Buy LED, LCD or Plasma

Going for a new TV. Any hints, warnings or advice? It will go over the fireplace instead of the rug there now.
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My current two favorites are the Toshiba 670U series (comes in 46 and 55 inchers) or the Sony XBR's.
I have all three - my preference is Plasma - assuming picture quality is your goal.
esp. if your room is dark and/or you'll be viewing at an angle, generally speaking plasma still does look better. panasonic or samsung--look at dealmac or bradsdeals to find the best online deals on a daily basis
Plasma has the most natural picture and best viewing angle. Although viewing location is not quite as critial as speaker placement, you may consider placment in front of the fireplace using the table stand. Above the fireplace installs look nice when the television is not being viewed with programing but the best TV viewing location is close to eye level. That being said, if you do consider my suggestion, the new LED backlit LCD's are extremely light in weight and can easily be moved by one person if a fire was desired on a cold winter night.

If you put it above the fireplace you have 2 problems. Looking up at a screen is not a good idea for extended viewing sessions and it looks like you would be sitting too far away to see the detail on anything but a huge screen.

What are you tying to achieve? Some casual viewing or a home theater experience. I can't tell from the picture how far it is from your seat to the fireplace but just guessing it is about 20 feet. For a total immersion experience it is generally recommended to sit 1.5 to 3 times the screen width away from the screen so you are looking at a minimum of about a 6 foot wide screen. That's about 80 inches diagonal. Above 65 inches flat panel TVs are very expensive so you should consider projectors at that point, but 65 inch TVs aren't that bad with some coming in at less than $3,000. If you want home a theater a better idea would be a projector with a drop down screen between the speakers.

LED tv's have a dramaticly different look to the picture than most tv's. Perhaps its their very high contrast ratio with boasts of 2,000,000 to 1. The clarity is huge, but it looks unnatuaral to my eyes, and over time, became a source of distraction. I notice in tvs ads that they are describing the image as hyper real. Make sure you give it a good demo or check one out at someones house first tro see if you like it.
I'm going to put TV over fireplace as well when current (since 2000) DLP TV dies. I don't care much for plasma. It looks worse (losing contrast) in bright light than LCD, has horrible reflections, is prone to etching a pattern (sidebars) effect and wastes a lot of power. In addition it doesn't die gracefully by loosing contrast but by burst of cells that make dark stains.

Get largest LED LCD. Electroluminescent backlight have tendency to vacuum dirt (high voltage) that eventualy lowers screen brightness by lowering/briging high voltage (case of my IMB laptop). LED backlight should last almost forever.

I don't quite understand distance argument. 60" should be good for 20 feet or more. As for brands - I have good experience with Samsung (two TVs, two monitors) but heard of bad experience with Toshiba (friend, sister-in-law). Sony is overpriced and Panasonic is pretty good (bought one for my daughter).

The only concern I have about fireplace is that TV will be higher than the speakers (TV sound coming from the bottom) but it is very minor complain. Wall above fireplace is, IMHO, the best place for TV.
I don't quite understand distance argument. 60" should be good for 20 feet or more.

You can google "tv viewing distance" to find lots of info but here is one from Crutchfields site

Screen Viewing distance range
26"______ 3.25-5.5 feet
32"______ 4.0-6.66 feet
37" ______ 4.63-7.71 feet
40" ______ 5.0-8.33 feet
46" ______ 5.75-9.5 feet
52" ______ 6.5-10.8 feet
58" ______ 7.25-12 feet
65" ______ 8.13-13.5 feet
70" ______ 8.75-14.75 feet

Plasma if you don't have any bright light shining on it,LCD if you do.The LED's are controversial about color accuracy. I've read some only use LED's for part of the back lighting. There are two types of LED's.The newest LED's may be better, but I'm not sold on them yet.This link helps somewhat on the different LED's.[]
My sincere thanks for all the well thought responses. My five year old Sony Grand Wega has a failing optical block, lots of blue showing at right and bottom with all content. Sony is no help even though countless forums are filled with customer complaints on this issue.

Repair could easily run $1100.00, so that's not going to happen and right now I can't reward Sony with another TV purchase. The Grand Wega has always been rolled up against the left wall for music and pulled between the speakers for movies.

Mounting above the fireplace could be a reasonable resolution to all problems and may even help sound since the TV wont be next to my left speaker.

Several of you made points I had concerns for and some I had not even considered. The viewing distance close and far is 12' and 17'. I've looked at several brands at stores, fortunately most were using DTV or Blue Ray so I had good HD quality signal.

So far I'm impressed with Panasonic V10 Plasma 58" and the Samsung LCD Un55B8500 55". Both are excellent but very different as many here have posted.

Front projector would be great except I read they are not good to run continually and this is the main TV.

With few exceptions, front projector screens don't do well with light on them and the center of my living room has a skylight that's about 8 X 17 feet.

At night you don't know it's there but probably a problem for front projector in daylight and if my wife is home a TV will be on.
PJ isn't for you then. There are some ingenious movable mounts that might deal with the height/placement issue. Here's a good guide for choosing appropriate size for distance:
Please note the guide is based on 1080i, with 1080p you can actually go a bit bigger.
As a value driven consumer, if I were buying a set other than a PJ today, this is what I would get:;compare

There are better sets, but I don't think there are much better values for a close to appropriate sized set. The current BB price is a good as I've seen yet.

Good luck!
Don't know what happened to the link. Let me try again:;compare
My choice is one of the Panasonic Plasmas, the second line from the top is the best deal. Only issue is the Panasonic may not stream movies directly from Netflix. You can stream other companies directly or from a streaming DVD player or Roku
Whatever you get they will be subject to tweaking just like your audio. We have 2 Panasonic Plasmas and I am using line conditioners and good HDMI with both , it made a difference. I just got a better power cord for the living room set, not easy as they are recessed and none of my audio cords worked. I found that one of the smaller Oyaide cords will fit. The picture is now amazing when they broadcast good signal. Programs vary all over the place from amazing to yuck!
I just spoke to the son of an Audiogon member who's manager for Best Buy up North.

He suggests the Panasonic Plasma for combo of best color, reliability and price. He likes the Samsung but doubts it worth the additional $1000.00 and 3" smaller screen.

A doctor in my audio group can buy whatever he wants, ordered the new Vizio 552. It's only $1595.00, sports local dimming LED and specs look like Samsung and LG.

Spread is $1000.00 for each jump. Cheap Vizio, more expensive Panasonic Plasma and most expensive Samsung.

Other suggestions are welcome. Also, anyone experienced with the HDMI switcher that Oppo builds?
Pioneer Kuro, best I've seen, easy on the eyes, smooth, film-like natural colors (no bleeding edges) and the deepest blacks.

More money, but worth seeking out !
How many HDMI inputs do you need? Keep in mind HDMI 1.4 is coming, mostly for 3D. Oh, one more thing, go big, nobody ever says I wish I got a smaller one.
Two HDMI would work, U-verse HDTV box and the Oppo Blue Ray player.

There is about 50 foot run from high on the fireplace to my Oppo Blue Ray and the rest of my stereo gear. If I put the U-verse box in with stereo, I could run it and Blue Ray via HDMI into Oppo switcher.

The Oppo switcher is 1.3 compliant, amplifies and corrects signal up to 50-75 ft. This also keeps the Blue Ray next to my preamp. One set of RCA interconnects from Blue Ray and / or U-verse box would send sound through my music system.
You can still find Kuros available. They do have the best picture I've seen, but they are expensive and max out at 60". The latest Panny's are almost as good and that 65" model costs less than the 60" Kuros.
Albert try to find the Pioneer KRP-600M. This is a 60 inch plasma and is the last model they made. The blacks are way ahead of any Pany out there. Don't worry about Pioneer out of the business. If you want the best this is it. I paid 3200.00 for this with free shipping from a NY retailer about 3 months ago. They have an extended warranty and will replace it with an appropriate new model if it breaks. They sell Panasonic as well.
I know, I know, but it didn't rule out my ownership.

It's a real shame Pioneer jumped outta this, now ya gotta kick out for a Runco, B&O, there are others.

If ya want a great picture (at a fairly reasonable price) find a Kuro, otherwise it's Best-Buy teenage toy store and get the extended warranty plans.

Just a suggestion Albert, good luck in your search.
Plasmas will be phased out eventually and California is trying to limit TV power usage, so plasmas will be targeted. That said, my Panasonic Plasma has the best picture I have ever seen, except for the Kuro. The Panasonic plasmas are substantially cheaper. I have it in the main open room with windows and skylights. The anti-reflective screen is very effective and the light doesn't bother me at all. No matter which one you get, I recommend an ISF calibration once it is in place and broken in. Good luck!
The Pioneer Plasma is the way to go if you want real high-end video....cannot find any fault with it, it does everything well, after looking that picture, hard to even think about LCD.
Thanks guys, looks like all of you are pretty much in agreement with each other and the stores I shopped locally. The people there also say Pioneer and Panasonic plasma is best picture.

Albert try to find the Pioneer KRP-600M. This is a 60 inch plasma and is the last model they made. The blacks are way ahead of any Pany out there. Don't worry about Pioneer out of the business. If you want the best this is it. I paid 3200.00 for this with free shipping from a NY retailer about 3 months ago. They have an extended warranty and will replace it with an appropriate new model if it breaks. They sell Panasonic as well.

Can you say who this seller is? That price is close enough to what BB is asking for to 58" Panasonic for me to look.
The people there also say Pioneer and Panasonic plasma is best picture.

That is a fair statement.
I am also going to say "Plasma".

I bought a Panasonic TH-42PZ77U Back In 2007...... And after three years of use, so far I haven't been disappointed......

If you are a Movie Buff or a Sports Connoisseur, Plasma is the ONLY way to go

Panasonic and Pioneer are the class when it comes to Plasma TV. Pioneer is on the way out from what I understand. So, if you want a Pioneer Kuro, or a Pioneer Elite Kuro, you better get yours now before it's too late. Because after Pioneer ceases their Plasma TV Operation, the only brands that will be left after that will be Panasonic, LG and Samsung.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping....

Please check out the Samsung UN46B600 or the UN55B8000 and the new wall mount WMN1000b. Is it a flat screen or is it a picture frame? Yes, it's about 1 1/2 " flat and the wall mount is abt another 1" from the dry wall.

Better yet, the home gallery media will allow you to set you TV as a giant screen saver filled with awesome pictures and music.
As best as I can tell from your "systems" photo, a 58" will be way too small for your viewing distance. I refer you again to:
Unsound, I understand that recommendation but based on that calculator my current 55" TV just a few feet away from seating position should be between 70" and 77".

Mounting above the fireplace, the recommended screen size is between 118" and 125".

According to Google, there are only a few flat screens that large and they start about $100,000.00. I know a front projector can go that large but won't work due to the large skylights I already mentioned

Do you know of something I'm missing?
I have a Panasonic TC-P50G10 hanging on my wall. The TV is great but if I could have spent $3995, I would have moved up to the Panasonic Z-1. It comes in only one size presently (54 inch) but it is lightweight and only 1 inch thick.
The reason I recommend this one to you is the wireless setup. Fishing a half dozen wires through your wall can be a major pain. With the Z-1, all you need on the wall is an AC outlet (use a Porter Port). The rest of your stuff plugs into a box on your equipment rack that communicates with the monitor wirelessly.

By the way, this set is basically a wireless version of the V-10.
Questions for plasma-owners: 1) I've read that Gov. Ah-nold was contemplating banning the sale of Plasmas in California due to their power consumption, thoughts? 2) I've also read Plasmas don't do well long-term, any long-time Plasma owners experiencing problems?
I am in the same boat as you and have decided to wait and see what the new Vizio 72" panel looks like in person.
Albert, no, but with those figures in mind, I'm thinking a 65" plasma will be a much better compromise than a 58".
Unsound, I'm seriously thinking the same thing, I hate to spend that much but the 65" is probably more suited to the distance from seating and as someone in this thread wrote, you never wish you had gone smaller.

Chazro, Panasonic is rated for 80,000 hours. Even at 8 hours a day it will be out of date technology and disposed of before I hit that mark. The new plasmas use less energy than earlier models but certainly not as efficient as LCD LED. Ah-nold is right about that.

Marcojack, I was desperately looking for wireless because of what you mention. The LG has some problems if not line of sight and the Panasonic only goes to 50" which is smaller than my current 55".

BB offered me an open box Pioneer Elite 60", I don't know how many hours are on it, 60" and they want $3800.00. However with same program material on Panasonic a and Elite Pioneer Plasmas, there was precious little difference. Panasonic is new in the box, $200.00 more money but 65".

BB is offering free delivery, free calibration and discount wall mount for a short time. I'm probably going to have to make a decision soon so I can take advantage of this. Everyone says a good set up of one of these Plasmas makes for a big upgrade. currently has a 65" Panny plasma for $2300 w/ free shipping, tax is additional. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better value at that size.
Wonder what performance differences there are between Panasonic TC-65V10, TU 65PZ850U and TC-P65S1? Anyone know?

All of these are all 65" but with a big price spread and reviews don't cover the details.
Albert- have you tried for some input on those specific model #s. BTW, no question to my eyes that plasma beats LCD. No question at all. I've never seen LED.
On Audio Circle a guy named Joshk tells of anchoring his 58 inch panny plasma into bricks above his fireplace. The whole mess crashed and was destroyed.

He's selling a large, high dollar swivel mount at a big discount if you are interested.

By the way, the V-10 is the same display as the G-10. Only differences involve cinema playback and calibration versatility. I bought G-10 because I don't value those things enough to justify the $800 difference. I must be losing my anality as I age.
Here's some comments on some of them:;contentNav
IMHO the extra price doesn't pay for enough improvement, especially at the distance you'll be viewing from, but perhaps to a photographers eye it might be different.
Let me add a little more here.A lot of the upper end sets may produce better pictures on standard def pictures too.A lot of what we watch is still in standard def.Standard def looks bad on a high def set I imagine because they're engineered around hi def.I don't even know if older made for TV shows are capable of being displayed in true hi def.When I shop for one,I look at what the set will do for making standard def look better. Hopefully you could check this out in the store.One BB doesn't have any source in my area for st def,but the others do pickup the local channels which always has something showing in standard def to compare them.Hope this helps some.
I agree with you guys, went for the Panasonic TC-65S1 at $2295.00. I went back to BB today and compared the picture again, the less expensive Panasonic is so close it's not worth the extra money for the V10.

Funny thing is, after I paid I was speaking to the manager, who sold me the TV and he said the calibration was way more important than the difference in the two Panasonic 65". Went on to say that the cheaper one with calibration would beat the more expensive one without.

Calibration is free with the $3995.00 65" Panasonic but found an in store deal where calibration comes with the less expensive one too. Between that, free delivery and $250.00 custom install I feel like this was a smart move.

Macrojack mentioned an AVS Forum member mounting his TV and it went into the floor. That thought crossed my mind, that and the fear that lifting 140 pounds over my head could lead to personal injury as well as broken Plasma, the BB install is looking very fairly priced.

Last thing, after I signed the form the manager ask if I knew about Reward Zone, I assumed a big sales pitch was coming and braced myself. I was wrong, got handed $65.00 credit to "spend" at BB.

Unless they screw it up, I'm feeling reasonably good about this and sincerely appreciate everyone pitching in.
Good choice. The Panny S1 series is a great value. You get the same glass as the more expensive sets for a better price.