Home Theatre & Automation
May 11, 2007 12:29 am
Wouldn’t mind getting a discussion going about the merits of each technology for a home theatre application. In my limited knowledge:
*Data projectors, the higher the lumens the better the picture
*I have been told that Plasma is cheaper than LCD. And that Plasma is better for watching sports or fast-moving pictures, whereas LCD is better for gaming. (I have no idea about this really – it was from a salesman)
Can anybody recommend one technology over the other? Any experiences to share?
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection2
May 11, 2007 10:24 am
You have started off with a bit of a flurry!!
OK lumens - in simple terms this refers to the brightness of the projection. I.e. the higher the lumens the brighter the picture. (eg 500 lumens is not as bright as 800 lumens)
As far as the argument between what is better with plasma or LCD it really is a matter of personal opinion.
My response is to look at the 2 technologies side by side displaying the same picture and look at what suits you best. This is a bit of a cop out answer but everyone's eyes see something different.
LCD's have just released the 8th generation panels and with resolutions of 1920 x 1080, plasma's will really start to become cheap and drop off.
Plasma's still have a place but the are really energy hungry and produce a lot of heat.
Plasma is still better for watching sport as the refresh rate (the speed the screen an display pictures) is higher.
SO in answer to your question, there is no right answer, only the one that suits your needs.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection3
May 11, 2007 10:40 am
I think it's important to not only look at the picture quality, but also:
1) The power consumption. As Matt mentioned plasma uses more power than LCD - and larger displays use more power. Not sure how projection systems stack up.
2) Do you need a darkened room (eg. projection systems).
3) What are the running costs beyond power. My understanding is that projection system's light bulbs only last about 1000 hours and are very expensive.
The ideal system, which doesn't exist, would draw less than 200 W, can be viewed in any room lighting condition except for direct sunlight, would be 250 cm across and would not have any parts that wear out before 10 years. Oh, and cost less than $5000. Come on you TV designers, make this TV for me.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection4
May 11, 2007 10:42 am
A few specs to look out for when comparing different displays to help compare apples with apples:
Resolution : higher the better - as Matt was saying 1920x1080 is the best currently available. This is referred to as full HD or True HD, but anything higher than standard defintion is still called High Definition, so not all HD TV's are the same resolution!!
Response Time : The quicker the better esp for fast action etc.
Contrast ratio : the higher the better ie - 10000:1 better then 5000:1 - in laymans terms means the blacks are blacker!
Connections : can you plug what you want to into the TV and vice-versa!
Size : Obviously is it suitable for the room and your viewing distance.
Just a few things to consider, I'm sure the pros will have some more!
Built Porter Davis "Dromana" 2007.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection5
May 11, 2007 11:01 am
All good points. The globes for most projectors have a life expectancy of 2000 hours with a cost of $500 to $1000 ....
Again all good points.
The 9th gen Plasma and 8th gen LCD have contrast ratio's of 15000:1 and most will have at least 2 x hdmi inputs some will have 3.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection6
May 11, 2007 11:19 am
Matt, Rod, Casa, What's your thoughts on the new and upcoming LCD technologies. A mate of mine was teling me about a new style LCD that has individual backlights per LED and I have also seen this article.
I'm anti Plasma, due to the power usage.
http://bestsyndication.com/?q=011706_lc ... s-show.htm
Your thoughts, and industry words.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection7
May 11, 2007 11:25 am
You have started off with a bit of a flurry!!
Sorry couldn't help myself, this forum has come up at the exact time I am starting to really think about all of this . And as you can tell I really don't know too much.
Thank you all for your responses, I have learn't much already. For me, I will now stay away from Plasma.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection8
May 11, 2007 11:54 am
In my opinion, if it's a movie theatre you want then there's only one technology you should consider - projectors. If you also want to watch a lot of TV in this room then it gets a little more complicated, but for real 'big picture' a 100" - 120" screen is impossible to beat.
As I also watch TV in my theatre I also have a TV in there. At movie time my 115" screen rolls down (motorised, infra-red triggered of course) in front of said TV. Best of both worlds, and all of these technologies are so affordable now that this type of setup is not just for the rich.
As far as getting good picture from a projector is concerned, more brightness does not necessarily mean better picture. Contrast is at least as important as brightness for anything other than static data displays - especially movies (see comments above re good contrast figures).
Most home theatre projectors made these days are not actually trying to increase their brightness levels as they make new models, as any decent home theatre will be in a light-controlled room (or is only used as a theatre at night ). The more ambient light that comes into the room or hits the screen the more your contrast suffers, and this is the bigger no-no.
Good home theatre projectors (aside from resolution, as new 1080p projectors are making big inroads into the market) are ones that have enough/adequate brightness, but have good (hopefully very good) contrast and good colour reproduction.
It also helps if they are quiet, and usually the brighter they are, the more the fan needs to keep the thing cool and therefore generate more noise.
These days HT projector globes can last from 2000 to 3000 hours if run in economy mode (which mine is - bright enough and quieter than full mode), and tend to cost around the $400-$800 mark. I watch my projector, on average, about 8 hours a week (a bit more than the average user) and figured I should still get about 4 to 5 years out of my globe. All from a projector that costs less than $2K.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection9
May 11, 2007 12:22 pm
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection11
May 11, 2007 12:52 pm
As part of our new showroom I wanted to maximise the impact of my digital presentations.
So for me the choice of a data projector was the obvious one.
Budget was extremely tight, so we had to get a bit lateral as well.
The biggest projection we could get at a room width of 4600mm was 2000H x 2500W, and a screen that size would really have blown us out so we decided to make our own.
Using construction grade 35 x 70 pine and some curtain blockout fabric we managed to get a screen up for less than $100.
Our needs are primarily for software output, not film media, so most of the imagery is quite high contrast already and we didn't need to raise the reflective value of the projection surface.
The projector is a new Toshiba that rates at 2500 lumens with a contrast ratio of 2000:1.
I run everything off my notebook using the screen in Dualview mode.
Even in full daylight with the shop lights on I get images bright and clear enough for my clients to see exactly what is going on, and it has definitely relieved my "laptop crouch" neck stress.
I couldn't be happier with this setup and it is definitely wowing the clients.
And of course when we feel like some visual entertainment we just have to come to the studio in the evenings...can't wait for the Union season...just have to move the desk out and put the couch in.
Struming Design - Industrial Design
Kitchen Design; Kitchen Supply; DIY Kitchens
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection12
May 11, 2007 1:14 pm
Thinking outside the box!!!
My first screen was a piece of vinyl with a steel rod stitched in the bottom and 3 holes in the top to mount it to a wall.....
What ever works for you and saves $$$ can only be a good thing. If you had spent $500 on a screen you would have got a lesser quality projector and the money was better spent as it is!!
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection13
May 11, 2007 1:38 pm
I have all 3 technologies and they are all good and all bad. I think the original suggestion of looking side by side in the shop is the best.
I originally brought a projector and use this for favourite movies only. In my opinion, it can't be bested for movies.
I then brought a plasma 42" which I use as my main TV, watching news, weeklys and some less inspiring movies.
Finally I brought a LCD for the young kids to watch mostly bob the builder, postman pat, thomas etc and occasionally abc kids.
None deliver everything I want but they all work in their environment.
If you search the web, you may find the same thread that I did, it was something like 5000 comments long comparing which technology is better and who had the most excess testosterone . By the end of it, you won't care at all believe me.
I think this thread here could get a bit long very quickly.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection14
May 11, 2007 8:44 pm
For a fair while, I had other priorities and didn't think about upgrading the old faithful CRT Sony. With prices becoming more reasonable, I started to think about it a year ago. I asked around and got some feed-back and info.
The info that I kept hearing was that LCD was preferable to plasma because of the heat generated and power consumption of the plasmas. I never considered the projectors as I reckon if I want that I go to the flicks!
Over about 6 months I watched Ebay for prices and types that came along, and checked out the Harvey Norman catalogues and such to monitor everything. Finally I got serious. Armed with a shortlist of brands and types I was considering and the price range that I was prepared to pay, I checked out my options.
One thing that I was concerned about was reports I'd heard that many of these units have poor parts and service back-up. With technology changing so rapidly, I'd heard that if these units break-down, there can be all sorts of problems.
So, I called in to Vince Ross Audio in Claremont. I was shown a few up-market brands, and directed to an introductory deal on the Schaub Lorenz range. I had seen a number of these in local homes I had been working in, and didn't know much about them. Well, I was so impressed that I bought a 32" LCD the next day.
I had been considering Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi and Phillips types all for around $2k. The Schaub Lorenz was at least the equal in every way as these, but had a 5 year warranty at the same price. I got a much more personalised service, and they have an impressive service centre on site. They also offer a free loan unit if service or repairs are needed.
All in all, I'm very happy with the purchase. A much better buying experience than buying box number 43531432X44XD564535 from Retravision, and peace of mind that I have the best back-up and support available. I understand that this brand is sold in Oz through a network of specialised dealers with similar service back-up.
One thing that I find a bit overwhelming at times though, is the brightness of the LCD when the picture is all white. It really glares at you! Have reduced the settings, but no matter what, when suddenly presented with a white screen, you are assaulted with light, and it can be a bit fatiguing! I guess that's common with these modern TV's?
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection15
May 12, 2007 10:19 am
3XB is right - the which technology is better debate can go on for a very long time......on the upside it would ensure the popularity of the home theatre section.......
Built Porter Davis "Dromana" 2007.
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection16
May 12, 2007 11:32 am
Absolutely they all have their pros and cons, and they all have their place (why else would this debate still be going on all over the world and why else would all 3 still be sell quite well).
I have a CRT RPTV that I bought 4 years ago for regular TV viewing in my theatre. This is because CRT technology is still the most robust with life-spans of at least 3 times that of the alternates (LCD/DLP, plasma, etc.), and I wanted something that I wouldn't have to (hopefully) think about replacing in a few years. Also, when I bought it the contrast available on the flat panels couldn't hold a candle to a CRT based unit (a decent CRT anyway), although that gap gets smaller every year. The negatives of CRT haven't changed - for the same size screen they are always much bigger (again, I was able to go with mine because I knew I had more than enough room to accomodate it). With a CRT RPTV you also get to worry about how well the three guns converge and focus. That said, my CRT is doing the job I got it for and doing it well (my only regret is that I decided to get a 4:3 one and not a 16:9 one).
I have recently bought a 42" plasma for the master bedroom. Got it because I wanted a reasonably big screen but didn't want it taking up any space in the room (it's mounted on the wall, of course). Over the last couple of years plasmas have done the 2 most important things for me to finally consider buying one - they've dramatically improved their contrast and have dramatically decreased their price - now it is worth buying one. I honestly never gave any though about heat or power consumption, for any of my purchases (and to be honest I personally still don't - I based my decision on the performance I get from the device).
Projectors have also made (along with others) the same 2 important improvements that I mentioned for the plasmas - they too have come down a mile in price over the last couple of years and have made considerable improvements in picture areas like contrast. This is why I will (now more so than ever) always highly recommend a projector to anyone who says they want a 'home theatre'.
I'm still not sure I'm ready to say I really like the picture on an LCD flat panel yet. I'm yet to watch one that has truly deep blacks (where the plasmas at last seem to be getting there) - their contrast is yet to excite me, and many I've seen recently seem to make things like digital compression (mpeg) artifacts quite visible (although it could have something to do with the digital tuners in them ?.....).
People's opinions are definitely all over the place on this stuff, and if you're thinking of buying any one of these your best bet is to have a good look at quite a few of each (I hated CRT RPTVs until I saw the Hitachi range when I got mine - completely changed my opinion of them), then buy the one you think looks good (and meets some/all of your other requirements - features, warranty, etc.). It is you, in the end, that has to live with it and be happy with it (again, I have a CRT RPTV, a DLP projector and a plasma and I am totally happy with all 3!).
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection18
May 12, 2007 10:04 pm
Rear Projection TV....
A box with a projector inside it!
How we used to get big screen before lcd and plasma
Re: LCD vs Plasma vs Data-projection19
May 13, 2007 9:35 am
Sorry 'bout that RB.
I guess with all of the acronyms flying around these days it can get a bit confusing....
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