makes no difference in the picture....
January 22, 2007 4:19:20 PM

The high cost of replacement lamps in not only a drawback of front projection TV's but for DLP and LCD rear projection sets also.

There are going to be alot of angry consumers out there when thier sets hit about 2 years old and the lamp goes out and they have to shell out $200 - $400 for a replacement.

I thought I had read not long ago that Samsung was working on a DLP set that used an array of ultra bright red-green-blue LED's. This would eliminate the lamp replacement problem and the color wheel. Maybe it never got off the ground.

As far as when to purchase, sometimes you gotta just take the plunge. Make a list of Must have and Would like to have, then do so research. Don't go for the budget or the highest end. Sometimes you can find a great deal on last years closeouts. In '03 I purchased an '02 top-of-the-line 65" Toshiba Cinema Series HDTV. I'm still more than happy with it (except when I had to move it to my new home :roll: )

Just my 2 cents worth

Russ
January 22, 2007 4:51:07 PM

I have some questions regarding DLP sets:

1. How do you know if a DLP set uses "wobulation" to get 1920x1080? Will it say somewhere on the spec. sheet for the set?

2. How are DLP sets for hooking up to your PC for gaming in 1080p? What kind of refresh rates can you get? I know some will only do 30 Hz. @ 1080p. Some have a VGA/SVGA/XGA connector, but again won't give you the full 1920x1080p resolution. Any advice here?

3. The new sets shown at CES now used LEDs instead of a color wheel. How do these compare for picture quality and applicability to gaming?

Thanks.
- Ed.
January 22, 2007 5:20:43 PM

Saw this comment in your HD buyers guide.
LCD displays are also much better suited for gaming and computer use than Plasma because of resolution compatibility and brightness uniformity issues.

This statement as written is not what I experience, being an LG rep - and I love and sell both types of sets.
Gamers who buy LCD do not have to worry as much about burn-in issues (although they are greatly exaggerated by many in regard to PDP).
To me - that may be only one deciding factor for a gamer to go LCD.
As for the speed issue - watching sports and playing games without trailing images - PDP is still king.
Some of the new 120hz LCD panels very well could change this - but it will be at a price. The cost advantage PDP will have - 42" and up - over the highest end LCD's (to get the speed) will be significant for a spell - so that individual wanting the best overall performance and price is well served by the current crop of PDP's.
January 22, 2007 6:04:15 PM

ciannicello,

I think that is your most personal opinion, my personal opinion is that no LCD currently beats my over a year old Plasma when it comes to gaming. Also, why would LCD makers struggle still to increase speed of the displays if your opinion was correct? When it comes to computers I think that as long as the TV don't have DVI inputs whitout overscanning it is not the best choice for computers. My plasma works ok with VGA but I am sure the pucture would be even more crisp with DVI. This (overscanning or analogue) is probably far more important than display technology.
January 22, 2007 6:14:11 PM

The primary reason for my opinion on computer usage with Plasmas is from personal experience. I've tested about 5-6 plasmas in the past 12 months from various manufacturers (none of them LG), and most if not all of them have an issue where the entire picture would less brightness the more white was on the screen. So if you had a dark scene, it would appear normal, but if you had a very light scene (or white-based webpage while browsing) the entire picture would become dim. So if I had a webpage open and it was mostly white, it would be dim, but If I reduced that size of that window to half the screen and the other half was a dark desktop background (like the dark blue on the Windows XP desktop), then the white portion of the page that was still visible would become noticably brighter.

It was almost like plasma only had so much brightness to give, no matter who much was required. LCD on the other hand is very bright and brightness is very dynamic when it needs to be, etc.

I checked with these manufacturers to see if I was doing something wrong and I was not. I noticed this issue with VGA and DVI inputs.

Also, many plasmas I tried could not achieve 1:1 pixel mapping, resulting in scaling issues, but that is not a criticism of the technology, just the features of that particular model, etc.
January 22, 2007 6:25:06 PM

You could have a point on some PDP's and computer usage. I have seen PC's hooked up to our PDP's for training purposes, and noted nothing unusual. I have not done it personally, though - with my own set.
I think my main objection was the placement of LCD's above PDP's as far as speed/refresh time. Every thing I see indicates that unless one is willing to spend more dollars on an LCD - he will not get the speed of a PDP.
Thanks for the response.
January 22, 2007 7:15:40 PM

I'm sorry, but gaming speed was not that big a concern for me with Plasmas because on the half-dozen or so that I've tested, the static image quality was so poor that it didn't matter. I fully admit that I have not tested all brands and I cannot comment on them, but I found it compelling that regardless of brand, each plasma I tested had the same exact issue with brightness that I described earlier. I tested this on different computers with different video cards, etc.

So if you have a plasma that does not display this issue, then I defer to your commentary/judgment on that model. But I felt I had to relay some my personal findings alongside industry opinions, etc.
January 22, 2007 7:20:30 PM

Chris,

Having purchased a Mitsubishi rear projection HDTV 3 years ago, I'd differ with your opinion on these older sets. While many of the issues you pointed out (viewing angle and size) are true, the picture quality on a properly tuned rear projection is better than most 'current technology' TVs. But, the key is to have them properly tuned for color balance, contrast, convergence, red push, etc.

A user can purchase DVDs and do a pretty good job of this themselves, but it really can't compare to having a professional do it.

Certainly the black level on these sets are top notch.. you can't get much better than pure black...

I wouldn't hook a PC up to it unless you're doing a HTPC, but for HD, DVD, and HDDVD/Blue Ray I still consider it a much more viable alternative than you gave credit for. And I'm sure there are very many AVS regulars that would vouch for that as well.
January 22, 2007 7:53:22 PM

I think some models can do what you're saying when calibrated, but I think many models are beyond saving no matter what you do. The Mitsu's have a good rep and some of the Hitachis. My friend has one of the latest model Hitachis (pretty sure he had it calibrated) and he gets very good results from it, but from my eye, I'd still rather have a top notch DLP.

Thanks for the input,

Chris
January 22, 2007 8:47:58 PM

Don't you think the absence of any mention of Mitsubishi's Laser lit DLP is odd? With the exception of this upcoming new technology DLP sets were hardly mentioned in any of the 2007 CES reviews. Maybe the TH boys can clarify...
January 22, 2007 8:58:08 PM

I have a Pioneer 50" PDP-505PE, it sure wasn't a budget choice, at the time I paid more than 7000 USD. I can agree it is a bit dark but there sure isn't any smear or blur when I play Halo 2. Also watching 2006 FIFA World cup (The real thing, not the videogame) was truly amazing.
January 22, 2007 11:24:11 PM

I too don't understand why the author claims that LCD is superior to Plasma for gaming or watching sports. This is simply not true, LCD has no response time advantage over plasma.
January 22, 2007 11:57:01 PM

Regarding Sports, I feel LCD has an advantage in sharpness and color saturation (vibrant colors), compared to plasma. I also feel LCD's major deficiency relative to Plasma is contrast performance, but only with filmed material. In other words, the contrast performance of LCD's with sports broadcasts are more comparable to Plasma in my opinion.

As for gaming, as I mentioned earier, the Plasmas I have tested have been very poor in displaying ANY computer image, including games, which is why I cited a preference towards LCD for gaming as well.

As for response time, it is my humble opinion what most viewers will not notice any issue with response time with any video source. Since I've had 'bad luck' and therefore lack of experience with Plasmas and gaming, I will defer to you guys when it comes to response time and hi-end 3D gaming, etc.

Of course, I have performed gaming tests with recently released LCD displays and have never experienced any glaring response time issue either, which is another reason I suggested LCD for gaming.

I will admit that I don't play heavy 3D games for hours on end, so I might be missing minor issues that heavy gamers would see an be annoyed by, etc.
January 22, 2007 11:58:27 PM

Quote:
I too don't understand why the author claims that LCD is superior to Plasma for gaming or watching sports. This is simply not true, LCD has no response time advantage over plasma.


Yeah, the author is biased toward LCD's, or just didn't want to give the final nod to Plasma (final tally was 55-55 on purpose).

I personally found it hard to believe that according to the article, Plasma's have worse color performance then LCD's. The only anti-color thing mentioned by in the Plasma section of the article was that a few years ago, Plasma's used to have weak whites. Are you comparing 3-4 year old plasma's vs new LCD's? Real good comparison there man.

On top of that side comment, I can't even count the number of cnet reviews slamming LCD color performance, and/or the fact that it's still virtually impossible to get ISF quality calibration without a significant sacrifice in color accuracy on any LCD out on the market.

7 for Plasma colors, lol. A Pioneer plasma will absolutely wreck any LCD's picture. And that's a fact.
January 23, 2007 12:48:58 AM

To be honest,

I prefer plasma to LCD, and If I had $1000 right now, I'd go buy a Panny 42" Plasma with no hesitation. But then again, I'm not a huge 'color' buff. For my personal viewing, contrast is king, and color saturation and accuracy are not nearly as important. But that's just me.

My point is, if anything, I'm biased towards Plasmas. The only time I tell a friend to consider LCD is if they tell me that don't watch many movies at all and they like to sit real close to their TV.

As for my ratings about color, it has also been my experience that colors on most LCDs have just a touch more overall saturation than most plasmas. That is one of the reasons why I gave LCD on more point than Plasma. But I placed all displays types pretty close together when rating color as I feel they are all very good.

Also, I was not making any comparison of plasmas from years ago and I made no mention of color from those old models. I was trying to make the point that the largest weaknesses (lack of brightness and washed out contrast) of old plasmas have been rectified.

In retrospect, I could have bumped up all color ratings as the highest rating is an 8, but the ratings are supposed to be a relative measurement anyway.

Thanks again,

Chris
January 23, 2007 1:39:58 AM

"Plasma remains the best choice for customers who seek premium-quality, large-screen flat-panel display devices. The benefits of plasma displays can be summarized as follows: Larger screen sizes are available in mass production, more accurate image reproduction delivers better color accuracy, contrast and brightness, superior motion without artifacts makes sports and action much more enjoyable, stunning brightness from any viewing angle, and better pixel reliability serves up unblemished images over the long term."

This is from Fujitsu, a plasma manufacturer so it's definitely biased and a little dated, but I think it's still an acurate analysis of lcd vs. plasma.

http://www.phctoys.com/Fujitsu_White_Paper_2005.pdf
January 23, 2007 2:42:19 AM

I Totally agree jonrem, i worked for an electrical retailer for over a year while studying and got to look at the different technologies side by side, day in day out.
The thing i found with LCDs is that when they were showing low resolution source material the pixel lag seemed to be worse, like the scaler was having trouble keeping up.
The plasmas never seemed to suffer from this and definatly had a more natural picture to them. The problem with gaming on plasmas and possibly the reson that Chris couldn't get 1:1 pixel maping to work on his plasmas is because the 42inch HD plasmas have a res of 1024x768 which obviously isn't a 16:9 res - and is lower than proper 720p.
I recently looked in depth at all these techs and ended up buying the optoma HD70 and haven't regreted it for a second, it was cheap, has an awesome picture on it (size and quality) and i will have to change the bulb many times before i end up spending the same amount as a HD plasma - Games look amazing - there really is no substitute for size provided the picture is of good quality. IMHO. 8)
January 23, 2007 3:59:29 AM

I'm not questioning the motion artifact issue because I didn't notice it during my reviews, or with other experiences with recent LCDs, therefore it was not an issue for me either way. Maybe I have just been exposed to displays that are really good in this regard, or maybe I just don't have the eye to see it. I will say that all my LCD reviews have been with displays that has 8ms response time or less, so maybe that was a factor.

Also, for better or worse, most if not all of my judgments were based on HD sources, so you may have a point about the pixel lag with low-res material.

If you notice the artifacts with a <10ms LCD, then of course that would knock down LCD a few pegs as it should.

Thanks,

Chris
January 23, 2007 6:11:04 AM

Hey, isn't this a HDTV buyers guide article.... why are we discussing them being used as computer monitors?? This clouds the whole issue and point of the article. Heres why:

One thing that never gets mentioned is the "window effect" of plasmas. Go into a dark room, sit down, and watch a true HD movie broadcast on a plasma and an LCD side by side (there are only a few stores doing this kind of display in the Chicago area). What you will find, is that the ONLY technology currently giving a "window-like" 3-d effect is the plasma.

There is simply no comparison. The plasma will always spank the LCD because the grey / color change at angles / etc effects make the LCD's and the DLP rear-projection type sets appear instantly 2-d and flat. Contrary to this article, a strength of plasmas over every other technology is the richness and saturaton of the colors. Plasma is the most life-like with detailed dark gradients instead of flat grey effects of the LCD's. Response times are not an issue with plasmas either.

Dont be fooled by pixel ratings. Those are fine for games and sitting in front of a computer monitor, but for immersive TV and movie-watching experiences the plasmas cannot be beat. I have seen studies by independent firms showing that initially people tend to perceive that LCD's are better in the marketplace until they are allowed to view the technologies side by side and then the vast majority choose the plasma over the LCD. What amazed me is that some still choose LCD...

The only way I can see that anyone would pick LCD as being better is that they only play video games and want a huge computer monitor... or else they already have an LCD and are psychologically rationalizing their large purchase (well, OK -- LCD is better than regular tv, yes...). OLED is the only thing I see on the horizon which might be comparable to plasma. Black levels and viewing algles along with nuances of darker areas are extremely important to lifelike scenes for pictres from life!! Computer graphics are something else. With plasmas, you get a feeling you are going to "fall into" the scenes on the screen... never happens with LCD or projection technologies. Size of screen and pixel count are not everything. I love watching travel and wildlife shows on the plasma. These are simply AMAZING. You are there.

I have a 24" flat LCD for gaming, and a plasma for TV and movie watching. There is literally no comparison. None. Plasma is THE HDTV technology. There is in reality nothing to decide. I am always amazed people think there is. From what i have seen from painstaking comparison, Panasonic has the best blacks /contrast / 3-d effect of all the plasmas by a good margin. LCD's are good for detailed computing and gaming. Plasmas are for TV watching.
January 23, 2007 9:38:32 AM

There are two other "new" HDTV technologies that will have an impact that need to be mentioned- although they are actually variations on existing DLP system, they are different enough that I think they ought to have been mentioned in the roundup of future stuff:

LED Light source DLP engine- using switched red, green and blue high-output LEDs instead of a Xenon lamp and a spinning color wheel makes teh optics MUCH smaller and TOTALLY elminates the possibility of a rainbow effect. Also, the color gamut that these systems are capable of is the widest of any yet introduced. Much more saturated color is possible with these than any current product. Samsung is bringing some of these sets to market in Q3 2007- some of these 1080p DLP sets are thin enough to hang on a wall.

Panasonic has shown RP sets with LASER light sources; again, a DLP is the picture forming-element but in principle this will offer even more highly-saturated color possibilites than LED source DLP, because the bandwidth of a LASER diode is narrower than an ordinary LED; also, since the light beam can be formed with extreme directionality, i.e., very parallel sides of the beam, very low beam divergence- more of the light is directed where it's wanted and less optical energy is wasted- concievably this could result in much higher brightness levels which mean higher contrast and also the possibility of even bigger screens. In addition, the optics in the light engine using a laser could be very very precise yielding a better focussed picture. There is a disadvantage in that the light is coherent and so you get some interference based on small differences in path length etc., this is the well-known "speckling" that lLASER illumination produces. This would have to be addressed.
January 23, 2007 12:01:45 PM

Great post Spiral. After doing exhaustive research in order to pick out my Panny TH-50px60U, contrast ratio was consistently mentioned by professionals and review sites as being the most noticable atribute a TV could have, even more important than the resolution in many cases.
Also, I think hooking your PC up to your HDTV is still a definitely a niche practice. I hooked my PC up to my Plasma and was underwhelmed. I did it with a DVI to HDMI cable and had some overscan issues even when I manually set the resolution to 1366x768. Console gaming, however, is definitely mainstream and few users would be disapointed with the performance of Plasma in this regard. GEARS looks absolutely awesome with deep inky blacks, etc. PGR 3 looks perceptibly 3D with no ghosting. XBOX360 and PS3 both look awesome on it, period. Though LCD HDTVs may be much better suited for computer gaming due to compatibility issues, Console gaming on a plasma can't be beat.
January 23, 2007 6:16:29 PM

Quote:

Also, I think hooking your PC up to your HDTV is still a definitely a niche practice. I hooked my PC up to my Plasma and was underwhelmed. I did it with a DVI to HDMI cable and had some overscan issues even when I manually set the resolution to 1366x768. Console gaming, however, is definitely mainstream and few users would be disapointed with the performance of Plasma in this regard. GEARS looks absolutely awesome with deep inky blacks, etc. PGR 3 looks perceptibly 3D with no ghosting. XBOX360 and PS3 both look awesome on it, period. Though LCD HDTVs may be much better suited for computer gaming due to compatibility issues, Console gaming on a plasma can't be beat.


I'm considering replacing, or adding in tandem to my Dell 2405" LCD ... a plasma TV for use as a wall mounted monitor. I'm waiting to see how the new 1080p Panasonics will review this year, and am thinking about this upgrade for next xmas.

The 2405 is razor sharp with it's great resolution, but the LCD is just a total underperformer as far as colors/viewing angle/ghosting.

The only thing making me hesitate is burn-in/IR issues, as I'm still trying to wash away some IR on my console's plasma (Pio 4270HD).
January 24, 2007 5:52:41 PM

One important point was missed in the article. Most LCD and Plasma TVs are not true HDTV compliant. Most sold today only have 1280x768 resolution which does not match the 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolution for true HD compatibility. This causes pixel distortion and poor quality. A few true 1080 screens have hit the market, but I cannot see why so many makers miss the mark on the 720 resolution. Sad.
January 24, 2007 6:18:45 PM

Narg,

You are correct, but it is my opinion that this is not an issue for a very large percentage of viewers. Most viewers would not be able to pick out scaling artifacts on a decent HDTV from 766p to 720p or from 766p to 1080i, etc. Members of this message board, perhaps more that the general viewing public, yes =), but if you took a cross-section of all HDTV viewers? I'm not so sure.

And when you say it caused 'poor quality', I think that is a relative and subjective term. Poor compared to 1080p? Perhaps for some viewers who can actually see the difference. Poor quality to any conventional SD TV? I would say no way!

If you ask me, the major bottleneck for the past few years has been the highly variable quality of HDTV cable and satellite providers. Talk about artifacts!! I have over a dozen HD channels and each one has a different quality level and then different quality levels with each program on the same channel.... all of which is very easy to see and be distracted by. Most of the time, the source content is causing more issues then anything the display might be doing.

Just my opinion, but that is why I didn't mention it in the article.

Thanks,

Chris
January 24, 2007 7:09:41 PM

I have to agree with Neyland. A calibrated CRT RPTV has the best black levels compaired to anything else on the market. Nothing short of front projection beats it for cinema viewing. I know, it's not the best for games, computers, blah.... but for movies, they are amazing and inexpensive.
As for fuzzy, I think you've become acustomed to all the fixed pixel formats and are looking for that 'per pixel' image when you shouldn't be. Try some hd source resolution test screens on a 57" rear crt and compare that to the other technologies and i think you'll find crt does just fine. One of the best,(and not mentioned) aspects of CRT is the fact that it's not a fixed pixel tech. you feed it 530 lines, thats what you get, feed it 1080 you get 1080. All material comes out native instead of scaled. And the lack of that pixel'd look means you can also sit closer to the screen of a same sized crt and get a 'bigger' viewable picture.

I think RPTV CRT should still be strongly considered for anyone who is mainly looking to watch movies on there set and doesn't mind the larger cabinet size.

I also noticed you completly left off CRTs from your front projection review. Again, it's the oldest tech but... the Barco Cine9 doesn't still sell for $50k because it sucks. I could be wrong but, I haven't seen another front projection tech(or any HDTV tech) that can do 30000:1 contrast(yes 30k). It also does up to 2500x2000 native, 1080p24 and even 1080p48.

CRT hasn't really advanced much lately, but at the top, nothing else has caught up to it yet anyway.
January 24, 2007 7:17:23 PM

I know so little about CRT front projection, but you're right... should have put a blurb in there about how serious videophiles swear by it and how if cost is no option, it produces amazing results.

As for CRT rear projection, I'm sorry I'm going by every CRT I've ever seen, which has appears not quite as sharp as most DLPs or LCOSs, even with a scaled image. I will concede that there is a chance that I've never seen one that was properly calibrated as I don't know who calibrated the ones I have seen, etc.
January 27, 2007 9:35:16 AM

Some say connecing a PC is niche. I don't think so, HTPC is making great strides and it is just awesome to use compared to a PVR. Once you have you will be doing some regular PC stuff on it as well. But the main problem is not LCD or Plasma, ghosting or lack of brightness. The real issue is HDCP and overscanning. Whichever display of good quality have HDMI/DVI with the option to turn off overscan will be a really interresting option for people like myselves who have a PC to do the scaling and receiving HDTV. This might be a new article, choosing your HDTV for your HTPC. In some regards the PC's have a lot of catching up to do as well, I can't understand HDMI output is so uncommon.
January 28, 2007 2:39:06 PM

One this I disagree with and believe is an outright lie is the sharpness of LCD. LCD computer monitors are sharp, but not HDTVs. Comparing them in the store to plasmas has really made me wonder where the author is coming from. B/c of refresh rate on LCDs, most sports broadcasts appear pixelated and have a slight ghosting affect compared to plasma. I'm not getting technical about the exact reason, I'm just saying what I see with my own eyes.

Until I see a better responce time, less blur, I'll stick with plasma. When I purchased one for my mother, the Panasonic TH50PX60U:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

I couldn't find anything much better in terms of a 50" plasma. Most sites rated it in the top 3 and I see why. This was about 8 or 9 months ago, so it might not be the best, but its still pretty damn good. its only 1080i, not 1080p, but 1080p for a 50" plasma runs 4000+ and imo is not worth the price of admission.

For normal TV viewing, plasma is the way to go due to less bluring and better black level depth.


What I find interesting is the comparison between 720p and 1080p. I don't know about you guys, but i don't know anyone with blue ray or HD dvd or HD television. Unless we have a lot of video content worth the jump, going up to 1080p is over rated. I doubt most people would notice the difference unless they walk up to the screen and stare for a few minutes.


If I'm wrong, lemme know. :D 
January 28, 2007 3:08:29 PM

saying LCD's are not sharp is strange as my own seems pretty damn sharp to me.

also, IMO it has to be a pretty bad LCD to get noticable ghosting. my one at work is terrible and you can create circles with the mouse cursor purely from ghosting but they are terrible.

i would not use anything other than personally used equipment to base opinion on as if i were to take examples from my local stores i would say the majority are terrible which probably aint true.

also, if something looks pixelated it is probably not being displayed at native res. that is not really a fault of LCD's just the people who choose what to show on them.

if you are using your own experience fine but if you are using store displays as your base probably best to keep quiet as it is a pointless example.

i am not arguing which one is better just asking for some sense when choosing what you base your opinions on.
January 31, 2007 6:26:11 PM

I'm currently of the mindset that a high quality 1080p LCD HDTV is the way to go if you want one screen for computer, tv, dvd, hd-dvd/blu-ray, etc... simply because of the highest compatibility, features, and raw resolution for the price.

I'm in such a conundrum though... Plasma still looks waaaay better to me, regardless of resolution.

Especially when fed poor video sources...it seems that plasma is incredibly forgiving, almost as much as good ole CRT, when it comes to highly compressed 480i (which is still; sadly; what a lot of tv channels are). And when you do turn on that beautiful Discovery HD channel or others like it; WHAM!! "looking through a window" never gets more literal.

There's no question in my mind that if I never intended to use my computer on the thing, I would go plasma without a split second hesitation over any LCD tv. Unfortunately I want to use my computer, and I refuse to run it in 1360x768 or lower...

Where the hell are the OLED, SED, and Laser DLP tvs?!
February 9, 2007 5:15:36 PM

All this discussion and recommendation about HDTV and not a single word about LEDLP. What gives?