Big Screen TV Technology

Ok, we might be jumping into 21st century technology by purchasing our first big screen TV, but which one? I’ve read about the three technologies (plasma, LCS, and LED) and the advantages/disadvantages with a focus on “blackness”, blooming, energy efficiency, and price…although some info is dated.

But, a few peripheral questions the articles miss:
a) Screen burn-in - is this only an issue for plasma TVs?
b) Age - I hear plasma TVs do not last. They need to be replaced frequently, maybe 3-4 year lifespan? (Is this because they run so hot?)
c) Off-axis image: Is plasma the best in thsi regard? It seems when I walk by a display at a store, image degradation was more noticeable with earlier models. Have there been improvements in this area?
d) How can you tell if a LED model is usin full or side back lighting? Do manunfacturers readily disclose this? Is it encoded in the model number? Sounds like they’ve all migrated to the side -lit LED backlighting technology. True?

Last, what models do the SD members have? …Your likes/dislikes?

Because I’m cheap, I bought a sub $400-LCD from Westinghouse a few years back and have had no problems with it. Is it the greatest TV ever? No, but I can now read the scroll at the bottom of the news/sports stations while lying down in bed.

It’s been a while since I purchased my TV. But this is what I recall:

Get an LCD TV with matte (non shiny) screen. It’s the best all-around choice. Get a plasma *only *if your HT room will be very dark or pitch black.

You forgot DLP. Better, brighter, faster refreshing image than all the other technologies. No degradation of over time. You do have to change the bulbs periodically though.

So, a plasma TV needs a dark mancave? In my case, The TV is going in a family room with a lot of daylight from sliding glass doors (leading to a patio). My wife wouldn;t go for keeping the drapes closed. So, thanks for the tip!

Sorry, but what does “DLP” stand for?

Digital Light Processor. Amazing technology. You may here stuff about a ‘rainbow’ effect with the color, but that has been eliminated in recent designs. If you want to watch sports the others are all crap by comparison.

Regarding C), I’m the sort of person who would be bothered a lot if the image changed depending on how far off-axis. Both of my HD TVs were LCD, and both could be viewed from well off to either side with no noticeable changes. I’m sure some TVs will have this problem, but many don’t.

I have a Sony Bravia 46", and it has an excellent picture. I bought that because it had a matte finish, and because it supported Picture&Picture, which is viewing two sources side-by-side.

I would say that is more than a bit of an exaggeration. Plasmas are not “torch bright” like LCDs can be, but these are certainly bright enough for average rooms. I used an HD projector for years and that did require a dark room for it to look good. Even the worst plasmas were brighter.

Check out CNET’s review of the new Panasonic TC-P55ST60. They gave this mid-line plasma their strongest HDTV recommendation ever.

Jinx, the avs forum is place to go for questions like yours. Some of the popular notions about burn-in, viewing angles, and picture quality are not entirely accurate. A bit of time surfing there is very enlightening.

I like CNET’s reviews. You should read this article at CNET about the difference between LCD LED, Plasma, and LCD CCFL technologies.

Don’t fall into the trap of over analyzing this. A few points:

[li]LCD and LED are the same. LED simply refers to the type of backlighting used for the LCD display.[/li][li]Plasma is less common today, but still is a good option[/li][li]DLP sets are not too common unless you step into front projection, a whole different world.[/li][li]Color and brightness are typically hard to judge in a showroom, but you can compare off-axis image.[/li][li]Most if not all of the minor brands (Westinghouse, Polaroid, store brands) lack repair networks and parts depots, meaning you toss instead of repairing them. Stick to the major Japanese and Korean brands.[/li][/ul]

It has nothing to do with brightness. It is because the screens on plasma TVs tend to be very shiny/reflective. And if there is a window or light in the room, you will see it on the screen. It’s very annoying.

But that was a few years ago. Perhaps newer plasma TVs have matte/non-reflective screens.

For Samsung, they lost a lawsuit brought by Sharp, so no more direct back lighted LED displays from them. Edge lit only.

I have plasma’s and refection has never been an issue.
Is it there? Sure, just like it would be on an old glass tube TV, but it’s never distracted me or anyone I have over.

For bright rooms, it does have to do with brightness, and today’s plasmas are brighter than those of the past. Also, there are not many (if any?) plasmas with a matte/non-reflective screen on the market. This is also true of many LCDs as well.

From Jkilez’s link to the CNET review of the Panasonic TC-P55ST60 review: “The bad: Worse 3D quality compared with many competing TVs; not as suited to extremely bright rooms as some LCD models; consumes more power than LCD TVs.” Bolding mine.

Brightness counts for bright rooms.

Which ones are thin and light enough to hang on the wall? That’s what I’m interested in.

Plasmas are more susceptible, but a similar phenomenon can occur in LCDs in rare instances. It’s called image persistence, and while usually temporary, can become permanent.

When I was shopping for a 50+ inch TV a few years ago, I went and looked at a bunch of display units at the local Walmart. The TVs with shiny/reflective screens (which included all the plasmas and some of the LCDs) were unwatchable, IMO. I could easily see the reflection of the store’s fluorescent ceiling fixtures on the screen, which was *very *annoying to me. That’s why I settled on an LCD with matte/non-reflective screen (LG 47LE5500). YMMD.

Pretty much any TV or monitor larger than about 20" will have built in holes to attach a VESA mount. You just need to use the appropriate hardware to attach it to your wall, and get the right size for your TV, but most of them, especially the larger ones, are somewhat universal.

Rear projection DLPs are not that thin, at least 12" thick, and Wonder Boy is about 16" front to back. But they are very light and can be hung on a wall. A front projection DLP screen is obviously very thin, but the projector has to be mounted somewhere, often suspended from the ceiling. For front projection you need enough distance between the projector and screen to get a particular image size.