LCD versus DLP versus Plasma

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by iGary, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #1
    So, despite my recent Thanksgiving gift of unempoyment, we are looking at a 42" flat screen TV. (luckily my significant owner is the breadwinner and I'm a starving artist loser. :D )

    The TV's I have seen, the LCD's have the absolute best pictures, but seem to be on the high end price wise.

    Plasmas seem to look a bit better, but not as good in my opinion.

    I don't know much about DLP, but I am not really impressed--maybe the unit I looked at was meh.

    Looking to find out if any of the technoligies have life issues such as backlights eventually going out after time etc... or advantage and disadvantages to any...

    Gracias.
     
  2. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #2
    A nice Samsung DLP has really gorgeous image quality - noticably sharper than most other formats, although if you look closely you'll notice that this is because there's a very defined 'screen-door' effect (visible pixels). The black levels on DLPs are also the best on the market.

    LCDs have a form-factor advantage, as well as very nice color on newer models. Plasmas, honestly, I don't know much about (at least recent models). I do know that burn-in is no longer much of an issue on them. I imagine you'll get lots of other responses from people more knowledgeable than I. :D
     
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    #3
    I would say stay away from plasma, as they're hot and have a predictable wearout mechanism. I've been told by people in the industry that plasma is not considered a long term viable technology, they're trying to make as much money on it as they can until alternatives (which I know something about) come out.

    Both DLP and LCD are good choices. It's really hard to say which of the two is better. DLP probably has the advantage on picture quality, as it has deeper blacks, although traditionally LCDs have had better color saturation. That has changed a lot though, and now DLP TVs can have very good color. DLP TVs do have moving parts (the color wheel mainly) which may be a concern, although LCDs are built like a giant integrated circuit and in many cases are impossible to fix if something goes wrong (short of replacing the whole LCD panel). LCDs are thinner and lighter.
     
  4. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #4
    -iGary

    I'll try to keep this brief and to the top points.

    Plasma
    Upsides:
    -Middle cost (between DLP and LCD, though this is always changing)
    -Flat form factor
    -Contrast ratio is excellent, black is an off pixel - e.g. truly black, like DLP
    -Readily available
    -Wide viewing angle
    Downsides:
    -Shortest lifetime
    -Max resolution (as of this writing) 720p, lowest of the three
    Additional Note:
    -Generates heat

    DLP
    Upsides:
    -Lowest cost
    -Contrast ratio is excellent, black is an off pixel - e.g. truly black, like Plasma
    -Readily available
    -Available to full HD spec 1080i
    -Mature and durable technology
    Downsides:
    -Light needs replacing every 9000 hours or so - expensive (~$400)
    -Warm-up time upon power on
    -Big, and though small, does have depth unlike LCD or Plasma
    -Some persons can perceive a 'rainbow effect' (has to do with the color wheel and folks wth certain physiologies)
    -Technology is outgoing in favor of LCD displacement, parts may become scarce.
    Additional Notes:
    -Generates heat
    -Contains moving parts
    -Is a projector, but if you get a good one, there is no 'off angle' viewing problems like the type that gave rear-projections a bad name years ago.
    -Samsung is rated as producing the best DLP's, personal experience, agreed - stunning.

    LCD
    Upsides:
    -Longest life (20yrs. +)
    -Lowest power consumption
    -Available to full HD spec 1080i
    -Mature and durable technology
    Downsides:
    -Most expensive (not for long though)
    -Worst contrast ratio as a black pixel is blocked light, rather than truly off - think similar to CRT's
    -Maturing market - sticker shock may lead to price envy - recommend waiting until spring for LCD purchase.
    Additional Note:
    -Sharp Aquos is still rated the best brand in the LCD space, personal opinion - this'll be mine in 6 months.
     
  5. NeoMac macrumors regular

    NeoMac

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    #5
    I had the same choice to make this summer. I spent a lot of time researching and decided on a 42 inch LCD Projection Sony Grand Wega. I got a great deal on it. I think the picture is awesome. I was on a budget so I was mostly looking at TVs less than 2K. This one cost me about 1500. Size was an issue too since I live in a small apartment. I am only sitting about 8 feet from the set. I purchased a Sony DVD Upconvert and the movies are in 720P via HDMI. Great picture and sound. I am very happy with the purchase. One of the best sites I found was CNET reviews. They had an article regarding which type of set had the best picture and pro and cons of each type. I hope that helps.
     
  6. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

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    #6
    From a Circuit City T.V Guy, I'll tell you my favorite picks.

    For DLP,

    Samsung HLS4676 (46" DLP, only 10" deep)
    Samsung HLS4266w (42" DLP)

    Both are 720p though.

    If you can fit a bigger screen, the 50" Samsung 1080p model is fantastic. (HLS5087w)

    LCD's I like

    Sharp LC42d62u (1080p)
    Samsung LNS4095D (1080p)

    And of the course the new 40" Sony XBR is probably the best LCD flat panel I've seen. We hooked up a blu-ray player to it, and it is REDICULOUS.

    That's SON KDL40XBR2, but it's $2789 right now, which is pricy.

    Just my picks. I have to look at these things for 34+ hours a week so I get nitpicky.
     
  7. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #7
    patrick0brien, since we're speaking of DLPs, which are rear projection units anyway, could you give a little information on LCoS/SXRD sets?
     
  8. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

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    #8
    I'm leaning toward an LCD - the picture quality of the LG and Samsung we looked at the other night was amazing.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #9
    Note that with an optional cable you can connect your iPod to the recent Samsungs and use the TV remote to select songs to play or photos to view. No video unfortunately.

    I <3 my LN-S4051D (720p) Samsung.

    B
     
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #10
    -gloss

    This really, compared with DLP, has no upside anymore - it was going to be price AND full 1080i two years ago, but now DLP is at that point. LCoS, or Liquid Crystal on Silicon mainly attacks the Texas Tnstruments DLP chip, the one with the millions of tiny mirrors, with one that shutters the light through an LCD obscuration, and through this method also eliminates the need for the spinning color wheel. Two years ago, this seemed a viable alternative to DLP, but there were some very significant hurdles to getting it out, one of which was that the Liquid Crystal tends to go black in high temps - pretty bad for a set whose bulb operates hot enough to burn paper.

    In short, LCos is a bit of a white elephant, and it seems DLP, as good as it is, maybe heading there due to LCD finally coming down in price.

    Does this help?
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #11
    Although they are not exactly cheap, you can get plasma flat panels with 1080p.
     
  12. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #12
    Absolutely. I recently picked up an LCoS TV myself (hurray for floor models), but was rather impressed by the newer Samsung DLP that was next to it. They both had brilliant color, but the DLP had a slight edge on sharpness. I think the only thing keeping me away was the screen-door effect and the rainbows, to which I am unfortunately susceptable.

    Anyway, good information to have. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.
     
  13. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

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    #13
    I guess my biggest requirements kind of go like this:

    Crispness, color clarity and "depth."

    Decent life: ~6-8 years.

    "Decent" price - 40" to 42" around $2,000

    The LCD's seem to win in these categories from what I have seen, and I bet within 3-5 months, they will be about 25% cheaper.

    The most I will ever do with it "Hi Tech" is hook up digital HD cable and maybe a surround sound system down the line.

    This is kind of what I have in mind, but the black model.

    My ears aren't in any way like an audiophile, so I am easy to please.

    Thanks for all the good information. :)
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    That's nice. I'm not sure about Samsung as a consumer products company, though I have regard for them as a parts supplier.

    The resolution is plenty as long as it supports 1080i input but can display it as 720p. In a few years, the sets will come with multiple HD tuners for picture-in-picture and have better resolutions. It doesn't make sense to me to pay a lot of money right now.
     
  15. kgarchar macrumors 6502

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    #15
  16. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #16
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDTV

    Basically any TV with more than 640x480 and less than 1280x720, or that doesn't support 720p and 1080i input signals is an EDTV.

    B
     
  17. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #17
    The model that you linked to is a cheap plasma screen HDTV. With 768 vertical pixels, it downsamples to 720p. Like most low-end plasma screens, it does not have square pixels. The Haier is the lowest-end 42" HD plasma display I have ever seen, but it still qualifies as high-definition.
     
  18. kgarchar macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Ah, that sucks a lot.

    but I guess I can't complain. free 42 in tv > expensive HD tv
     
  19. HughJ macrumors regular

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    #19
    i own both LCD and a Plasma (both LG) and i have to say Plasma wins hands down in terms of overall picture quality.

    My parents also own both Plasma and an LCD (both Panasonic Viera's) and again they prefer the Plasma

    As for longevity, i was under the impression both types of screen had similar operating lives of approx 15years±
     
  20. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

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    #20
    I used to work on Church Street in Norwich. :)

    Norwich has TV? :p
     
  21. imacintel macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I highly reccomend a Samsung LCD..I have a 32 icnh and not only is it beautiful, the picture qulity is great plus it goes great with my PowerBook G4, so if you want to hook up your PB it looks great.:)
     
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    It does 1366x768, right? When you connect the PowerBook, does it show a widescreen resolution. While connected to my 37 inch LCD, I'm showing a maximum resolution of 1024x768.
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #23
    My Samsung 40" (LN-S4051D) does widescreen 1366x768 with the iMac connected via the VGA port, so I would presume that all the recent Samsungs (51D/52D/92D series ) have the same feature.

    I also have a 1280x720 Toshiba set that only supports 1024x768 via VGA. :(

    B
     
  24. imacintel macrumors 68000

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    #24

    I don't know. I only got this last night and all I know is it looks nice. I have only connected it to my 36 inch CRT JVC TV.
     
  25. HughJ macrumors regular

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    #25
    only just, i'd brought it with me when i moved up here:D
     

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