Re: OT : Home Theater Display
- From: Ned Ledod <pinbase@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 17:48:34 -0700 (PDT)
On Sep 15, 4:47 am, "Classic Playfield Reproductions"
58-65" diagonal screen size
budget $3500 max
Any input is welcome.
I'll chime in, as this year I went through this same dilemma trying to find
a "winning candidate" to replace my Samsung 65" rear-projection beast from
2001. That damn thing was a floor model on caster wheels and probably
weighed about 400 pounds. At the time, it was the biggest TV you could
buy - and it's only competition was a Sony 63" at a price point $2000 more.
The Samsung won out for me because it also had the biggest guns (10") as
opposed to the 6" guns in the Sony. Way brighter and crisper picture.
So fast forward to this year...
The TV market is so vast and wide now...so many technologies...what was
going to "win" for me this time?
After four months of crunching specs, showroom demos, and studying up on the
technologies themselves....Samsung DLP won hands down for me.
Now, I can tell you now that the big-box stores don't push, or often don't
carry the Samsung DLP line. The salesboys also don't understand what they
are or how the technology works. In all cases, I was often turned away
from the DLP's by the salesboys...as they seemed to have a "thinner is
better" bias. So they dismiss the DLP's thinking they are some "older
technology" because they might be a foot wide at their base... stupid, yes.
But I ended up educating a few of them in the end....
The basis of a Digital Light Projection television is the miraculous Texas
Instruments DLP chip (TI is directly partnered with Samsung exclusively
right now) which holds a 1920x1280 array of micro-mirrors that create your
image. A high-intensity beam of syncopated RGB light (now Samsung uses
100,000 hour LED light engine) is streamed off the surface of the chip and
onto the screen. What you have is exactly like what is in
digital-projection movie theatres, shrunk down and in an enclosure in your
So why did it win out for me? Since I'm always trying to 'invest' in a TV
to last me 5-10 years, I want something that in the long term is going to
satisfy me. One major thing was picture speed. The pixels of a DLP can flip
as fast as a transistor can flip. The fastest movement no-streak, no-blur
picture I saw. Plasma moves almost as fast, but it suffers ghosting and
burn-in after months or years of use. The cells will eventually become
"tired" in the plasma gas panel. It's just a flat CRT. LCD still suffers
with the traditional 2-4ms state-change (on/off) regardless of their alleged
120Hz refresh fixes. Refresh doesn't mean much if the pixels in the panel
can't keep up. It helps, but it wasn't fluid enough if you're being picky
with high-action movement. (for me). Regardless, a DLP is so fast in clean
redraw, you can show TWO programs on the screen at once (full screen, not
split) and two people don a pair of LCD shutterglasses, and each viewer sees
a totally different picture (with no hint of the other program). Which
Samsung is bringing into play with Xbox and Playstation so you can do
2-player gaming with a friend sitting next to you - without splitscreen.
DLP is actually capable of doing genuine 120fps easily, which they say with
a firmware update could support *FOUR* pictures on the screen at once - four
player gaming in one room. No LCD or plasma will ever do that.
Of course, the current practical use of DLP's speed is 3D. Where
left/right-eye frames are run 60fps (30 left, 30 right) and again
shutterglasses give you the sync between your eyes. The "3D ready" aspect
sold me. I can tell you that there is nothing cooler than 3D in your living
room, on a 67-inch TV, from 8 feet away - it's just as good as the movie
theatre. I have the glasses, I have a small smattering of movies - mostly
IMAX features on 3D DVD's. I'm waiting for the industry to catch up.
Samsung is pulling for it - and they do have pull. Right now DVD is the
only carrier of field-sequential 3D titles... but Blu-Ray with discrete
dual-frame 60fps data is where this will come full circle. With 3D coming
back to theatres (and frankly, will be how most CGI or CGI-FX movies will be
going over the next few years) there will be a plethora of material for this
LCD, plasma, or even current LED TV's will never be able to do 3D due to
their lack of true discrete frame change. When your entire frame changes at
the speed of a transistor, it's easy. Whole different ballgame. It
mattered to me, it may not matter to you...but ask "is this TV 3D-ready" ??)
Remember...a TV for 5-10 years of enjoyment. Looking ahead, it was a big
deal for me.
Lastly, brightness. DLP wins hands down. The lumens are wonderful, and DLP
can display "alpha white" which in NTSC video is pure white (ie. in a film
movie, a transparent part of the filmstrip). DVD doesn't carry alpha
white - but any HD media color-spectrum does. Again, giving a theatre-like
picture where the brightness/contrast is so lively. White and alpha-white
are two distinctly different colors. If you see somebody in a white shirt
on the screen, that is white. DLP can go beyond that, such as I see a lot
of commercials on HD TV that use an alpha-white background. It's a "hot"
white - where the white goes 2X or 3X brighter than normal video white.
It's amazing when you see it. LCD can only go as bright as it's
illuminated backpanel. Plasma can only glow as bright as a gas cell can
glow. Great if you don't mind the look of a "TV"... but DLP looks and
operates like a digital cinema screen. HD TV and BluRay simply *dance* on a
DLP screen. You get the most out of what they put into the HD data. If
you're picky, this matters.
And price? I got the 67" Samsung for $2400 CAD (around $2100 USD) in
January. Make sure it has their new LED light engine!
You'll spend 2X or 3X that much to get that big a screen on LCD. Plasma,
going the way of the dodo...I'd stay away from it.
You'll have money left over to get all the home-3D shit (like I did) or save
it and upgrade/add other things.
Wow. I'm bummin'. I spent 4 months studying every plus and minus of
every technology. Everything pointed to plasma. Then I did what I was
told by a lot of people. Go to the store and pick the one that looks
the best to you. That turned out to be the Samsung plasma. Then an
issue of Consumer Reports said the same thing and even called the 52"
Samsung plasma a "Best Buy". That was it. I bought one last January
and as I said earlier, the picture is breathtaking. I have had no
problems so far. And now you're telling me it's dead technology! I
can't win! I was also a Beta man from day one! Then that died! Oh
well. At least I won't have a stack of useless tapes left over when my
plasma dies. (I'm going back to watch the ballgame now. Sure is a nice
picture. Sniff..) Ned......................
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