Solved! HDTV Noob looking for help

noonin

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Dec 7, 2005
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I just started looking for my first HDTV and thought I had one picked out (Panasonic TC-P46ST30) based on revies sites. Until I saw it in the store. Of course the plasmas are mostly mixed in with super bright LEDs, but it was hard to think anything other than how dim it looked. I was told Samsung plasmas were not as dark as the Pannies, and reviews were great on the Samsung PN51D6500, but read a LOT of stories of unaddressed brightness "popping", something the Panasonics had a problem with, but were fixed. I was also looking at LG, which I was told had the best brightness for a plasma, but they seem to be ignored by a lot of the bigger review sites, and Best Buy (the only decent size store in town anymore) doesn't stock or display them (in plasma).

To those of you who have a 2011 Plasma in the sub-$1000 price range, have you been happy with the brightness level? Our viewing is around 25% daylight, and can curtain the windows to keep direct sun off the screen, but don't want to have to black the room out to enjoy the TV during Daylight Savings Time (we like to catch the sunsets through the west facing windows while we view). Our 32" Toshiba CRT TV didn't handle the glare very well, but I'm mostly concerned with if plasma's brightness will overcome ambient light.
Thanks!
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
plasma screens by the very nature of the technology will have much better contrast ratio then lcd screens. i am not entirely sure about color but i've heard due to the the technology that there are differences here as well.

i'm not really sure what the issue was with plamas requiring a recharge, i never asked in detail. as far as believing a manufacturer...thats completely up to you. i'd get a 3rd party technical opinion instead of a press release.

as far as backlighting goes i remember seeing a few really bright plasma televisions back when they were common but nothing along the lines of some of these new lcd models that are out now. some of them are downright blinding. keep in mind that the typical home is alot darker (even with windows) than a store. a better comparision would be to adjust the brightness on the tvs in the "home theatre rooms" at such stores to see what looks comfortable then compare it with the ones outside.

television prices have come down alot. if you arent interested in 3d 120hz/240hz mumbo jumbo then you can pick up an older 60hz model for really cheap. i paid about $1500 3 years ago for my sony bravia 40" and its about $800-900 nowdays. picture quality is still very competitive as its still a 1080p television. its not 120/240hz but that doesnt matter to me (3d is such a gimmick...)

as far as backlighting is concerned there really isnt much of a difference (in performance) between led and ccfl except when they put the leds into a grid pattern and turn off zones according to the content displayed. to my knowledge only a few of the very top end models do this, most of the rest are all edge lit. leds should last longer and save a tiny bit on electricity but thats about it.

totally up to you on how you choose to proceed. just sharing some information.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
before going with plasma i have to say that at least the older models had to be recharged in only a few years time which isnt cheap at all. make sure that newer models arent the same way or you could be in for a suprise. source: relative was a tv tech for 25 years.

as far as brightness settings go.... unless you have an associate in store verify the brightness level on the screen (see if its at 100%) you cant judge accurately. as far as glare goes....having a brighter screen will reduce the effects of glare/ambient light a little but its going to be hell on your eyes unless you feel like adjusting the brightness settings all the time.

i used to have my 40" lcd with a window to the rear where it caught alot of glare and as i said above raising the brightness level did help somewhat but it was almost painful to watch for any length of time. a better solution is to move the television to a non glare destination or to invest in some sheer (somewhat see through) curtains which will reduce the glare effect.
 

noonin

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Thanks ssdx,
If you mean the problem with plasmas losing brightness over time, Panasonic claims they've addressed it. I know what you mean by eye strain from an overly bright TV, but it's hard to say what something in the store looks like when properly calibrated in my house (the usual problem). We do have sheer curtains, which cut glare. But the sun angle is so different than the summer when we catch more TV viewing.

I started looking at plasmas because review sites said the black levels, detail, and colors looked the best for the price, like spending $1500 on an LED vs $900 on a plasma for similar PQ. I have only looked in the store a couple times so far. The Panasonic I saw was adjusted to 100% brightness, but didn't know what other settings would need to be tweaked to give a fair comparison.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
plasma screens by the very nature of the technology will have much better contrast ratio then lcd screens. i am not entirely sure about color but i've heard due to the the technology that there are differences here as well.

i'm not really sure what the issue was with plamas requiring a recharge, i never asked in detail. as far as believing a manufacturer...thats completely up to you. i'd get a 3rd party technical opinion instead of a press release.

as far as backlighting goes i remember seeing a few really bright plasma televisions back when they were common but nothing along the lines of some of these new lcd models that are out now. some of them are downright blinding. keep in mind that the typical home is alot darker (even with windows) than a store. a better comparision would be to adjust the brightness on the tvs in the "home theatre rooms" at such stores to see what looks comfortable then compare it with the ones outside.

television prices have come down alot. if you arent interested in 3d 120hz/240hz mumbo jumbo then you can pick up an older 60hz model for really cheap. i paid about $1500 3 years ago for my sony bravia 40" and its about $800-900 nowdays. picture quality is still very competitive as its still a 1080p television. its not 120/240hz but that doesnt matter to me (3d is such a gimmick...)

as far as backlighting is concerned there really isnt much of a difference (in performance) between led and ccfl except when they put the leds into a grid pattern and turn off zones according to the content displayed. to my knowledge only a few of the very top end models do this, most of the rest are all edge lit. leds should last longer and save a tiny bit on electricity but thats about it.

totally up to you on how you choose to proceed. just sharing some information.
 

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