Why LCD and Plasma? 37

It seems to me that LCD and Plasma are discussed most when it comes to TV these days, is there something wrong with other formats such as DLP, 3LCD, etc.?

I would like to purchase a new TV for our bedroom and I was looking at the $800 range, this had me loking at 32" HD TV's, at least those of quality; I'd prefer slightly bigger. I happen to look at a 37" Sony (KDF37H1000) that I thought looked nice, just under $900, and I saw that it was 3LCD, this is a rear projection TV.

Why do these formats get little discussion?

Any suggestions for a 37" (or larger) HD TV for a good price?
I think that the thin/sexy form factor is why plasma and LCD get all the buzz. Also some people see "rainbows" w/DLP but that is supposedly better with 3rd gen sets.
Sony recently disclosed they will stop making rear projections. So, for a new purchase, I'd stay away.
Rear projection TV's such as DLP's require bulb replacement every few years...around $200 each. With flat panel prices falling almost weekly, you can buy an LCD or plasma, get a better picture and no maintainence expense.
I believe that good plasmas still offer the best and most film like picture with LCD's closing the gap. The best picture in a 37" set would still probably be obtained from an older CRT tube set such as the last of the sony XBR 36" sets. If you can fit in a 42" set get a panasonic plasma for under $1000. Look for specials at 6ave.com and their prices should also be matched at the larger chain stores.
I have yet to see a high definition LCD or Plasma TV displaying a
standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio signal that didn't look like crap. Do
any exist?


When I was shopping for my first flat panel TV a couple of years ago, SD picture quality was a huge consideration. I ended up purchasing the 3rd generation Panasonic 42" EDTV plasma. It looks really good with SD program material, and from my viewing distance, I couldn't see much difference on digital signals in either SD or HD.

I've been very happy with it for about 3 years.


Thanks, Reubent. It stands to reason that your Panasonic EDTV has a better SD picture as it is not a high definition TV, but rather an enhanced standard definition set.
01-02-08: Tvad
I have yet to see a high definition LCD or Plasma TV displaying a
standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio signal that didn't look like crap. Do
any exist?

Not that I'm aware of. I think they purposely use crappy SD tuners to make the HD picture look that much better. So when you compare the HD picture to the SD picture you get more WOW! factor.

That being said, for some reason my wife always chooses to watch in SD as opposed to HD. I can't say that I know why. The picture looks awful to me.

As for Brian's question, I just think LCD and plasma get most of the ink because they are the two hottest formats. They tend to cost more $$$ though. Most folks here have more $$$ though, same reason they tend to talk about seperates more than integrateds. Nothing wrong with integrated amps or DLP's. You spends your money you makes your choices.

Tvad, I will be in the market for a new plasma. In what way does the 4:3 standard def look like crap?

That's funny! My wife does the same thing. I think it's habit. She's been conditioned to punch in the channel number of the SD channel and hasn't bothered to learn the HD channel numbers. Anyway, I set the default power-on value of our DVR/STB to the high def version of NBC. From there she just uses the up/down button to get the the HD versions of the other network stations. However, the non-major network channels in HD aren't in sequence, so all bets are off when watching HGTV!


Tvad, I will be in the market for a new plasma. In what way does the 4:3 standard def look like crap?
Fatparrot (Threads | Answers)
Typically, they are blotchy and terribly pixilated.
any rear projection TV will need light bulb replacement over time. what bothers me most is the fact that you can't watch it in complete darkness, at least for me, because I can see the "light bulb" in the screen that projects right into my eyes and very uncomfortable.

I was a Bestbuy the other night. standing in front of zillions of LCD & plasma, I can easily pick up which one is LCD and which one is plasma. plasma still wins for picture quality overall.

as an owner of 42" EDTV plasma, 37" LCD, 60" LCD RPTV, and 1080P LCD projector, I will buy a 100" plasma when I can afford one some day.
When I posted this last night I was about to go to bed and should have taken time to further mention that my "main" TV is DLP and I have been quite happy and find SD to be acceptable as well.

When I was at CC yesterday I asked if I could watch a particular TV in 4:3 and the answer from the young salesman was "no", this after explaining what 4:3 was. I went there with intent to purchase a 32" Panasonic (TC32LX70), but as I suspected, I questioned if I would regret the size. This same salesman highly recommended I consider a particular Samsung, I believe it is model LNT3242H; he was high on Samsung. I recall reading that it is a safe bet to stay with the P's, Panasonic and Pioneer, yes/no?

He also highly recommended I purchase the extended warranty due to pixels burning out on LCD models, which he showed me some floor models with some out, although it was a brand I would not consider. Is this a common issue with LCD's? The guy clearly didn't know a lot, but this issue did raise a concern for me.

55dok, do you have a model number for that 42" Panasonic plasma?

Too funny about wives, my wife does the same thing and also doesn't care.
Brianmgrarcom ;
I had to chuckle when I read that the CC guy would not let you demo the way that you wanted to !
This echos my last two experiences where I wanted to demo some speakers with the Onkyo AVR that I wanted to purchase . Two different stores were not able to turn off the subwoofer , the rear surronds or center channel speakers ! Whats more , one store did not even have the demo speakers wired up ! They also would not remove the demo DVD and insert a CD . This comes from sales clerks working on commission !
I wonder if this type of customer disservice has anything to do with their stock taking a nosedive and the many pending store closures ? Hmmm .
Sorry for the rant but I hate to see BB go competionless .
I will now return you to your regularly scheduled thread .

Thank you .
That is interesting Semi; I suspect I need to spend more time looking at TV's next time. I had my wife and son with me yesterday and my wife is not patient in these things, I was very pressured.

I know that the DLP TV I bought a few years ago was a very nice one and I starting to think it is superior to most or I am less sensitive than others, because I don't have the issues some mention about it, such as Semi seeing the bulb and bothering the eyes.
If you are happy with DLP, there are good buys out there. I think that there are several reasons why SD looks crappy on HD sets-
1. Crappy tuner.
2. Oftentimes, stretched picture to fill screen.
3. Analog to digital conversion
4. Larger picture, which magnifies all of the above defects.

I have a very high quality (Loewe) CRT EDTV, that looks like crap on analog channels. It looks good with digital channels and great with DVD. Higher res sets emphasize defects of incoming signal, same as high res audio system will emphasize upstream warts.
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Swampwalker, I am happy with my DLP set, and I wouldn't rule DLP out for the bedroom set we are looking to replace.

I went to town last night considering solely LCD and plasma and after looking at that Sony 3LCD rear projection TV I started wondering if I had gotten caught up in marketing, LCD and plasma being THE only real options, and maybe they are, if so, I am fine with that. Thus far, it seems the main issue for most is with bulb replacement in rear projection TV's.

I did look (rather quickly) at a DLP set at CC, but its picture quality was not as good as mine, so I didn't give it much thought.

What sucks at CC is they play a video loop that is fast moving so it is hard to view one TV to another.
As irritating as it was to deal with a salesman that didn't know much, I will say that CC sales people do not work on commission so what one buys or doesn't buy means little to them.
Before purchasing a new set I would check [http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=e4e89386e3739f7054448230cb3160fc&f=167]here[/url] first. Get it from owners' mouths so to speak.
CC salespeople are not on commission, but have you ever heard of "spiffs"? That is a significant portion of their income.
I have not, what is/are spiff?
Brian, a spiff is a bounty, as in "Sell the Samsung 47" set and we will spiff you $20.00 for each one sold." It is common in the electronics industry.
They do get some sort of credit or what have you for a sale that is withdrawn if the sale item is returned . Or at least they used to . This is according to one salesman .

Also , be aware that they are instructed to push the item with the biggest profit margin for the store . So if you ask them what is best...keep this in mind !
i have a toshiba 36 inch analog tv set with nice speakers built into a nice cabinet with two shelves underneath for
components with a nice glass door in front. the colors are true to life, and thanks to the curvature in the picture tube i can watch the tv at a pretty acute angle and still see quite well. it has never given me any problems, although i admit i don't watch it that much... when i watch a DVD i can see facial hair on the actors. i also have a sony XBR digital (regular wide screen picture tube) set in the bedroom , which is very nice but the 4:3 aspect ratio problem is very annoying. overall i prefer the analog set. from the above discussion i would have a difficult time recommending plasma, dlp, lcd, etc. to ANYONE.
tell me i am full of #@$@$@# please. otherwise, what do i do with my analog set when broacasts convert to digital? is the D/A converter going to be available for a reasonable price, and hopefully will it work properly? i remember back when the 1st color tv's were introduced many years ago by RCA. they were awful. black and white OTOH was nice and sharp, easy on the eyes; i was just a kid then but i never nagged my parents for color ever. SO, do i have to wait until i'm 70 before they work out the bugs with digital tv sets?
Plasma and LCD have been favored over CRT and DLP for years now because of their sexy thin boxes - despite their disadvantages. But DLP is closing the gap with huge 60+" screens and bodies only 15" deep. And some of the Samsung DLPs boast LED displays that are warranted for the life of the TV - they don't use color wheels anymore that require bulb replacement every few years or so.

You're right, the fast moving display video loop is a common marketing scheme - Costco does it as well - that makes comparisons of the displays difficult. And these displays almost always show just HD content, so you wont' see how bad SD looks on most HD displays.

But HD is the future. By 2009 all TVs sold in the US must be digital, which doesn't auger in HD necessarily, but sure pushes the content in that direction.

Good luck in your decision. I'm also on the fence, and am leaning toward a 50+" plasma. I'd love to have a 1080P Pioneer Kuro plasma, but they're very expensive. If I don't find the right plasma or LCD, I might go with a Samsung LED DLP model.
As long as there is any original broadcast content in standard definition 4:3 aspect, I will keep my 32" CRT.

Only when all broadcast content is in widescreen or letterbox, will I seriously consider changing to a flat panel display.

I suspect this won't be until some time after the mandated 2009 digital switchover.
The new Perfect Vision has a very interesting article on the future of DLP. The bulb still wins (and the Sony SXRD gets very high marks). The bulbs are environmentally hazardous because of mercury contained. There are alternatives discussed, but the raters don't find them to be there yet. However, the technology is still progressing. It may not be RIP for DLP.
I suspect this won't be until some time after the mandated 2009 digital switchover.

I heard in 1997 that the original mandate was for complete digital switchover by 2006. You can see how that turned out. :)
I heard in 1997 that the original mandate was for complete digital switchover by 2006. You can see how that turned out. :)
Jmcgrogan2 (Threads | Answers)
Nothing's for certain, that's for certain. ;)

Fortunately, I really enjoy my Sony CRT display.
Tvad, I will begin by saying I am NOT a videophile. However, I spent considerable time investigating before buying a plasma TV. I replaced a 32" XBR CRT. I chose the Pioneer 1080p plasma because of how it dealt with Standard Definition programing and older movies. This is what separates high end TVs in my opinion. They all look great in HD with a HD DVD running. I have been very pleased with my choice and would recommend this TV. As in audio, let your real life observations rule over the spec sheets.
I am still using a high end Laser Disc player, and have a few hundred movies in the LD format.

What problems might I encounter when using an HDTV plasma display?
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My five year old 36" Sony XBR does 1080i. Will I be okay when the analog broadcasts go the way of the Dodo? I plan to use this in the bedroom when I purchase a new T.V.
I have yet to see a high definition LCD or Plasma TV displaying a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio signal that didn't look like crap. Do any exist?
I purchased a 42" Panasonic plasma and I hooked it up today; I don't have the HD receiver yet so I can only watch SD programs. I wouldn't know your standards for SD TVAD, but what I have been watching tonight looks very good to me, after making video adjustments.

I am also impressed with the stretch mode, called "JUST", this surprises me. It depends on what you are watching though. When watching some Karate on ESPN2, most of the viewing from the camera was away, it looked quite good. ESPN2 followed up with boxing and the announcers being near field of the camera, I don't like that as much.
Stretch mode creates unnatural and skewed proportions. I don't care for it.

My viewing standard requires programming to be viewed in it's native aspect ratio, and that it look as good as or better than a standard off-air, antenna-based analog picture.
I agree with you for the most part TVAD on streych mode, but I think some programs could surprise you, as it did me, maybe.

As for your second part, if I follow you, you are talking of only a few channels, your local channels, yes?

Also, keep in mind, when purchasing a HDTV, generally people purchase a larger TV, this obviously makes things bigger, including the distortion that was always there in your tube set. Not to mention you view HD content, with vastly more content, going back to SD will never compete.
Widescreen HD TVs satisfy an increasingly large viewership who don't watch SD programming or who don't care that upconverted SD programming on HD sets does not look as good as SD programming on a SD set.

I am not a member of that viewership, yet I am a professional in network television production. I know I am in the minority opinion.
Well, I am not sure we can compare apples to apples anymore. My new 42" TV plays a 4:3 picture at 34 inches, I am not aware of a high quality 34" SD only set to compare with. My new TV replaces a 27" tube TV and my new TV has a better picture than my tube TV when both playing SD, without question.

Either way, I suspect none of this matters, as you are settled/happy with where you are at as am I.

But as for your classifications of who buys HDTV's, I have no problem being in the latter. The programs I watch in HD are so much better than SD and I enjoy it very much.
I also have the 36" Sony XBR CRT 1080i that I bought in 2004. It was the reference set for some reviewers at the time, and I'm still constantly amazed at the picture quality and color richness. I use it with standard DVDs, I tried a Toshiba HD-DVD and was not impressed with the color (maybe it needed to be calaibrated for the Toshiba HD-DVD). I've been wondering:

1. Do the newer plasma and LCD sets have better picture quality than Sony XBR CRT?

2. Is there any benefit of using Blu-ray HD with this 36" screen, at a viewing distance of about 6 feet? Or is the screen to small to benefit from HD?

I calibrated my set with the Spyder Colorimeter. It attaches to the screen through suction and has to be used with a Laptop or nearby PC.
I originally wanted the 40" XBR(the largest direct-view made), but it wouldn't have fit through the door.
I have the 40" Sony XBR CRT and it took 4 of us to get it into the house and into the viewing room. I would love to have a large screen plasma mainly because of the space savings, but despite what the pundits say, the CRT is still a video reference monitor. I hate to think of what I'm going to do with it when it is time to be replaced, I may have to just dig a big hole in the backyard and bury it.
well, just in case i missed something here, i have, as i said before, a toshiba analog TV- 36 inch curved picture tube in a veneered walnut cabinet. it has great built-in stereo speakers. when i watch a DVD on it i can see the peach-fuzz hairs on the actors' faces. the colors are as close to real as i could want. IN MY BEDROOM i bought a SONY XBr digital-34 inch CRT-TV; this set comes in a silver and black case with a matching stand and looks great. it also has excellent built in speakers with simulated-surround sound (very impressive), so i have not added anything yet (except for a vcr and dvd player of course). BUT, the 4:3 problem can only be solved by looking at a small image with black all around. the colors are just NOT AS GOOD somehow as the OTHER (sh**) set. the picture is a bit sharper, but it "looks" like early cd players "sounded"- simulated/artificial.
so once again, my older "crappy" television set is easier on my eyeballs. it will be some time in the not-so-near future when i get a plasma tv monitor. it will look superb of course, when i'm not too bored to watch another law-and-order re-run. and trudge through the HORRIBLE commercials.
why can't they make a set that shows 18 yo girls in g-strings and sports-bras exercising and stretching until the show comes back on? i'm paying to watch the cable presumably to be entertained, rather than watching a housewife in court accusing her mop (who hired its own lawyer) of not getting her floor clean enough? can you imagine her auditioning for the part, perhaps wondering, after doing a hundred other similarly horrid commericals, if her life has lost all meaning? perhaps hookers get more satisfaction from their jobs and find the work less demeaning than she does from hers. in any case i really dislike watching television. it gives me the creeps.