[mythtv-users] OT: LED or Plasma (was Advice on choosing a TV)

Tom Dexter digitalaudiorock at gmail.com
Sun May 9 19:02:04 UTC 2010

On Sun, May 9, 2010 at 11:25 AM, Paul Gardiner <lists at glidos.net> wrote:
> I'm confused now! After reading through all the great advice in your
> replies, I was seeing the sense of not making too much of the choice
> based on viewing in shops. I've been reading a lot of reviews and
> forum discussions. That led me to settle on a Panasonic Plasma
> TX-P50G20B. But I thought I should at least see one before I
> committed. I visited a shop today, and had them show me it
> playing various content with varying sources. It looked great, but...
> the one thing that's now derailed my thinking a bit was a side-by-side
> comparison with a blu-ray of Avatar between a plasma and a led tv
> (TX-P42G20b and TX-L42D25B). The led looked superb. I was expecting
> the colours to look more vibrant in shop lighting, but it looked
> like it was in a far higher resolution, with so much more detail.
> Is that likely to be down to shop lighting, or are leds inherently
> sharper than plasmas? I can't imagine how. These were both 1080
> panels. Would I find under more normal lighting conditions
> that the Plasma's image was just as sharp and detailed as the
> LED looked in the shop? Is there some difference in the layout
> of pixel elements or the image processing that makes the difference?
> Paul.

I used my Avia Guide to Home Theater DVD to set the picture controls
on two different Panasonic TH42PZ80U plasma TVs (one for a friend and
one for my in-laws).  The resulting settings were astonishingly better
than the factory settings.  They were both amazed at the improvement.
Even if you could try changing the settings in the store, 1) setting
video settings properly by eye rather than with test patterns is
almost impossible and 2) even if it weren't, the bright lighting in
most stores would likely make the proper video settings (the most
accurate picture) look unwatchable.  Actually that's probably a big
reason most factory default settings have the contrast cranked up to
quick-fry (a guaranteed way to get terrible picture accuracy)...to
look good in places like Best Buy.  I just can't imagine trying to
judge under those circumstances.  When I bought my RP CRT Hitachi (six
years ago) the default contrast was 100.  The proper setting (which
looks great) based on the Avia test pattern was 18!!

By the way, those two Panasonic Plasmas I referred to, to my eye, look
as good as anything I've seen at any price, and they're not expensive
at all.


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