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Recommendations for a 50" (or Larger) Display? 98

An anonymous reader asks: "What display device should I get for a conference room? It can't be a front projection and it should be >= 50" and somewhat slim. If I go plasma, it seems like the burn-in problem could be serious if the unit is used as a monitor -- I don't want to look at either a 'Start' or 'KDE' button until the end of time. LCDs don't impress me since I can only get them in sizes of 45" or less. What about DLP? They make noise, but will it drown out a person trying to make a presentation to a room of 10-20 people? Overall, am I really stuck with a max vertical resolution of 768? Are rear projection LCD's or DLP's slim enough to not dominate a room?"
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Recommendations for a 50" (or Larger) Display?

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  • by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:39PM (#15788775)
    i know you said it can't be front projected but any projector that you would use for a confrence room has the ablitlity to be mounted on the ceiling and also set so that it is to be rear projected .. so you ahve progjector on the screen and then people looking at the other side of screen..

    go talk to a local av shop.. or msg me and i will give you part numebrs.. you can do it for a hell of alot lesss than a huge flat screen display..
    • What type of AV shop? If it is home theater, then that's no good unless they also sell presentation projectors. For others reading, home theater projectors are optimized for contrast ratio, presentation projectors are optimized for brightness for presenting in a lit room. You can mix the uses, but the results aren't necessarily as good, nor is the money necessarily as well spent.
      • Well where i live the AV shops i am talking about are the ones that go into schools and biz to do full av install for classrooms.. It takes some hunting and you woln't find bargin prices - but there are alot of them out there and not to hard to find.. basicily if they have a retail store front.. you are in the wrong place.
      • "What type of AV shop? If it is home theater, then that's no good unless they also sell presentation projectors. For others reading, home theater projectors are optimized for contrast ratio, presentation projectors are optimized for brightness for presenting in a lit room."

        I dunno...the mixed uses ones are getting MUCH better. I just got an Optima EP739....good contrast ratio...and great even with ambient lighting...

        Not to mention between 3000-5000 hours bulb life....

        I got the whole thing

    • Aye, I'm using my projector at home ($899) with screen goo, and I've got a 126" HDTV, for $899. Need curtains though, but I'd need those without. Haven't hooked my computer up to it yet, mostly for playstation and TV/DVDs. Waaaaay cheaper than many of the alternatives out there, and for 120". =)
      (I have tall ceilings, heh)
  • DLP (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doytch ( 950946 ) < minus language> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:42PM (#15788785)
    The "noise" a DLP makes is hardly something to worry about. I don't even have a top-of-the-line DLP from Samsung and I can only notice it when I'm straining to hear it. I own a 50" JVC that's doing very well for me and I would easily recommend a similar DLP if your only qualm is the noise.
    • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:46PM (#15788802) Homepage Journal
      Used to work for TI(The DLP creaters) so saw a lot of DLPs beginning from the very first models. Noise was never an issue and the image was great. But as with all projectors, the only downside is expensive bulbs, which can go poof after a couple of years of use. Make sure you get a warranty/insurance plan which covers that unless you got loads of money to spend
      • Actually, since the bulbs are end-user replaceable in most sets, they are normally not covered under anything other than a manufacturers extended warranty or a REALLY good coverage plan from the retail store. The DLP bulbs are like $150 for a Panasonic... they last about 4 years with average usage, so... i don't see how that can be a big deal... I would rather spend $150 than $3,000 on a new tv every 4 years... unless technology changes (2026 = no more analog apparently) :S
        • There are relatively inexpensive extended service plans available that cover the cost of the bulb. Here [] is an example of one that is $260 for a projector $5,000. Depending on the projector, that could pay for the cost of the plan with just a single bulb failure.

          But if a company is considering spending $3-5k on a projector or TV, they should be prepared to spend a little on maintenance over time.
      • Aha! A little OT here but probably interesting to the original poster.
        I have a DLP problem - I'm all ready to plunk down some $$$ on a DLP projector for home theater but my wife is in that 2% or so of the population that sees the elusive "rainbow effect". Any advice? I have heard that the rainbow effect is from the light hitting the edges of the mirrors as they flip and there's no help for those folks that see it. But I've also heard it's from the intersections of the color wheel a
      • But as with all projectors, the only downside is expensive bulbs, which can go poof after a couple of years of use.

        Actually, Samsung and a company called NuVision are due to be shipping LED-backlit DLP sets this year. They use 3 colors of LEDs instead of a single bulb. This significantly increases the longevity of the backlight, reduces power consumption, obviates much of the need for audible cooling, and supposedly eliminates the rainbow effect.

        I want one badly, but my HDTV needs are currently fulfilled,
        • I've wondered for a while now why they don't use lasers for the colors. You can get red or green lasers pretty cheap and I supposed blue can be had as well and might be getting cheaper with Blu-Ray players creating a larger market. The color saturation from the laser I play with my cats with is great! Why not in a dlp with three reflectors? There's probably a good explanation that I hadn't considered, but thought I'd ask.
  • by Hektor_Troy ( 262592 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:53PM (#15788823)
    and don't mind spending the money and don't mind looking around a bit, you can/could get the Grand Canyon Display from Liebermann Inc.

    They used to reside at [] but that seems to be defunct now. Last I checked they had one that was even bigger (5 1600x1200 monitors in one I believe), but since it's gone, I'm not entirely sure what it was called.

    A teaser [] (that's a Roland link, sadly) for now though ;)
    • I think the poster is looking for a more normal 50 inches of real estate, probably something closer to 16:9, probably not 240:9. Though going multiple with large format LCDs might be interesting, say 2x40" LCDs? That would be one way to alleviate the size complaints.
    • Liebermann got out of the computer business 2004-2005ish. Though I would be very surprised if that Grand Canyon Display actually shipped or was just some fanciful marketer's dream. (Very hard to describe Liebermann - the laptops they shipped were merely rebadged Sagers, that is, the models they could ship. In between the Apple-copycat site design, the wild products that just aren't possible realistically, and the overpriced laptops you *could* buy (hint: you think Apple was overpriced? Try Liebermann.).)

  • by pz ( 113803 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:54PM (#15788825) Journal
    I've found [] to be a very useful resource when wondering about projectors.

    Oh, and [] as well. Amazing what information is out there.
  • DLP/D-ILA/LCOS/RPLCD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Babbster ( 107076 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (bbabnoraa)> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:55PM (#15788828) Homepage
    First off, all of these technologies are being implemented in rear-projection, so there is some extra space in terms of thickness between the screen and back edge of the sets. But, all three of them are still thin compared to CRT solutions and, if "money is no object" (we'll just pretend it isn't) there are 1080p (1920x1080) sets available in the 50-70" range. One possible snag is that you'll want to make sure that these 1920x1080 sets will actually take such a signal - several of them will only up-convert signals to 1080p. Of course, in the case of a 1080i signal it will still look darn good since it's a simple line-doubling issue. Looking at a slightly older technology, there is rear-projection LCD. Sony offers 1080p HDTVs of this ilk.

    None of these items will be as sleek as a direct-view plasma or LCD, but none of them will approach the room-dominating size of an old-school CRT RPTV either. They also won't be inexpensive, though compared to direct-view plasma and LCD units in similar sizes (BTW- Sharp actually does sell LCDs in the 50+" range) they'll be at least competitive and often much cheaper.

    Finally, "burn-in" isn't an issue with any of these technologies, though each can have its quirks (for example, some people are sensitive to the DLP "rainbow" effect, though supposedly it has been minimized in the latest 1080p sets).
    • I have a 50" sony sxrd (LCOS) set and I love it. My only qualm is it is a standard VGA input instead of DVI. I haven't hooked up the mac yet, as the set was delivered this week, but I imagine that it will look good :)
      • I have the slightly larger version of that TV, and I agree it's a great TV... but prepared to be dissapointed in its computer support, it's dismal.

        The only way I've managed to get reasonable performance is from a DVI-HDMI cable and the fact that my NVidia card has Overscan correction (the TV itself only has underscan correction)

        Hope your experience with the 50" is better.
        • Oh yeah, that's my other gripe...only one HDMI input. Right now it's not a problem, the only HDMI device i have is my cable box, but once the optional XBox360 cable comes out or the HD-DVD addon, I'll be using it there. I'll have to get one of those HDMI switch box...goodbye $400... :(
          • Really, the 60" comes with 2... but why bother, the XBox360 only does 720p anyway, unless you're going an incredibly distance I can't imagine you'll notice a difference between component and HDMI.... heck I can't imagine there's a difference to notice.
  • DLP considerations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j-turkey ( 187775 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @11:59PM (#15788845) Homepage

    Rear projection DLP is pretty good, and is less expensive than its alternatives. Whether or not it's appropriate for your requirements is up to you.

    I just went to Samsung's site and selected the first rear projection DLP monitor that was over 50". I got this []. Whether or not it's too deep is up to you. Samsung is claiming 16.3" deep in their specifications. Some are thinner than others though. As far as noise goes, manufacturers seem to be listening to what their customers want and are competing to make quieter units. You may want to go to a showroom and hear what kind of noise these produce. Also, plug a laptop into a few to see what your presentations look like.

    It has been estimated that about 5% of people experience what is known as the DLP Rainbow Effect [], where some viewers can see flashes of color separation on the edges of high contrast edges. To minimize this, manufacturers are speeding up color wheels and adding more segments to effectively increase the color wheel speed. As DLP chips become cheaper, I believe that we will begin seeing 3-chip solutions enter the consumer market to completely eliminate the issue. In any case, the rainbow effect is something that you may want to keep in mind when you consider whether or not to use DLP.

    • I'd strongly recommend against using it for a conference room.

      5% doesn't sound like much, but if there are ten people in the room, there's a 40% chance that at least one of them is going to get the almighty headache that accompanies staring at the rainbow effects for more than a minute or so.

      If you have to go rear-projection, then Sony's 52" SXRD is very good value, and does 1920x1080, rather than the 1360x768 that the original questioner was worried about.
      • It depends a bit on what you're using it for. The rainbow effect doesn't do anything on Powerpoint presentations, which is 95% of what conference room screens are usually used for. Frankly, it's harder and harder to find non-DLP projectors these days. We have DLP in every conference room here and as far as I know nobody has ever complained.
    • Not all rear projection TVs are DLP, but it's getting hard to find ones that still use the old high-intensity tubes. I had one, though; 40" 1080p with DVI input, so they do exist, and I know they existed in up to 60" models. For the curious, the one I had was an RCA, and I bought it about 2.5 years ago, while working for another division of RCA's parent company (Thomson). Now that I think about it, it may have had a GE logo on it. Not sure though, and the ex got it when we split.

  • what abou LCOS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __aaitqo8496 ( 231556 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:01AM (#15788853) Journal
    another technology out there that you didn't mention was LCOS. it's similar to a DLP in size. sony is just about to release thier a2000 series [] which will sport 1080p resolution and 1080p inputs (thereby satisfying your request for more than 768 vertical resolution). there are tons of input types, so you shouldn't have to worry about getting the video to it.

    the 50" should be available in the next week or so. they have a 55 and 60 inch projected to launch in the near future. there are a few reviews [] available with a quick google search [], but for the most part, people are waiting (and anxious) to see this new model.
  • I think (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:02AM (#15788854)
    I say DLP, without a doubt. Crisp color reproduction, higher resolution than lcd or plasma. E16889253029 []

    Dimensions : 18" deep. Unless your conference room is exceptionally crowded, a foot and a half shouldn't make any difference.

    And best of all, plug in a high definition disk player and watch HD movies, or an Xbox 360.

    Or, connect a PC up and the onscreen text readable since this is more of a monitor than a television.
    • A friend of mine has that model and the picture is beautiful. He calls it "Mammoth."

      Another benefit - the unit only weighs 99 lbs. So, while it's awkward, it's definitely moveable by two people. He and I carried it down the steps at his place.
  • by HeXetic ( 627740 )
    My Toshiba 52" DLP TV makes next to no noise. The fan is almost inaudible over anything, and it's only after I've turned off the sound system that I can hear the fan for the few seconds it runs before shutdown.
  • Why not a standard projector with a really clever system of mirrors and lenses? If you have room for a large non-flat device of any sort, certainly you have room to set up a projector reflecting back and forth once or twice before reaching the screen....
    • ...and is the same as a DLP or LCOS (or CRT RP) TV that is being discussed, but is custom made. They're very common in high end settings because you just have a screen built into the wall and the projector sits in a room behing the screen with a mirror. Practically all front projectors can be set to project a mirror image for RP usage. You are limited if you want 1080 resolution, as there are still only a few available. This may be more cash than the OP wants to spend, and he'll need space behing the scre
  • by Yonkeltron ( 720465 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:02AM (#15788858) Homepage
    Check with the companies to see how big they are making LiteBrites these days....
  • I'm hoping to get an HP 65" microdisplay with wobulation someday. Review here []. Wobulation blends the pixels together to almost eliminate screen-dooring.

    Not sure what your budget is, but a 58" inch version is also available.
  • by Nyall ( 646782 )
    Well here's a 57 inch lcd tv XAA.asp?page=Features []

    I have a 32' lcd TV from Samsung and I've been really impressed.
  • If you've been waiting to buy a fancy DLP because the prices are astronomical.. looks like they might just be starting to come down. Tigerdirect has a Samsung HL-R5078W [] 50" DLP with 1080p (yes, real 1080p!) for a mere $1600. Plus you can watch broadcast HDTV with the built-in tuner when no one's looking :)

    Barring that, I'd go for a nice projector and a screen. Personally, I'm not such a huge fan of projectors, but they can be good with a proper setup (big, flat, custom-installed screen, everything alig

  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @12:48AM (#15789002)
    As the subject title says, Sharp has a 65" LCD. It even has a DVI input so your computers will be able to easily interface... It is pricy though, but if you don't want burn-in then it is your best option. Can be found for around $18k.
  • Another possibility (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stonecypher ( 118140 ) <stonecypher&gmail,com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @01:05AM (#15789060) Homepage Journal
    It is both cheaper and more effective to get a pile of networked laptops, and have people look at their local copy. Other benefits include people being able to cut and paste, to participate and so on.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This makes absolutely no sense at all since it is extra work and require more technical knowledge for all involved plus it does zilch for presentations. When you present, you want those pairs of eyes on you. People also don't want to hold up their notebook, point to a little dot, and hope everyone sees the same in front of their monitors - they want to point at a big screen and show their pie chart or whatever. Plus, if the boss is making an important presentation about next quarters earnings expectation
      • This makes absolutely no sense at all since it is extra work and require more technical knowledge for all involved plus it does zilch for presentations. When you present, you want those pairs of eyes on you.

        Ah, so it is more about people looking at you, than it is about what you are presenting - look at me, I am head monkey here!

        People also don't want to hold up their notebook, point to a little dot, and hope everyone sees the same in front of their monitors - they want to point at a big screen and show th

    • It is both cheaper and more effective to get a pile of networked laptops, and have people look at their local copy. Other benefits include people being able to cut and paste, to participate and so on.

      And drawbacks include people being able to play Solitaire and chat on Instant Messenger instead of paying attention, and the difficulty of collaboration when you have to tell every person "halfway down the page, second-to-rightmost column" instead of simply pointing the appropriate area on the Big Screen.
      • Well, as far as the difficulty of collaboration issue, it's not like it's hard to get networked interaction going in Windows; it's built in. You just go use your mouse cursor, and select the text. As far as people chatting and playing Solitaire, if they're doing that in a meeting, that sounds to me like a good reason for disciplinary action. If you can't trust your employees to pay attention during a 10-15 person meeting, you're in a whole lot of hot water.
  • You could always use a screen saver, or the Auto hide feature on your task bar.....
  • I really really like the Panasonic 52" 3-LCD screen []

    They are brighter and have a higher contrast than the DLP's which means if you're in a board room with flourescent lights, then it will be easier to see around the room. 3000:1 Contrast ratio is just cool. It also comes in a 61" flavour.

    If you haven't considered projection as an alternative, you could always go for an Optoma front projector. They are very very cool. Half of their lineup doesn't go under 3500:1 contrast ratio, with most around 4500:1, an

  • Look at the new Sony KDS-xxA2000 line just starting to roll out ( /eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-S tart?ProductSKU=KDS50A2000 [] ). They'll be sold in 50", 55", and 60" versions. Or, if you've got the dough to blow, you can look at the XBR2 sets that will have 60" and 70" screens.

    They are all 1080p 3 chip rear projection lcos based displays with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. They all have an HDMI input will actually accept a 1080p signal (all
  • It's funny when you're in the parking lot at a big box retailer and you see someone is trying to shove a huge TV box into a very small vehicle. Around Christmas time, I've seen empty TV boxes in the parking lot since people had to get the TV home somehow.
    • Cripes, at the price levels of these thing, spend the extra $50 to have the set delivered. Or wait for a free delivery special.
      • I agree with you on this - for something that expensive, I would rather have the other guy drop it than me.

        However, I still wonder why many people, who usually have at least two cars, never make a truck one of them. It doesn't have to be a big truck, either - a small Ford Ranger, a Nissan Frontier - hell, even an old Datsun - and you can handle 90% of the loads you will ever likely come across, even as a homeowner.

        No, you won't be moving big loads of rock or brick with such a small truck, but you can haul w

      • That's nothing. I heard horror stories from friends that they got this big TV home only to find out that it would cost another $500 to have it mounted on the wall and the wires hidden properly. That's why I stuck to the conventional 20" CRT TV. Even then, I almost had to take the front seat out to get it in back.
  • I suggest using a projector - it would be cheaper, you could carry it with you. Besides, you will be able to change the size of the image it makes. I mostly use those for my presentationt, and hardly have any problems
    Also, if you take him home, you can watch TV/DVD with it ;)
  • If you are considering any type of projection system, you need to think about how dark the room can be made, and how much disruption you are prepared to put up with to darken the room. If you don't have blackout curtains, then you need to think about factoring in the cost of installing them. This may also be the case for LCD/Plasma solutions if you have a room with floor to ceiling windows where the sun hits the wall you want the screen to be on.

    Another potential option is to use something like a 42" displa
  • My first thought was 'why not sit closer to a normal TV?'.
    I'm going backwards. Ten years ago I had a full Dolby Digital (or AC3 as it was back then) surround system, laserdisc player and a 40inch back projector. Now I'm stuck with an el-cheapo DVD player and a 30inch LCD screen and just the TV's built in speakers. I think the cause was wife & kids...
  • I know you said 50" plus, but you might want to check out Westinghouse brand LCDs. They are absolutely amazing value for money. The top of the line is currently a 47" LCD panel, but they are rumored to be adding a 56" some time this year. I just picked one up and it's great - plenty bright enough even in a daylit room, good anti-glare coating on it. And best of all it's 1080P, which if you're using a PC or Mac to drive it means you get a really crisp and clear picture at a reasonable resolution!

  • If that's big enough for you.
  • Wait for LED DLP (Score:3, Informative)

    by PrvtBurrito ( 557287 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:23AM (#15790306)
    DLP technology, as others have mentioned, is really cool and has a lot of potential. It is also less expensive than LCD/Plasma, but it is not without problems. (For anyone interested in really researching this, go to AVS Forum [], the bible on this sort of thing.) If going DLP, I highly recommend looking into waiting for LED light based models. The first one is coming out right about now []. Lots of DLP owners are having trouble with lamps breaking within 1 year at costs of >$200 -- sometimes as high as $400. Other complain about fan noise, rainbow effects, or breaking color wheels. LED based models, in theory, should solve all of these problems, and finally create a large 1080p wide screen tv technology that doesn't lose significant picture quality over time.
  • Short throw (Score:4, Informative)

    by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:06AM (#15791126) Homepage Journal
    Woah! Why exactly is front projection not an option? People often throw out front projection because they want to stand in front of the screen to present and rear projection is not a good option.

    Don't give up on front projection until you at least learn a little bit about short throw options. There are front projection systems that can deliver 100" diagonal images in as little as 2' (NEC WT610). If you are projecting from the ceiling to a 60" screen, you could be standing riciculously close (e.g. closer than one usually stands next to a wall) and not even cast a shadow.
    • Yeah I just calculated it; 60" diagonal from a NEC WT610 is a throw distance of 10.8" Resolution is XGA

      With a moderately high gain screen this will give you plenty of brightness even with the lights on in a conference room.
  • I use HP's MD5880n 1080p 58" TV as the primary display for my home computer (which happens to be a Mac). It works spectacularly well, with the exception that if your eyes aren't quite good the 1080p resolution can be hard to read from 10-15 ft (fonts, especially on the web and particularly in web images, can be too small). I bought it for about $3000 shipped, but I think prices are coming down. HP also makes a 65" version, the MD6580n.

    These TVs accept a 1080p signal over HDMI. I currently run ADC->DV
  • I researched plasma, LCD, CRT projection and DLP for a year before purchasing a Samsung 50" DLP rear projection screen. Hardly makes any noise, we attached a computer to it using DVI and the only negative I or any of the articles I read about DLP had to say was the cost of the replacement bulb ($300-500), but they last for nearly three years.

    Samsung, Mitsubishi and Toshiba all have reliable DLP screens. I'd recommend Mitsubishi for an office environment strictly because of the numerous connections Mitsubi

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.