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ericgcollyer

Plasma vs. LCD?

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Ok guys, its time for the question. Plasma or LCD? I have done some significant research into both and they seem pretty even. The key differences (I have found) Plasma screens have a greater viewing angle and LCDs still have a slight ghosting problem. Also, LCDs tend to last longer than plasmas but not by a hugely significant margin. Also, plasma’s MUST have larger pixels (but that isn’t a problem because I will be sitting far enough back). Some other differences are LCDs take less power (which possibly mean that they run cooler?) and plasmas have greater contrast, and LCDs have a better brightness.

 

Anyways, this is what I am doing. I want to get 2 HDTVs one for my bedroom (which I don’t want to be bigger than 37”) and one for my Kitchen/Family room (42” or above). I am on somewhat of a budget and would like to keep the total price of the TV’s below $2000 (Before tax/shipping/accessories/warranties etc.), but try and keep the pricing through retail stores and not online stores(Circuit City, Frys, Best Buy etc). I like having a physical store to take the TV back to in case it tanks. I do have blinds on the windows in both of the rooms that will, for the most part, completely block out light (no annoying strips of light will be reflecting on the TV). Great up scaling is a !!!!!!MUST!!!!! (I hope I made that clear). I will not have a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player anytime soon, so DVDs will comprise most of my movie collection for a while. I will have HD television and movie channels through Direct TV.

 

Note: The 37” TV in my room does NOT have to have 1080i/p resolution because the size of the TV and the distance I will be from it will make it almost impossible to tell the difference between 720p and 1080i/p resolution. Also, a built in DVD player would be nice!

 

The following are two TV’s that I was looking at:

Hitachi 42" Plasma HDTV (P42H401)

Sylvania 37" LCD HDTV/DVD Player Combo (LD370SS8)

 

One final note. An SD card slot on the bigger TV would be pretty cool as well.

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Get a LCD, I can assure you that they much less problems than plasma's have. I also found that contrast ratios on newer sets are a lot better than they used to be. The same goes for viewing angle and ghosting. LCD technology has been around a lot longer than plasma and has matured drastically over the last few years.

 

I would shop at circuit city, they have really good deals there, and my wife works there so I know their customer service is pretty good.

 

I recommend you go for 1080P for the living room, they are getting pretty affordable and I saw some nice units at CC that aren't much more expensive than their 720P counterparts. Plus with HD and Bluray becoming more affordable why would you sell yourself short, that's like building a new socket 939 rig now.

 

For the bedroom you could probably get away with a lower res TV, since you probably won't be watching it nearly as much as the living room set.

 

Don't get integrated DVD players, if the DVD player goes you have to get the whole set serviced rather than just getting the DVD player fixed or replaced. I never had anything but problems with integrated players after a while.

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I just picked up a Samsung 42" plasma set last night from CC. IMO (and many others) 1080P is pointless for a screen smaller than 50". When you're sitting 10 feet from the screen your eyes can't discern the resolution difference between 720P and 1080P...you'd have to sit just a couple feet from the screen to tell. There are also very few true 1080P sources and I don't see it being the standard for quite some time, by that time it'll be time for a new TV anyway. I would only get 1080P if you are either purchasing at least a 50" screen or you get a good deal. I personally like the Plasma picture a bit more than LCD...it's a bit smoother and looks better when watching action such as sports. You might also check out DLP, the new Samsung DLPs with an LED light engine are awesome! If you decide to go plasma then you should check out the Samsungs and Panasonics. For LCD, I like the Toshiba REZGA series and also the Samsungs. I haven't heard many good reviews about the Sharp, Phillips or many of the low end sets. I have read some good reviews though on the Olevia and Westinghouse sets which can be had fairly cheap.

 

PS- If you have AAA then you can get a 10% coupon for CC. I got my $1600 plasma for $1125 since it was on sale and I had the coupon :)

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http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Sharp-32-LC...roductDetail.do

You didn't specify whether you needed DVI, which this one doesn't have, but this 32" Sharp LCD for less than a grand has gotten some good reviews from my friends, but I would google the hell out of any product in that price range.

 

Nice tip on that AAA discount, didn't know that

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Thanks for all the info. Keep it coming if you can, I am still no completely decided. I do not need a DVI, this is purely going to be for television and not for a computer. I dont think i need 1080p on any of those TV's but if i do get a good deal then why not? I am saving my money for a nice projector. I have a basement downstairs (obviously not upstairs!) that has a sliding door with built in blinds that COMPLETELY block out light (and because they are in the door I never have to dust them!) I have painted one of my walls with reflective projector paint and that is going to be my big TV. I need a nice projector, a really nice 1080p projector, since the "screen size" is going to be well over 80" this is why I cant really afford more that 2500 for these two tvs. Any suggestions on the projectors?

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And I do disagree with you on the fact that 1080p wont be broadcast anytime soon. When phone lines were laid down, Thousands of fiber optic lines were laid down as well. As of now, they are sitting around doing nothing. I think that in the near future that there will be a big increase in high definition channels. DirecTV is even launching a satellite that will broadcast over 150 channels in 1080p resolution by the end of this year (or at least they claimed that this would be happening...)

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Ah...I didn't say they would't be broadcast, just that they won't be the standard. Much like DX10 is out but won't be the standard for a few years down the line.

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I would go for the 1080P if available. Who knows, maybe you will get a wild hair one day and build a HTPC just for the heck of it. There is a night and day difference between a 720P and 1080P tv (I've had both) as far as computer fed signals go. But a DVD player, not so much at all. Thats more of a scaling/upconversion issue. But with new technologies such as purevideo and new stuff coming out of ATI every day (like their 2400pro card) HTPC's are becoming more and more attractive. Because for the price of a nice upconverting DVD/B/R/HDDVD player you can just build a HTPC, that would have close to if not equal picture quality and the functionality would be leagues better. Like digital media storage.

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Plasma has better picture quality and NO ONE CAN ARGUE THAT FACT, I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE. However having said that both technologies have their ups and downs. An LCD can have dead pixels, uneven backlighting (especially on larger sets) and bleeding. Plasmas use much more power and have burn in issues.

 

Bottom line is you need to get the one that fits your needs. If you will be using it as a PC screen or will be doing heavy gaming then it is probably the best that you go with LCD. If you are just watching TV, watching movies, doing some gaming and want the best picture quality along with the best color reproduction possible then go with plasma. Period.

 

I have a Panasonic 720P plasma in the living room which I use for TV and movies and it trounces my friends Samsungs 1080P LCD in terms of picture quality and color reproduction. Not to mention black levels. With 720P vs 1080P you really have to be close enough to the TV set to notice the difference. At a comfortable and preferable sitting distance you cannot really discern any difference at all.

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