Ma’ looking for a new television to be purchased in the next two months. It seems plasma look nice but have a worse track record for staying usable. She’ll be getting a LCD TV in the 32" diagonal size. I’ve researched what I can, and that gets you what to look for. What I want is what about your LCD TV is annoying to you and you wish you had avoided when you bought one. Two things I think need a high priority are response time, and a large contrast ratio, which is only valid between models of the same brand.
There really isn’t much difference these days between plasma and LCD in terms of lifespan. All TVs (LCD, plasma and CRT) are subject to the “burn-in effect” if you leave a still image on them long enough. Pretty much as long as you don’t keep your TV tuned to CNN all day (static station graphics) or use it to play Pac-Man for hours and hours (people who were around in the 80s know what I’m talking about), you should be fine.
I have a 42" LG one, and what I don’t like is that there’s about a 1/4-second processing delay between the TV receiving the signal, and the images appearing. The sound output is obviously altered to synch with this.
Which is OK in isolation, but I have kick-ass external speakers hooked up to my PS3 and Satellite box. If I use them for something like Guitar Hero or a movie, the delay is very noticeable. I would imagine this is a problem for all of them, though, plasmas too, but it is something I hate about mine.
That would be very annoying.
LCD burn-in is reversible, Plasma and CRT is not.
How would you check this before buying? Is “processing delay” one of the specifications on the box?
My Westinghouse 37" (1080p) has a perfect picture and a better viewing angle than DLP or Plasma I have seen. However, I am not overjoyed with its remote control unit. My model is nearly three years old now.
My Visio 37" (1080i) panel works great and was inexpensive and I have no complaints at all. I am not sure of the viewing angle issue however as I use it in my bedroom.
Both use roughly less than half the electricity of the same size Plasma and this can really add up over the life of the TV.
I would recommend at this point, buying the inexpensive Visio LCDs. I love my Westinghouse but I paid a bit of a premium on it to also get perfect text reproduction off a computer.
I have a Westinghouse 42" 1080p LCD monitor for just under two years. It has no tuner, so it’s technically not a TV. Being I use it with a cable box, there’s no need for the TV tuner and a monitor is bit less expensive.
The picture is bright, sharp, and clear. Viewing angle is excellent. I’ve not noticed any burn in. Built-in speakers are as good as any, which means not that good. My only complaint is with the remote. It’s awful and sometimes doesn’t work at all. This model was fairly new and I couldn’t find a universal remote which supported it. There probably is one now.
Sound like we have the same model line. I think the remote problem we both have is related to it being from a monitor line and not a TV line. It really is the best LCD that was out there then, but I found my much cheaper Visio works just about as well and the remote just works all the time the way I expect it to.
I would hope the newer Westinghouses having corrected the remote issues though.
True, but it’s rarely a problem for regular consumers. You usually only see it in commercial applications where companies use the TVs as billboards.
Number of ports is another consideration.
Make sure you have more than 1 HDCP port as it’s the most popular connection and you’ll likely want to use it for your cable box/PC/Bluray/TIVO, etc.
I have a 50 inch Panasonic Plasma, and a 42 inch Samsung LCD. Here are my comments on each:
Plasma (Wall mounted)
Plus - Crisp, clear picture, crisper than my LCD, even without an HD signal
Plus - Blacks are very close to true black
Plus - Can view clearly from any angle
Minus - The monitor itself is extremely heavy, requiring professional installation and drilling directly into wall studs for the mounting bracket
Minus - The viewing surface is glass, so any direct sunlight obscures the picture significantly
LCD (In Armoire)
Plus - Relatively light weight
Plus - It’s not in a room with much natural light, but I don’t believe it would be adversely affected by it
Minus - Crisp picture, but noticeably less crisp than my plasma
Minus - Contrast is somewhat muddy in my opinion
Minus - blacks are a little washed out and seem actually varying shades of dark grey
Minus - Viewing angle is somewhat limited
Definiately the SPEAKERS! You can’t imagine how bad my Samsung 52" LCD sounds. Those flat little screens just don’t allow enough space to move the air necessary for good sounds. Fortunately I have a surround sound set which I now use for everything, but out of the box, I would have returned the TV otherwise. Everything else on the Samsung is top notch however.
One thing I can recommend is to not bother paying extra for the 120HZ vs 60HZ refresh rate. I watch sports and play PS3 on my 60HZ and see no issue. At CC they had a display TV with the image cut down the middle, 60HZ on the left, 120HZ on the right. I guess to show you how much better the 120 was, but I swear even side by side I couldn’t tell the difference at all.
I could see the blockiness on many of the LCD sets. I could eliminate half of the sets I saw immediately. I didn’t see a viewing angle problem on any of the sets. We will be getting an LCD TV and not a plasma.
When the tuner is in the television, do the sets have surround sound output jacks for your sound system?
So far every LCD TV and LCD Monitor I have looked at had jacks for your home stereo. That seems to be nearly universal in all HD sets in fact.
Stereo only or the 5.1 channel support?
You are wise to check on this. On my Samsung, there is an optical out which supports 5.1 channels, however the output depends on your viewing source. I have a cable box using HDMI to the TV, but the optical out would only output regular stereo. Instead I have the optical out on my cablebox going right to my receiver.
When I was researching TVs early this year, I didn’t find any that could guarantee 5.1 channel output when using HDMI input. Not saying there aren’t any, I just don’t know of them.
Great it sounds like you can have picture lag or use output from the tv and have stereo. What a great industry design problem. This is why I don’t buy electronics without downloading the user manual and specs first.
Bonus now that the winter weather is hear we have had two days where we can’t receive any digital broadcasts. they all drop off. I want analog, or somebody to build a booster station.
No, and most people who sell TVs won’t even know what you’re talking about.
If you have a Laptop with video out you can test using this procedure, but it’s probably not worth it. I tested about a dozen different HDTVs, and ALL of them had some lag. I suppose it’s worth-while to weed out the ones that have really terrible lag, but for fast-twitch or music-based video games, even the 1-2 frames of lag that even the best TVs have is noticeable.
Note that the lag is (or should be) only there when the TV is upscaling content. If you’re sending a native signal, it shouldn’t have to upscale, and there should be no lag. To the poster with the PS3, have you tried connecting using a digital connection and HD output?
Because of the way the upscaler works, you’re going to have a minimum of 1 frame (1/30 sec) lag on average because the upscaler has to buffer a whole frame before it displays it.
If you have extra speakers, you may be able to solve the lag problem by running the sound through the TV and then to the receiver. The audio will be delayed along with the video. If you are playing video games, your best bet is to either keep around an old TV for old games, or to play them on an emulator or a newer system that can output native HD resolutions. Note that all the current generation of consoles (Wii, PS3, XBox360) can output native HD.