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View Full Version : Ok, I'm biting the bullet and buying a Plasma



Gyron
02-22-2008, 04:54 PM
Ok Guys, I'm thinking of Buying this TV, I'm not sure I understand all the technology or what I should be looking at on the specs. What do you think of this one?

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...se=&lang=en-US (http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11270298&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US)
Vizio VP50 (http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11270298&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US#)
50" Plasma HDTV

(http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11270298&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US#)Resolution: 1365 x 768
Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1
3 HDMI Inputs

$1,199.99






The VIZIO VP50 20A HDTV Widescreen 50-in* Plasma TV offers a HDTV display capability at 720P and 1080i and now 3 HDMI w/HDCP High Definition Television inputs allowing you to enjoy High Definition content in either format. This product offers a high 1,300 cd/m2 Brightness at a 1365 x 768 native resolution, and an unprecedented 15,000:1 max Contrast Ratio. Using VCV (VIZIO Color Vision), this Plasma TV can display 6,144 shades of gray in 1.07 Billion colors for a brilliant, colorful picture.

Features:

Screen Size: 50 Diagonal
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1365 x 768 (Native)
Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1 (typical)
Brightness: 1,500 cd/m2 (typical)
Viewable Angle: 178 degrees (horizontal and vertical)
HDTV Compatibility: 720p
Signal Compatibility: 480i (SDTV), 480P (EDTV), 720P (HDTV), 1080i (HDTV)
Tuner: Integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM
Progressive Scan Video
Picture-in-Picture (PIP)
Picture-outside-Picture (POP)
Weight: 120 lbs (with stand), 108 lbs (without stand)
Dimensions: 48.8 W x 34.2 H x 12.2 D (w/ Stand), 48.8 W x 33.5 H x 3.9 D (w/ out Stand)
Inputs/ Outputs:
HDMI with HDCP plus Stereo Audio: x3
RGB PC plus Stereo Audio: x1
Component YPbPr: x2
Composite Video: x2
S-Video plus Stereo Audio: x1
SPDIF Digital Optical Audio: 1x (out)
Stereo Analog Audio: 1x (out)

Hicks
02-22-2008, 05:46 PM
Give it to me.

BoomBaby31
02-22-2008, 05:48 PM
Very nice, I have one pretty similar. I take it this is your first HDTV. When I bought mine, everyone that would walk in my room I'd say "Hey, Look how clear my T.V is" (jokingly being annoying) I promise you will be doing the same thing. I absolutely LOVE watching Boxing and MMA on my T.V. Almost better then going to the actual fights.

Kstat
02-22-2008, 05:54 PM
1. plasma is inferior to LCD

2. If you're going to go all the way on a TV, get one with 1080p. It will pay off later.

Gyron
02-22-2008, 05:57 PM
This will be my first HDTV. My brother has the exact same TV, just got it 2 weeks ago, but he didn't do any research, he just went in and bought it. I wanted to be a little more careful.

I was hoping Bball or someone would get on with all their technical knowledge and tell me if this particualr brand or model was good or sucked or whatever.

I got a nice rebate coming back from my Costco American Express that I use for work travel expenses, and it will cut about $400 of the price, so I thought with Taxes and everything coming back this might be a good time to finally take the plunge.

That and once my wife saw my brothers TV she was spoiled and convinced we needed one that size too......I had to laugh since I'm usually the one drooling over these types of technology....

Gyron
02-22-2008, 05:58 PM
What are the differences between Plasma and LCD? I'm not sure I understand the differences? Are the LCD's more expensive? Do they last longer or something?

Kstat
02-22-2008, 06:04 PM
What are the differences between Plasma and LCD? I'm not sure I understand the differences? Are the LCD's more expensive? Do they last longer or something?

All of the above, but you will find deals if you look hard enough.

I just don't trust plasma TVs. Never have, never will. Long term, an LCD is a better buy.

Plasmas will go downhill much more rapidly than LCDs. They will look better right out of the box, though. They're brighter and more colorful. That said, they aren't as sharp, and you have burn-in problems.

sweabs
02-22-2008, 06:55 PM
My parents have had a plasma for over 2 years now - over 50 inches.

I have an LCD.

The plasma looks better. The difference isn't too huge, but enough to notice (in my opinion). I consider it a treat to come home and get to watch the plasma. It's just a better picture. Of course, you have to take care of it and make sure you don't do anything stupid (still images for long periods of time, putting the lighting up on full when you first buy, etc.), but if you want the best picture I'd go with plasma.

Kstat
02-22-2008, 07:04 PM
Agreed, they do look better right out of the box. But I'd think a $1000+ investment would take into account long-term value.

sweabs
02-22-2008, 07:08 PM
Agreed, they do look better right out of the box. But I'd think a $1000+ investment would take into account long-term value.
How long-term are we talking? Like I said, my parents' plasma is over 2 years old now and still looks like it did when they bought it.

Kstat
02-22-2008, 07:11 PM
How long-term are we talking? Like I said, my parents' plasma is over 2 years old now and still looks like it did when they bought it.

Most LCDs have 2-3 times the lifespan of plasmas.

Even the best Plasmas have a half-life of 30,000 hours. The colorful brightness goes down considerably with constant use.

The very worst LCDs will go 60,000. It's a more durable piece of equipment.

aero
02-22-2008, 07:21 PM
Ive got a 32' LCD Vizio i got it in may. Havent had a single problem with it at all. LCD is the way to go. stay away from plasma!

Kegboy
02-22-2008, 07:58 PM
How much TV do you watch Kstat? At 5 hours a day, every day, 30,000 hours equates to over 16 years. And on newer plasmas burn-in's not nearly the problem it used to be.

Bball
02-22-2008, 08:39 PM
While Vizio has gotten high marks (that I've seen) for their LCD's, I did read a review of a Vizio Plasma that they gave lower marks.

I'll see if I can find that review later and link you to it. I can't remember if it was model specific or just a plasma issue across the board with Vizio.

-Bball

Bball
02-22-2008, 08:55 PM
Here is an older review of a Vizio plasma:
http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/plasmatvreviews/vizio_plasma_review.html

If nothing else, this gives you some problems to look for and see if you notice them or if they matter to you.

I'll see if I can sniff out something more recent and from an educated owner/reviewer. You can ALWAYS find reviews of this stuff from people who bought their first HD set and got it because it was inexpensive and so grabbed it with no research. Then you really have to cull thru the reviews because most will have nothing but awesome reviews because it blows away the 27" 20 year old Sanyo that it replaced. So their frame of reference on telling you how great it is isn't always the best.

Then you'll also have a few reviews slamming the product because, being their first HD set, they don't understand what they are doing as far as source material goes. So they'll be watching SD and don't really see the difference from their old set, or even say it looks worse (not realizing a barely passable picture on a 19" TV is going to look awful blown up to 50" on their new set). They won't be watching DVD's thru the component or HDMI connections... Their cable box will feed the TV thru the RF connector... They won't even have a Hidef package from the cable or satellite provider....etc..

-Bball

Bball
02-22-2008, 09:13 PM
Here's a thread on that TV at AVS and you'll get user reviews, comparisons to the older P50, and a CNet review of the set is pasted in there as well.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-830485-p-2.html

indygeezer
02-22-2008, 09:15 PM
I love my LCD (ok it's Poloroid but it's been great!)

On the eastside Circuit City has an outlet store (call for hours). Mine was dropped when delivered to the original store and a corner of the box was crinkled. So I got mine last year for a grand delivered and set up...with the proper cables.

My only beef is that the picture digitizes like a dish in a storm whenever we have bad weather or super cold. I think that is Comcast's fault not the TV. The other tv's in the house (non-HD box) do not ever have that problem.

Now, we originally bought a 50" and even sitting across the room the wife and I both commented that it felt like we were in the front row of a movie theater (too big). We had them take it back and bring us the 42" and we're happy with that...but then we are neither video nor audiophiles.

Gyron
02-22-2008, 09:52 PM
Thanks Bball, after reading some of the reviews, I'm not sure now if I want this model or not. I think I'm going to have to do some more research.

Bball
02-22-2008, 10:07 PM
I'm pretty sure Kstat's numbers, complaints and comparisons are a little dated these days. Also, as good as LCD as gotten, I'm not sure in a side by side of the best of the best on each side that a plasma won't always win. Each side has made improvements and the truth is, either would serve a viewer well.

Even with Kstat's 30,000hr figure... if you watch TV 7-10hrs per day doesn't that come out to at least 10 years for the TV? With plasma TV's like Panasonic now claiming 60,000hrs that is over 20years of 7-10hrs per day. (IF I did my math correctly).

Pretty sure a google search of "plasma lifespan" will confirm what I'm saying.

-Bball

Gyron
02-25-2008, 10:20 AM
After looking around over the weekend, I'm still leaning towards this one. But I also am considering a 42" with the 1080 resolution as well.

Is the difference in the 720 in this one and the 1080 in a 42 Plasma going to make much difference? Will it be largely noticable?

I am not a gamer, though I do have an xbox I haven't turned on in over a year, So I don't have to worry about that aspect.

The majority of what this will be used for is watching TV shows, although we do enjoy the occassional movie.

Also I read something about a blur in fast paced things like sporting events. Is that a problem in botht he plasma and the LCD or just the LCD's? I saw the complaints on the LCD's with this problem.

The Vizio seems to be the best price wether I go LCD or Plasma, in your opinions, is Vizio a decent brand? From what I saw on the internet forums, they appear to stand behind their products when they do have problems....

Unclebuck
02-25-2008, 11:04 AM
I read somehwere that LCD is sharper, more vivid and brighter. LCD OK in any room where as Plasma is better in a room that is darker. . I have a 46 inch Samsung LCD - I like it a lot.

LCD are also weigh a lot less.

here is a decent website discussing the differences - a little dated though
http://www.flattvpeople.com/tutorials/lcd-vs-plasma.asp.

http://www.lcdtvbuyingguide.com/lcdtv-plasmavslcd.shtml

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,137429/article.html

http://reviews.cnet.com/4351-12658_7-6583301.html

Hicks
02-25-2008, 11:26 AM
1080 will make the picture look better than it otherwise would when you're close(r) to the screen. More detail. blu-ray movies are in 1080, by the way. HDDVD was too.

If you sit "far" away from your TV (like 6+ feet), you likely won't notice a difference. But if you sit closer you will.

Gyron
02-25-2008, 11:30 AM
Thanks Unclebuck, those sights are actually very helpful.

Gyron
02-25-2008, 11:31 AM
I have a huge room that this will be in,so I will be sitting at least 6 ft away 95% of the time.

Bball
02-25-2008, 01:28 PM
Bigger the tv, the more important the resoluation could be to you.

-Bball

RWB
02-25-2008, 04:57 PM
Bigger the tv, the more important the resoluation could be to you.

-Bball

Yep, I agree.

Gyron, if you're looking at something 42" or less you'll be happy with 720P native. Let's put it this way CBS and NBC broadcast everything in 1080i and Fox does 720P for their Hi Def content. You're not losing out either way.

Don't get too caught up with everything and drive yourself crazy. I've got an older 65" Mitsubishi CRT widescreen tv that does 1080i only. Beautiful picture.

I've got a 42" Samsung plasma that's 1080i native for over two years. No burn-in problems and it has a beautiful picture.

I've got a front projector with a 118" screen that is 720P native. Hooked up to the A2 Toshiba HD player (that is 1080i or 720p) depending on how I output the signal. After doing a little testing the 720P picture looks better than the 1080i. I also have a Sony blu ray hooked up as well that does 1080p but is set to 1080i for the best picture. I could go out and spend alot of money because in my mind 1080p is just going to blow me away. Nah, the price difference is great enough to give me pause because the picture quality is not night and day IMHO.

Gyron
02-25-2008, 05:13 PM
I'm not sure I understand the difference in the 1080I and 1080P?

And what does 1080i native mean?

I see the TV I'm looking at is 720p native, but then says it compatible with 1080i? What does that mean?

I'm getting so confused.

Bball
02-25-2008, 08:47 PM
I'm not sure I understand the difference in the 1080I and 1080P?

And what does 1080i native mean?

I see the TV I'm looking at is 720p native, but then says it compatible with 1080i? What does that mean?

I'm getting so confused.

i = interlaced
p= progressive

It's how the picture is 'drawn' on your set. Hopefully someone can explain it in something that can make sense to you.

"Native" means that is what the TV operates at. 1080i 'compatible' means it can 'understand' that signal at the input and downconvert it to 720p for outputting to the screen.

720p and 1080i are both within the HD standard so that is why a set with either as native can claim to be HDTV.

Halftime Edit:
Interlaced vs Progressive
Standard 480-line NTSC TV broadcasts (incl. cable television), VCR, DVD and laserdisc signals are sent in an "Interlaced Scan" format. A TV screen first draws the image's odd lines, one at a time sequentially from top to bottom (which takes 1/60 of a second), and then fills in the even lines (taking another 1/60 of a second). That is, the full picture (top to bottom) is first drawn with half its information hollowed out, and then the other half is filled in -- the entire process taking 1/30 of a second.

A newer and superior scanning method called "Progressive" permits the entire picture to be drawn sequentially from top to bottom without the odd/even interlacing. Some newer DVD players now have outputs for both an interlaced and progressive scan image. And HDTV signals are now being broadcast in both progressive and interlaced formats: 720p (720 lines of resolution in progressive scan format) and 1080i (interlaced).
http://www.hometheaterpeople.com/tutorials/signals.asp

-Bball

Gyron
02-25-2008, 10:01 PM
You guys rock. Thank you for all of the info.

btowncolt
02-25-2008, 10:39 PM
If you get it, could you move it to the other side of the living room? The glare on the position of the current tv is KILLING me when I watch my stories while you're at work.

Gyron
02-26-2008, 10:59 AM
We've been thinking of mounting it over the fire place. But I don't wan to have to run all those cables in the wall there.

So What I'll do for you is put the UV coating on all the windows to cut down the glare.

Would this be acceptable to you?

RWB
02-26-2008, 01:07 PM
[QUOTE=Gyron;662928]We've been thinking of mounting it over the fire place. But I don't wan to have to run all those cables in the wall there.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks cool in magazines but in my opinion it could shorten the life span of your display. What's funny is the information below from a professional installer says you can, but if you really read what they're saying it still sounds like it's a bad idea




Will the heat from the fireplace harm the plasma TV?
There are a few precautions to take before implementing this TV application. First, take a thermometer and tape it to the wall above the mantel (where the plasma TV will be placed). Then and build a fire, let it roar while. Check the thermometer. If the temperature is above 90 degrees then the area is receiving too much heat - either escaping from the front of the fireplace and rising up the face, or radiating through the chimney to warm the outside wall. In this situation it would not be advisable to run the plasma for a long period of time while its environment is hot. Though the Plasma TV has its own cooling system, the surrounding heat will force the Plasma TV to work harder to cool itself, thus shortening the life of the unit over time. The Plasma TV may still be run for short periods without harming the unit even with the environment heat at 90 degrees or above.

If the plasma display is not turned on during the operation of the fireplace, then the unit will not be harmed at all even though the temperature surrounding the unit may be warm.

Can the Plasma TV be mounted onto a brick fireplace?
Yes, cement anchors may be used with the wall mount to secure this application.

Will the Plasma Display TV be too high? Can I tilt it?
Even though plasma TVs typically have a 160 degree viewing angle, tilt wall mounts may be purchased if the mantel is high. A tilt wall mount application will allow the user to tilt the unit from up to 15 to 25% vertically. With this mounting installation the user will have the choice between a flat or tilted affect while adding only 1.75 inches depth to the plasma TV. A flat wall mount can add as little as 1.25 inches to the depth. So, the difference is only half an inch.

Can I just place the plasma on the mantel?
A typical table stand for a Plasma TV is between 4 and 6 inches in depth.

Top



Will the soot from a wood burning fire damage the plasma screen in any way or shorten the life of a plasma tv?

Any small airbourne particles such as soot or dust could contaminate the electronics and cause problems. I would not be concerned with normal use of the fireplace. I would make sure you cover the plasma when cleaning the soot from the fireplace.

Top



I have recently purchased a philips 42PF9945 and the company I bought it from said it cannot be installed above a working fireplace due to the heat damaging the unit. Is this true? I have read various articles where people have installed them over fireplaces with apparently no ill effects.

Plasmas have an operating temperature range from 32 - 100 degrees, so as long as the ambient temperature around the plasma is within this range, it should be fine.

Top



I will be mounting a 50in plasma above FP - What is the smallest profile tilt mounting wall bracket available?

There are thin tilt brackets available from Peerless and Chief. Both offer units less than 2" when in a non tilt orientation.

Top



there was a section on the forum talking about measuring the heat and that is should be safe if the heat does not exceed 90 degrees. Are you refering to fahrenheit or celsius ?

All temperature references are to Fahrenheit; 90 degrees Celsius is near the boiling point of water! or 212 degree Fahrenheit.

Top



I a building a house and we have a indirect vent fireplace and would like to put a plasma TV above it. You can see the side of the fireplace from the front door. What is the best way to have the tv above the fireplace. Should it be recessed and if so how deep and what size? Is there a heat issue with recessing?

I typically recommend a tilt mount for placement above a fireplace. I generally do not recommend recessing a plasma because it can easily overheat. Most people do not vent behind the recess area and completely close around plasma frame which will not allow for any exhausting of the heat. Check the specifications of the plasma you are interested for ambient operating temperatures, most will have a maximum around 103 degree Fahrenheit.

Top



Can I mount a plasma tv on a stone fireplace? The fireplace is gas, will that affect a plasma tv?

You will need to use anchors designed specifically for the stone or masonry. The ambient temperature around the plasma should not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Top



I've read the Plasma TV Installation on Fire Places and understood everything, but are these explanations valid for LCD TV's as well or LCD's have different installation on FirePlaces ? Thanks

The same applies to LCD displays. They have a very similar operating temperature range.

Gyron
02-26-2008, 02:26 PM
I was only kidding RWB, and messing with Btown. I would never mount a $1200 TV over the fireplace. I would worry about heat getting to the electronics, no matter what they say.

Besides that I have only had my fireplace on 2 times in the 8 years I have owned my home, so if I actually did, it would probably be ok.

But thank you for the heads up.

btowncolt
02-26-2008, 02:36 PM
Whenever I'm at Gyron's house while he's at work, there's a heck of a lot of heat generated all over the house. There may be no good place to mount it.

sweabs
02-26-2008, 02:38 PM
I know of one particular "place" in Gyron's house where mounting is always welcomed.

indygeezer
02-26-2008, 02:49 PM
I know of one particular "place" in Gyron's house where mounting is always welcomed.

No heat generated there.

Gyron
02-26-2008, 02:52 PM
I'm glad my wife doesn't read these forums lol.....

I would be in deep trouble with the comments you guys throw around for her.

RWB
02-26-2008, 02:55 PM
I'm glad my wife doesn't read these forums lol.....

I would be in deep trouble with the comments you guys throw around for her.

And she wouldn't let you buy that new tv knowing the scum you associate with. :p

Gyron
02-26-2008, 02:57 PM
Lord help me if she ever scans my hard drive for the drivel I have seen off these forums......

btowncolt
02-26-2008, 03:43 PM
I'm glad my wife doesn't read these forums lol.....

I would be in deep trouble with the comments you guys throw around for her.

Who was talking about her? I bring an inflatable friend.

RWB
02-28-2008, 05:15 PM
Gyron, forget plasma buddy what you really need is to go with front projection.

http://www.bigscreenforums.com/forum_topic.cfm?which=10765

Gyron
02-28-2008, 06:24 PM
Well due to an unexpected sizable expense, there will be no Plasma Screen for the Gyron Household this year.

Maybe for the 2008 Tax Return(Spring 2009) I will get to purchase one. In the mean time, I will be watching on my old school TV, and go over to my brothers house if I want to see the big screen.

:(

On the bright side, this gives me additional time to read more and understand the technology before making the purchase.


Edit: RWB, thats a kick *** room/set-up you got there.

MagicRat
02-28-2008, 08:30 PM
Well due to an unexpected sizable expense, there will be no Plasma Screen for the Gyron Household this year.


You may want to bite the bullet and donate plasma......

Gyron
02-28-2008, 08:53 PM
Thats a good idea MR, thanks for the suggestion

Bball
02-28-2008, 09:08 PM
Well due to an unexpected sizable expense, there will be no Plasma Screen for the Gyron Household this year.

.

This is why it doesn't pay to shop around... You'd already have the TV! ;)


-Bball

MagicRat
02-28-2008, 09:47 PM
Thats a good idea MR, thanks for the suggestion


Plasma for Plasma 2008.......:dance:

I figure we should all just go to RWB's to watch movies from now on anyway........

RWB
02-29-2008, 09:58 AM
Plasma for Plasma 2008.......:dance:

I figure we should all just go to RWB's to watch movies from now on anyway........

Heck yeah come on over. I would invite everyone to watch a Pacers game but that won't work because folks like to be entertained.

Unforgiven looks fantastic in HD and on that note.........
You better bury Ned right! Better not go cuttin' up, nor otherwise harm no whores. Or I'll come back and kill every one of you sons-o-*****es

RWB
02-29-2008, 10:22 AM
Well due to an unexpected sizable expense, there will be no Plasma Screen for the Gyron Household this year.

Maybe for the 2008 Tax Return(Spring 2009) I will get to purchase one. In the mean time, I will be watching on my old school TV, and go over to my brothers house if I want to see the big screen.

:(

On the bright side, this gives me additional time to read more and understand the technology before making the purchase.


Edit: RWB, thats a kick *** room/set-up you got there.

Thanks buddy I'm still working on it as the winter blahs kind of put things on hold.

Waiting won't hurt you a bit as there are going to be some really good bargains I believe before the DTV change over next year.

Bball
02-29-2008, 10:59 PM
Waiting won't hurt you a bit as there are going to be some really good bargains I believe before the DTV change over next year.

Well, while that very well could be true... It's also the case that there's always a better deal just around the corner when it comes to TV technology. At some point (when the desire and money are there), you just have to jump in and start enjoying a new, bigger and better TV. :D

-Bball

RWB
03-02-2008, 10:19 AM
At some point (when the desire and money are there), you just have to jump in and start enjoying a new, bigger and better TV. :D

-Bball

Oh I agree!!!!!!!! That's why I've got an old 65" widescreen RPTV sitting in the tv room instead of the plasma (a Samsung). Having said that if I could do it over again I would have gone with the Panasonic.