Need a few opinions on Plasma TV market

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m1st
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Need a few opinions on Plasma TV market

Post by m1st » Fri May 28, 2010 5:23 am

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a stickler for image fidelity, which is why I'm looking at Plasma TVs only (no LCDs). Not that LCDs can't make a good picture, but I prefer Plasma TVs.

I was shopping at Costco and found the Panasonic TC-42PX24 Plasma TV on sale. When I went home, I found that it could be had for as little as $524 online. It's only 720p, but for a screen that size I can live with that. Plus, it has all the input connectors I need. I'm thinking that it's a pretty good deal.

Question 1: Is it a good deal? Any experience with Panasonic TVs, or this TV in particular?

The second question is one about the market. I really don't need a TV right now, but I've been hearing whispers about Plasma TVs going the way of the Dodo. Is this true? I understand that LCDs are lighter, use less energy, etc., but I really love the picture quality (especially black levels) of Plasmas. It would be a real shame if I hold out on buying a TV, just to find out that in a year or two when I want to buy a Plasma, they've all been discontinued

Question 2: Have you heard anything remotely credible about the future of Plasma TVs? If they're gonna be around for another 2 years (or hopefully longer), then I'll hold off on buying this one. But if there's a chance that they'll be discontinued, I'd wanna buy one now...

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Post by andyb » Fri May 28, 2010 5:59 am

I expected Plasmas to disapear faster than they are, however even full HD (i.e. 1080p) are dropping in price quite quickly compared to LCD's, or at least they have been in the last 12-18 months.

I certainly appreciate the better black level, wider viewing angles, and more accurate and vibrant colours than LCD's, but if you want a 42" TV of any kind you should really spend the small extra amount and get a 1080p, at the very least even if you dont have anything at that defenition to watch you can get a good res from a laptop/PC.


Andy

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Post by psiu » Fri May 28, 2010 7:09 am

I looked at that plasma at Costco as well--they had their demo loop running instead of a movie and the 1024x768 resolution was very apparent, very jaggy text and angles.

Was a bit above our price range and desires anyway (well, the wife's ;) ) so we got a 32" LCD.

I have heard the talk of plasmas going away as well but it seems certain they will still be around next year and probably the year after.

m1st
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Post by m1st » Fri May 28, 2010 7:11 am

Thanks for the reply, Andy.

I'll definitely look into some 1080p sets. It couldn't hurt having the extra resolution (except for my wallet :-p), but I doubt I'll use it for my computer for very long. Just to watch a movie or two every once in a while.

So I've been just looking at Panasonic TVs. Are there any other brands or specific models that you recommend?

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Post by m1st » Fri May 28, 2010 7:25 am

@psiu:

Yeah, too bad the Costco feed doesn't really tell you how good or bad the actual picture quality will be.

I'm still very open to ideas, but if it seems that Plasmas will still be around for a few more years, I'll hold off on buying one. Though I'm such a terrible impulse spender that I may change my mind :roll:

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Re: Need a few opinions on Plasma TV market

Post by judge56988 » Fri May 28, 2010 8:04 am

m1st wrote:
Question 1: Is it a good deal? Any experience with Panasonic TVs, or this TV in particular?
I've been buying Panasonic TV's/VHS/DVD stuff for 25 years and never had a complaint. Their high end TV's consistently get excellent reviews and their mainstream stuff is highly regarded in it's price range. I've had a Panasonic 30" CRT TV for almost 10 years and the picture quality is awesome - I suppose one day I will switch to a flat screen HDTV, but not just yet.

I've also had a Phillips portable for over 10 years and it's still going strong. Nice picture, decent sound - no complaints there and Phillips seem to be a highly regarded manufacturer, known particularly for inventing new technology.

This article out today might be of interest.

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Post by Scoop » Fri May 28, 2010 8:10 am

You shouldn't hold off, instead buy a Pioneer Kuro full HD if you can still find one. My friend has a 50" and it's just awesome. Didn't Panasonic buy Pioneer's tech or something? I think their new plasmas are pretty good (in comparison to Kuro) and not that pricey either. But that model that you mentioned is older so I'm not so sure about it. I wouldn't buy it.

If you really want a good plasma, or a TV in general, you need to spend more than $500. Go for something like Panasonic TX-P42G20 if you can't quite afford a Pioneer.

http://www.avforums.com/reviews/Panason ... eview.html

I can't recommend buying a bad TV just to have an HDTV and I don't think you'd be satisfied with what you mentioned.

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Post by CA_Steve » Fri May 28, 2010 8:56 am

For all things TV, check out AVSforum.

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Post by Avalanche » Fri May 28, 2010 9:38 am

I have had a Panasonic Viera TH-50PX80U 50" 720P plasma since June of 2008. I use it primarily for DVDs, Netflix and XBOX, and some sports OTA. It was $1300 and I've been thrilled with it.

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You should check out the LED backlit LCD's

Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri May 28, 2010 10:04 am

Hi,

I think the new LED backlit LCD screen are much better than plasma. 4,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rates, superwide viewing angles, full 1080P -- I think they are much better than any plasma unit that I have seen.

Add to this, the LED backlit LCD units use a fraction of the power, and they weigh a lot less, and they are slimmer profile.

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Post by danimal » Fri May 28, 2010 5:40 pm

read this, and you'll understand why no lcd tv can match a good plasma tv:
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2 ... 236,00.asp

don't buy anything less than a 1080p screen, 720p is dead technology.

last xmas i bought a 54" panasonic p54s1, shipped to my door for $1008.

if you have the right ambient lighting conditions for plasma, it's the only way to go.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri May 28, 2010 6:33 pm

I have not done an exhaustive comparison, but the new LED backlit LCD's are as good/better than any plasma that I have seen.

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Post by danimal » Sat May 29, 2010 12:36 pm

replacing the cathode ray tube with leds doesn't fix the viewing angle problem, because viewing angle decay is largely a function of the lcd panel type... you have to pay a lot of money to get an lcd panel that won't lose gamma and resolution when you take one step to the side.

i looked at one of those led lcd tvs at frys last summer, the picture quality was so bad that i vowed to never buy an lcd tv... i went for plasma without ever even seeing one before, and i'm glad that i did.

the caveat with plasma is that you don't want to put it into a bright room.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Sun May 30, 2010 6:32 pm

Sure, there are crappy LCD's out there; but that doesn't mean that they are all bad. Viewing angle and depth of blackness used to be their weakest points, but I'll say it again: check out the best LED backlit LCD's, they have very good viewing angles and very high contrast ratios, and good speed and brightness, too. In my opinion, they beat or equal the plasma screens. And their low power use is unbeatable.

Plasmas used to wear out pretty quickly -- have they solved that issue well enough for you?

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Post by m1st » Sun May 30, 2010 8:15 pm

@neil:

I have been amazed at how far LCDs have come in the past few years; however, I still prefer the picture quality of Plasmas. I think that it's a fair generalization that LCDs have possibly longer life expentancies, lighter weight, and lower consumption. That being said, I still think that Plasma TVs have better color reproduction. As LCD technology has advanced, it has gained much ground in the areas of viewing angle and ghosting to the point that I think that you'd have to see them side-by-side to see any difference between the two. Also, I am satisfied now at the estimated lifespans of Plasmas that that wouldn't be too much of a concern for me.

Thanks to all for all your insights into the issue. If anything, you've all convinced me that I shouldn't just drop $400 on the cheapest Plasma TV made by a reputable manufacturer that I can find. I guess I'll wait until a really good one for about $800 becomes available. My concern stemmed from walking into electronics stores and seeing nothing but DLPs and LCD TVs. I hope that these aren't signs of a dying Plasma TV market -- if this thread is any indication, it looks like the Plasma TV market is still going strong! Hopefully it stays that way and they'll still be around in a year or two when I can afford to put more money towards a better TV.

Thanks to all!

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Post by Deucal » Mon May 31, 2010 10:28 am

Not so long a ago Panasonic just opened up a brand new Plasma TV factory, so no it isn't going anywhere :).

Power use of the plasma tv's are going down with every generation.

And the Panasonic brand is one of the best, since they put quality first (with in reason) and you pay for it.

Edit: Plasma life time is measure to about 100.000 hours of view time (panasonic panel) and the panasonic LCd are set for 60.000 hours of view time.

Light measurement drops about 10-15% the first 10 years, then fast the next 20 so you would end up with 40-50% light from the panel when it reaches the end of it's life time (aprox. 30 years).
Last edited by Deucal on Mon May 31, 2010 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You should check out the LED backlit LCD's

Post by Deucal » Mon May 31, 2010 10:34 am

Note, there are two types of LED backlight.
EDGE and FULL.

EDGE is as it word is, only backlit from the edge of the scree. Cheaper and super thin. But not that great.

FULL is when you get the backlight over every cm of the screen. EXPENSIVE :) but awsome.

The nature of LCD is that you need quite a lot more processing power to get natural motion and colours. With Plasma you have the colours and the speed natively so processing power can be used for something else.

The Panasonic TXP**X20 are nice 100hz but not Full HD panels, the TXP**S20 are very good and excelent pricing. Of course the TXP**G20 is awsome in every way but on the expensive side :).

Edit: PS I sell TVs (plasma and lcd) for a living and hands down I would buy the Panasonic TXP**G20, or if you really want to burn money the V line :D
NeilBlanchard wrote:Hi,

I think the new LED backlit LCD screen are much better than plasma. 4,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rates, superwide viewing angles, full 1080P -- I think they are much better than any plasma unit that I have seen.

Add to this, the LED backlit LCD units use a fraction of the power, and they weigh a lot less, and they are slimmer profile.

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Post by aristide1 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Panasonic also makes some IPS LCDs worth checking out.

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Post by Mats » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:27 pm


m1st
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Post by m1st » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:10 am

aristide1 wrote:Panasonic also makes some IPS LCDs worth checking out.
Though definitely interesting, I still would be unhappy with the higher black levels inherent with any LCD panel. I have an H-IPS LCD for my computer and it works great for its intended purposes, but for video-viewing only, I'd rather stick with a Plasma.

@mats:

Thanks for the links. The resolution chart in particular is very interesting. To make sure that I'm reading this graph correctly, does it say that for a 42" monitor at 7.5', 720p and 1080p should look equivalent? I know this depends a lot on the individual user, but if that's the case then maybe a cheapo 720p would be alright...

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Post by Mats » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:54 am

m1st wrote:To make sure that I'm reading this graph correctly, does it say that for a 42" monitor at 7.5', 720p and 1080p should look equivalent? I know this depends a lot on the individual user, but if that's the case then maybe a cheapo 720p would be alright...
Yeah, something like that. I know there are people who are a lot more demanding with resolution, I just don't care.
You can click the link above the chart to see the article, if you missed that.

The other links are just to show that the picture is stretched many times, and isn't aligned pixel by pixel, which makes the 1080 more pointless to me.

Just my opinion.

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