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Thinking About A Plasma Set

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  • Thinking About A Plasma Set

    Widgets Magazine
    I currently have a 55 inch LG LED set as the mainstay of my home theater, but have been thinking about switching to a plasma set, but have a few questions about same:

    ---Burn-in, is that still an issue?
    ---Energy consumption versus LED or LCD sets
    ---Glare from the screen
    ---Overall picture quality versus LED or LCD

    For anyone here who owns plasma sets, could you give me the 411 on them, what you like, dislike and overall quality. Much appreciated!
    "Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
    ---old Irish proverb
    Avatar: Eriko, a.k.a. Rosa Foetida
    Check out my MAL list!

  • #2
    Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

    I own last year's Panasonic ST30 so I'll give my thoughts.

    ---Burn-in, is that still an issue?
    No it's not. It takes having a static image on the screen for days on end to burn it in. Image retention which is a temporary ghost of a static image will happen but it usually goes away pretty quick. Plasmas have features to help remove or prevent IR. On mine it has a pixel orbiter and scrolling bar.

    ---Energy consumption versus LED or LCD sets
    Plasmas have been improving every year but they still use more energy than LED/LCDs.

    ---Glare from the screen
    On mine glare isn't much of an issue but I have it in my basement that only has a skylight. The higher end sets have better filters that reduce glare. The lower end sets sometimes don't have a filter at all and will be like a mirror since it's just the glass.

    ---Overall picture quality versus LED or LCD
    Plasmas have superior picture quality IMO unless you go to the very expensive high end of LED/LCDs. Black level and motion are two very important aspects of image quality that LED/LCDs can't compare to plasmas with. Uniform screens and superior off-angle viewing are other advantages they have too.

    The two cons my plasma, and plasmas in general have, is line bleed (example of what that is) and audible buzzing. How bad those will be depends on the TV, there's no consistency to it. Compared to the numerous flaws LED/LCDs have though, it's not that big of a deal.

    After I calibrated the picture on my plasma, Blu-rays be it live-action or animation look amazing on it. I'll never go back to LED/LCDs.

    Any particular set or price range you're looking at?
    DVD/BD collection
    Avatar: Yajiro from The Eccentric Family

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    • #3
      Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

      Chronoclast: Well, I'm thinking of a price range under say, two grand. In fact, I've had my eye on a 64 inch Samsung set at Best Buy (the 550 series) for $1,999.99. In any event, many thanks for the info you provided. Much appreciated.
      "Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
      ---old Irish proverb
      Avatar: Eriko, a.k.a. Rosa Foetida
      Check out my MAL list!

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      • #4
        Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

        I have a Pana plasma & like it, but they are heavier than LCD/LED. If you're going to hang it on a wall, or use the same stand as your LED, check the weight tolerances. A shattered plasma is much messier than any other panel (apart from CRT perhaps).

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        • #5
          Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

          Originally posted by Njr Resurrection View Post
          I have a Pana plasma & like it, but they are heavier than LCD/LED. If you're going to hang it on a wall, or use the same stand as your LED, check the weight tolerances. A shattered plasma is much messier than any other panel (apart from CRT perhaps).
          Well, if I were to decide on a plasma set, it'll go on my TV stand which is rated at supporting up to 150 pounds. I think I'll be in good shape on that score.
          "Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
          ---old Irish proverb
          Avatar: Eriko, a.k.a. Rosa Foetida
          Check out my MAL list!

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          • #6
            Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

            Panasonic plasma owner here. I have yet to watch anyone else's television and be more impressed by it. I had a VERY bright light in the room, but the reflection/glare from it is barely noticeable on the screen.

            As far as image retention goes, every month or so I run the white-line sweeper-thingy... seems to do the trick. No audible buzzing that I've noticed... my only real complaint is the heat it generates. I'm sure, in some areas, during the winter, that might be nice... but not in the air-as-thick-as-soup Florida.
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            • #7
              Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

              Originally posted by DiRF View Post
              Panasonic plasma owner here. I have yet to watch anyone else's television and be more impressed by it. I had a VERY bright light in the room, but the reflection/glare from it is barely noticeable on the screen.

              As far as image retention goes, every month or so I run the white-line sweeper-thingy... seems to do the trick. No audible buzzing that I've noticed... my only real complaint is the heat it generates. I'm sure, in some areas, during the winter, that might be nice... but not in the air-as-thick-as-soup Florida.
              I was thinking of getting a Panasonic plasma since prices seem to be significantly dropping lately. An issue of Consumer Reports had an article on HD televisions and it said the Viera is the best value for your money.
              Avatar: Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun. Level 5 Electromaster and Ace of Tokiwadai Middle School.

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              • #8
                Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                RE: Image retention/burn-in: I did find this article on that interesting. Still, personal accounts I've seen from scouring around I've done have been mixed among owners of the same models and those who have done exchanges. Although I've been looking more into Panny plasmas than Samsung or LG units.

                As a gamer, image retention is somewhat of a bigger deal to me due to to persistent, fixed screen elements on most games. I've heard more than a few accounts of "Estus Flask" being retained on recent plasma screens of owners who have put much time into Dark Souls.

                Anyway, the Samsung LN46A650 LCD I bought four years ago started giving me problems a couple years back. The problems go away after it heats up (0-5 minutes during summer, 10-20 minutes during winter), but as of a few days ago, they're showing scary signs of progressing and I don't know how much longer letting the set warm up first is going to work (hopefully at least a few more months...).

                Still, despite slight IR worries, I'm also looking to replace my current set with a plasma, but one not of Samsung branding. I've got my sights set on a Panny P50GT50...hoping that they'll fall to around the $1k range during Black Friday sales. Though I could settle for an P50ST50 if there's an exceptionally enticing deal for one of them.
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                • #9
                  Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                  Well, I'm not a gamer, but I am concerned about using a plasma set to watch TV with station logos in the lower right hand corner, ESPN with the bottom crawl, letterbox films with bars on top and bottom or 4:3 movies with bars on the sides. Would either of those instances present problems?
                  "Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
                  ---old Irish proverb
                  Avatar: Eriko, a.k.a. Rosa Foetida
                  Check out my MAL list!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                    Originally posted by cress2000 View Post
                    RE: Image retention/burn-in: I did find this article on that interesting. Still, personal accounts I've seen from scouring around I've done have been mixed among owners of the same models and those who have done exchanges. Although I've been looking more into Panny plasmas than Samsung or LG units.

                    As a gamer, image retention is somewhat of a bigger deal to me due to to persistent, fixed screen elements on most games. I've heard more than a few accounts of "Estus Flask" being retained on recent plasma screens of owners who have put much time into Dark Souls.

                    Anyway, the Samsung LN46A650 LCD I bought four years ago started giving me problems a couple years back. The problems go away after it heats up (0-5 minutes during summer, 10-20 minutes during winter), but as of a few days ago, they're showing scary signs of progressing and I don't know how much longer letting the set warm up first is going to work (hopefully at least a few more months...).

                    Still, despite slight IR worries, I'm also looking to replace my current set with a plasma, but one not of Samsung branding. I've got my sights set on a Panny P50GT50...hoping that they'll fall to around the $1k range during Black Friday sales. Though I could settle for an P50ST50 if there's an exceptionally enticing deal for one of them.
                    I've always had IR issues with my Toshiba LCD I bought 4 years back. At least these new sets seem to have ways of dealing with the issue. Good point about the Black Friday sales. I'll wait and see how low these prices will go.
                    Avatar: Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun. Level 5 Electromaster and Ace of Tokiwadai Middle School.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                      Ooooh yeah... black Friday.

                      Every television my family has ever bought (over, say, $200) has been on Black Friday (or even on the following Saturday-Monday)...
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                      Avatar: Yamamayaa (AzuDai)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                        Quality control issues generally are not a concern any more for flat screens, be they LCD/LED's or Plasmas. Consumer Reports has found that the overall rate of defects in five year old sets is now only around 4%. In LCD's, only Mitsubishi and Polaroid were found to be below average for repair. In Plasma's, Panasonic, LG and Samsung were found to be the most reliable; but differences between them and the rest of the plasmas are very small. So you can pretty much pick by type, size, video and audio quality or features.

                        I've often wondered what I'd replace my current 61" Samsung DLP rear projection tv with when it's LED's eventually die in ten years or so from now. Most likely a 65 to 75" LCD flatscreen rather than a plasma. There's three main reasons why:

                        Plasmas generate too much heat; they have to by their very nature. So if you're really thinking of going to a 64" plasma? Well just remember, the bigger the set, the more the heat!

                        Reflections in the glass. Generally not a problem in a room that's not directly facing the sun or the reflections off to one side. A big problem for me as my main lamp tends to reflect right into the middle of the screen. Hardly noticeable on my DLP set, but I suspect would be intolerable in a plasma. So check out the reflections on your current set before deciding.

                        Weight of the set. My current 61" set weighs around 70 to 80 lbs I think. A LCD flatscreen would probably be about the same. A 64" plasma? I'm guessing about double that weight or even more! They have to be that weight because of all that glass in the panel. And if you live alone like I do, it might be virtually impossible to move or clean around something that heavy.

                        Plasma's certainly have their advantages. Bright, visible from almost any angle, ultra deep blacks. But the better LCD's are getting close. In the biggest sizes they also tend to be slightly cheaper. So it's up to you if you think you can live with the above limitations.

                        J. A.
                        Currently Watching: Fairy Tail Coll. 4, Freezing, Digimon Frontier, Black Lagoon
                        Just Finished: Battle Girls, Sailor Moon R-2, Sabagebu, Infinite Stratos 2
                        Current Backlog: 38 Series: 22 Bricks/Lite boxes, 16 BD's/Combos
                        Current Collection: 362 Series, plus: 70+ movies, 110+ OVA's, 30+ Singles

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                        • #13
                          Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                          I can testify that Mitsubishi HDTVs are the only ones that have crappy reliability (the projection kind of HDTV)

                          ... my father's a snowbird, so he bought one for his house down here, his one up north, and he also bought one for *his* father, when my grampa was still alive...

                          ...all three have had problems in the past couple of years. I think, the next time he decides to buy an HDTV, it won't be projection, and it DEFINITELY won't be a Mitsubishi.
                          Online profiles: ANN DVDAf eBay
                          Avatar: Yamamayaa (AzuDai)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                            Originally posted by Otakufan View Post
                            Plasmas generate too much heat; they have to by their very nature. So if you're really thinking of going to a 64" plasma? Well just remember, the bigger the set, the more the heat!
                            I beg to differ. I stood right in front of a 64 inch plasma at Best Buy, only six inches away from the screen, didn't feel a thing.

                            Originally posted by Otakufan View Post
                            Reflections in the glass. Generally not a problem in a room that's not directly facing the sun or the reflections off to one side. A big problem for me as my main lamp tends to reflect right into the middle of the screen. Hardly noticeable on my DLP set, but I suspect would be intolerable in a plasma. So check out the reflections on your current set before deciding.
                            On the sets I investigated at Best Buy, under bright flourescent lights, I saw no more reflections on plamsa sets than on LCD/LED sets.

                            Originally posted by Otakufan View Post
                            Weight of the set. My current 61" set weighs around 70 to 80 lbs I think. A LCD flatscreen would probably be about the same. A 64" plasma? I'm guessing about double that weight or even more! They have to be that weight because of all that glass in the panel. And if you live alone like I do, it might be virtually impossible to move or clean around something that heavy.
                            The 64 inch plasma sets I've researched check in at under 100 pounds, hardly onerous. And why move it around after having put it on a stand in the first place?
                            "Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."
                            ---old Irish proverb
                            Avatar: Eriko, a.k.a. Rosa Foetida
                            Check out my MAL list!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Thinking About A Plasma Set

                              So not a problem for you. That's good........

                              The heat from a plasma is generally dissipated through the back, that's what the built-in fan is for! In the old days when plasmas were the new kid on the block; there were instances of fans failing and reports of plasma's literally going up in smoke! Fans are a lot more quiet and reliable now and sets are cooler. But still........., if you live in an apartment without air, it's going to add to the heat in your viewing area. Could be an advantage in winter though.

                              Coatings on plasma's have helped a lot with the reflection problem. Although there are reports that they can reduce apparent contrast and resolution if not done right. And of course, reflections are usually only a problem with a bright pin-point source that hits directly in your viewing angle. Lighting evenly distributed over an entire area (say a large store) would be much less noticeable.

                              Good to hear that the weights are coming down. When I was buying my 61" Samsung, I also looked at a 59" Hitachi Plasma. It weighed almost 160 lbs. The 58" Pannasonic was around 130 I think. I'm assuming they're using thinner glass panels now and most likely, smaller and hence lighter speakers as well.

                              I'm using a matching stand for my unit. I couldn't move it if I wanted to. Between the 100 lbs. for the stand, the 80 lbs. for the tv., the 25 lbs. for the Center Speaker, 21 lbs.for the Denon receiver plus a HD cable box, VHS tape recorder, a BD player and a DVD player. It's not going anywhere. As a result I've had to leave it positioned about two feet out from the wall so I can get around to the back when I have to troubleshoot or upgrade my components. Real pain not being able to move it.

                              J. A.
                              Currently Watching: Fairy Tail Coll. 4, Freezing, Digimon Frontier, Black Lagoon
                              Just Finished: Battle Girls, Sailor Moon R-2, Sabagebu, Infinite Stratos 2
                              Current Backlog: 38 Series: 22 Bricks/Lite boxes, 16 BD's/Combos
                              Current Collection: 362 Series, plus: 70+ movies, 110+ OVA's, 30+ Singles

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