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Plasma or LCD
Old 10-18-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Plasma or LCD

Hubby's birthday is coming up and I want to get him a 52 inch TV. I like the models made by Samsung and an leaning twoards the LCD type. Any one care to share their experiences pro or con?
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Plasma is older technology than LCD, but some people swear by them. I have a Samsung 40" LCD and we really like it. Had it since last Christmas. No experience with plasma's at all.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #3
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I love Samsung. I love plasma. In the last 3 years, I've had Samsung plasmas pn50a450 (720p), pn42b450 (720p), pn58c8000 (1080p, 3D). All great sets, because they have very good color, and have lots of user controls so you can adjust them yourself (avoiding a professional calibration).
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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get 60" !!!
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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I don't know if technically one is superior to the other, but I have a 37" LCD and 42" plasma (both Panasonic VIERAs) and the picture on the plasma TV is much better IMO. Colors are definitely more vivid and the brightness/contrast is much higher on the plasma.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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Forgot to mention to wait as long as you can to buy one...articles I've read that inventories of so many TV's that are just sitting in warehouses, the inventory problem is even bigger than last year. So you should see really good deals coming for this Christmas season...but you have a birthday issue, not sure how close it is to Black Friday?
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #7
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I don't know if technically one is superior to the other, but I have a 37" LCD and 42" plasma (both Panasonic VIERAs) and the picture on the plasma TV is much better IMO. Colors are definitely more vivid and the brightness/contrast is much higher on the plasma.
What he said. I have had both, and it seems to me that the picture is much better on the plasma TV. On the other hand, why not look at both in the store before buying? Then you can choose the one with the price and picture quality that you prefer.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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I have a 50+ (52 or 54) inch plasma that we bought at least a couple of years ago (maybe three); and, it is absolutely great. (It is a Panasonic model that was getting rated as the second or third best on the market by several reviewers when we bought.)

But, if I were buying now, I would probably lean towards the LCD for a few reasons:
  • Heat: LCD's seem to run much cooler than plasmas.
  • Weight: LCD's seem to be much lighter than plasmas.
  • Technology: At the time I bought, LCD's weren't quite up to plasmas in terms of fast action (sports, action movies, video games, etc.) and color; but, I believe that has changed.

Also, when I bought, plasmas were significantly cheaper than LCD's of similar size and other specs.

Either way you go, it is going to be a great gift.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:29 AM   #9
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I like LCD's better - I can't stand the light reflection on plasma.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Some consider Plasma TV's as room space heaters because they use so much power. Sometimes you need to run the Air conditioning just to stay in the same room.

LCD TV's are much more energy efficient than plasmas.

The latest LCD TV's are very energy efficient. They do the back plane illumination with LEDs rather than florescent tubes. Since these are relatively new the cost is considerably greater but will drop with time.

Just on the horizon, and just showing up now are Internet streaming TVs. Some people believe that cable TV will become irrelevant when you can get all your channels plus hundreds of others for a lower price on the Internet.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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We finally gave up the CRT this year. I liked the plasmas (rich colors!), but they wouldn't have worked in the bright room we use for TV viewing. We finally chose the 47" LG LCD and like it a lot. Also, some folks think the 60Hz refresh rate is just fine--if you and DH feel that way, you can save a lot of money. We went with 120Hz because the motion blur at 60Hz really bothered DW (not me) and the blurring of "text crawlers" bugged us both.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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I second MasterBlaster's post on the heat. I also think the LED backlit LCDs look better than the Plasmas and they use even less energy than non LED backlit. Also, the plasma a neighbor has is at least twice as heavy as the same size LCD we have, if that is a factor for you. The weight could have been the different manufacturers, but that seems too big a gap for just manufacturing components considering most use the same OEM part suppliers.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:53 AM   #13
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Have a 6 or 7 yo SVA (oddball brand) 42" Plasma. Works fine great pic. So far DW destroyed one remote. No repair issues at all. Th eintensity is still only set at 50 %.

Hint, when you get a new one the intensity is usually cranked up to max. Don't need it that high, can get good picture at 45 to 50% setting.

Does make a good heater, We have it near a large window, in winter it does compensate for the heatloss through the window.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
I don't know if technically one is superior to the other, but I have a 37" LCD and 42" plasma (both Panasonic VIERAs) and the picture on the plasma TV is much better IMO. Colors are definitely more vivid and the brightness/contrast is much higher on the plasma.
Ditto except our plasma is 50". Same experience.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:28 PM   #15
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42" Insignia brand plasma bought this summer (from Bestbuy). It is the exact same model as a Samsung apparently, but it is the Bestbuy private label brand.

You can feel the heat coming from it, but it doesn't need auxiliary a/c. Power consumption is usually 70-100 watts which is slightly more than my old 21" CRT computer monitor consumed.

Picture quality is unbelievable for a $400 tv ($500 now it looks like). It is 720p and not 1080p, but we don't care since it is only 42" and we are not videophiles. Plays standard def stuff really well and looks good (almost HD). Basic otherwise, but you get what you pay for.

I was biased against plasmas for some reason, but now that I own it I'm not sure why. The picture quality was the best I could find at bestbuy for less than $1000 or so in the 42" size. I would not hesitate to recommend plasma to anyone. Just read reviews of the actual tv you are looking at, and take a peak at it in the store before buying if you can, because I noticed a huge difference in picture quality between different tvs, and there was only a very loose correlation with price.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #16
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42" Insignia brand plasma bought this summer (from Bestbuy). It is the exact same model as a Samsung apparently, but it is the Bestbuy private label brand.

You can feel the heat coming from it, but it doesn't need auxiliary a/c. Power consumption is usually 70-100 watts which is slightly more than my old 21" CRT computer monitor consumed.

Picture quality is unbelievable for a $400 tv ($500 now it looks like). It is 720p and not 1080p, but we don't care since it is only 42" and we are not videophiles. Plays standard def stuff really well and looks good (almost HD). Basic otherwise, but you get what you pay for.

I was biased against plasmas for some reason, but now that I own it I'm not sure why. The picture quality was the best I could find at bestbuy for less than $1000 or so in the 42" size. I would not hesitate to recommend plasma to anyone. Just read reviews of the actual tv you are looking at, and take a peak at it in the store before buying if you can, because I noticed a huge difference in picture quality between different tvs, and there was only a very loose correlation with price.
Fuego:

The specs in the link provided lists the power consumption at 200 W. which isn't bad for a plasma. Sampling a few TVs on the site, I noticed another (Energy Star - 5 stars) 42" Plasma TV on the site at 99 W. The manufacturers must be getting better at power management. This certainly wasn't true in the past. In the past plasma TVs were real energy hogs. So I stand corrected.

For comparison a Samsung 40" LCD TV on the same (BestBuy) site I looked at came in at 73 W

Based on that, I wouldn't hesitate to buy either TV WRT power consumption.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #17
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Plasma has a lot shorter life than LCD....

At mega, we had plasma up at different offices etc... they ran most of the day... most went out in 1 1/2 years... all were toast within 3 years..

Get some info on how long they last in hours... and calculate how long one will last for you...
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:42 PM   #18
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One big reason plasma looks better is because plasma blacks are blacker than LCD blacks. That makes the colors look brighter and gives better contrast. If you are going to watch the TV in a darkened room this might be very noticeable to you. Check it in a store before you buy.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:58 PM   #19
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I have had multiple plasmas, my brother and DD+SIL have both plasma and LCD. For reasons I do not understand, plasma has a more compelling image, this is confirmed by brother and SIL. In well lit rooms plasma has a more desirable image. Probably brightness.

The major flaws in both technologies have been worked out, both are quite mature in their technology cycle and should give many years of viewing pleasure. As MB pointed out, the greatest plasma shortcoming is energy consumption. The greatest LCD shortcoming is off-angle viewing – the brightness falls off sharply as you move off to the sides. If just one or two viewers sitting directly in front, this should not be an issue.

They are both so much better than any other option that I suspect you can’t choose wrong. Screen size makes a huge difference – if you can afford a couple of extra inches and it fits, you should go for it.

Consumer reports likes (in order) a couple of Sony LCDs, then Samsung LN55C650, UN55C6500 and UN55C8000. The last two are LED.

Keep Vizio in mind. They are quite competitive in LCDs.

Features and connectivity are quite different among the alternatives. Will this be a standalone set, have some connections (like a dvd player) or potentially many connections – gaming, audio, computer?
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #20
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Fuego:

The specs in the link provided lists the power consumption at 200 W. which isn't bad for a plasma. Sampling a few TVs on the site, I noticed another (Energy Star - 5 stars) 42" Plasma TV on the site at 99 W. The manufacturers must be getting better at power management. This certainly wasn't true in the past. In the past plasma TVs were real energy hogs. So I stand corrected.

For comparison a Samsung 40" LCD TV on the same (BestBuy) site I looked at came in at 73 W

Based on that, I wouldn't hesitate to buy either TV WRT power consumption.
Now that you mention it, that was a big concern of mine - 200W is a lot of energy to power it, and then at least that much to cool the room back down. But that must be with the thing on 100% brightness all the time and a full white screen with R G and B all at 100% intensity. I plugged my tv into my killawatt meter and (this is from memory) it was somewhere in the 70-80's watt range for typical tv watching where there are plenty of dark scenes (or black bars top and bottom). I think 130-140 watts was the max when I had it on a bright white screen and paused it. Under standard operation, I would say to expect actual energy consumption to be 100 watts or less on average. And it has an energy saving mode that dims it slightly and saves more energy (probably average of 70 watts in that mode). If you had a theater room that was dim, the energy saving mode would work great - no so great in a room with sliding glass doors and direct sunlight!
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