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#1 Trevor Masid

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:00 AM

so I've been looking into getting a new HD-TV, and seeing as how I trust fellow DP's opinions over anyone else's, I was curious if you guys had any suggestions//recommendations based on what you like or personally have! LCD? Plasma? Which is better?

I dont need anything bigger than 42 inches, but I obviously want 1080p.

thanks!
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#2 Keith Walters

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:20 AM

so I've been looking into getting a new HD-TV, and seeing as how I trust fellow DP's opinions over anyone else's, I was curious if you guys had any suggestions//recommendations based on what you like or personally have! LCD? Plasma? Which is better?

I dont need anything bigger than 42 inches, but I obviously want 1080p.

thanks!

This is a real can of worms.
There are a lot of people spouting complete nonsense about which technology is better.
The reality is, the source of a lot of the nonsense they spout largely comes down to a historical thing. That is, things that night have been true once, but the technology had moved on from there,

Ten years ago, if you wanted a big flat panel screen, Plasma was all there was.
Early Plasmas didn't give a particularly good picture, were horribly expensive, had a very short operational life, were extremely heavy, very fragile, had massive power consumption and were limited to about 1366 x 768 resolution. Even much cheaper CRT TVs generally gave a far better picture.

On the other hand, early large-screen LCDs generally gave a worse picture than Plasma screens, although they were somewhat cheaper.

However, by 2005 LCD screen technology had improved massively, to the point where for most people there was little perceivable difference between LCD and Plasma. (It's significant that at that point Sony stopped production of both Plasma and Trinitron CRT TVs). By 2006, full HD 1920 x 1080 LCD screens were coming onto the high-end market, and now I can buy 42" full HD LCD TVs for well under $A1,000. Five years ago an equivalent set without an HD tuner would have cost about $12,000!

Meanwhile, presumably because so much money had been invested in the Plasma panel factories, Plasma manufacturers went into R&D overdrive. Everything about Plasma screens suddenly got a whole lot better. Previously it hadn't been possible to make full-HD Plasma screens smaller than 50", now you can get full-HD 40" screens.

They've virtually ticked all the boxes, so now Plasmas are much cheaper, lighter, less fragile, with lower power consumption. As for lifespan, that's too early to call, but current indications are it's acceptable.

As for colour quality, well I spent over 20 years maintaining broadcast TV equipment, including responsible for maintaining the colour balance of studio monitors, so I think I have a fair idea what a TV screen should like, and in my experience, there is no specific rule as to which technology is "better". I now work in a compliance testing lab for a large retailer, so I get to inspect a lot of TVs and all I can tell you is that I've seen plenty of examples of great pictures, and crap pictures, from both technologies.

Quite a few manufacturers make almost identical sets in both Plasma and LCD, and put to the test, all of the "Plasma-is-better" know-it-alls I work with failed miserably in identifying what type of panel they were looking at.

Generally, there are only a few actual manufacturers of display panels (there are lots of factories with different names, but they all license their technology from these few), and the chips used in the peripheral circuitry are similarly produces by a small number of companies, so you're generally going to find that there's not a lot of difference in performance between different brands.

As for "300Hz", "600Hz", "3,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio" etc most of this stuff is meaningless technobabble pulled out of the arses of advertising copy writers.
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#3 Trevor Masid

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 06:26 AM

This is a real can of worms.
There are a lot of people spouting complete nonsense about which technology is better.
The reality is, the source of a lot of the nonsense they spout largely comes down to a historical thing. That is, things that night have been true once, but the technology had moved on from there,

Ten years ago, if you wanted a big flat panel screen, Plasma was all there was.
Early Plasmas didn't give a particularly good picture, were horribly expensive, had a very short operational life, were extremely heavy, very fragile, had massive power consumption and were limited to about 1366 x 768 resolution. Even much cheaper CRT TVs generally gave a far better picture.

On the other hand, early large-screen LCDs generally gave a worse picture than Plasma screens, although they were somewhat cheaper.

However, by 2005 LCD screen technology had improved massively, to the point where for most people there was little perceivable difference between LCD and Plasma. (It's significant that at that point Sony stopped production of both Plasma and Trinitron CRT TVs). By 2006, full HD 1920 x 1080 LCD screens were coming onto the high-end market, and now I can buy 42" full HD LCD TVs for well under $A1,000. Five years ago an equivalent set without an HD tuner would have cost about $12,000!

Meanwhile, presumably because so much money had been invested in the Plasma panel factories, Plasma manufacturers went into R&D overdrive. Everything about Plasma screens suddenly got a whole lot better. Previously it hadn't been possible to make full-HD Plasma screens smaller than 50", now you can get full-HD 40" screens.

They've virtually ticked all the boxes, so now Plasmas are much cheaper, lighter, less fragile, with lower power consumption. As for lifespan, that's too early to call, but current indications are it's acceptable.

As for colour quality, well I spent over 20 years maintaining broadcast TV equipment, including responsible for maintaining the colour balance of studio monitors, so I think I have a fair idea what a TV screen should like, and in my experience, there is no specific rule as to which technology is "better". I now work in a compliance testing lab for a large retailer, so I get to inspect a lot of TVs and all I can tell you is that I've seen plenty of examples of great pictures, and crap pictures, from both technologies.

Quite a few manufacturers make almost identical sets in both Plasma and LCD, and put to the test, all of the "Plasma-is-better" know-it-alls I work with failed miserably in identifying what type of panel they were looking at.

Generally, there are only a few actual manufacturers of display panels (there are lots of factories with different names, but they all license their technology from these few), and the chips used in the peripheral circuitry are similarly produces by a small number of companies, so you're generally going to find that there's not a lot of difference in performance between different brands.

As for "300Hz", "600Hz", "3,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio" etc most of this stuff is meaningless technobabble pulled out of the arses of advertising copy writers.



thanks for the response! The only thing is with that whole "120 Hz!" or "600 Hz" crap is honestly, I absolutely HATE it. I can 100 percent tell the difference between a tv with a refresh rate of 60hz and one with double or triple that. The "smooth" motion makes a movie literally unwatchable for me. There will be about 15 frames that look normal, but anytime there's any sort of camera movement, or character movement within the film, it instantly looks like a reality tv show shot on HD.
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#4 Gary Lemson

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:41 AM

I finally made the jump a few weeks ago after much (too much) reviewing, viewing and deliberation. I quickly found the "specs" were mostly irrelevant, and that I was thinking too much about the technology. I picked what I thought would work for me, and the final decision was based on a retailer that I thought would provide the best customer service.
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#5 Thomas James

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:12 PM

Yes but those 120 hertz televisions handle fast action movies so much better than a regular 60 hertz television.
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#6 Gary Lemson

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:58 PM

...120 hertz televisions handle fast action movies so much better than a regular 60 hertz television.


Agreed.

As I stated, " mostly irrelevant". Regardless, I settled on what visuals (on display at the time) looked best to me, decided on the retailer and went for it. I am very pleased with my decision. I can't believe I lived with NTSC for so long.

There's a lot hype out there, where most these units are employing similiar technologies and peripherals (as Keith pointed out) , so I don't believe there is much to differentiate one from another (within a given category).

Find models that fit your budget, have a look, and determine if they meet your expectations.
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#7 Scott Bryant

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:05 PM

The refresh rate non-sense is why i went with plasma. I also can't stand the weird look (let me rephrase that, what i consider to be weird look) of lcds. The plasma isn't as bright and the screen is glass so it's possible for it to reflect if you have something bright in the line of sight of the tv, but i'd rather work with that than strange looking motion. I have noticed if you get right up to the screen, grain on a plasma screen is more pleasing to me than grain on an lcd (which i'm assuming is just a difference in the technologies?). I admittedly know very little about the tech specs or tvs in general, but i feel like the plasma has the best looking picture at least for what i want it for.
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#8 Keith Walters

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:45 PM

The refresh rate non-sense is why i went with plasma. I also can't stand the weird look (let me rephrase that, what i consider to be weird look) of lcds. The plasma isn't as bright and the screen is glass so it's possible for it to reflect if you have something bright in the line of sight of the tv, but i'd rather work with that than strange looking motion. I have noticed if you get right up to the screen, grain on a plasma screen is more pleasing to me than grain on an lcd (which i'm assuming is just a difference in the technologies?). I admittedly know very little about the tech specs or tvs in general, but i feel like the plasma has the best looking picture at least for what i want it for.


What exactly do you mean by "weird look"?

The actual Plasma and LCD panels are relatively "dumb" devices. They get fed virtually identical DVI-like signals from the signal processing board; and they are only ever fed with their native resolution. That is, no re-scaling or other signal manipulation takes place in the panel itself.

On that basis there is simply no plausble mechanism whereby a Plasma TV could give a better picture than an otherwise identical chassis fitted with a modern LCD panel, at least as far as the actual video display is concerned.

So any differences you perceive in the picture quality are not going to be due to the technologies themselves, but simply the design of the TV. It's true some cheap LCD TVs don't have particularly good motion rendition, but a lot of those actually use cheap laptop screens, the giveaway being that most of them don't have a proper 16 x 9 aspect ratio.

I've had too many people triumphantly point to obvious MPEG compression artifacts and then claim that they are typical of LCD TVs, while appearing completely unable to to see the same artifacts on a Plasma screen.

Personally I have never seen any picture on a Plasma screen that would make me think it was worthwhile putting up with the extra weight and power consumption. I recently bought a 32" Sanyo LCD for slightly over $500 and took it home on the train! It only weighs 11kg, so I can hang it on the wall like a framed picture. No way you could do that with a plasma...

I'm not entirely sure how the picture could be made much matter, but hey, I don't have "golden eyes" :rolleyes:
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#9 Keith Walters

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:55 PM

I finally made the jump a few weeks ago after much (too much) reviewing, viewing and deliberation. I quickly found the "specs" were mostly irrelevant, and that I was thinking too much about the technology.

This the #1 problem.
People are trying to make an informed choice, and when they read the incredible amount of utter B.S. that is published on the Internet and in magazines, they get the impression that the difference is going to be like night and day. Then when they actually hit the stores they find they're having a hard time picking the difference.

I picked what I thought would work for me, and the final decision was based on a retailer that I thought would provide the best customer service.


Exactly right.
It's a good idea to check the range of A-V inputs it has, and how good (or idiotic) the remote control is.
And NEVER buy anything online unless you are 100% sure you can physically locate (and attack if necessary :lol: ) the vendor.
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#10 Thomas James

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:12 PM

Of course theoretically a Plasma has the best motion performance because it can display 600 frames per second but most of these frames are not used to render motion but rather to mimick grey levels which is determined by how long the pixel fires. Another advantage of a 120 hertz LCD panel is not only can it interpolate the missing frames of conventional 24 frames per second cinematography but many of these 120 hertz televisions are also 3-D ready which will come in handy if you want to watch Avatar in the new
Blu-Ray 3-D format that has just been developed.
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#11 Scott Bryant

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:18 PM

What exactly do you mean by "weird look"?


Once again, since i don't really know much technically I can't say for sure, but the way movement looks on an lcd screen ( from what i've seen from my friends' tvs and in the stores) just looks off. Things seem like they are moving too much or something. There is a definite difference in the way the movement of actors or the camera looked on a crt or plasma screen than lcd. I assume it has to do with the refresh rate or hrz or something, but like i said i don't know the technical. I never thought there was a re-scaling issue.

I also admit that there are negatives for plasma tvs, but i just think for my particular tastes plasma looks the most like what i wanted. When I went shopping for a new tv i was already feeling negative about plasma's and lcds bc i've seen people's first generation flat panel tvs that just didn't look good at all. Once i looked at the tvs in the store without a bias (bc i honestly didn't know any of the claims of lcds or plasmas) i picked the tv that i thought looked the best. I just couldn't get over what i assume is the "motion rendition" that you talked about. And these were tvs in the $1000 range about 5 months ago so they weren't cheap computer monitors. Just my 2 cents and I can't say that I have golden eyes.
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#12 Keneu Luca

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:19 PM

When Im shopping for a good TV, I find most of them are in the south bronx. Theyre out between like 2am and 5am. I like them better than the ones in Chelsea, and I really like it when they

Wait....in this discussion, does TV stand for television?
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#13 Keith Walters

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 09:47 PM

When Im shopping for a good TV, I find most of them are in the south bronx. Theyre out between like 2am and 5am. I like them better than the ones in Chelsea, and I really like it when they

Wait....in this discussion, does TV stand for television?

Well on that subject,
In New York City, do the coloured girls really go:
"Doo, de-doo, de-doo-de-doo."
Or was that just something Lou Reed made up, or he forgot the proper words or something?
Thousands want to know.
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#14 Claus Harding

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:27 AM

Personally, after going through god knows how many models, in stores (I know, they crank them) at my broadcast work, and as part of convention displays, I went with a 700-series, 58-inch 1080 Panasonic plasma.

Whatever words fit, the display looks 'organic' to me, in a way most LCDs haven't, so I am happy. No artifacting, motion weirdness or such, and beautiful black levels. I watch no broadcast stuff beyond the occational news; mainly Blu-Ray and regular DVDs of films and for that, the Panny shines.

Claus.

Edited by Claus Harding, 01 February 2010 - 12:29 AM.

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#15 Patrick Nuse

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:34 AM

thanks for the response! The only thing is with that whole "120 Hz!" or "600 Hz" crap is honestly, I absolutely HATE it. I can 100 percent tell the difference between a tv with a refresh rate of 60hz and one with double or triple that. The "smooth" motion makes a movie literally unwatchable for me. There will be about 15 frames that look normal, but anytime there's any sort of camera movement, or character movement within the film, it instantly looks like a reality tv show shot on HD.

AH! Smooth motion, I'm so happy to hear someone besides me think that that is a really bad idea. I was watching a clip in a store of Pirates of the Caribbean, and thought at first it was a behind the scenes clip because of the tv frame rate look. I was very confused when I realized it was the actual movie because I know for certain it was shot at 24fps on film. Then I learned about the smooth motion. Not sure what the manufactures are trying to accomplish here. but I agree, it looks like watching regular TV but the motion is kind of weird on top of that, a bit nauseating actually, it kind of makes me seasick after a while when it's on a large screen.
anyway as far as I know you should definitely be able to disable the feature in one of the menus on most TV's. Ironic when low budget filmmakers are spending money to get 24p (me included) and then TV manufactures are trying to get rid of it! :).
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:48 AM

It would be fun to record and look frame by frame at the kind of on the fly temporal interpolation consumer sets can do. My guess is that you'll be able to tell the real source frames from the bogus in-betweens. Real temporal interpolation, like Arri Relativity does, is still far from trivial.






-- J.S.
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#17 Keneu Luca

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:25 AM

Well on that subject,
In New York City, do the coloured girls really go:
"Doo, de-doo, de-doo-de-doo."
Or was that just something Lou Reed made up, or he forgot the proper words or something?
Thousands want to know.


I honestly cant say if they do. But most girls here wont lose their head, even when they're giving head.

This is the most I can contribute to this thread...I still own a CRT on NTSC and it's fine by me.

Edited by Keneu Luca, 01 February 2010 - 08:25 AM.

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#18 Keith Walters

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:23 PM

I still own a CRT on NTSC and it's fine by me.

Ah, so you're saying you think that's what Reed was supposed to sing, but he forgot the words?
Obviously the man was way ahead of his time :lol:
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#19 Trevor Masid

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:05 PM

AH! Smooth motion, I'm so happy to hear someone besides me think that that is a really bad idea. I was watching a clip in a store of Pirates of the Caribbean, and thought at first it was a behind the scenes clip because of the tv frame rate look. I was very confused when I realized it was the actual movie because I know for certain it was shot at 24fps on film. Then I learned about the smooth motion. Not sure what the manufactures are trying to accomplish here. but I agree, it looks like watching regular TV but the motion is kind of weird on top of that, a bit nauseating actually, it kind of makes me seasick after a while when it's on a large screen.
anyway as far as I know you should definitely be able to disable the feature in one of the menus on most TV's. Ironic when low budget filmmakers are spending money to get 24p (me included) and then TV manufactures are trying to get rid of it! :).



I'm glad finally someone understands what I detest so much in those tvs! It tends to be exhausting trying to explain to someone who isnt "in the field//industry" that something about the picture on a tv with "smooth motion//120hz//whatever you wanna call it" is just not right. I tried watching Magnolia on one of those tvs and it completely ruined the movie. I honestly hope most tvs have an option to turn that off, because I know very little about HDTV's, I dont know if its on account of the refresh rate, or just other video option crap the manufacturers put on there.
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#20 Trevor Masid

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:15 PM

and sorry to double post, but i'm trying to decipher all this information in my head:
can anyone tell me... is that disgusting "smooth motion" effect due to the refresh rate of the tv? or is it an option on the tv that can be selected and de-selected?
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