View Full Version : OT: HDTV advice?

2006-08-21, 06:00
I'm starting to look at HDTV for my home. A 37-inch screen would fit in nicely. I'm beginning to see some for less than $1,000. Does anyone have any advice on LCD vs. plasma, specs to look for, prices expected to decline after Christmas, anything else that I should know? Maybe there is a website I should check out? Thanks in advance.

2006-08-21, 06:08
I've found lots of useful stuff at AVforums - http://www.avforums.com/forums/index.php - it's UK-centric but there's probably much there that would be of interest.

2006-08-21, 06:09
Well, personally, I like the LCD's, cuz they run a whole lot cooler and use a lot less electricity. Slashdot just had an article discussing this very subject...


2006-08-22, 01:21
Everyone likes something different, but I may as well chip in anyway :)

I prefer Plasma screens as the are brighter, have better colours and motion is a lot smoother on them.

Admitedly there are very few 37inch plasmas, i think Panasonic are about the only ones that make/sell them, and they are more expensive than LCD.

Burn-in isn't a big deal with Plasmas, no more than Rear Projection or CRT screens. LCD screens can also suffer from burn-in too. Oh and no, you don't have to get the screens "re-charged" with plasma gas like my Dad thought :)

2006-08-22, 05:58
I have a 42" Plasma which is less than 1 year old. I was very careful with the screen as they are very prone to burn-in during the first 200 hours of operation.

Despite that I have a thumbprint sized mark on the screen which may have been made by the splash screen of a DVD player which takes a long time to read DVD's. I've never heard of LCD's suffering burn-in or read any articles warning of same.

I bought the Plasma as 42" HD ready LCD's were over €1000 dearer than the equivalent Plasma. Given the choice now, I'd go for LCD.
The only downside to LCD is a lack of contrast (apparently) and slower refresh rate than Plasma.
Newer LCD's seem to have this problem sorted.

Make sure the set you buy has at least 2 HDMI ports if you plan to buy smething like a PS3 or HD-DVD player.
HDMI switchboxes are currently very expensive.

Rod Savard
2006-08-22, 06:33
> LCD screens can also suffer from burn-in too.

No way.. that's impossible with LCD technology. However, they can
"suffer" from temporary image retention. It is far from permanent, like
burn-in is.


2006-08-22, 08:37
LCD type displays exhibit this same phenomenon, although the mechanics of the image retention are different. In the case of LCD displays, the liquid crystal molecules which convert the white backlight to color as it passes through the membrane lose their rotation elasticity. In this case they are unable to fully return to their normal rotation state. As in the case with plasma displays, this is usually transient and will self correct after a period of off time or dynamic content. However, in severe cases it can become permanent.
this was recently discussed over on Hexus.net, i didn't know about this before then


Mark Lanctot
2006-08-22, 08:44
I'm curious, are dead/defective pixels a problem with LCD HDTVs?

There was quite a discussion of this regarding computer monitors but I have not seen anything regarding HDTVs. Warranty varies - sometimes you can get a new display if you have a single defective pixel, with others you can have dozens of them peppering the screen and the manufacturer won't help you.

It would bug the crap out of me to have a dark pixel, or worse, one that was stuck red as sometimes occurs with computer monitors.

Given the much longer viewing distance, perhaps this isn't a problem? Also larger displays are higher-spec so quality could be higher than computer monitors.

2006-08-22, 12:55
There are a few different technologies out there: LCD, Plasma, Rear Projection LCD, DLP and LCOS. They each have their own strenghts and weaknesses in various areas (screen door effect of RPLCD if you are too close, rainbow effects of DLPs etc...). You need to find the one that fits you best and fits your budget.

It's also good to understand HDTV and the different types: 720p, 1080i, 1080p etc... This is an old article but is still a good read.


Some other good links here:

Buying an HDTV: http://www.digitalhome.ca/content/view/1364/98/

Choosing the right size of HDTV: http://www.digitalhome.ca/content/view/1399/98/

You also need to be aware of the native resolution of the TV you are buying. To display 1080i content natively, your TV will need 1080 lines of resolution. A lot of sales guys will talk about TRUE HD - just be careful you know the specs of the products your looking at and understand the limitations. A TV with 720 lines of native resolution will always down-convert a 1080i signal to fit in its 720 lines.

Also - find out how much HD programming you can really access. A lot of people assume the HD channels are showing HD all the time. That's not really the case. Most channels only have a few hours a week of new HD content and the rest is SD. But it is growing.