OK so my first time on the forum (however, I am quite active on Google+ - gplus.to/joejaen) but yeah so lemme just get into it.
So I'm thinking about a new TV. Not that anything is technically wrong with my existing "SAMPO" (yes it's some kind of old brand that once existed in the stone age) 42" Plasma EDTV, but I see a great time in the market of TVs to get a new one, with the advent and pretty much FAIL with the 3Dtvs. But here's my problem:
I am very used to a Plasma screen. Despite having some BS company, my screen has no permanent burn-in (I'm actually shocked I can't tell you how many mornings I woke up to the same screen I fell asleep to), BUT every one of my friends is telling me LED is the way to go. They all have LED TVs now and I'll admit they look nice, if a bit bright.
New TV Qualifications:
I don't want 3D or an Smart-TV or whatever, I just need a nice big display with a good picture and accurate colors.
The TV will be used for a lot of videogaming, Movie Nights and Sports/UFC nights with friends. I also watch a shit-ton of TV shows and movies on my own lol.
Now I've been looking at the Panasonic TC-P60S30 and I even went to Bestbuy to check it out and I liked what I saw and for $1400, it's not a bad deal (I know I probably could get it cheaper but they offer 36 months interest free.. hard to ignore that). Right next to it though they had an LED displaying the same exact video and the colors seemed so off to me. like it felt like everything was whitewashed or just the brightness was on full blast or something. Now I know going to Bestbuy isn't the best way to judge, but by comparison the Plasma looked so much more accurate than the LED, where everything just seemed overly bright. And that's attractive in it's own right, but just looking back and forth it seems like the Plasma has the better color. Even my mom said that she thought the LED had a better picture (pretty sure it was a Panasonic as well, or Sony I forget, but what I do remember is they were exactly the same size and price just LED vs Plasma). But I am wondering if it's just because MY eyes are used to looking at the Plasma for so long ,that to me, that's what looks better and LED actually is the better picture?
I just need some advice on what people think. I am really torn.
Thanks in advance guys! And also again I am very active on Google+, I've added so many of you Duders from across the Whiskey Media brand would be nice to see more of you guys. gplus.to/joejaen
they offer 36 months interest free.. hard to ignore that
Far be if from me to tell you what to do, but if you don't have $1500 for a TV now, what makes you think in 3 years you'll have that much cash to spare. I'm not sure how it works in the US but over here interest free offers are generally designed with the profit margins in the defaulters (or interest wrapped into the higher initial asking price), which gives quite a clear indication of who they are aimed at (people who can't afford to spend the money in the first place). Big expensive TVs are great and all (if you have a lot of 1080p source stuff to watch on them, console games are 720p so that'll be blu-rays, some TV (is everything 1080p in USland yet? Again, regional variation in the quality of services so over here 1080p isn't an everything technology when it comes to TV), and PC games that really make use of the pixel count) but 40-46" screens are also large enough for the pixel count to matter (once you're down in 32" territory then 1080p requires you to not be seated far away from the screen to take advantage of it's extra precision, or have good vision*, although I don't think lower res screens are much cheaper any more so 1080p is a good idea) and are much cheaper (are they below $500 over there for a few decent brands?)
If you want to spend a lot of money on a TV then:
Make sure you get one with a low lag (gaming) mode or an always low lag decoder chain (which is better, especially if you run the audio through separates, as having to tell the speakers to have a 100ms delay because the TV takes a while to process and render the signal is not fun - I assume with that price TV you'll have a separate home theatre or high end speakers and amp for your audio). While a gaming mode means low lag (under two frames so below 33ms is the aim, some can even match a CRT so impossible to measure the lag is so small), the better bet when you've got lots of money is to get a model that just uses a fast processor to make all modes display without latency.
For blacks you are either going to want locally dimming LED array (so the backlight is made up of lots of LEDs in a grid behind the screen and the TV can dim or switch them off individually to make the screen in front capable of showing actual backs. Normal/cheap LCD TV (ccfl and LED lit) have some light bars around the edge and some material that evenly takes that edge lighting and channels it out over the entire screen, the LCD surface then blocks as much light as it can that shouldn't be there, but fundamentally it cannot be as black as a emissive technology as it is blocking from white rather than adding to black) or plasma. I'm an LCD guy, because I'm too cheap to buy plasma (and back when I was making 1080p TV purchasing decisions plasma at that res was not an option for people who don't make money by making life worse for the 99%) but then I'm also to cheap to buy locally dimming LED (although I've always thought it was a cool idea in principal) so I guess it'll just be walking round some shops and seeing which of the two you prefer.
Oh, and TVs in showrooms are usually configured to sell to the masses so have horrible settings ('vibrancy' to max, which means all the colours are too bold and generally any subtlety or reality of picture is totally lost) and if you're looking at them in the main shop then the large, high, very bright lighting doesn't help. Over here a lot of TV places have an area where they can hook up a few decent (if you're buying expensive then it's worth their while to go out of their way to help you be very happy and so become a cheerleader to persuade your friends to upgrade, also using the store that were so good to you) TVs in a low light, sitting room type environment split off from the main shop lights and see a TV configured closer to neutral and in a setting closer to how you'll experience it at home.
I don't mean to ask another question in this thread, but my question might help out the user a little. What are some good brands for TV's nowadays? Are there any really good brands that people would recommend?
@Mattzz10: I think it's all about the panels, and there isn't a guy out there who doesn't sell their panels to anyone with the cash. So the sticker on the front is often unrelated to the quality of the image (so if you want to buy a TV on the competence of the input arrangement or the quality of the plastic surround then brand matters, if you want a good TV then research is the only answer).
It's like cars (this analogy may be slightly Euro-centric, I realise the US has different cars in general and even a few totally different companies who aren't even just owned by the same 4 guys who seem to own all the Euro brands), but worse (Audi generally don't sell their engine/drive trains to Ford or BMW so you only get pollution of brands within the ownership families). A few years ago the best way of buying the latest new VW (either Golf or Polo) was to get a Skoda. The majority of the new systems, including all the new engine and handling characteristics parts for the new model of VW were first released 9 months earlier as a Skoda hatchback. And the Skoda brand is cheap so it was released earlier and for a lower price. You could but the guts and maybe the plastic trim wasn't as nice but branding means plenty of people waited and got the VW branded version but in terms of the actual driving experience, they dun fucked up. Hell, when you buy a Skoda, chances are you're buying parts from SEAT, VW, and Audi because they're all the same company and save money be sharing parks and know-how (they even have common design platforms).
So, back to the original point. TVs are like that, where the screen makes a lot of the experience and isn't tightly linked to the brand. You can get bad brands, who buy in good panels and consistently manage to not do them justice by using inferior products to back them up (an unstable ACDC adaptor that feeds a noise frequency to the panel and causes issue, for example) but I don't think any of the big firms are known for that at the moment. So if you avoid Yum Cha (or store branded) and do some decent online research before buying any model, they you should be able to make a decent choice. But if someone says brand X is awesome, chances are they either only have significant experience of that one brand, made a large purchase they couldn't quite afford and so are psychologically tied to that brand needing to be best, or they're aspirationally tied to a brand they can't justify actually owning.
@Shivoa: It's not a matter of me not having the money. I have the money, but why should I pay it all up front when I have 3 years? lol 36 months on $1500 is something like $50 a month with no interest. If you can't afford that, you shouldn't be buying in the first place. lol I'll probably pay it off in in like 6 months anyways. I don't like to have debts lasting longer than that. But the point for me going for no interest purchases like this is because then I can build better credit. Kind of messed it up in College and now I'm trying to do everything possible to make it better.
The Panasonic Plasma I'm looking at does have a gaming mode, so I think I'm good on that count. And Yeah, I have a sound system already in place so that's not a concern. But yeah I'm gonna go to another store today and see if I can get a remote and play with the settings to make sure it's good. Think I'll even bring a Bluray with me of my fav film so I know how it's supposed to look lol.
@JoeJaen: There will be an extra fee if you do pay it off early. When I sold TV's on finance it was 20% of the total value. Which isn't an insignificant amount.