Plasma vs. DLP

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jotade11, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. jotade11 macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Hello all!

    I do hope this is in the correct thread, and I apologize if I have gotten this wrong, as it is not an Apple Hardware-specific question.

    I am looking to purchase a new TV for a dorm room for having a larger computer screen (using the HDelight to 'stream' my MBP display to it) and playing my PS3 on. Based on my room size, I guess I am looking for a TV between 36" and 46", and I would really prefer not to go to 50".

    Anyways, the size is not my problem at the moment; it's the technology of course. Because I'm a student, I've been shopping around on Craigslist, looking at both Plasma and DLP TV's. I have read numerous articles about the two types, and my basic understanding is that Plasma has deeper colors, but shorter lifespan and cannot be replaced and that DLP has decent color, and it's bulb can relatively easily be replaced (depending on model, of course).

    I don't think the lifespan of a Plasma would be all that much of a negative for me, seeing as I'm certain that as new technology (ie. 3-D) is rolled out in the coming years, I will upgrade, but should I be worried about buying a Plasma used? I get the feeling that DLP is, in a way, an older technology that simply doesn't look as good. I -want- to go Plasma, but is this safe to do, if I buy used and is there that much a difference between the two?

    Thanks so much!
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Plasma is better. DLP is huge and not worth it.

    What's the budget?
  3. jotade11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Thanks for the quick answer. I am hoping to get away with less than $800, used of course. One more question, is there a specific brand I should look for that is better than others? The Samsung Web Apps looked good, but I don't think those are available on lower end models, like what I'm looking at :D
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    DLP can be very good. However, Mitsubishi is the only company making DLP sets anymore, and they are all 60" or bigger. You can undoubtedly find used DLP sets that are smaller, but they will be several years old. (For a point of reference, I bought a 50" Samsung DLP set in the fall of 2008 and, at the time, it was the smallest DLP set available. It was also discontinued very shortly thereafter.) I would have a hard time recommending a DLP set at this point, unless you wanted a new 60" or larger set for a reasonable price.

    Plasma tends to provide more bang for the buck than LCD. If you could swing it, I would suggest looking at the Insignia 42" plasma at BestBuy. They're really pretty good looking sets and you can get one new for about $450:

    By the way, the best place on the net for researching this is probably AVS Forum. It takes a lot of work, but there is tons of information there. Here's a link:
  5. jotade11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Ok, sorry to ask SO many questions, but is 3D worth investing a little extra in? Will I get much out of it or should I wait until my next upgrade?
  6. jotade11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    Great! Thanks! I'll dig through here for more :) Thanks so much!
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I think overall reliability is significantly better on plasma than DLP. I've known several people who had to scrap their DLP sets because they weren't worth fixing. Also, plasma doesn't have a longevity problem. That was solved years ago.

    And you'll get varying opinions on 3D. While it doesn't hurt to have, I personally would never put any silly glasses on so it would be useless to me.

    You'd be better off researching for advice on a home theater forum though. While there might be some knowledge here, it's slightly off topic in the grand scheme.
  8. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    What is your budget? DLP when calibrated properly has the best picture of the 3 display types. However for a dorm room you want something as non-intrusive as possible. Not to mention buying used DLP is a crapshoot. If I were you I would consider a 42" 1080p LCD. Can be had for between 400-550 new if you look around hard enough. There were certainly a few really good deals on Amazon last week.
  9. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    Wow! Why used? You can get a brand new TV for less than $800. Costco has a good 42" Panasonic Plasma for $500.

    For higher end TV's check out the LG 42LE5400 or Sony 40" Google TV, they should be just a touch more than your budget. The LG LE5400 is a highly rated LED/LCD TV but make sure you get the IPS display and not the VA. I got the 32LE5400 and it is excellent. Bestbuy also had the 40" Sony Google TV for $900, tons of features and beautiful design.

    *Edit* I'm looking at the most current Bestbuy ad and they have Plasmas up to 50" for less than $800
  10. jcschlic macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    I sold home theater and tv equipment for two years in college. Buy a Panasonic plasma.

    View them in the store, then buy it online or somewhere where you can get the best deal.

    You can get an awesome 42" for under $800 - brand new.
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I can't even imagine a TV so big in dorm rooms. Maybe your school has huge dorm rooms.

    Anyway, plasma is the way to go. They do put off a lot of heat though, which might be an issue in a small room.

    I had one of the first Samsung DLP HDTVs. It was a great TV for it's time, but I wouldn't get a DLP today.
  12. yankintx macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2010
    I have had a Samsung 50 inch DLP for almost 7 years now. When I got it I loved it. Now her I am 7 years later after replacing 5 bulbs at $150 a pop, and a tv that sucks in a brightly lit room.

    back then DLP was cheaper than plasma. Today no one wants one.

    It is a glorified projection tv...nothing more.
  13. jotade11 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2009
    So I'm getting a space heater and a TV for the price of 1? :p It gets cold here in New Hampshire...
    Thanks to everyone for the responses. Once I settle on a plasma, I will post back here for reference for anyone who stumbles upon this thread.
  14. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Since we are on this topic.. I just recently purchased a 50" LG PJ350 Plasma TV. I have seen these at Tiger Direct for $649 and free shipping last week, with no tax. However, I bought it in person from elsewhere for $569 plus tax. It basically came out close to that $649 price anyways, the only difference being that with my deal I had to make no payments, interest-free, for the next 12 months. Do you think that was a good deal for this particular TV? It's really slim, called TruSlim or something, but really needed a TV and went ahead and bought it because of the no payments deal.
  15. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I think that is a problem with Samsung DLPs. I have three friends who have them and they blow through bulbs all the time. I have had my Sony DLP for the same amount of time and I am still on my first bulb.
  16. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    3D? Lets see....need spare glasses for any visitor....glasses are brand specific...When they get the 3D working to the naked eye, then I'll buy it.

    Great technology, that even what, after its 3rd?? attempt to become the 'thing', is still another wannabe product.

    Ive seen a number of movies in 3D (as I imagine most of us have.) Some gave me headaches, some were a waste of time, and some were just barely reasonable. The latest I saw was Avatar. Best thing i can say about it in didn't give me a headache.
  17. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    3D in its current state is a fad.
  18. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    Costco had a Panny Viera 50" plasma (720p) for $600 recently. Hard to beat.
  19. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...I have a JVC 61" DLP 1080p full hi def TV and its still going strong after ~4 years.

    I am on my 3rd or 4th bulb but being attached to a Navy base stationed in Japan our base NEX fixes JVC for free as long as you are stationed here (they also give the bulbs for free!).

    At the time of purchase I paid $2,299 for the TV and matching stand while a comparable 46" LCD would have cost $3,699 with no stand so it was an easy decision then... good luck with your decision!
  20. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    My last television purchase was a 56" Samsung DLP three years ago. It's been a fantastic machine, and only cost me $899. There is simply no better bang for the buck than a DLP set. That said, Mitsubishi is the only player left in the game, and I'd steer clear of them at all costs. Previously I had a 52" Mitsu DLP. Spent over $3k on it (one of the first 1080p sets), and within two years the set was dead because of a faulty set of capacitors on one of the circuit boards. Mitsubishi knew of the problem (it is well documented across all their sets), but refused to issue a recall. Instead, they wanted to charge me $800 for a repair that cost me a little over $6 (for some new capacitors and solder). Thank goodness I got rid of that set -- I took it to the dump when the lamp finally went....wasn't putting one red cent into that POS.

    /end of rant

    In sum, if you're not going over 50, just get an LED LCD. I'd second the notion of the Panasonic Viera sets. Very impressed by them.
  21. Surf Monkey macrumors 68030

    Surf Monkey

    Oct 3, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I'd avoid DLP like the plague. I've owned two (both Samsung) and both had to be replaced via warranty service three times. DLP in my opinion isn't a reliable technology... And they're gargantuan. Go plasma. They have the best picture of any set on the market.
  22. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I'd also vote against DLP. LCD isn't as "good" as plasma as far as picture intensity and whatnot, but you can get a pretty good deal on an LCD set (they run cooler and use less electricity, too). LED is even better, but still somewhat expensive/not available in all sizes.

    If you do go LCD, LG makes some pretty good sets and the 32" models can be had for a rather low price (I have one that's about a year old and we bought a bunch more for work).
  23. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I agree. I just bought the kids a 32" LG (model 32LD350) and got it at Amazon for about $330. Very nice TV. The only shortcoming in my mind is that it only has 1 HDMI input.
  24. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Any benefit they had went out the window, as far as I'm concerned, when LED LCD's came out. LCD's are simply clearer.
  25. Dobbs2 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    Led lcd tvs are a nice step up in picture quality from regular lcd. Having both sets in the house and selling tvs before. Nothing beats picture quality and reliability of the pioneer elite kuros or panasonic vieras. Plasma is the way to go. Led have problems with the bulbs being the same uniform color across the whole screen.

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