High Def Forum
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Direct View vs Plasma/LCD...

scamp
02-12-2006, 03:50 PM
Like a lot of folks here I am looking to upgrade to HD. In general how does the HD picture on direct view TV's stack up agnist plasma's and LCD's? If size (debth wise) is not an issue can you get a better picture or price from a direct view set?

BrianO
02-12-2006, 04:47 PM
Plasma displays are direct view, as are flat panel LCD displays. OTOH Rear projection sets are not direct view, regardless of the underlying technologies which can be LCD, LCoS (e.g. SXRD and D-ILA) DLP, or even the good old CRT.

BobY
02-12-2006, 06:15 PM
A lot depends on your priorities...

For a given size, you can definitely find a great looking screen for much less money in a CRT. CRT's produce a bright, saturated image with great black levels and contrast and are viewable from a wide angle. If you get a quality set, it will probably last for years and years. Although they usually display an interlaced image, an HD CRT can display either interlaced or progressive at 480 lines. CRT's will usually convert a 720p signal to 1080i as they don't normally have the ability to display 720p directly. They are big and heavy and are limited in how large a screen can be produced.

Most LCD's that I've seen can't hold a candle to any of the above specs. For a higher price, their contrast, viewing angle and, especially black level in subdued lighting are usually not as good. Of course they are thin, light (relatively speaking) and you can get a much larger LCD than CRT. All signals are displayed as progressive, so on many LCD's 1080i broadcasts will be converted to 720p. Expected operating life of the backlight is not nearly as long as a CRT. Personal subjective comment: to my eyes, most lower-priced LCD's I've seen look a bit harsh and edgy and the ones that don't look that way have motion blur.

For a big screen, I love plasma. I don't like any rear-projection displays, I always feel like I'm watching through a sheer curtain. The issues with plasma are cost, expected operating life and screen burn-in, but the latter are not nearly as much an issue as in the past. If I was buying a BIG screen, there's no question I would choose plasma as it just looks better than LCD. In a size that you can get a CRT in, you're paying a big premium for a flat panel. If you have the depth for a CRT, it would be hard for me to justify the price adder.

Granted it's only a 30" widescreen, but my HD CRT has continued to satisfy me with it's very film-like quality for over two years and guests routinely comment on how good the image looks.

mbender10
02-13-2006, 01:33 PM
Speaking of CRTs - my Panny 34" has been in the house for about 1 year now. Last night, my wife commented that the Olympic snowboarding was so clear in HD that it looked like a poster. Great contrast of colors against the blue sky and landscapes. We had about 10 people in our TV room to watch the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, some had to sit on the outside of the viewing angle. I never heard any complaints at all about not being able to see the picture.