new TV!! LED or Plasma?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by aoaaron, May 26, 2012.

  1. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010
    I will be playing video games, namely FIFA.
    I will watch sports with the bar at the top showing the timer + logo.
    I will use xbmc which does have static backgrounds and bars for movies. I will use this the most.
    I can control light to an extent but glare really pisses me off.
    I watch 4:3 sometimes and then I watch movies with the black bars below. I hate cropping.
    I watch anime with subs all the time.
    From Poofy's suggestions, I will 99% of the time now not be using this as a PC monitor! You were right mate, 42'' screen or whatever is silly for browsing.
    Weight is not a deciding factor but I will move this TV atleast 4x year.

    My budget is £600-1000. I can give stretch if it means I get a better product. I'm prepared to wait a few months if that helps etc. I do want at minimum I think a 40''-42'' screen, I've never had a screen that big.

    My biggest problem with plasma after reading 130 page image retention threads is I cannot be bothered buying a tv and then having to baby it. My current LCD I've kept on with the same desktop image for 2 days straight. I will leave it on pause for 30 minutes, get something to eat or cook and come back. I will have extensive 10 hour FIFA tournaments with friends. I appreciate the deeper blacks of a plasma and the better viewing angles. I was in love with the idea of getting one but after reading around.. Is it just not for me given my circumstances and the fact I 'abuse' my devices? I cannot promise switching off the TV and avoiding static images all the time. I cannot promise not having a 5 hour play through of a video game which does have static images. I hear lots of people saying they live with the image retention, its worth it for the image, or they will pop in a DVD and Movie and swap around the content they watch but I don't have that much time! I just want to bang it, watch or play what I want then get back to work/revision/working out.

    Can some of the led brigade point me in the right direction for a quality led for gaming and watching films with good blacks, low motion blur etc? Is there a flaw in my thought process here somewhere?
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I'm not a fan of plasma tv's at all they eat electricity.

    My choice is Samsung led backlit. The 8000 series are very nice! But that's my personal choice.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I have two Insignia LCD TVs that provide a great picture and are cheap, one is a 55" the other 32". I think they are a Best Buy house brand but use previous generation LG parts. They also do a great job upscaling SD video.

    Don't bother with all the bells and whistles. What's the point of an internet TV that will be unable to get content in three or four years due to obsolescence. If you want internet TV get a box for that.

    Also don't bother worrying about the 120HZ, 240HZ, &c. These are meant to make motion smoother but ruin the image. They make a high budget movie look like somebody shot it with a handycam. So disable that first. They disguise it in the menu's with different names like image enhancer, motion plus, &c. Every friends TV I came across I disabled this and they all agreed it looked much better. This can throw you in the store as well when the motion does not look quite right.

    I'd avoid Plasma because they use a lot more electricity. Just go to a store and walk by the wall rack of Plasma TVs then LCD/LED TVs. You'll just feel the heat pouring off them. They try to make the wattage specifications less by turning down the brightness. Once the display is calibrated they can use two to three times the wattage per square inch on average.

    Though plasma TVs have improved a lot. Burn in is still possible if you watch 4:3 video a lot. Also leaving a static image for a long time can start to burn in. Though it will wash out over time.

    For LED TVs there are two types, "Full Array" and "Edge-lit". The full array has LED in strips across the back of the TV. These models are thicker, heavier and use more energy but provide a more even picture. The edge-lit models are those super thin ones. They are lighter and use less energy but provide a less even picture.

    I find the best way to check the website of the store you will visit to find the models you are interested in then look for user and pro reviews to find out how good the picture and sound is. You won't know this in store as the screens are usually poorly calibrated and the background noise washes out the audio, you can ask for the remote to try and adjust the picture settings though. Then with that in hand look at those well reviewed units in store. Turn them off to see how black the absolute black is and to make sure the screen is matte not glossy. Look for light bleed when on a blank screen and on (though user reviews typically mention this). Ask if they have an SD feed so you can check upscaling.

    Get enough rear HDMI inputs for all your equipment and buy the cables ahead of time at Stores bend you over on cable pricing. If you want the warranty try to haggle the price they get a huge markup. Also make sure it has a digital audio output either coaxial, optical or both. That way you can have all your HD feeds through HDMI cables and output surround sound to your stereo. Rather than having to muss about with separate cables going from each source to the receiver and having to switch inputs on both the TV and Stereo.

    For screen size get the biggest you can afford. You won't be sorry. Make sure it is 1080p.

    When you set it up be sure to calibrate the image settings and disable the 120/240Hz motion enhancement. If the TV supports it you should calibrate each input as the settings for broadcast TV should be different than a gaming console and Bluray.
  4. Alucardx03, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012

    Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    The simple fact is, the best LED and LCDs are not as good as the best plasmas.

    Very few (probably the only exception is the Elite Pro-60/70X5FD) can produce the same level of blacks, even the full-array LEDs. And, the Pro line is about $3K more expensive than a similarly-performing plasma.

    If this is purely a debate about picture quality (not energy usage, thinness, etc.) a quality plasma will win every time. I still have my Pioneer 151FD Kuro and while it's an energy hog, the picture is gorgeous.

    Burn-in is basically a thing of the past. Sure, if you do 90% of your TV watching in 4:3, it's not the best choice, but I'm sure you won't be doing that. It's excellent for gaming (very good response time) and movie watching (especially 2.35:1 content) is great because of the deep black of the bars on the top and bottom.

    However, now is not the best time to be purchasing a TV (at least not as good as the last 3-5 years) because there are a few advancements coming down the pipe. First, OLED is right around the corner. A few sets are coming out in the second half of the year and will be priced around 9K. Obviously, the prices should begin to drop next year. Also, 4K sets are right around the corner, with a few TVs scheduled to ship before the end of the year. I'm currently using a Sony 4K projector (the VW1000ES) and it's remarkable.

    If I were making the decision, I'd wait until next year to see how things are looking. That way, you could save up some additional money to buy a better set and wouldn't suffer from buyer's remorse when the new sets come out. But, that's if I had the luxury of time. If you have to get a TV right now, I still think plasma is the best bet.

    By the way, stay away from the Samsung 8000 series that a poster above suggested. The uniformity on those sets is absolutely terrible. Aesthetically, they're beautiful, but the picture quality is sub-par.
  5. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I would also vote for an LED set, however I would steer clear of Samsung. Giving Samsung money just helps them in their fight against Apple. I would look at LG who has just as good if not superior LED TVs. While some might disagree personally I prefer Passive 3D for a few reasons, but the biggest is the nice light cheap glasses without batteries.
  6. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Well, you have your answer then. You don't have to "baby" the current plasmas out there but you can't use them the way you intend.
  7. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    I second this. I have a two year od 22" Insignia that still works very nicely. Based on personal experience alone, I would recommend it.
  8. entatlrg, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012

    entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    The higher end Panasonic Plasma's are still the best out there. Not the Best Buy models rather the ones sold by higher end audio/video retailers.

    We have three, a 65 and two 55", no burn in, don't need to baby them at all ... Better for watching action such as sports, more realistic colors, better detail, easier on eyes.

    Only way to really find out what suits you is to visit a good TV retailer, most often they'll have the TVs properly calibrated and Plasma's beside LEDs and LCD's so you can judge for yourself. Often they have good knowledge as well.

    You'll find the people who work at these higher end retailers ALL have Panasonic Plasma's in their homes ... that says a lot in itself.

    Insigna's are built to suit a budget and for that they're good but they are not quality TV's with a good picture.
  9. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    I believe it still stands that if you want to game you need an LCD; Plasmas have improved, but you will still have to baby them especially if your main use is gaming.
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Reading that thread was a waste of time. It's mostly FUD. I gave up on AVS after a while simply because it's always the same people trying to spout their TV preferences like a religion. I went back after being away for a couple years and it was still the exact same people spouting the exact same arguments.

    Anyways, I use a calibrated Pioneer Kuro plasma for videogames. That's all it was purchased for. I've since added a DVR so I can also watch hockey games, so now there's that. I don't worry about it. I don't baby it. It's fine and has been for years.
  11. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010
    As stated previously it is a matter of personal preference. I have Panasonic 52", 42", and 32" plasmas. I don't have to baby them as some have stated. However, I don't abuse them either. The picture is simply outstanding from any angle and I have had no problems with burn in. My sets range in age from 4 years to 1 year. I agree they do get warm but so does my iMac. None have had to be serviced and all perform to my satisfaction. I'm not a gamer so I can't address that issue.
  12. Alucardx03, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 26, 2012

    Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    This is absolutely wrong. There was truth to this 10 years ago, but not today. More than 90% of my usage is gaming and I have never, ever had a problem. Nowadays, the only thing that can damage a plasma is having a solid image on for days at a time, and even then, the image retention should fade. If the vast majority of your usage is 4:3 content and you watch it for hours each day (as in 8-10 straight) in a few years, you may notice something. No need to "baby" current plasmas.

    Most modern plasmas have a pixel orbiter of some sort, which further protects the display. The pixel orbiter also prevents burn-in with gaming.
  13. Devie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Haha you serious? Dont buy Samsung as they're a competitor to Apple? Who has bought a ******** of Samsung parts? Oh yeah, Apple.
    Bring on competition, Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world, they need the competition! Its what brings out better, cheaper things to the consumers!

    Anyway back on topic. I own a Sony and Samsung LED. The Samsung is brilliant for 1080p and 720p content, but other than that it struggles to display SD picture, with stuttering in panning shots etc. The Sony is a good all rounder. 3D is useless on both, since I hate it to begin with.
    I have a very old Panasonic plasma, it is considered useless now. Its produces so much heat and would just eat through the power. Though I believe plasma's have come a long way since, and are quite compareable to LED.

    Best thing to do is go into a shop, and look at both. I chose LED for its higher brightness, and because I game a lot also. I have heard that plasma's dont get burnt in anymore anyway.

    Just remember if you go for the passive 3D, it halves the resolution to achieve its results. But its less strain on your eyes than the alternative.
  14. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    Do you play for hours on end RTS, RPG, MMO? games that have constant fixed screen menus? If all you are playing is FPS and Sports game you won't see it, but if you play games that have a static item/map/etc menu then you MIGHT get some burn-in.
  15. Alucardx03, May 26, 2012
    Last edited: May 27, 2012

    Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I play everything (big gamer) and no issues.

    Someone (can't remember who) did a study about three years ago. They took an entry-level plasma, turned the brightness and contrast to 100 (which is supposedly bad for phosphor wear), and had it display a black and white striped pattern. They left the TV on for a full two weeks non-stop. At the end of those two weeks, image retention was not visible on normal viewing, but was slightly visible on full white screen. Within an hour, all of the image retention had disappeared. Permanent image retention is a non-issue.

    Now, that's on an entry-level plasma without many of the protective features of a high end plasma, and three years is a lifetime in the display field.

    Again, that was an issue about 10 years ago, but isn't anymore.
  16. jay47 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2012
    I have 2 50" hitachi plasma tv's one being their high end director series . Both are about 3-4 yrs old & have horrible burn in .

    I have never played any games on either tv . The history channel logo is burned into both on the lower right corner . I have tried everything & it will not go away .

    Most channels now have a logo on the screen at all times such as history , tru tv , comedy central etc . That was enough to wreck both my tv's . So i would have to disagree that burn in is no longer a issue .
  17. tekno macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2011
    Seriously? I mean, reeeeeally?!

    You might want to give Apple a call and suggest they also steer clear of Samsung products...
  18. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Well, no offense, but Hitachi has never been known to make high quality products. You can't really make a general statement about a type of TV when all you've had are two TVs by the same company. I've had three plasmas from higher-quality brands (Pioneer and Panasonic) and burn-in on those is nearly impossible.

    And, you're still pointing out TVs that are 4 years old.
  19. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    Says the person who has a Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX listed in their signature.....
    BTW Apple gives Samsung money also for parts that Apple uses...
    Buy what you like and what works best for you, don't buy something because they are a competitor of an other company.

    Samsung has probably over all the best TV's out there. Probably the only TV I would recommend to people also. LG is CRAP for TV's also, the don't last as long and just not as good. Doing home entertainment, cable, satellite, and other fun stuff, Samsung are just easy to work with also.
    Now I would also go with an LED, over all I think they are the best "in the middle" of all the types of TV's out there. Plasma has awesome blacks, but I am not a fan of them.
  20. samxool macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2011
    I agree.
    Samesung tvs are crap, and considering how they've copied apple in everything, don't give them any of your money!
    plus samesung tvs are plastic piles of junk that feel cheap in your hand and will break the first time you put it in your pocket and you have to bend over.

    Now if you want a tv with class, wait for the apple iTV.
    I've no idea what features it will have, but it will definitely be the best tv in world ever. FACT!
  21. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    My Samsung experience was awful when it came to TVs. I had a plasma and an LCD and both had issues that required constant firmware flashing via USB. It's been a couple of years back but they were extremely buggy.
  22. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Well this is one of the most idiotic reasons I've heard not to buy a Samsung TV. I have an 8000 D series 55" LED and it's amazing, that being said, my next TV will be a 65" Panasonic plasma if I ever replace my 120" projection setup.


    Again, another stupid argument. ANd what Apple iTV? Anything that would suggest it even exists is purely rumor, and I don't see Apple getting into such a low margin market.
  23. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2007
    Reflection is too distracting on Plasma

    I was so close to buying a Plasma 60" screen. The only problem I had was all the reflections the screen kept displaying. Specially in dark or evening scenes. It was just too much. Even though we usually watch TV in the evening, the silly thing still shows way too much reflection. Ended up getting a LED TV Matte screen. Much better and if you do have to watch a game during the day, the reflection is minimal compared to Plasma....
  24. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010

    No offense, but next time try a Panasonic.

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