Display Technology Shootout (Shameless Plug)

Ray Soneira, the guy that invented DisplayMate, is writing a four-part, in-depth piece on comparing display technologies.

The first part is up now at ExtremeTech.

If you’re trying to figure out what HDTV tech to buy into, it’s well worth a read.

Extreme … is an apt name. :)

Great article, though. A lot more than I wanted to know about display technologies, but now I do know them.

Had a read of the this a while ago. Lots of detail. Extremetech is great for stuff like this.

CRT is making a very strong case for itself so far.

Not to derail this thread…but it’s funny that you should mention this site. I haven’t upgraded to HD yet becaue of the cost and uncertainty, but I am starting to break out in hives every time I come back from a friend’s HD-powered house to my old-school, 4:3, standard-signal crapbox.

A friend put me on to a deal to get a low-cost, no-name 30" LCD and pointed to a review at Extremetech, which he said was the “authoriative” site on such matters: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1642839,00.asp

However, the same unit was slammed at Cnet:

Lloyd, since you are infinitely more informed on these issues than I, any idea which one is closer to the truth? Thatis, if you don’t mind being an underpaid consultant. :wink:

We saw few of the issues that the Cnet review discussed, and I suspect our instrumentation is similar to theirs. Bear in mind that no LCD will have great black levels.

One issue we only uncovered after the review was written was that the unit’s DVI input doesn’t always properly send EDID information (which tells source devices the native resolution of the display), so will occasionally remain blank when you power up a DVI-equipped source. You need to power cycle the display. But that’s relatively minor.

What it might say, though, is that there is some variation between units, which would be worrisome. I note, though, that both of the user reviews were positive.

Thanks for the prompt reply, Lloyd. If I could bother you with one final question: is this Olevia unit worth $1,300 in your opinion? I realize it is no-name, and that only one of the inputs supports progressive scan and that as a general rule, “you get what you pay for.” But I really want to make the leap over plasma to LCD, but I don’t want a huge model that will dominate my relatively small living room. And I can’t afford the Sharp Aquos. Would that money be better spent waiting until the (hopefully) continue fall in prcies to next spring, or would this be a really good deal?

As for the article at Extremetech, much of was over my head but the thing that I found suprsing was that the CRT won for dynamic range by a huge factor. That’s one of the factors I try to compare with the naked eye when walking around the aisles at Best Buy or Sound Advice because other factors (pure black, for example) are impossible to gauge in a brightly lit electronics store with an often questionable signal.

Anyway, thanks again for you help.

If you’re going for a small screen (under 40 inches), then you may be better off with a CRT for image quality. But you should know that no CRT at a reasonable price can actually resolve full 1080i. That is, they’ll do the 1080 interlaced part, but it’s not really 1920 pixels wide. And they actually have even more of a problem doing true 720p, because they can’t do 720 lines of progressive vertical lines. But image quality is most video-like.

On the other hand, a pretty good CRT at 34" will cost over $1,500 and weigh about 300 pounds. Everything is a tradeoff.

In our experience, Plasma comes the closest to CRT, but it will be a good 6 months to a year before a decent, true HD plasma will be under $4K. And no true HD plasma will be smaller than 42".

Some LCDs can be very good. We were mightily impressed with the Sharp 37", for example, and the other Sharp units look pretty good, too.

As for the Olevia, I’d say the unit we have at the lab is worth $1300. But you should try to see one yourself, or if you get it mail order, then get it from someone with a liberal return policy. If there is a lot of variation between units, you may or may not get a good one.

Yeah, buying mail order scares me on such an expensive item. I think I’ll wait, but I certainly appreciate your advice.