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Are Plasma TVs the Next BetaMax? 514

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sure-why-not dept.
Lev13than writes "An article in the Toronto Star questions whether the battle between LCD and Plasma is the next VHS vs. Beta: "LCD is now in plasma country, and this means war — a war some say plasma can't hope to win". Rationale for LCD's victory include plasma's burn-in vs. LCD's ruggedness, improved images and falling prices. While the Beta analogy isn't particularly helpful (since both technologies play the same content), the article does raise interesting points."
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Are Plasma TVs the Next BetaMax?

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  • by non-sequitur (179054) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:05PM (#15944229)
    And when they do, they're prohibitively expensive to replace.
    Since so many of these are new, they won't fade for about two years - if Plasma is still around, you may see the tide change....
  • Video Games (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArizonaKid (893047) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:16PM (#15944275)
    There is one plasma at my condo; however, it belongs to my roommate and the rules are no video games. CNET had an article which stated the first hundred hours are the most critical to prevent burn in, and after that time it's ok to play video games. However, the majority of manufacturers still recommend in their operators manual for plasmas not to play video games. The article's mention of burn-in is a constant worry, especially with news stations that leave thier logo up all day. For my XBOX 360, I still don't know what to get. I really don't want the size of a DLP; however the LDCs I have played on still leave some "trails" and are quite expensive. Does anyone have any recommendations for gaming? I have to be ready for Madden 07 this Tuesday.
  • Re:VHS vs. Betamax (Score:4, Informative)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:20PM (#15944285)
    > the outcome will also be decided by which one can show porn the best.

    That just isn't so. The super-high-end TV market is driven by the sports fanatics. For every one wall-sized unit sold to a movie nut, ten are sold to (American) football nuts.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:55PM (#15944398)
    I have a plasma TV, which I chose over rear projection, DLP, and LCD.

    Why?

    1. Rear projection CRT may look the best, but they are way too bulky for the space. I wanted a sleeker TV, not a bigger one than my old standard CRT.

    2. My wife sees the rainbows on DLPs. It's less obvious with higher-priced models (where the color wheel spins faster), but it renders them unwatchable for fast content (like sports or action movies) for her.

    3. Plasma versus LCD came down not to their performance with hi-def content, but with their performance with standard content. I've had my plasma TV for more than a year, and most stations I watch are still standard def. In my opinion, standard def TV looks better with plasma than with LCD. I looked at lots and lots of TVs, and I switched them in the stores to standard def broadcasts instead of leaving them on the hi-def channel the retailer wanted to show. Of course standard def content looks worse on a big-screen TV than on a small TV, but the static and artifact pixels were far more visible with LCD than with plasma.

    This whole discussion is silly, anyway. Both types of TVs can play the same content, as can rear-projection TVs, DLPs, and even those polymer TVs in the Slashdot article yesterday. There's no reason they cannot all co-exist in the marketplace. As long as there are people like me who dislike LCDs, there will be a market for them. (I don't even use LCD computer monitors - CRTs still look so much better it's unbearable.)
  • Fade? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:02PM (#15944427) Homepage Journal

    LCD backlights will fade unevenly...And when they do, they're prohibitively expensive to replace. Since so many of these are new, they won't fade for about two years - if Plasma is still around, you may see the tide change.

    Mine is going on 4 years and no fade at all.

    One thing I never liked about plasma was the power consumption. Do they still suck 300+ watts and emit a lot of heat?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:05PM (#15944437)

    As a writer of an article, one should do more than research the televisions of one company and base all aspects of technology on it. That company, would be Sony as indicated by the author of this article as it is the only manufacturer that is being represented.


    This article is filled with entrenched ideas of plasma technology from about half a decade ago, when LCD televisions were prohibitively expensive and small.


    It does not need to be restated that this article has no resemblence to the Beta vs. VHS wars as all televisions will continue to be able to display a standard picture, but here are the wrong ideas being perpetrated by this author.


    Plasma's burn-in has been eliminated due to algorithms developed by both Samsung and Panasonic to essentially shift on-screen images ever so slightly to avoid a single image to stay in one place. In fact, even if you blasted a pure white image on the screen to purpose for a day (a standard accident, perhaps?) then the technology can even cure that over a day period of standard use.


    Black bars will not cause burn-in on today's plasma televisions. Television station logos that sit non-stop in the bottom-right corner are the only culprits. Even most stations have figured out to shift the logo a bit or make it transparent enough that the older plasma television crowd will not have burn-ins.


    Sony abandoned its plasma television technology because it just couldn't win. Sony was using glass from another manufacturer, which is a very expensive part. Consumer Reports and CNet routinely choose Panasonic plasmas as the very best because they manufacture the key plasma television components. Likewise, the article states that Sony abandoned it in favor of LCD technology. Sony also abandoned the tube television technology which was a cornerstone of the company's name. One would imagine a specialist, nay a leader, in tube television technology would have been most adept at establishing plasma technology.


    Plasma televisions are not hot. Hovering one's hand above the vents of plasma televisions today reveal no more heat than a standard television, except suspiciously on brands such as Sony or Akai. Go through a Best Buy and feel the lack of heat emanating from a Pioneer, LG, Samsung, or Panasonic. In fact, Samsung did use to have fans to cool its plasma, but over time it has been eliminated.


    Now for some editorializing... I pass by three plasma televisions every day in a work environment. A Samsung plasma hangs suspended from a ceiling displaying a static computer display giving graphical and textual read-outs. The display never changes interface except a screensaver comes up every thirty minutes. It does not have burn-in when somebody gets caught surfing the web on it by accident (I always find that one funny). A Sony plasma hangs in the boardroom, it is hardly on except for a teleconference, and it works day in and day out with just a face on it most of the time. A Panasonic plasma plays video non-stop in the breakroom and is only turned off at night. That display is smaller than the rest at 42 inches, but it is phenomenal color-wise and it hasn't failed either. Plasma technology is not terrible. It's very good. LCDs do not offer lighter weight or thinner enclosures than plasma (so far). LCD panel televisions will defeat plasma in the situation where it becomes thinner, lighter, larger, and more beautiful displaying images (this encompasses the entire image quality and motion playback attributes) in a fast enough time with a matching price to plasma on size. The problem is that plasma if you look online is far cheaper than an equivalent LCD panel television. Retail chains are making a load of money off of plasma units in-store. LCD television technology is priced exactly as it is worth in both on and off-line venues.


    I'm just glad the author of the article didn't compare this to the Wii vs. Playstation 3 war or the Zune vs. iPod war.

  • by jbreckman (917963) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:14PM (#15944463)

    DLPs require fans to keep the bulb cool. This can produce unreasonable noise while trying to watch something.

    I had a Toshiba 46" DLP a couple months ago with two sets of fans in it. One was on when the TV was on, which was very loud. You had to run the TV way up just to make sure you could understand everything.

    The other was on whenever the TV was plugged in, even when it was "off". You could really hear it across the room. (They claimed it was to "keep the bulb cool". To which I asked "Can I unplug my TV?" "Yes" "So then why does the fan need to be running???")

    Quiet fans are something that a lot of manufacturers don't really pay attention to. (I know Toshiba didn't) Even if fans start out quiet, they often get louder as they age.

    (Toshiba claimed the fans were "silent", and tried to fix it. Naturally they broke the TV more when attempting to fix it, so they authorized a refund and I bought a Samsung LCD and love it)

    Anyway, my LCD is actually "silent", and I love it. Unless DLPs become fan-less I'll never buy one again.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Informative)

    by Eric Falsken (919615) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:19PM (#15944483) Homepage
    I just got a new Samsung 50" Plasma. I've used almost nothing but my 360. There are always little health bars in the corner. I was very worried about burn in, but I think burn-in has been completely debunked arround here. There is no such problem in modern plasma screens. My model isn't even the latest and greatest with the "dedicated game mode". It just works.
  • by innosent (618233) <jmdority@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:21PM (#15944490)
    Or you could do what I did, avoid the whole issue completely and use a DLP projector. You have to replace the bulb every 3000 hours or so, but even after several bulb changes, I couldn't find a comparable LCD or plasma for less, since my 10' diagonal screen still isn't available with flat panels. I spent about $800 for the projector, and the cost of the bulbs ends up being around $0.05/hr to use it, a number which is perfectly acceptable to me.
  • by p51d007 (656414) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:38PM (#15944562)
    When I was in high school back in the 70's, I worked in a TV shop. It wasn't that hard to make any color TV look good or bad, depending on the lighting. Under florescent lights, since most of them are more toward the higher end of the light spectrum, you have to add the compliment of blue, which is red to make the picture look "better". The problem with monitors, computer or TV is that almost everyone "sees" color a little different. What looks good to one person, looks like crap to someone else. I could set up a tv and make it look good to me, but then after it was delivered, we would usualy have to tweak it for the customer, to look good to them. I always found that if you adjusted the colors for flesh tones on a live tv show, to the end user, then pretty much everything else would look good. I have a PSD picture file that I downloaded somewhere (huge file) with a lot of color stripes, flesh tones etc. I use that to set tv's and monitors to start with, then let the end user tell me what looks best to them.
  • by non-sequitur (179054) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:39PM (#15944563)
    Yes. I have some LCD panels, and my work and friends have large-panel LCD Tvs.
    So, not in a way that I can convey here.

    But you can check it out for yourself. Google may help. If you look into the subject at all you'll see it's no secret.

    Here's a pdf from Dishnetwork:
    http://tech.dishnetwork.com/departmental_content/t echportal/images/pdf/hdtvdisplay.pdf#search=%22LCD %20backlight%20fade%22 [dishnetwork.com]
    It lists the Pros/Cons of the different technologies. It says:
    "Direct View LCD"
    "Cons"
    "Expensive, pixels viewable with large screens, picture can fade over time, slow pixel response time can cause motion blurs."

    Here's another view from Planar's Ali Gard:
    http://blog.planar.com/embedded/2006/01/crts-lcds- tale-of-tape.html [planar.com]

    An excerpt:
    "LCD's luminance is controlled by the luminosity of the backlight / edgelight. The backlights in LCD monitors are almost always CCFL (cold cathode florescent lamps). The life of the backlight is determined by how long it takes until the lamp reaches half of its original luminance. Similar to CRTs phosphors in CCFL's age and their efficiency declines. LCD's don't suffer from flicker, or image burn just a few years ago that time was about 30,000 hours. Newer lamp technology has increased that time to 60,000 hours to reach half brightness."

    That puts it at 3.5 to 7 years (if you accept the manufacturer's claims). What he doesn't address is that the CCFL will fade unevenly which is most obvious in large panels.
  • MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 20, 2006 @02:08PM (#15944690)
    CRT is a dinosaur. Resolution is poor

    WTF are you talking about? If you don't know, don't post. And moderators, don't fall for something that just *sounds* informative.

    CRTs offer *far* better resolution at the present time than LCDs, plasmas, LCoS, DLP, and every other non-military display technology. It's better by a factor of 3 to 5, at each point of the market scale.

    The other parts of your post are fairly reasonable, and CRTs will almost certainly go the way of the dodo before long. However, *RESOLUTION* is *NOT* one of their weaknesses. It's pretty much their greatest advantage against other technologies, with their next-best advantage being high contrast ratio.
  • by Simon (S2) (600188) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @02:41PM (#15944784) Homepage
    You are talking about rear projection CTR sets. From the forum post you linked:
    Regular rear projection *is* CRT. Most rear-projection sets work by having three small (around 6-9 inches) CRT screens, one for red, green, and blue.
    The Sony is a 3LCD rear projection TV, not CRT. Don't confuse the two. An LCD does not burn in. Just look at your monitor.
  • Re:Not true HDTV... (Score:2, Informative)

    by annenk38 (163418) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @03:23PM (#15944912)
    Look up "inverse telecine [wikipedia.org]". Film material (24fps) transmitted in 1080i is nearly always hard-telicined 1080p source. IVTC allows seamless reconstruction of original 1080p frames. Video material (30fps) transmitted in 1080i cannot be inverse telecined, but can be "decombed", which involves weaving even and odd scanlines, a process which does degrade picture quality by 25-30%. There is but a handful of consumer television sets on the market with 1920X1080 native resolution, and none can perform ivtc in real time as yet. You can, however watch broadcast transport stream caps with a dscaler or mplayer ivtc filter if you have a sufficiently fast CPU (or GPU -- see for instance nvidia's purevideo product comparison specs here [nvidia.com]). The difference in picture quality will be significant.
  • MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:3, Informative)

    by deepb (981634) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @03:41PM (#15944965)
    CRTs offer *far* better resolution at the present time than LCDs, plasmas, LCoS, DLP, and every other non-military display technology.
    Wrong. 1080p LCDs are quite common, especially for 32in-42in displays. A handful of 1080p plasmas are now available, and 1080p DLP/LCoS displays have been around for months. There are no 1080p CRT televisions, only 480p and/or 1080i. So LCD/plasma/DLP resolution > CRT resolution.

    If you don't know, don't post.
    You should try taking your own advice.
  • by vandelais (164490) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @04:25PM (#15945118)
    This http://www.digitimes.com/displays/a20060818A6025.h tml [digitimes.com] article better explains how and when plasma is getting pushed up the consumer chain.
  • by dreamlax (981973) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @04:33PM (#15945150)

    I wouldn't touch LCDs over 40". I work in retail and I hear both sides of the story. Sharp and other brands like Sony push LCDs through like mad, while Panasonic is primarily a plasma brand.

    Power consumption
    Plasmas and LCDs use a comparable amount of power. A 42" Panasonic plasma uses at most 350W (TH42PA60). An LCD of the same size would use about 300W at most. The difference is that the plasma only consumes 350W when it is displaying a full white picture. If it is a dark scene, it consumes less power (since the pixels are not arcing as often). LCDs consume a rather fixed rate of power since the backlight is always illuminated.

    Brightness
    Plasmas work by emitting light, whereas LCDs work by blocking light. Since LCDs block light, it is difficult to stop light from leaking around blocked areas. Philips' latest LCD is capable of dimming certain areas of the backlight, but the leaking is still there. Plasmas on the other hand won't get leaking. In fact, in darker scenes the detail will always prevail over an LCD.

    Lifespan
    Panasonic now boast that their plasmas will last 60,000 hours, which is now comparable to LCDs. Like LCDs, plasmas lose brightness over time. Panasonic's 60,000 hour figure is the length of time it takes to become half as bright. Philips, Sony, Sharp and Toshiba all boast similar figures for their LCDs and plasmas.

    Price
    Well, here it becomes weird. Panasonic invested a huge amount of serious dollars into a new factory which aims to pump out hundreds of thousands of plasmas each year. A 42" plasma is generally cheaper than a 42" LCD. The difference is that it is immensely expensive to create large LCDs that will not have poor constrast and brightness and remain responsive (i.e. 10ms or less). Plasmas on the other hand "prefer" to be big. It is impossible to create small plasmas because of the size of the pixel. So if the TV screen size gets bigger, the price increase from plasma to LCD will too.

    My biased opinion
    I work for a company which exclusively sells Fisher & Paykel, New Zealand's largest whiteware manufacturer. Until recently, F&P were Panasonic's importers in NZ, until they were big enough here to take care of themselves. They still work closely together (one of F&P's double ovens has a built in Panasonic microwave) but because of their reputation together and because of where I work, I sell more Panasonic appliances than any other brand. Panasonic's primary interest in terms of TVs is plasma, and from all the evidence that I was given from all brands saying that x was better than y, Panasonic's was the only evidence that remained consistent over the course of 3 or 4 years. It concluded for anything big (say, 42" or larger), go plasma, for anything small, go LCD.

    I cannot see Plasma TVs failing. Over the last year, Panasonic's TH42PA50 plasma was the top-selling TV of any classification throughout Australia, and the top-selling 42" TV in New Zealand. The PA60 model boasts even more features for the same price.
  • by lowe0 (136140) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @04:55PM (#15945221) Homepage
    Hope you're counting on that. When those bulbs fail, they can potentially explode - you'll be picking shards of glass out of your projector.
  • Re:Beta max, c'mon! (Score:3, Informative)

    by 7Prime (871679) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @05:20PM (#15945298) Homepage Journal
    BetaMAX, dude, not BetaCAM. BetaMAX is a composite, based, system, just like VHS, it just tended to produced cleaner video results and better audio. BetaCAM is what you're thinking of, which is a professional grade (I still use it at the TV station where I work), componant (RGB) based video system.
  • by canadian_right (410687) <alexander.russell@telus.net> on Sunday August 20, 2006 @05:43PM (#15945385) Homepage
    CRT's are still very GOOD technology. You can get high resolution CRT's for computers and TV's.

    Technology changes fast, and with LCD's price coming down and quality going up they will soon offer the same performance as CRT's for the same price. But as of last year this is what I found when I looked into buying a new moderate sized TV (32 to 36 inches):

    • All projection TV's suck, unless they are VERY expensive. Unless you have your eyes in the "sweet spot" the picture quality is quite bad.
    • DLP is very nice picture, but it very expenisve, and you may have to replace a $200 light bulb every few years.
    • Plasma is also very nice, especially in larger sizes, but still a bit pricy. Some models have burn in trouble, and they do fade slowly, normaly have at least a ten year life. My second choice.
    • LCD pretty good picture, very close to a good CRT. Contrast not quite as good and the larer sizes were still very expensive. May have to replace $100 light after 4 or 5 years.
    • CRT - under 36 inches still very good prices. Old, reliable technology. GREAT picture on a newer set, and long life with very little burn in and no fading. Downside is it is big and heavy.

    I went with a 34" widescreen high-def CRT. At the time it was the best picture at that size and price with zero expected maintenance. As for High-def - it really only improves the picture for sets about 36" and bigger. I only wanted a modest size set as the room it is going in is not that big.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @06:09PM (#15945493) Homepage Journal
    FWIW, the half-life for plasma screens is now around 60,000, which is comparable to conventional CRT sets.

    LCD backlights prohibitively expensive to replace? The fact is, they CAN be replaced, and aside from a few manufacturers who INSIST on gluing or epoxying the cases together, they are relatively easy to replace, and the tubes themselves cost anywhere from $2.00 to $30.00. Compare that to plasma, where to replace the screen you may as well just buy a whole new set (it's the equivalent of replacing a picture tube on a conventional television or monitor).

    Buy a set based on:
      - Response time
      - color purity
      - contrast ratio and black level
      - Image burn-in possibility (a potential issue for static displays and console gaming)

    Until OLED sets become available, Plasma will win color purity and contrast ratio hands down. LCD will win for weight/ease of installation and possibly versatility.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 20, 2006 @06:20PM (#15945532)
    Are those Xenon projector bulbs? (Smaller versions of what is used in a real cinema.) Then that is a danger, you need to treat them with respect.
  • Re:No (Score:3, Informative)

    by Osty (16825) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @09:21PM (#15946038)

    I just got a new Samsung 50" Plasma. I've used almost nothing but my 360. There are always little health bars in the corner. I was very worried about burn in, but I think burn-in has been completely debunked arround here. There is no such problem in modern plasma screens. My model isn't even the latest and greatest with the "dedicated game mode". It just works.

    Burn-in is a potential problem in CRTs and Plasma displays because they ultimately use the same technology to represent colors -- phosphors. The two display types use different technologies to excite the phosphors, but plasma is still a phosphor-based display. Compare that to LCD or DLP, where color is generated by light (via filters on the subpixels in an LCD, or a color wheel in a DLP). Phosphors wear out with use, and burn-in happens when they wear out unevently. There are ways to combat this, but you cannot totally eliminate it in phosphor-based displays:

    • Turn down your contrast. Brighter pixels will wear out the phosphor more quickly. Most TVs ship in a "torch" mode, which looks good in the store but is way too bright for normal usage. It's a good idea to have your set calibrated [imagingscience.com] after a break-in period. (This is a good idea for LCD and DLP displays as well, but CRTs and Plasmas need it to tweak colors as the phosphors age.)
    • Get a set that shifts pixels. By occasionally shifting the image around by a few pixels, you'll spread the image out across more phosphors. This makes it less likely for static images to burn in (or more precisely, it will cause surrounding pixels to wear out at around the same frequency, which makes any burn-in you might suffer seem less by smoothing out the sharp edges).
    • Always use the set in full-screen mode (on widescreen sets). If you don't like everything looking shorter and fatter, use a sidebar mode with a ~50% gray color rather than black, and that periodically adjusts the position of the interior picture. The gray sidebars will keep the unused phosphors in the sidebars wearing out about the same as the interior phosphors, and shifting the interior image position will help smooth out any sharp edges on the under-burn.
    CRTs and plasmas are both good display technologies, and they've come a long way from years past where burn-in was a common issue, but they do still inherently have the potential to burn in. Modern sets do try to prevent burn-in as much as possible without user intervention (well, except for "torch mode"), but you still should be a little careful about how you use the set.
  • Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 20, 2006 @11:24PM (#15946360)
    Wait a second....let's do some math on native pixel resolutions here:

    Standard Definition CRT: 640x480 = 307,200 pixels (ie: 480i, 480p)
    High Definition CRT: 1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels (ie: 1080i)

    Typical 23-46" LCD: 1366x768 = 1,049,088 pixels (ie: 720p)
    1080p >40" LCD: 1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels (ie: 1080p)

    Typical 37-60" Plasma: 1366x768 = 1,049,088 pixels (ie: 720p)
    Plasma >60": 1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels (ie: 1080p)

    Note that almost all CRT's display an HD image in 1080i regardless of its input format (ie: 1080i, 720p), and due to the interlacing of the two fields, your eyes effectively see half the resolution on the screen at any given time.

    While the newer LCD sets are available with 1080p resolution, the only *mildly* popular method of receiving this quality input is via Blu-Ray through HDMI or by PC. Flat panels are not the only sets to display this format though. Sony's SXRD Silicon X-tal Reflective Display technology and TI's 1080p DLP technology can both be found in projection sets and a *very* few limited projectors at this point.

    Therefore, the only logical conclusion to assume is that you, sir, are unfortunately misinformed about the more recent emergences in non-CRT display technology. These displays can, in fact, display a more wholesome image than any consumer CRT.

    Drop by Circuit and ask to see their Samsung 1080p and Mitsubishi 1080p demos. They're impressive.
  • Re:Why not LED's (Score:3, Informative)

    by WaterDamage (719017) on Monday August 21, 2006 @02:53AM (#15946903)
    A flash light is a bad comparison since flash light bulbs don't produce much luminence to begin with. Look up the amount of LUMENS a projector bulb will produce vs led and you'll quickly realize why. The day that LEDs will match a 1,000,000 candle power spot light is the day that projectors will change their light source.
  • by sootman (158191) on Monday August 21, 2006 @10:53AM (#15948572) Homepage Journal
    "When those bulbs fail, they can potentially explode - you'll be picking shards of glass out of your projector"

    So, the bulb can potentially explode, but he will be picking shards of glass out of his projector? You're mixing up your words to bolster your weak point.

    Projector bulbs are every bit as durable as regular light bulbs--blow outs rarely lead to explosions. I own a projector, used as a TV, and have already had its bulb die once. A little pop, a little darkness, and I let it cool down and replaced it, no big deal. Where do you think the projector industry would be if every blowing bulb exploded? Do you really think people who own projectors will replace bulbs before they wear out--unlike every single other thing they own? People will run their bulbs until they don't work any more and projector companies know this.
  • by greed (112493) on Monday August 21, 2006 @11:19AM (#15948777)

    Any fixed-matrix screen will give you similar issues; plasma screens are also a fixed matrix. Same applies to DLP and LCD projection. You can only avoid this with a CRT if the gun has adjustable focus; otherwise, you'd get vertical gaps between the scanlines. Of course, focus on a CRT is just an adjustment of a magnetic field, so that's easy.

    The scalers (zoomers?) can vary widely. In fact, in comparing similarly-specced LCD computer screens, I found the biggest difference was in the quality of the scaling. Low-end screens just multiply the pixels, so one dot becomes 4, or whatever is needed. High-end screens run an anti-aliasing filter on top of that, to smooth it back out, similar to what you'd get from a CRT. Filter quality varies, too--and spending more money mean you get a better set. On (some?) DVI screens (with an nVidia card anyway) you can pick between several approaches, so you can just use less of the screen at low res--black border the picture rather than scale it. (I only just switched to DVI, so still got some playing around to do. But Myst 4 looks good running in 800x600, scaled to 1280x1024, on my NEC 90GX2.)

    Same is true of the TVs. (And bad source material looks bad on anything big--the only way around that is to move farther back so the screen doesn't look as big.) Try the same NTSC feed--and a proper feed, not those co-ax distribution amp things I've seen in most stores--and check out the different sets you are considering.

    I also tend to buy stuff I'm not sure about at shops with a "satisfaction gaurantee" policy... it's still annoying to have to go through the return, but it beats being out the money for a set you're not happy with.

  • by Afrosheen (42464) on Monday August 21, 2006 @01:54PM (#15949878)
    Plasma burn in generally happens with things like CNN tickers and other persistent imagery. You may never experience it but it is a concern for some people.

      As for the Panasonic...well, you get what you pay for when you buy cheap electronics.
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSPAm.yahoo.com> on Monday August 21, 2006 @02:31PM (#15950143) Journal
    CRTs televisions cannot display 1080p (1920x1080), period

    I have a TV tuner in my computer and a CRT monitor capable of that resolution. Therefore I have a CRT television capable of that resolution. Therefore, you are wrong. Thanks for playing, here's your copy of Slashdot: the Home Game.

    Your UID shows me you are new here. Let me give you a little tip. Try not to sound like an arrogant know it all unless you are absolutely sure you are correct and you are directly responding to another arrogant know it all. Otherwise you will most likely be modded down.

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