question Larger TVs

LunarMist

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So after adding two TVs in two weeks I'm on a bit of a roll. :) Now I seek an LCD TV in the 42"+ category to replace the 1990s 27" CRT. I can probably fit in a 46 incher if I move a few items of furniture, but I have no interest in a larger one. The main criteria are obviously the image quality, specifically the brightness and color uniformity across the screen as well as the angle of view. I'm not sure what sound quality is possible, but I'm hoping it is acceptable or that the manufacturer has some auxilliary speakers that connect directly with the TV. I'd rather not get into a receiver or other audio system.

From what I read online there seem to be quite a few different TVs available and various issues. I would probably be looking for a 120GHz model with traditional backlighting. It is not clear from the specs which ones use IPS vs. PVA panels or how much difference it makes in the specific implementations. I also see that some TVs have media/internet functions, which are probably of no use, but I'm not sure if they would be worth having in the future. I hope this TV could last the rest of my days, but I am unsure of the longevity. Do modern LCDs last 10-15 years like the old CRTs or are they only good for ~5 years? Thanks for any input.
 

Stereodude

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It's hard to say how long they'll last. I think most things are intended to be disposable these days. There's nothing inherent to LCD technology that would make them last only a short while. There are a lot of electronics in them, but that's not new to TV's.

If you're after the ultimate picture quality you should be looking at models that have direct LED backlighting with local area dimming (which aren't the 1" thick LED sets). They're a few inches thick. Getting edge lighting LED is a waste. The thermal design for the LEDs is still poor / not yet mastered. So, you pay a premium for a immature technology that will prematurely fail (lose brightness), but they use a little bit less power. I'd stick to CFL lighting unless you plan to go extreme top end with the direct LED backlit local area dimming sets.

IPS is very uncommon in LCD TVs simply because there no one makes large IPS panels. They're all some sort of variant of VA (Vertical Alignment). Contrary to what the LCD monitor trolls spout, VA is not inherently inferior to IPS. In fact the best looking panels I've seen are Samsung's S-PVA panels. (In LCD monitor land, the issue is typically that the best VA processes aren't used on the small LCD monitor sized panels which means you're comparing the latest and greatest IPS tech to several generation old VA tech.)

In terms of determining what panels are used in what TVs, it's hard to know. It's getting less and less common even for a panel maker like Samsung to use their panels even in some of their own TVs. Typically the higher end, larger sets will use a panel made by the company selling the set (assuming they make panels). You can tell a lot about the panel in a set by looking at it with a loupe. Each LCD maker's pixel structure looks different, so they can be identified if you really want a given technology from a certain company.

However, there are unsubstantiated rumors, even on a fairly reputable forum like AVSforum, that the same TV model may use several different panels. I'm not sure I believe this, though I suppose it's possible. I've seen no proof of it. Just people reading part numbers... The part numbers do end with different letters and then there's claims that they look different. A simple macro shot of the panels would prove if they're different (since the visible pixel structure varies by manufacturer), but somehow no evidence is ever offered. The letters are probably assembly locations or hardware revisions.

Long story short, the best advice I can give you is to go to the store and uses your own eyes to pick the TV that looks the best to you (after making sure none are compromised by the sales drone sabotaging the image settings).
 

Stereodude

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And, FWIW, this is the pixel structure of a Samsung S-PVA panel.



You'll note there are several subdomains in each subpixel that are independently controlled.
 

LunarMist

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So Samsung is still considered a good manufacturer? Would the LN46C670 be a good choice? It is about as expensive as I'd like to justify on a TV; it's not like a camera lens or something critical. How do you feel about other brands, for example the quadraphonic color of Sharp or perhaps a Sony Brava, Panasonic Viera, etc.?
 

LunarMist

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And, FWIW, this is the pixel structure of a Samsung S-PVA panel.

You'll note there are several subdomains in each subpixel that are independently controlled.
It looks like the off-axis limitations are partly mitigated by having some pixels in each diagonal direction. Interesting.
 

Stereodude

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So Samsung is still considered a good manufacturer?
Yes, I think so.
Would the LN46C670 be a good choice?
Yes if you want a glossy panel. Samsung calls it Ultra Clear Panel. That's code for glossy. I wanted a matte screen on my LCD TV when I bought it a little over 2 year ago. I think the LNxxC630 is the highest end Samsung set that's not glossy, though there are reports that the 60" and 55" C630 sets are glossy while the smaller sizes are not.
How do you feel about other brands, for example the quadraphonic color of Sharp or perhaps a Sony Brava, Panasonic Viera, etc.?
I'm haven't spent a lot of time looking at the Sharp Quattron. I think it's largely a gimmick if you're after accurate color. The 4th color primary is completely unnecessary to reproduce the correct color space. As to regular Sharp LCD panels, I can't exactly put it in words why, but I think they don't look as good as the Samsung panels if you're going to watch from fairly close. It's either their pixel driving scheme or the spacing between the pixels or something. I've perceived them as looking more noisy / grainy & not as smooth.

Sony now uses both Sharp and Samsung panels on their larger higher end sets. It used to be just Samsung (from their joint S-LCD venture). Also keep in mind that Sony has recently outsourced their high end LCD TV production to Wistron and Foxconn after previously outsourcing their low end sets. I can't speak much to Panasonic. They're buying panels from someone. They're more of a player in plasma TVs.

Keep in mind there is no hard and fast rule about panels in sets. Plenty of companies are buying from LG, AUO, CPT, etc. But, a budget 37" set from Samsung or Sharp is not likely to have glass from Samsung or Sharp in it.
 

Stereodude

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A magenta and blue dot revolving around each other?
No, that's what you see when waiting for Flickr to load the image. You obviously didn't wait long enough, or have NoScript blocking some of the domains needed for it to work correctly.
 

LunarMist

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I turned off all the protection and the site was there after rebooting. I did not realize that there were subpixels in the LCD TVs. It makes sense given the relatively large size of each pixel in a large 1080i panel compared to a typical computer LCD with 0.22-0.27 pixel pitch.
 

Stereodude

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All LCDs have subpixels, most of the time they're R, G, & B. Larger panels often further break down the subpixels.
 

Pradeep

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Do you need massive brightness, direct sunlight a problem? If not, a plasma gives a closer "CRT" experience.
 

LunarMist

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Sunlight could be a problem in summer months, though I read that plasmatic TVs are extremely heavy.
 

LunarMist

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I visited the big store and viewed various larger-screen TVs, with undesirable results. TVs are not identified very well, so I could not determine which was which in most cases. Some were mounted high on the wall which did not help matters. :cyclops:
 

Pradeep

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Sunlight could be a problem in summer months, though I read that plasmatic TVs are extremely heavy.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasonic+-+VIERA+42"+Class+/+1080p+/+600Hz+/+Plasma+HDTV/9761068.p?id=1218168619373&skuId=9761068

Link may not work but the Panny P42S2 (42") 1080p plasma weighs 55 lbs including stand.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasonic+-+VIERA+/+42"+Class+/+1080p+/+60Hz+/+LCD+HDTV/9783676.p?id=1218174062064&skuId=9783676

The 42" LCD weighs 45.2 lbs with stand.

So a little heavier, but not massively so.
 

LunarMist

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Hmmm. I thought plasmas were obsolete. :scratch: Are they as sharp and detailed as LCDs or blurry like CRTs?
 

Stereodude

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They're well on their way to being dinosaurs. They're not as bright as LCDs so I wouldn't advise one for a bright room.
 

LunarMist

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Farther apart from what? Is there dead space? It sounds like I don't want one for the final TV.
 

Pradeep

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Hmmm. I thought plasmas were obsolete. :scratch: Are they as sharp and detailed as LCDs or blurry like CRTs?
Plasma works by emitting light, as opposed to blocking it like LCD.

Choose plasma if you like deep blacks, fast response times (LCD is laggy in comparison), gorgeous life like colours.

Choose LCD if you need max brightness.
 

Pradeep

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http://www.crutchfield.com/S-RBuH0bBm5J0/learn/learningcenter/home/tv_flatpanel.html

Plasma:
Pros: excellent contrast and black levels; effortless motion; rich colors
Cons: not as power-efficient or thin as some LCDs

LCD:
Pros: panels weigh less than plasma and use less energy
Cons: picture slightly less natural and "filmlike" than plasmas

If you want filmlike picture quality plasma is the way to go IMO. LCD can provide a brighter picture, but I prefer a more lifelike image
 

LunarMist

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Now I have a question about how to get the sound as it is not possible to use internal speakers. I don't want to buy a fancy receiver system with bulky speakers. Basically I'm looking at a mini stereo system with two detachable speakers. It should have a remote control that works with the cable remote or a universal remote to adjust the volume. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

LunarMist

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http://www.crutchfield.com/S-RBuH0bBm5J0/learn/learningcenter/home/tv_flatpanel.html

Plasma:
Pros: excellent contrast and black levels; effortless motion; rich colors
Cons: not as power-efficient or thin as some LCDs

LCD:
Pros: panels weigh less than plasma and use less energy
Cons: picture slightly less natural and "filmlike" than plasmas

If you want filmlike picture quality plasma is the way to go IMO. LCD can provide a brighter picture, but I prefer a more lifelike image
Thanks. I'm not sure what to do now, but I have a lot more info. :study: I will visit stores again tomorrow and buy whatever they have available for delivery in the next couple of weeks.
 

snowhiker

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You'll note there are several subdomains in each subpixel that are independently controlled.
...So if one of the subdomains in a subpixel is non-functional due to a manufacturing defect the other subdomains can be "turned up" to compensate for the defective one? Thus reducing/eliminating dead subpixels/pixels?
 

LunarMist

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...So if one of the subdomains in a subpixel is non-functional due to a manufacturing defect the other subdomains can be "turned up" to compensate for the defective one? Thus reducing/eliminating dead subpixels/pixels?
How could it know that some are defective? I assumed the sub-domains per color pixel are for quicker response times and/or finer control of brightness levels.
 

BingBangBop

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Do note that Plasma screens can suffer from burn-in, dim significantly over time, and are likely to have a significantly shorter lifespan than LCD's. Manufacturer's counter the shorter lifespan saying that they have improved them significantly, from when they were first released, which is true but they are still much shorter than LCD's. When LCD's fail, it is commonly because the florescent light-bulbs have burnt out which is much. cheaper to repair than the plasma screen itself
 

Stereodude

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...So if one of the subdomains in a subpixel is non-functional due to a manufacturing defect the other subdomains can be "turned up" to compensate for the defective one? Thus reducing/eliminating dead subpixels/pixels?
How would it know though? The subdomains are how they have better control over brightness and get 10 bit color (or better) and improve the viewing angle.
 

Stereodude

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Now I have a question about how to get the sound as it is not possible to use internal speakers. I don't want to buy a fancy receiver system with bulky speakers. Basically I'm looking at a mini stereo system with two detachable speakers. It should have a remote control that works with the cable remote or a universal remote to adjust the volume. Any ideas? Thanks.
What about one of those powered soundbar thingies? link
 

LunarMist

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$250 and not even a power switch on the remote? Audio is so expensive for the basics. Ugh. :(
 

Mercutio

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You could get a decent 2.1 set of computer speakers, Lunar.

And plasma sucks because of the possibility of burn in.

LCDs will burn in, too, if you leave the same image on the screen for a month. Plasmas can burn in under an hour.
 

LunarMist

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You could get a decent 2.1 set of computer speakers, Lunar.
Sure, I know. Where are the ones with a remote control?

And plasma sucks because of the possibility of burn in.

LCDs will burn in, too, if you leave the same image on the screen for a month. Plasmas can burn in under an hour.
I'm getting an LCD, for the reduced weight if nothing else. I can handle a 46" LCD TV, but that is about the limit.
 
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