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42" Plasma or LCD?

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:04 PM   #1  
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Default 42" Plasma or LCD?

Ave,

I've owned a Rear-Projection 55" HDTV for a while now, but I'm ready to break-in and get in on the Technology. I'm no expert on Plasma vs. LCD, but I've done my research. I know about the Phosphorous & Liquid Crystals, Wider Viewing Angles and Jagged Edges, Black Levels & Brightness.

Bottom line is, personally I'm leaning towards the Plasma because when I stood in front of the HP 42" Plasma at Best Buy, I was blown away!

Still, I want to get more of an expert opinion. Maximum I can shell out is about $1,500. I'm getting both a 42" Plasma in that cost, and a Polaroid 42" LCD. With Plasma I have choices, with LCD's I don't because all other LCD's are costlier.

But I wouldn't want to spend $1,500 on a Plasma if it's the wrong choice. In that case I would wait to make more money to get an LCD.

So here's the deal, my primary usage:
About 3-5 hours a day watching Cable TV.
Extensive Gaming (XBOX/XBOX360) on Weekends - not Weekdays.
DVD Movies every now & then. I love watching DVD's. Weekday or Weekend - Whenever I'm in the mood.

I'm eying the $1,200 Hitachi 42" Plasma at Circuit City. Or the $1,300 HP 42" Plasma.

The main things that concern me about Plasma's is the Burn-in Effect. And the fact that LCD is a newer technology growing in comparison to Plasma. I don't know how much the Plasma Technology has improved to help that Burn-In effect. I also know that if something happens to a Plasma, you're in soup. But in case of LCD, you can spend a couple hundred dollars to replace the Bulb, and your TV is new!

So I'm undecided. Any thoughts/suggestions to make this easy for me?

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:05 PM   #2  
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It's worth buying LCD just to avoid stretching SD programs.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:30 PM   #3  
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Not sure what you are talking about having to watch SD in stretch mode. I can watch SD in full, zoom and 4:3 if I like. I also have a "Just" setting that makes SD look decent in fullscreen (non 4:3)..
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:41 PM   #4  
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I just got the 42" Panasonic while checking out that same Hitachi. Some reasons I went with the Panny are:

It's a Panny
Some people complained about a flicker on the HItachi
I don't like the Hitachi stand
1024 x 1080 ??WTF??
The Panny is rated higher on basically every review I looked at
The Panny was the same cost so I went with what I thought had the best picture when comparing in multiple stores.

It's going to come down to what you want in your TV. Panny has 2 HDMI while Hitachi has 3. The only funky thing with the Hitachi is the 1024 x 1080 which has baffled people on this forum as well as people in stores as to why it has those specs. Still a nice Set though.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:41 PM   #5  
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Actually I was also kind of surprised with that comment. Not to insert an expert-like opinion, cause i'm not one, but from all the posts & threads I've gone through, I've actually read nothing but good things about SD/HD Cable & DVD's on Plasma.

Anyhow, wanted to update.

It's either this 42" Hitachi Plasma ($1,200)
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Hitac...oductDetail.do

OR

This 42" Polaroid LCD ($1,299)
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Polar...oductDetail.do

So, still need suggestions/comments.

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:43 PM   #6  
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LCD and Plasma are both great TV's. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but many are not as much a factor in the last year or 2. Gaming, Plasma burnin and LCD lag. I have had my plasma for over a year and love it. I game on it a ton (360, PC and PS2). Awsome picture and gaming experience. No burnin here at all but you need to be a bit cautious, especially during the first 100 hour or so break in period. Just get it out of factory "torch mode" and limit your gaming a bit during this time. Try not leave it on pause for long periods of time, stuff like that. As far as lag with LCD, just make sure you get 1 with a Response Time of 8ms or less and you should be fine. Not sure on the Polaroid. Also contrast ratio matters with LCD. The higher the better. CR does not matter with Plasma (True Blacks), and hence the better PQ IMO. I also have a smaller LCD in my office and love that too. I like my plasma a bit more and the more vibrant picture. But I think you will be happy either way. Let you eyes be the judge.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:49 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey79
Actually I was also kind of surprised with that comment. Not to insert an expert-like opinion, cause i'm not one, but from all the posts & threads I've gone through, I've actually read nothing but good things about SD/HD Cable & DVD's on Plasma.

Anyhow, wanted to update.

It's either this 42" Hitachi Plasma ($1,200)
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Hitac...oductDetail.do

OR

This 42" Polaroid LCD ($1,299)
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Polar...oductDetail.do

So, still need suggestions/comments.

Thanks.
I have seen the Polaroid and it is not a good PQ. Stic with the big boys on this. Hitachi or Panasonic. I would not go for anything else. I know cost is an issue but being that returning a TV that has a poor picture or not what you want is a cost in itself.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:53 PM   #8  
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Ave,

Now that's good advice! I'm still very strongly leaning towards Plasma. That Hitachi keeps looking better & better.

Question: What do you mean by "Just get it out of factory torch mode"?

Limiting Gaming during initial period won't be a problem. Even in the long run, as far as pauses etcetera are concerned, wouldn't it help if you just Turn Off the TV Set keeping your DVD/XBOX/Whatever on while you have something paused? I'm pretty using to turning Off TV Sets/PC Monitors when not in use... while the active device is On or Paused. Saves Electricity too. So i would imagine that kind of practice can be good with a Plasma. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigloww
LCD and Plasma are both great TV's. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but many are not as much a factor in the last year or 2. Gaming, Plasma burnin and LCD lag. I have had my plasma for over a year and love it. I game on it a ton (360, PC and PS2). Awsome picture and gaming experience. No burnin here at all but you need to be a bit cautious, especially during the first 100 hour or so break in period. Just get it out of factory "torch mode" and limit your gaming a bit during this time. Try not leave it on pause for long periods of time, stuff like that. As far as lag with LCD, just make sure you get 1 with a Response Time of 8ms or less and you should be fine. Not sure on the Polaroid. Also contrast ratio matters with LCD. The higher the better. CR does not matter with Plasma (True Blacks), and hence the better PQ IMO. I also have a smaller LCD in my office and love that too. I like my plasma a bit more and the more vibrant picture. But I think you will be happy either way. Let you eyes be the judge.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:33 PM   #9  
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Don't consider myself an expert but I own the Hitachi and love it. I love it so much considering buying a second one. (Maybe the 55 inch !!!)
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:38 PM   #10  
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Default I would buy the plasma

Some people prefer LCD's and some prefer Plasma's. In my opinion the Plasma's produce a much better picture.

I have a 26" Bravia and my friend has a 42" Panasonic plasma, the plasma always blows me away! The colors are so bright and alive, the picture on my Bravia always seems faded, especially when watching anything that is not in HD. He has had his TV for 3 years , had a few problems, but because he has an extended warranty the TV was repaired three seperate times for no charge.

I visited my folks this weekend and helped them buy a new HDTV. I wanted them to buy a plasma, but they prefered the way the LCD looked. In my opinion the plasma produces a better picture, but they disagreed. They liked the Bravia because it could produce a much sharper image then any of the 42" inch plasma models, I however prefered the plasma's because I thought the colors were brighter. Even after arguing with them for a half hour at Best Buy, they decided to buy a 40 inch Sony Bravia LCD. I wish they didn't. It's their TV If they are happy with it I should be happy, but I am not

Channels that are not in high definition, standard definition, enhanced definition, look HIDEOUS on the 40-inch Bravia, a lot worse than on my 26-inch Bravia. Unbearable to watch! My parents thought the picture looked good, were they blind? In denial? How could they believe that? The NFC championship game on FOX, FOX HD not available in our area, WAS PAINFUL TO WATCH!
The players looked orange, the grass looked yellow, the Bear's uniform looked purple, the colors were faded beyond belief, ICKY !

Last edited by mattjtayl; 01-22-2007 at 05:46 PM..
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:24 PM   #11  
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Ave,

Just wondering if anyone knows if that $500 Off on that Hitachi 42" at Circuit City is going to last till the Weekend? I'm planning on buying that one this weekend... but I hope the sale doesn't go away.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:00 PM   #12  
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What I was referring to, was watching SD with bars on the side will cause burn in. Many SD programs look poor when they are zoomed, wide mode or any other way to avoid the bars...
Thus, I do not wish to be forced into watching poor source material expanded to expose its flaws.
I spent the weekend at my in-laws house forced to watch their plasma stretched for fear of the dreaded burn in. Not pretty. Sure makes me appreciate home where the picture is better and the rules don't apply.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:09 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 is # 1
What I was referring to, was watching SD with bars on the side will cause burn in. Many SD programs look poor when they are zoomed, wide mode or any other way to avoid the bars...
Thus, I do not wish to be forced into watching poor source material expanded to expose its flaws.
I spent the weekend at my in-laws house forced to watch their plasma stretched for fear of the dreaded burn in. Not pretty. Sure makes me appreciate home where the picture is better and the rules don't apply.
That is only recommended during the break in period as well. That is 1 thing I didn't do during my breakin period and did not have any issues. I love the "Just" mode On the Panny much better than 4:3 anyway. I fills the screen and does not looked steched at all . One thing that makes Panny a great plasma, but other brands now have a simular setting. Just mode does not work on OTA 4:3, so I go with that. Tell the inlaws they can watch all the 4:3 they want (if that's your thing) as long as they are past the 100 hours.. Don't see why you want 4:3 on 16:9 tv. That is what my 36'' SD Sony is for.

Last edited by Bigloww; 01-22-2007 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:58 PM   #14  
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So many decisions, hahaha, so many but its all up to what your eye catches and make sure you go with the name brands. I myself have the 42" Panny and loving it......... CHeck the Panasonic's plasmas out, rated very highly, even with consumer reports.


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Old 01-23-2007, 07:29 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 is # 1
What I was referring to, was watching SD with bars on the side will cause burn in. Many SD programs look poor when they are zoomed, wide mode or any other way to avoid the bars...
Thus, I do not wish to be forced into watching poor source material expanded to expose its flaws.
I spent the weekend at my in-laws house forced to watch their plasma stretched for fear of the dreaded burn in. Not pretty. Sure makes me appreciate home where the picture is better and the rules don't apply.
I hear ya on the stretch-a-vision issues. It does kind of look crappy. I guess the good news for plasma owners is that HD content is getting better and better each day and now that I have FOX HD with Time Warner finally, I very rarely surf below the 1000's ( HD channels) anymore. All of the good sports, movies, and music stuff is available in HD. So, as we go along people have to realize that SD isnt going to be an issue for much longer. For some people like me its almost an afterthought already!

Buying an HDTV for ite performance in SD is like buying a Porsche for its off-road performance or towing capacity....
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