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Next month well actuallly March I'm planning to upgrade my visual enjoyment, no I'm not kicking the missus to the curb for halle.

I'm looking at getting something from 40inch plus in one of TVs that are hdtv ready what are the prices and IYHO which one is better plasma or LCD?

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Plasma TVs: Flat and fancy

Plasma TVs make a blockbuster first impression. A scant 6 inches thick or less, these sleek flat panels display bright images on screens measuring about 3 to 5 feet diagonally.

A plasma screen is made up of thousands of pixels containing gas that’s converted into “plasma” by an electrical charge. The plasma causes phosphors to glow red, green, or blue, as dictated by a video signal. The result: a colorful display with high brightness, even in light-filled rooms, and a wider viewing angle than most rear-projection sets and LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs.

But the picture isn’t all rosy. Image quality often doesn’t equal that of a very good direct-view TV, especially with quickly moving images or dark scenes. Like CRT-based (cathode-ray tube) projection TVs, plasma sets are vulnerable to screen burn-in, and there are concerns about their life expectancy. Also, plasma sets run hot and consume more power than any other type of TV.

Prices have dropped sharply over the past year or two, but some sets still cost as much as a compact car. Look for prices to fall further now that companies such as Gateway and ViewSonic have expanded from the computer arena into TVs with aggressive pricing. You may want to wait if there’s no urgent need to buy now. If you can’t wait, here’s what to look for.


Slim-jim LCD TVs pack a lot of bang for a lot of bucks. Their svelte profile is the main attraction. These sets are only a few inches thick, and many weigh about 10 pounds--some even less.

Prices are creeping downward, but inch for inch, LCD TVs still cost much more than bulkier sets with picture tubes. LCD sets with 13-inch screens start at about $600, while 20-inchers cost $1,300 or more--several times what you’d pay for a conventional TV with the same screen size. And with all but the priciest high-definition (HD) sets, the picture quality doesn’t measure up to what a conventional set can deliver.

Still, if a slim, light set is what you want, and the price and picture quality don’t faze you, one of the smallest models may be just the ticket for your kitchen counter or bedside table, while a larger set could hang on your living-room wall. Here’s what you need to know to make a smart choice.


How good a picture do you want? Our tests found that the image quality of LCD TVs didn’t match that of the best CRTs. But if you’ve decided that trimness is more important to you than the best possible picture quality, you can find decent choices among LCDs--if you’re willing to spend a fair amount of money. With just one or two exceptions, we found that the lower the cost, the lower the picture quality among the sets we tested.


Here is some of the latest information from my consumer reports subscription. Though they don't match them up head to head. The data is current on both with the LCD being tested in 12/03 and plasmas in 1/04.

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Originally posted by CrankyTodd

Get a DLP set. I kid you not, they blow plasmas and lcd sets out of the water.

I was just thinking the same thing. The Samsung DLPs look awesome. Plus - NO BURN IN!

I do have one question though regarding DLP projectors: Does anyone know if there are DLP projectors that can be set up in a 'rear projection' setup? I would love a projector setup, and I think the rear projection setup looks like a tighter installation, even with the wasted space behind the screen.

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Originally posted by CrankyTodd

Get a DLP set. I kid you not, they blow plasmas and lcd sets out of the water.

Agreed. I prefer the new Sony projection LCD's to the DLP based Samsung - Sony's appear to be a bit brighter, detailed. They compare VERY favorably w/ HDTV plasmas at less than half the price.

Almost every sales guy I have spoken with (Best Buy, Circuit City, Tweeter, Myer Emco) had advised the purchase of a protection plan/extended warranty for plasmas. Apparently, they have a very high defect rate with premature screen wear - black lines burned in the display.

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A couple of notes...

I would ensure that the set I buy actually has HD resolution (I mean 1080 wide for 1080i) Some plasmas and LCDs do not do full HD but scale the input to the available pixels (I would not pay for that "quality").

Plasmas are bright, but bright does not mean better. Most (if not all) plasmas use time domain dithering to simulate colors they can't really reporduce. This means they flash the pixels to get brightnesses they can't quite get (you can see this as shimmer in smooth color areas).

The life of plasma has been called into question, but I have not seen any verdicts either way.

Flat is nice but for me picture quality was the most important factor (and price) so I got a Sony 34" wide screen HD CRT a year and a half ago and have been very very happy. It, of course, is not flat and it does weigh 200 lb but it has full HD rez and looks awesome (football looks stunning).

If I were buying now I would look at DLP or some of the true HD resolution plasmas or LCDs.

One more note, do not buy too big a set (look at the min viewing distances and your room size). To big and pixilation with drive you nuts.

Just some thoughts from someone who deals with graphics all day... =)

Go over the AVS forum for lots of insights from true TV geeks (geeks in a good way).

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