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TV Advice: Plasma, LCD or LED?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by fenurch, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. fenurch

    fenurch

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    So, I've recently moved to London and I haven't got a TV, but I'm no expert in this area apart that I won't buy a dodgy brand TV (I'll only buy mainstream brands such as LG, Sony, Samsung, Phillips etc because they have a lot of experience and they usually have the best gear available). So, I'm in the market of a new TV that would vary from 40-50" (42/44" is the most likely size I'll get unless I get a super bargain). Now, I'm rather confused as to which is better - LCD, Plasma or LED? Obviously there are exceptions, but in general. Also, they're all +/- around the same price. Furthermore as far as I'm aware Plasma is the oldest, LCD is middle aged (if you say that Plasma is grandad, LCD is adult and LED is teenager) and LED is the newest and has only hit the market in recent couple years. I'm not talking about the original technology, but this technology being widespread in TV's (so, Plasma, LCD and LED).

    I'm sure people won't agree but if one of these is particularly bad a lot then please mention that.
     
  2. happita

    happita

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    Plasmas suck up a lot of energy. Would definitely contribute to an increase in the electricity bill.

    LCD TVs are good from what I know.

    LED TVs are amazing, but expensive. The picture quality if you look at an LCD and compare them side by side, you will definitely notice the difference in clarity. And they also use up little electricity.

    So, every TV has its ups and downs. I would say Plasmas have more downs and ups. So its a toss up between an LCD and LED.
     
  3. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Technically, there's no such thing as an LED TV. They are "LED lit" LCD TVs. There are edge lit LED LCD's and full LED lit LCD TVs and LCDs that just use cold cathode backlights. The age of the technology is meaningless in this case, so you can throw out that data point.

    In general, plasma TVs and full LED lit LCDs have the best contrast and black levels, which makes the colors as vibrant as possible, but each technology has "characteristics" about the picture quality that makes some people prefer one or the other. Find out which camp you are in by checking some out in person and then figure out which features you want. There are way too many makes and models for us to wisely discuss them here. Focus on reviews on sites that review TVs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
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  4. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    well I cant really elaborate on the why I wouldn't but I wouldn't buy a plasma TV these days, from seeing them going in shops and such they just plain don't look as good as an LCD panel to me, not by a longshot.

    as for LED, the panel is still an LCD panel, its just lit by LED's instead, so they are a lot thinner and consume a decent amount less power.

    what I can say for sure is that 3D capable LED/LCD screens seem to have the best picture overall, given that they need to have the highest possible refresh rate to be able to display 3D, so everything looks fantastic on them.

    I also own a Samsung LED tv (UA40B6000) and its amazing to watch, however not 3D capable.
     
  5. human_error

    human_error

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    I wouldn't go for a plasma as after 5 years you need to have a plasma screen re-gassed (if it can be done). LCD technology is also at a point where it matches plasmas in quality of image in my opinion.

    LCD and LED screens are identical other than the back-lighting. An "LED" TV is a LCD screen with LEDs as the backlight, as opposed to CCFL lighting (just to be clear that the mis-marketing done by TV manufacturers isn't getting through - they try to make "LED" TVs seem like a completely different screen type).

    The advantage LED TVs have is that they can be thinner and use less energy. There are 2 types of LED backlighting in TVs - edge lit and local dimming. Edge lit LEDs essentially replace the CCFL tubes in standard LCD TVs by creating the light at the edge of the TV which then shows through the screen. These are cheaper than local-dimming and are in very thin TVs - the issue is that they aren't that much better than standard LCD TVs image quality wise (IMO) - they still do use less energey and are nice and thin though. Local dimming LED backlit TVs are the best available in my opinion as instead of creating light at the egde of the screen which then bleeds though the LCD panel they have a grid of the LEDs behind the LCD TV - this means that if you have an area of the screen which is black and another area which is white that the light behind the black image turn off (meaning you get no "bleed through" which makes blacks look greyer than they should) and allows the bright area to have the light turned up very high. Local-dimming screens will be more expensive than edge-lit and won't be as thin, however the contrast of the image will be as good as the contrast provided by plasmas, but with none of the diasdvantage of plasmas (such as they get worse as they age, use lots of power, get quite hot etc).

    So after saying all that I would go for a local-dimming backlit "LED" Tv if you can afford it, if not then get an edge-lit "LED" backit TV and if you can't afford one of those a standard LCD - do not get a plasma as they are not worth it in my opinion.
     
  6. HookeyStreet

    HookeyStreet Eat, sleep, game!

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    LG or Samsung LCD with LED backlight, sorted. I say LG or Samsung because the Koreans make great LCD panels :D
     
  7. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    LED>LCD>Plasma (on average)

    As stated previously in this thread (just reiterating):
    -LED is actually LED backlit LCD (whereas traditional LCDs use a CCFL backlight). (OLED TVs, which are proper LED panels, are not yet mainstream but are the most energy efficient and thinnest current technology.)
    -LED is best because of energy savings and contrast ratio but are still expensive
    -LCD are common and have good prices. Refresh rate is your biggest concern here (which coincides with picture quality)
    -Modern plasma displays, contrary to popular belief, do not have the hefty problems of regassing and burn-in like the plasmas of yesteryear. Though burn-in still occurs (and quite quickly) it is usually a temporary issue.
    -Plasmas can have really good picture quality and tend to be the best price around 50" but they have poor power usage and if they have an energy star rating it probably coincides with a useless low-brightness setting you will change.

    I bought a new Panasonic 50" plasma (TC-P50S1) about 5 months ago for 700 USD and I have never looked back. It has very good (but not excellent) picture quality, the power usage is fair and it is a handsome display. My only complaint is the anti-reflective coating could be better. I use it as a computer monitor as much as I use it as a TV and I have no complaints on either front. My games look absolutely brilliant on it.
     
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  8. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    The "re-gas" statement is completely false. Plasma displays do not "get worse" as they age. The MTBF on LCDs and plasma is about the same.

    "Burn-in" on plasmas is also completely an issue of the past. The only danger is from crawls or static parts of an image if you leave that channel on forever and pretty much all new models slightly "circle" their pixels to avoid this problem now.

    In short, these are both non-issues in your decision. The first thing you need to do is look at plasma and LCD displays side by side to determine which you are a fan of. They each do things a little differently. Plasmas generally have more natural colors but are not as sharp as LCDs. Personally, I'm a plasma fan. I much prefer them to LCDs, even when both are properly calibrated. Even the best LCDs look a little waxy and noisy to me, but they are way better than they used to be. Make sure you know which you prefer before you buy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
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  9. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    i agree with this i love my plasma. i use it as my monitor and i love its colors and image quality compared to my 42" bravia upstairs.
     
  10. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    streetfighter 2 hit the important points.


    They have to be refueled every 10 years or so. Failure or not, as plasma ages, it gets dimmer and dimmer.


    They do burn in (ghost) still. I've seen CRTs that were burned and it is not a good thing. Plasma is even more inclined to burn than CRTs. If you aren't careful, the image will eventually get burned. The advancements (like moving pixels as you mentioned) only brings the burning to approximately on par with CRTs--not superior. If you have a DVR for example, and leave it paused on something for hours at a time, stay away from plasma because that image may never go away.
     
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  11. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Respectfully disagree. I've had a Tivo connected to plasma displays for the better part of 5 years now. They will indeed ghost if you leave a static image on their display for some time. "Ghost" however, is not the same thing as "burn in". Ghost is temporary--it usually doesn't last more than an hour or two tops. Plasma TV's are specifically engineered so that burn in will only happen in extreme cases, just like it did with CRT's. This is not an issue that should even concern you remotely unless you plan on displaying a static image 24/7 for months/years on end like you would for flight departures or something like that in an airport.

    The whole fear of "de-gassing" and "burn in" just really aren't true. Those are false fears perpetuated to this day by TV salespeople in order to sell you a warranty for which they are handsomely rewarded. If you doubt me, simply Google the phrase "recharge plasma". It's preposterous and simply untrue. Plasma displays do NOT dim over time. Individual pixels might fail, just like they can in an LCD, but there will be NO loss of brightness over the lifetime of the display.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  12. timta2

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    Not many people keep TVs for 10 years. How many of you are using the same TV you bought 5 years ago? A lot of this (mis)information was used in advertising by LCD manufactures when they first came out , when everyone was talking about how awesome plasmas were. These aren't the same plasmas that are being sold today.

    Judging a display by the way it looks in the store is a bad idea. Often times the best looking display is the one that the store is getting the best incentives for sales on. And brighter does not mean that the display is better. If you are going to sit there and professionally calibrate all (video essentials doesn't count) of the displays then you can get a good comparison.

    That's totally opinion. Newer technology does not make better technology. CRT is still the king. It produces a quality display and has none of the drawbacks that a LCD or plasma has. 70+ years of refinement will do that.

    Modern plasmas don't use nearly the power that they used to. I personally think plasmas outshine just about every LCD (regardless of backlight) out there. And that's coming from someone who was professionally installing plasmas and LCDs when they first came out. The only time I would recommend a LCD is if you were going to put it in a bright room or are really concerned about the few extra dollars a year you will have to pay for the extra electricity.

    I would read reviews and maybe visit an AV forum before I made any final decision.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  13. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    :)

    I am having trouble confirming this though I don't doubt it. I am aware that for my particular model of plasma (TC-P50S1) Panasonic has a mechanism which gradually increases the black-level brightness over time which I can only assume is in an attempt to combat this very issue. (source) Unfortunately I have no evidence which says this isn't an issue exclusive to my model of HDTV.

    Burn-in is distinct from ghosting. Apparently though my definitions of each vary from the norm, so bear with me while I go about using the wrong terms...

    I find the burn-in of a CRT to be quite a bit different from plasma, though it depends a lot on which generation of each you pick for the comparison. On my plasma burn-in occurs when stationary objects with bright (especially white) colors appear for more than a minute. If I then switch off the video signal to the TV and I am left with a black screen I can see the outline of the previously displayed brightly colored stationary object. Fortunately I cannot see the burned image from more than a foot or two away and if I play any video (or even use the TVs provided burn-in cleaner) the burned images fade within a few minutes.

    I would certainly hope that no one would leave there TV on for many hours with a stationary image without good reason. Nevertheless, burn-in is a fact that people should be aware of as you stated.
     
  14. motasim

    motasim

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    I have done the related research recently and went with LG 42LD650 which is an LCD 42" HDTV with 200Hz refresh rate. I wanted an excellent HDTV that I can use as a monitor for 1080p PC gaming without costing me a fortune, and I think that I've made the right choice.
     
  15. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    I should have mentioned this previously: it is not possible to "regas" or recharge a plasma. The luminance (brightness) of the screen does fade in time. The reason why it can't be "regased" is because there isn't one large cell of gas in there; there is one enclosed cell per pixel. That is, there's no way to change the gas without basically destroying the screen and building a new one. In other words, if you "regassed" your monitor, it is a roundabout way of saying you put it in the trash because it isn't bright enough. XD


    There's two definitions of ghosting:
    1) a visual effect caused by high latency displays.
    2) a visual effect caused by burn in.

    I obviously am refering to the latter.
     
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  16. KieranD

    KieranD

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    Out of Plasma, LED and LCD i would go LED.

    Here is why: LED is a newer tech and its brighter and more efficient than normal LCD. DO NOT GET A SIDE LIT LED as it only illuminates from the side of the panel so its like a fake LED experience, Backlit LED TVs use a LCD screen so they are just more advanced LCDs. They produce better blacks for example than normal LCDs and consume less power. They cost more obviously.

    Plasma is one where you carefully need to work out if you want one.
    It gets screen burn yes so i wouldn't use it as a monitor because at desktop its more likely to get screen burn faster because not much would be happening. The thing uses a lot more energy than LCD or OLED. It has usually got a low resolution but you can get higher resolutions if you pay for it. They are generally big TVs the smallest is like 32inches. ADVANTAGES are the quality is superb and has the deepest black levels you can get, its not as good at bright colours or whites but its not that different. Its more for watching movies i would say. LCDs also have fast refresh rates which is good for gaming.

    OLED Is another new technology that differs from Plasma and LCD. An OLED display functions without a backlight and so can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than established LCDs. Problem is that they dont last long they wear out over a period of years. Also when displaying white it uses more power than an LCD but anything else like Blacks it uses dramatically less. I think the picture quality is greater than LCDs.

    42inches is far to big for a monitor, to much on screen for the distance you sit at. At a desk most people are no more than a metre away from the screen usually less.

    If i wanted a monitor i would buy a monitor not a TV, they just arnt as good but then again as a second display a TV works great.

    I remember on (Rear Projection TVs) you have to replace the bulb when it dies.
     
  17. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Okay, one last shot at this.

    Plasma displays do not burn in or fade in brightness over a regular lifespan. "Burn in" as everyone describes here, is nothing more than the fact that you can usually see brighter areas of the picture on the display for a few minutes after you power it off. That isn't burn in. That's just physics--the result of the green phosphor having a slower decay time than the red and the blue. It has no effect on the picture while viewing the display at all.

    Fade does occur--after maybe 80k to 100k hours of viewing time, which is what Panasonic currently rates their current plasma displays for. Do the math--that's 68 years at 4 hours a day. Again, not a practical limiting factor.

    In short, current plasma displays do NOT have any issues. Do not let misinformation and widespread urban legend affect your decision.
     
  18. HookeyStreet

    HookeyStreet Eat, sleep, game!

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    As a rule, I thought it was this: once you go above 42" a Plasma is better than an LCD (because of the contrast ratios etc) ??????????????????

    @ TS: just go for a 42" LCD 1080p LED backlit TV (and make sure its a good brand, at least 100HZ with a fast response time and high contrast ratio)

    This would be perfect: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Produ...19667/c_3/4|cat_14419667|LED+TVs|16180235.htm @ £999

    Or if you wanted to save some cash: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Produ...19667/c_3/4|cat_14419667|LCD+TVs|19878730.htm @ £799

    Personally, I have one very similar to this and its great for standard TV, SKY+ HD, XBOX 360/PS3 gaming and connecting a laptop too for movie playback etc -

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Produ...19667/c_3/4|cat_14419667|LCD+TVs|19878730.htm @ £449
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  19. arroyo

    arroyo

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    Philips 40PFL5605h beats up everything. It has LED backlight, uses <60W, 2ms response time ... great panel. Don't believe reviews, check out yourself.
     
  20. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    WHAT? im sorry but many of the stores I go into here in Paris, all of the TV's are set into a store/dynamic mode and ALL are playing the exact same content, why should I not get up close and see which one I prefer the picture on?

    Just judging by reviews and here-say about TV types may land you with something you dont like looking at, and considering thats 90% of what a TV is good for, I say buy what you like, as well as making a well informed decision.

    3D capable LED Tv's have always looked the best, followed by;
    -Standard LED/LCD Tv's
    -LCD Tv's
    -Plasma Tv's.

    keeping in mind they are all playing the exact same content, (not even in 3D on the 3D capable ones)

    in that order.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  21. oily_17

    oily_17

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    Some good advice here, above.
    As for which is the best, I would say that in Viewing angle, Black levels, Fast moving playback and colour accuracy Plasma would edge it over LCD (although colour accuracy will depend on the light level in the room and the different make/manufacturer for each TV).

    Really your best bet is to read reviews, on an AV forum, for the different TV's that are in your price range and you like the look of.

    EDIT: Also if you are worried about IR [image retention] when using a plasma screen for a monitor, then set the screen saver to run a sideshow of plasma break-in images and you will be fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  22. oily_17

    oily_17

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    Many of the bigger retail stores here are very large, brightly lit show rooms.Which is not the best place to view any TV.
    Also these stores tend to run the TV's on a store/dynamic mode which is usually crap compared to when you are viewing the TV at home with a good calibrated setup.
     
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  23. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    my point is at least you are viewing them all on completely equal terms, I'm not saying just buy the TV you think looks best playing avatar in store, but weight that against advice and reviews too.
     
  24. arroyo

    arroyo

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    My friend is working in TV-shop and they are doing the best calibration on most expensive TV's and the worst calibrated settings on the cheaper ones. Is someone came in and wanted to spend 500$ on TV, there is always better (more expensive and better calibrated) model. If they would calibrate colors on each TV properly, nobody would buy expensive TV's.

    That's why 3D have best look, than LCD and at the end Plasma. If you would calibrate them properly, they would look similar.
     
  25. oily_17

    oily_17

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    Which is why you should read reviews on any TV you are thinking of buying, dont just go by what you see in the stores.
     

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