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Old 28-05-2007, 09:06   #1
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Classic films and new TVs

This is off-topic in that it's a technical question, but my reason for presenting it here is that the regulars of this particular forum stand a better chance of being able to provide a dependable answer!
I'm contemplating buying a new plasma TV fairly soon. My viewing these days consists mainly of classic films /vintage TV on DVD. (I'm so disillusioned with the quality of today's TV that I hardly ever watch it). Obviously, this means that a fairly large proportion of my viewing takes place with my current CRT w/s set in 4:3 mode. A few years ago, when I had a large rear-projection set, it suffered badly from screen burn...where the ghost of the heavily-used 4:3 picture area became constantly visible. I understand that, at least in their early years, plasmas were also susceptible to this sort of problem. Can any classic film/TV viewers who have owned plasmas for a good while and who rigorously insist on the 4:3 mode every time it's appropriate(!) tell me whether their monitors are showing any signs of this sort of problem?
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Old 28-05-2007, 10:25   #2
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Plasma's are still succeptible to screen burn - although not nearly as much as earlier generations - and it's not something I've ever had a problem with.

Saying that - if I was going to watch a lot of 4:3 material I would probably choose an LCD rather than a plasma...
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Old 28-05-2007, 10:30   #3
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Originally Posted by Speedspin View Post
I understand that, at least in their early years, plasmas were also susceptible to this sort of problem.
..and they still are, although not quite as much as the early sets. But you still hear about people whose kids watch CBBC a lot getting ghosts of the logo and stuff.

If you're concerned, then keep in mind that LCD screens are completely immune to this problem.
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Old 28-05-2007, 10:52   #4
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I've got a smallish (for nowadays !) 32" Loewe LCD and black and white 4:3 films like Out of the Past, The Set Up and Laura look very good, very sharp, I've never had any problems with screen-burn. The one particular thing I've noticed with LCD sets is that the picture quality looks better with your room lights turned on, whereas with my Sony CRT you had to watch in the dark to get the best picture.
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Old 28-05-2007, 14:12   #5
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Please don't go to the dark side......LCD - A system that does not like moving pictures or details in dark areas.
You would get a more "rounded" life-like cinema like picture with Plasma, but CRT is still king (if you can find one).
They just have to be working on something better.

Oh, & i'm weak, I find myself using the smart option rather than 4x3 these days.
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Old 28-05-2007, 15:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan George View Post
Please don't go to the dark side......LCD - A system that does not like moving pictures or details in dark areas.
.

Things have moved on a bit from 5 years ago.
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Old 28-05-2007, 15:44   #7
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While LCD (and indeed Plasma) isn't perfect, I can assure you my 42" Tosh LCD not only has absolutely no problems with the fastest of fast moving action, but, also boasts fine detail in the darkest areas. My old CRT, a much lauded Panasonic, now looks awful by comparision.

There's no point in looking at anything in a showroom; I took several Academy Ratio DVDs along to roadtest the set I proposed to buy and, frankly they looked mostly terrible - the shop setting would have stripped paint. It took me some time of careful tweaking but I'm more than happy with the results - whatever you choose, plasma or LCD, will need the same kind of laborious setting up in your chosen environment.
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Old 28-05-2007, 15:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan George View Post
Please don't go to the dark side......LCD - A system that does not like moving pictures or details in dark areas.
You would get a more "rounded" life-like cinema like picture with Plasma, but CRT is still king (if you can find one).
They just have to be working on something better.

Oh, & i'm weak, I find myself using the smart option rather than 4x3 these days.
I'm a bit puzzled that you can describe a "more-rounded" picture on Plasma and then announce that you zoom your 4:3 films (to fill the screen, I suppose) It must look dreadful.
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Old 28-05-2007, 21:30   #9
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Get any standard definition source and play it via CRT display and alongside a plasma or LCD display.

CRT wins everytime if you are closer than 15 feet.

HD sets have trouble hiding the defects of SD ,especially the low quality offered by DSAT and DTT.

If you intend to watch DSAT or DTT on an HD set then try before you buy.

The internet is full of threads from punters who fell for the hype and the sexy styling of flat panel sets but who only find out that pix are crap without an HD source once they plug it in at home
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Old 29-05-2007, 09:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bosque View Post
I'm a bit puzzled that you can describe a "more-rounded" picture on Plasma and then announce that you zoom your 4:3 films (to fill the screen, I suppose) It must look dreadful.

Well smart is a small zoom combined with stretching the picture out at the edges (blimey that sounds worse than your discription) & I know it's so wrong, but the picture still looks great - on my CRT.
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Old 30-05-2007, 13:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan George View Post
Well smart is a small zoom combined with stretching the picture out at the edges (blimey that sounds worse than your discription) & I know it's so wrong, but the picture still looks great - on my CRT.

My screen has that option. I'll admit it's a bit better than just 16:9-ing 4:3 material but it still distorts the picture even in the middle, just less so.
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Old 30-05-2007, 14:10   #12
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Originally Posted by davidanders View Post
Get any standard definition source and play it via CRT display and alongside a plasma or LCD display.

CRT wins everytime if you are closer than 15 feet.

HD sets have trouble hiding the defects of SD ,especially the low quality offered by DSAT and DTT.

If you intend to watch DSAT or DTT on an HD set then try before you buy.

The internet is full of threads from punters who fell for the hype and the sexy styling of flat panel sets but who only find out that pix are crap without an HD source once they plug it in at home
I'm ready to be corrected, but I think that HD-Ready sets have a tendancy to highlight the limitations of SD rather than "defects". IMHO, this is because HD sets have to do a bit of wizardry to display SD, and a lot of them don't do a good job of it. You'd get much better results with something like an upscaling DVD player rather than relying on the TV to do what is often a poor job of this. IMHo that's because a lot of Hd Ready TV's keep their prices down by not having the bits to do a good job. It's designed to show HD, and will probably do it well (or at least adequately). It will show SD, but not well at all. Despite the fact that even now, most TV's will be spending most of their time showing SD material.

So yes, SD will often look rotten on an HD Ready TV. This is compounded by the fact that when people buy a new TV, they buy bigger screens - which also exposes the limitations of SD.

And I'd echo John's sentiments; the TV's set up in showrooms seem almost designed to display the worst possible picture you can get on them. It's a tribute to consumer acceptance of mediocrity that anyone ever buys the things!

The showroom near me had a huge range of expensive plasma and LCD TV's, and they were all showing stuff...that was sourced from a shared cheapo standard DVD player.
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Old 30-05-2007, 18:26   #13
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Originally Posted by Nebiroth View Post
And I'd echo John's sentiments; the TV's set up in showrooms seem almost designed to display the worst possible picture you can get on them. It's a tribute to consumer acceptance of mediocrity that anyone ever buys the things!
That's because people are buying them because they're flat not because of the picture quality they display.
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Old 30-05-2007, 19:10   #14
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To the OP: I watch a few things (older movies, TV shows) in 4:3 mode on my plasma, but thankfully the 4:3 setting puts grey bars at the sides of the picture which are not as damaging as black bars. My Pioneer (last year's model) retains logos etc something chronic, so I'm usually very careful as to how I watch stuff. And no, I don't have it on the 'paint-stripping' settings.
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Old 31-05-2007, 15:37   #15
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I'm very grateful for all the replies to my post.
The concensus appears to be that flat panel TVs are 'not quite there yet' in many important respects...especially if 4:3 viewing is going to happen a lot.
I have an excellent 37" Toshiba CRT at the moment (bought in 2003), which, if I'm honest, I'm perfectly happy with. The picture quality from all sources is excellent. This 'must get a plasma' thing that came over me was more of a whim than anything else. Since it will almost certainly be good few years before HD is sufficiently ubiquitous to make a plasma or LCD nescessary, what you've told me has persuaded me to stick with what I've got!
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