DLP vs Plasma/LCD

I was just about ready to plunk down $4k for a Panasonic 42" plasma. I was at my brother's tonight watching the Olympics on his 42" Pioneer plasma (HD transmission,) when he tells me that I should go with a DLP for my bedroom, rather than the plasma. He claims the picture is much better and they cost less. I wasn't even considering a DLP because I didn't think it would fit in my bedroom. (being to deep) He says they make some, now, that are only a few inches deeper/wider than a plasma. Any takers? Is the DLP the way to go? If so, can anyone recommend one with killer picture quality, and relatively thin? thanks in advance. warren
Many companies are now making very attractive dlp sets at reasonable prices. I would really recommend reading some more info on avsforum.com as there have been a fair amount of problems with some of the dlp sets. If I had the money I would be in the market for Samsung HLP series in stores now. They make 46, 50, 56, 60 inch. The picture quality is astounding. Hope this helps. I learned a lot on avsforum under rear projection units. Good luck
Plasma will be the future , in possibly 10 years, and will be cleary in the immediate future be on display In Bars, Banks, etc. etc. but currently for an individual to go plasma would be a big mistake. The Reason is simple . The picture quality while good on some still gets easily beaten by traditional CRT {Which is on the way out} . Additionaly the price on plasma should drop in the 40 percent range over the next five years. And in five years of couse, The plasma TV's will not only be cheaper , but they will simply be better quality televisions as manufacturers still have room to develop a better picture..So we are left with LCD, and DLP. Both are surprisngly slim. And they can be mounted on beautiful stands . So my advice is get the latest info on the quality and reliability , of the current crop, however I would buy next years generation , as the release is not that far off, I have seen the Current best and they are quite good. But I see the new models improving on quality and reliabilty that you will want for the long haul. I know Samsung has just released a model that can do 1080p progressive, which warrants a look, and The Sonys are surprisingly very good. Hope that is helpful.
My understanding is that LCD is the future of television, not plasma. LCD is lighter, doesn't burn in, and has a much longer "life expectancy". Unfortunately, right now large flat screen LCDs are very expensive compared to DLP and plasma. Both DLP and plasma are transition technologies until LCD becomes the standard, which will probably be in the next 2-4 years. If you can't wait, a DLP is probably your best bet.
A DLP or LCD Rear Projector will be more than twice as deep as the average flat panel in either LCD direct view or plasma display technology. The newest Samsung's featuring the Gen 4 DMD and the pedestal stand are about 14" deep, but the pedestal base requires 20" of depth. I think that no matter how you cut it, whether you choose a pedestal or a conventional LCDRP/DLP stand, 20" of footprint depth will be required. If you want a display that will minimize (or eliminate entirely if wall mounted) the floor or bureau space necessary for the display, then plasma or LCD direct view are your best choices.

Addressing picture quality is much more subjective. All of the fixed pixel devices seem to lack some degree of “naturalness” (not a very technical term) visible in CRT based displays. Ghosting and trailing are evident in all LCD based designs (less apparent in rear projector) and black levels in plasma displays are lacking except in the most expensive models. DLPs seem to be the most “natural”, if you don’t suffer from the “rainbow” effect, but again are just not up to a quality CRT display. But then again, you can’t get any CRT displays that are in the 42”+ size range that will even fit on a bureau.

Life is a series of compromises, and choosing a wide screen display is as well.
Plasma, Large screen TV's are by far the most expensive. Tonyp, I have no idea where you got that idea. The Sony 55 inch XBR Plasma is $12,999. Pioneer Elite 50 inch Plasma is $8999.00 , A Panasonic 50 inch Plasma I see on sale at $5498.00.

Sony LCD 50 inch Grand Wega $3299.00 Toshiba DLP 52 inch $3499.00 . LCD and DLP are comparibly priced . Plasma is much higher for the same size screen .

I believe Plasma is the future in the context of I have heard so many people {non videophiles} {mass market that drives demand} telling me they would love to have a TV that they could "hang on the wall". Wives love that idea. Thats not to say DLP and LCD will not have a long life span. They IMO most certainly will. All three are still evolving technolgies . The kicker is right now at this moment all three are not necesarily yielding the very best picture quality. {some have motion artifacts issues } In fact in the last Home theater Large Screen TV shootout , The winner was a Toshiba CRT.
I just bought a samsung 56 inch for $3500 from onecall.com. Great picture with high def and dvd. Pretty crappy pic from regular sattelite. I try to watch mostly high def and dvd's though. See my system for a picture.
Hey Warren wait till after Cedia.Lotsa new video product will be shown..I am going Sept9th..Panasonic claims 19000hrs for their plasma to reach half brightness,the level the human eye can discern a difference. Sold lot of plasma tv's only one that needed service couldn't be serviced..it was dropped..Tom
I compared the 50" Sony and Samsung LCD TV and could have purchased either for $2800. I chose the Sony because the Standard def picture and high def picture to my eyes is better. I believe either one is a great value, though. I have never had any one come over and not remark how good the picture is on this set. I know 2 other people who have the Sony one has 50" the other a 60" no troubles and very happy. The picture on these sets is amazing.
Tom, will do. I will await thee....
A few things that I should point out.

1. LCD display also burns, just check avsforum. In fact, plasma has less chance of burn in after some initial "treatment".
2. Plasma tech will continue to improve, but not revolutionary. I am in semiconductor business and no one really know how much more we can push the Moores law in 5 to 10 years. It's suffice to say plasma will get better, but not enought to stop you from buying now.
3. DLP/LCD rear projection has lots of limitation, one of the biggest is side viewing angle. DLP also has rainbow effect that some easily observe that include me. Also, Samsung is not known for reliability, not when you compare to Japanese made plasma.
4. Have you compare the PQ of plasma (even a EDTV) to DLP with hi-def signal? It was so obvious which one was better my wife said no to either DLP or LCD projection.
Semi- it sounds like you know what you are talking about. There is ONE set that REALLY impressed me more than any other I have seen: Runco 42" plasma using Runco's own outboard scaler, however it retails for ~$18k CDN here in Toronto ($14k USD).
Plasma will still be around but it seems to be on it's way out. The life span is still somewhat unknown but some feel 5-6 years before pixel loss. That is a very short time for such a large expense considering most people have their direct view for 10+ years. Some companies are already cutting out some of their plasmas and some are dropping them completely. LCD and DLP seem to be the future. Infocus is comming out with a DLP RPTV that will be only 6 inches deep. With technology like this I see plasma slowly moving out except for certin commercial applications.
All of these technologys will be obsolete within 5 years, so quite frankly the lamp life of plasma is pretty much a dead issue. OLED will dominate the market for displays, it makes Plasma and LCD Tv's look like big hulking obsolete machines.

Imagine a display less than 2mm thick that is flexable enough to roll up, has no size restrains, potentially better than 1080i resolution, requires less power, and does not lose its brightness, and costs way less than PLASMA or LCD to manufacturer.

There are already small prototype TV's made of this technology.

-here is somthing i found off a quick yahoo search

OLED Key Benefits

OLED displays offer more vivid images and crisper video without a backlight and are therefore thinner and lighter than conventional displays. Below are key benefits of OLED

Thinner, lighter: AM OLED screens are just 1.5 millimeters thick - about the thickness of a quarter and a fraction of the size possible in LCD displays.
Clearer, brighter: AM OLED displays have a refresh rate 1000 times faster than LCD, for fluid, clearer full-motion video. OLED luminance range is far greater than human perception and displays can brighten or dim while maintaining image contrast, shadows and highlights.
Wider viewing area: OLED displays have a wider viewing angle (up to 165 degrees) than LCD displays, even in bright light.
Lower power consumption: OLED panels typically operate at 2 to 10 volts. Since OLED pixels only use power when they are lit, the displays can be more efficient than LCD screens, which have backlights that are always on at full brightness.

here is more on it..............

This is a very complex issue, that couldn't possibly be covered to any depth in a single post. There are many trade offs between cost, performance, reliability, energy efficiency AND features. The big trade off is how and where the set will be used; either daylight football parties with people milling about, or one person in the sweet spot in a dark room. This last trade-off, "use", is the biggest factor with every display technology, because (today anyway) they all have some sort of major limitation that restricts their use to one of the above watching scenarios.

Todays plasma display technology has many issues and some virtues. Plasma sets are displaying serious color and luminosity issues within three years of purchase, yup THREE. They run very hot due to all the elctricity they consume. They are sensitive to power feed. Yet, they are slim, and provide very wide viewing angles. Depending on the mfg, scaling, molting, color temp and contrast ratio will vary in relation to price. Long term, plasma will not play out, just because it is too expensive, eats too much juice, short service life, and will always be catastrophically susceptible to pixel loss. Other fixed pixel display devices that employ "light engines" will eventually reach a point where the "light engine" itself can be replaced. Not so with a plasma screen. Plasma will also not make it, because the size of the panels can not be scaled. The panel is the display device, so large panels will be impossible to build. With RPTV tecnology, the light engine is independent from the display surface, so display size becomes a factor of contrast ratio, refresh rate, and the resolution of the display chips. Plasma will probably always occupy some niche, but that's it biggest possible role.

Todays LCD RPTV have a ways to go, but they are improving. Sony's line up for 2005 is head and shoulders above its 2004 lineup. LCD RPTV's suffer primarily from poor contrast ratio. This limits their ability to be used in dark rooms, aka movie watching. They typically use three chips, which allows for excellent color temp, good brightness, and good geometry. At this moment they are limited to a native display rate of 720p, but this should change in 2006 to 1080p. Not bad for daylight viewing, but as all RPTV's they suffer from vertical viewing arpeture limitations.

LCOS, which is really reflective LCD technology will eventually (within a year or three, see Intels forthcoming products) displace transmissive LCD completely. LCOS (basically same as DILA) has many technical advantages over LCD and DLP. LCOS is one of the few (only?)technologies which can scale the substrate and pixel size down much further (LCD and DLP can not do this for many technical reasons). This will allow for much smaller and cheaper LCOS chips within 2-4 years.

DLP will be the undisputed king of the hill in two months when the first xHD3 based products begin to roll out. It is close to that reign now with the HD2+ chips. That leadership will quickly be challenged within 12 months by the first generation of high tech LCOS displays. In the mean time, DLP xHD3 sporting contrast rations of 3000:1, 7 segment color wheels, and 1080p native resolution will be tough to beat. Ultimately DLP will face stiff competition from LCOS, but that is really 5 years out atleast, as both technologies will continue to improve in the near term. Next thing up for DLP are the coming improvements in the design of the color wheel, expected mid 2005. The newest 7 segment color wheels already bring any rainbow effect to vanishing low levels, while at the same time improving contrast ratio (thanks to the new dark green 7th segment).

CRT RPTV still has the best pure picture quality in a dark room, bar none. There is limited vertical dispersion and limited horizantal dispersion. Not to mention weight, setup hassles, size, ambient light issues, and CRT performance fade over time. But the picture, oh my. Oh yeah, and it happens to be the cheapest to boot. But that huge bottom cabinet and the ambient light issues keep in the yesterdays technology arena.

Sony SXRD is still a myth from what I can tell. Even if this can be brought to market, its limitations and costs are unknown. And it appears that contrast ratio might be an issue right out the chute. The Qualia three chip front projector is not a price/performance leader at $25K, but it does showcase where SXRD could go.

Front projection is another ball game.

If all this wasn't enough, there are the issues with STILL evolving HDMI, DVI, HDCP, and CardAccess technologies.

All that said, I am very much looking forward to viewing the Samsung xHD3 61" display in January. Part of their upcoming "90" series. It might be worthy, maybe.

Today, you still can't beat a direct view CRT monitor. But, and big BUT's here, they are heavy, very deep, and not energy efficent. Color temp, veiwing dispersion and flexibilty are unbeaten. But the biggest 16:9 set is 34". Yes, there is the 38" Aconda from Lowe, and a 40" XBR from Sony (300lbs), but those are specialty sets due to their depth, weight, and power requirements. The 38" RCA offering looks, well, not great.

Happy viewing.
If DLP can produce a set that is six inches deep, then I stand corrected that Plasma will be the future. What my point is though is that the mass market is facinated with TV's that can be hung on the wall , at an affordable price. If DLP can pull it off and provide better reliability, that can give them an edge.
DLP: 6 inches? That would put a serious hurt'n on the plasma market, don't you think? How far are we away from that?
RCA is introducing a number of DLP projects that are 6" thick this fall but they are not out yet and I think they are going to cost a lot more than $4000.
Hey Warren, so your laying in bed with your bride you got the covers pulled up and your watching some kinda movie we cannot discuss on these pages.Are you going to be able to see that DLP over your size 17 sneakers?..The Plasma sets have a much wider viewing angle not only in the horizontal but also in the vertical.Tom
There are two reasons why plasma will remain a niche player. These are scalability and reliability.

Scalability by itself will relegate plasma to a niche market. The first scalability issues is that there is a finite limit to which plasma cells can be shrunk. This directly limits the resolution of any given panel size produced. The second scalability issue is that the display substrate is the display screen. Thus larger display screens, require larger plasma panels. The manufacturing ability and yields drop off dramitically beyond the panel sizes that are produced today. To make matters worse for plasma, neither of these scalability issues apply to reflective LCD technology (LCOS, DILA) and apply only marginally to transmisive LCD and DLP. Plasma will contine to do well for small panels, and may compete with LCD panels for handheld panel displays. In order for handheld plasma screens to compete with LCD, the power consumption issues in plasma must be addressed, and that is unlikely to happen with an ionized gas that must be excited.

The reliability of large glass panels, incorporating ionized gas cells that consume large quantities of power (relative to other displays), is far lower than a small reflective LCD panel that consumes almost no power. Plasma panels are susceptible to shock, aging and atmospheric pressure (or lack of it).

The scalability and reliability reasons is why LCOS will eventually pervail. Reflective LCD panles place the control electronics behind the actual pixel cells, thus the cells can contine to be shrunk without regard for the controls for each cell. Where as transmissive LCD panels must incorporate some of the control circuitry into the light path. This limits the ability to shrink and scale each pixel, and thus the transmissive LCD panels themselves. DLP will also suffer from scalability and reliability issues once a certain pixel density and size is reached.

None of the above is new news. Some basic reading on display technologies will yield all that and a lot more.

Where it gets real interesting, is who can produce what, and when, at what cost, and with what features. Today 50" plasma panels, despite their obvious performance issues, have a market with their light output and wide viewing angle. Tomorrow that performance gap will be reversed, and the price will end its use for panels of any real size.

Light engines that will enable very narrow LCOS, LCD and DLP display devices are already on design tables. Plasma needs to be credited for highlighting the consumers need/desire for unobtrusive display devices. We can love plasma for what it represents in product features, but it would be a mistake to assume that it is the technology that will continue to deliver on the consumers needs/requirements/desires.
merge03 raised a good point.

But, and this is a big but, there is no need to continue shrinking plasma cell size because human visual perception has limited range and we can't see anything smaller than a cell size of HDTV panel right now. Regardless the size of panel, you will sit at a comfortable distance from it, not using it like computer monitor which is right up against your nose.

And this is not my claim, Applied Materials owns one of the Japanese LCD substrate equipment and they are NOT developing newer tech to shrink cell size. Very unlike the rest of AMAT where they need to continue developing new process chambers and tools like ALD and low K for the demand of 65nm and beyond.

And for DLP, we are talking about millions of tiny mirrors on a silicon substrate that need to move. MTBF (mean time between failure) is low, and you get a dead pixel unlike plasma or LCD where you get a stuck pixel. LCD and LCOS will have an easier time when it comes to reliability.

No tech is perfect if you want slim and vibrant display, but plasma will be my choice again for the display of next 10 years.
Darryl...my guess is the 50 inch LCD you see is probably an LCD projection tv, not a flat panel. LCDs larger than 37 inches are very expensive right now while you can pick up 42 inch plasmas for $2500 these days. Don't compare the least expensive lcds to the most expensive plasmas.

are there any 42" LCDs out there, yet?

I recently bought a 50" Samsung HLP RPTV for my bedroom and am very happy with it. Its vertical veiwing angle is more limited than horizontal, so I put shims under the back of the TV so it points slightly downward. This works very well with the TV sitting on a 33" high stand about 6' in front of my bed.

I bought the bedroom Samsung as a follow on to buying a 61" Samsung HLN set for my HT in my living room.

As others have pointed out, your choice should be based on your priorities and preferences.

My own opinions, which are just that, are:

- I much prefer DLP RPTV to CRT based RPTVs

- Direct view CRTs and LCDs are not large enough for me

- Plasma TVs are too expensive, for me, for the large sizes that I wanted.

- DLP, like some other technologies, does not suffer from burn in so you do not have to stretch images to fill the screen. I really do not like a stretched image; e.g., taking a 4:3 image and widening it to 16:9 to fill a display screen. I want to watch everything in original aspect ratio.

- Visit more than one store and more than one chain/company for viewing comparisons. I found a lot of variation in lighting, source quality, PQ of the different TVs, etc.

- I generally found DLP RPTV PQ more consistent than LCD RPTV for HDTV and DVD sources.

- SDTV can be a challenge with any large screen HDTV.

- I particularly like the synergy between an upconverting DVD player with DVI/HDMI and the Samsung DLP RPTVs - depending on quality of the DVD soruce, PQ can be near high def. Based on reading avs forum, it is not apparent that the same synergy exists for CRT based sets or LCD RPTVs that do not have a 720p native resolution.

Again, YMMV.

I appreciate the informative postings above on what the future may hold. My comments w.r.t. current products.

Interesting stuff, guys . How will these thinner / flat panel LCD and DLP TV's compare in weight to Plasmas ? . Tony I said Large Screen , which to clarify, I define as 50" inches and up. You gave me a link to a Panasonic 50 inch LCD for $2799.00 so Im confused. Can you show me a plasma TV thats 50 inches ,anywhere near that pricepoint ?

Also as an aside, if space is not an issue for you, and your were about to buy a large screen TV today, why in the world would you spend thousands more for a thinner TV albeit Plasma , LCD, or DLP , when you can get a CRT based rear projection, that is reliable , and has at least as good, more often better consistent "picture" ?
Darryl, we agree on your point of crt vs. dlp if space is not an issue. That's exactly what I did getting a large widescreen rptv for half the cost of the Samsung dlp for a large basement rec room. The link was to point out that the 50" you mentioned is probably a projection lcd, not a flat panel. I have not even seen one larger than 37 inches yet, let alone 50. Where did you see one for $5000?
Their is a big outfit in New Jersey called Sixth Ave Electronics that had a Panny 50 inch Plasma on sale for $5498.00.

And Im sorry , "The why in the world" comment was not meant for you , it was meant for the "mass populus" . Re reading the post it looks like it was directed at you. My apologies. I read and write these things in between phone calls at work.
A great stress reducer !
The Sony Wega 42" LCD is the largest LCD panel i am aware of. It is not cheap. Like all LCD panels it suffers from response time issues, but this set does have very fast response times compared to previous generations.

Plasma panels, 50" and over (though I am not yet aware of any products over 50") are not light. The weight of the panel increases in proportion to the SQUARE Area of the panel. The weight increase is actually MUCH worse than that, because the thickness of the optically clear glass must be increased as well to provide the necessary structural integrity. Costs climb amazingly quick after 50" for large thick panels of optical glass.

The 50" LCD displays being bantered about for around $3k are RPTV's.
I know Panasonic has a 37" flat panel lcd, but I thought I heard of a 42" 'r. Really want to go the 42 route, but will do a 42 plasma if the lcd is not happening. I planned to purchase this baby in October, but would be willing to wait, a few more months, if something thin and amazing is coming down the short pike. In the pipeline is a bit of a wait, for me. thanks for your cogent feedback. peace, warren
I agree that a CRT based RPTV is a better value than the same sized screen DLP RPTV, and understand some people prefer a CRT based picture, but I am one who much prefers a DLP based RPTV.

To me, again my opinion, the DLP set is sharper than any CRT set I have seen. The new HLP Samsung sets are very sharp but also smoother at the same time. You don't have to stretch the input signal and watch bloated images. Horizontal viewing angle is much better. Sets are much lighter in weight. They can benefit from a digital image feed; e.g., 720p over DVI/HDMI. the image is brighter. You can watch them in the daytime in a room with windows and sunlight. At night, you can watch them with a soft background light on rather than in a blackened room.

Not trying to say this is the answer, but shwoing that difffereent people have different priorities and preferences. You should do compartive viewing.

Samsung has anew DLP model out with a nice looking pedestal . The HL-P5685W has up-to-date specs with a 4th generation HD light engine and 3rd generation DMD TI chip.

Anyone purchased and care to review ?
Obrown, The current new Samsung DLP RPTV's are based on the HD2+ chips. In a month or three, the HL-P6190 (aka 90 series) will be out, based on the xHD3 chips (around $6000+). Unfortuneately, Samsung is charging more money for these sets (as is their right, and I respect that).

Bruce, you are correct, viewing preferences, viewing realities and other criteria make DLP (and others) an excellent choice for many people. However, under the correct conditions (dark room, narrow viewing angle, proper calibration, good source) no current television based display technology (note that front projection is not included here) comes close to the performance of the CRT based systems. I agree that CRT systems have many issues, restrictions and limitations. But given the limited circumstances for which they are intended, they are unrivaled in peformance, and cost. True, few people are willing to tolerate their size, weight (190 lbs for a 34" 16:9), narrow viewing angle (RPTV), low light output (RPTV), calibration requirements (and cost), convergence issues ("don't bump the rptv"), and slow performance fade.

Hence the wonderful world of DLP and LCD which we are all buying at a price/performance premium. I agree with all you say, except to say that CRT displays, based purely on performance, are still the best. But they come with a whole list of gotcha's.

Good points, thank you. I would even add one other advantage to a CRT based RPTV - a big top shelf on which you can easily put a center channel speaker.

Thanks to merge03 and bruce. My wonderful Mitsubishi 36' console (deep top for huge center and room for lots of cds) has died . I hate to lose the beautiful honey oak furniture.

Merge, I assume the new TI chip is supposed to be a jump from the current one in the HLP85 series . Would you elaborate ? I might can wait a month or so and even get a closeout price on the 85 if not willing to pay $6k for the new ones.

What do audiophile do with obsolete (Prologic rec. etc. and heavy tvs)equipment
The current generation of HD2, HD3, and HD2+ DLP chips are all 720p native resolution. The xHD3 is 1080p native resolution. The xHD3 includes all of the performance enhancements that went into the prior three generations. I would expect good contrast ratio, little to no rainbow effect, etc.

But, the proof is in the pudding. Few people have had the chance to see the 90 series, mostly at trade shows. We'll know in a couple months. The 6190 is rumoured to be "in production" now. I can't believe that other mfg's are too far behind samsung with rolling out xHD3 products, but I haven't heard anything juicy yet.

Center channels: Another advantage of "table top" digital sets over CRT RPTV is that even large center channels can be accomadated in the cabinet beneath them. Maybe not the matching cabinet from the mfg, but certainly in your own custom rack. The Dunlavy HRCC being the epitome of "placement concerns". Many CRT sets didn't have a flat top, and they certainly weren't going to hold up the likes of the Dunlavy center. To make it worse, the lower cabinet sections of CRT RPTV's are generally smaller than the HRCC, which would require elevating the set.
A good discussion of Samsung's plans for DLPs (new xHD3 chip) on a site called TWICE.COM
I'd just like to throw in my two cents. I'm choosing to go with the LCD technology (in about a year from now).

Here are a few reasons why:

1. LCD is a very proven technology that has been perfected
2. DLP has way too many moving parts (millions of little mirrors and colorwheel) = lots of potential problems
3. Plasma is too expensive and they haven't figured out how to stop the actual gas from leaking

If your TV is dead and you have to buy now , its tough.
In one year I believe the decisions will be clearer. I like the direction Samsung is going though, because they are focusing on what should matter most, The Quality of the Picture !
LCD (flat panel)is less expensive than plasma? Are there any 42" LCDs out there? If so; how much?
Here's my 2cents about the relative drawbacks:

1. DirectView CRT or RP, of any sort, are too bulky and get the way of the audio.

2. Large screen LCD (>42") is too expensive.

3. FP requires the room to be dimmed for even casual viewing.

4. Plasma is expensive and has a limited life (although I am not concerned about leakage). However, the life span with my general usage pattern will excede my needs and the unit will be obsolete before it fails (a statistical projection, not a guarantee).

Went with the plasma. Very happy audiophile.

Kal, after reading the disparity of opinions and doing the avsforum route, I've come to your conclusion, as well. Especially considering my limited viewing pattern related to plasma screen life span. Now which 42" plasma? From an earlier post, serveral months ago, it seems that the Panny HD (forgot the model number) was a popular contender. I'm right back where I started, but I do appreciate the feedback. peace, warren
The 42" commercial Panasonic seems the consensus favorite of the AVSforum denizens. However, Sony, NEC, Hitachi and Pioneer have growing support. The problem is that there is no easy way to see any of them set up optimally and certainly no easy way to see all of them set up optimally in the same place with the same lighting conditions as at home.

I went with the 50" Fujitsu.

I am surprised no one has mentioned that a DLP TV will require replacement lamps costing $250 to $400. The life expectancy of these bulbs is estimated between 1000-5000 hours, so you may be replacing these every or every other year. There is also forum discussion of early burnout of the original bulbs after the purchase. The price for the bulbs may come down, but there will be an ongoing expense beyond the initial purchase. I am glad I do not need to replace a TV right now (knock on wood) as it would probably be a DLP considering the cost vs. value of the different formats.

You made a good point here.

I doubt the price of the bulb will come down much. It is like the ink of an ink jet printer. It has not come down since I bought my first ink jet 10 years ago. This is a hidden cost to consumer and recurring revenue to the manufacturer. My guess is the DLP set will come down in price but the bulb will probably stay at the same level.

It is actually;

Plasma vs Flat Panel LCD vs Rear Projection LCD vs Rear Projection DLP

I think it all depends on where you going to put it and the type of use.

I'm considering 70" Rear projection LCD or DLP for my movie/music room, and 46" Plasma for my family room.

Flat panel LCD is limited in size right now - less than 37"? and expecsive, so it may be suitable for bedroom or library etc...

Picture quality and characteristics seems to be similar for Rear Projection LCD and Rear Projection DLP.

Kr4 and Jer mentioned replacing burbs...
I know there's buring bulb issue with plasma but DLP?
The estimated bulb life in Sammy DLP's is 8,000 hours, not 1,000 or 5,000. Where did you see those numbers?

$300 every 3-4 years is easier to budget for than risking having to replace an entire plasma due to burn in or steadily diminishing luminance. IMO of course.

The small # of early bulb failures I've heard about were all replaced under warranty. I've followed the Samsung DLP's on avsforum since the beta test days in early 2002, and bought one from the first shipload that arrived after the dock strike that summer. 2,500 hours and going strong.

Now if someone could just make a good universal player with DVI output...
Eandylee wrote: "Kr4 and Jer mentioned replacing burbs...
I know there's buring bulb issue with plasma but DLP?"

1. I never mentioned anything about burbs (or bulbs).
2. There are no bulbs or bulb issues with plasma.

Dougdeacon wrote
"The estimated bulb life in Sammy DLP's is 8,000 hours, not 1,000 or 5,000. Where did you see those numbers?"

I got those numbers from internet research and from different forum feedback. That's why I listed such a wide range. However, I have never seen the estimation above 5000 hours. It would be very encouraging to see specs from actual bulb makers rating the lamps at 8000 hours.
Talking about the life of the bulb, my old model Panasonic plasma has a half life of 30,000 hours. It means that the luminence (contrast ratio) will be reduced to approximately half after that number of hours. Assuming I watch 8 hours of TV per day and 365 days per year, it would take 10 years to get to half life. Of couse, there will be some weekends that I'll stay home and not stay home. I think that I'be ready for a new TV set after 10 years. Lets assume that the actual half life is only half of the claim, that will 5 years for me. I think that I would love to get a new one by then. The old one can be moved into the bedroom for another good few years.

Usually, I find that owners buy new TVs to replace the old ones even when the current units work fine. It just that they do not have the latest bells and whistles. Upgrading is a scary disease that many of us A'gon members have.

The current model of Panasonic plasma and the upcoming 7 series or the Onyx to be released in Oct claim to have 60,000 hours of half life. If I were to have that and watch about 8 hours of TV per day for 365 consecutive days in a year, it would take ~ 20 years. If the claim is only 50% effective, the new number would be ~ 10 years. By then, you most of could move the old units into the bedrooms to get few more good years of use.

When people talk about half life, they do often not do the math, and many prefer to wait for better models to come out. Now that I have presented the math, we all can go buy plasma or DLP now. ;>)
I took the 8,000 hours from my memory of researching/discussing the HLN437W last summer. That's no longer a current model so I can't find a link that shows that now. Take it FWIW I guess.

Samsung's current DLP product brochure states, "The bulb will deliver more than 5,000 hours of operation."


Samsungparts.com sells the replacement bulb unit for my set for $199.
Saw the JVC DILA picture yesterday . It seems to be the best currently available vs. DLP and LCD.