HDTV Plasma vs LCD for gaming

So now I’m torn between:

Samsung LCD 40"

  • 1366 X768
  • 285w
  • 60lbs
  • vga port
  • a bit better with lots of ambient light
  • slightly longer life (90,000hrs)
  • no breakin period, no burn in
  • new led backlight models coming soon with much better contrast ratio
  • only obtains 3000:1 contrast through DNIe
  • smaller by 2"
  • 8ms response (slight loss of focus during fast movement, not really ghosting)

Panasonic Plasma 42"

  • ~3ms response (fast motion looks as good as a CRT to my eyes)
  • larger by 2"
  • true 3000:1 contrast (better blacks)
  • pretty mature stable 8th generation plasma tech.
  • 399 w
  • 1024X768
  • 76 lbs
  • no vga port
  • a bit worse with lots of ambient light
  • slightly shorter life (60,000hrs)
  • 100/1000hr break in periods. Very slightly more chance of burn in.

Pricing is about the same. I’m really interested in hearing any opinions/experiences you have had. The main thing that bothers me right now is the 1024X768 plasma resolution. Does it really make that big of a difference in 1280X720 gaming?

I’m really interested in hearing any opinions/experiences you have had. The main thing that bothers me right now is the 1024X768 plasma resolution. Does it really make that big of a difference in 1280X720 gaming?

I’ve not done a comparison, but I’d be extremely loathe to buy a rig for HD gaming that was physically incapable of distinguishing the pixels a HD system would put out.

I know that there are all sorts of reasons the plasma is supposedly better like better black levels and better contrast ratio, but seeing as current LCD monitors for PCs sport contrast ratios like 1000:1, 3000:1 seems like geek-spec overkill.

In an image with high contrast, the brighter black level doesn’t seem at all noticeable. If you’re dealing with images that are all nearly black then you can tell the black isn’t true black.

For similar prices you can check out the Sony XBR Bravia LCDs which have the best contrast/crispness/clarity of any of the LCDs I’ve seen. It was way out of my price range, but I found exactly zero reasons when I was comparing to believe any of the plasmas looked any better than the sony.

I wouldn’t say the XBR LCDs to be in a similar price range.

I’d go LCD in a second out of those choices.

Though at those prices, I’d get a bigger DLP, and have $500 left to buy other cool stuff.

That’s too subjective a question to answer defintively. As for me, I’d say “yes.” Like mouselock, I’d want a true HDTV for a true HDTV source, especially at those prices.

Is gaming the only/primary thing for which you’ll be using this set? If you don’t care about SDTV and the blacks are comparable, then, between the two, I’d suggest the LCD.

Hey thanks for all the great replies.

  • XBR’s are very nice but they are out of my price range (~$2600 MAX walkout). I’ve read that samsung and sony share the factory that actually makes the panels (but all the electronics that go on after that are of course different). DNIe doesn’t really bother me (and besides it’s not applied using vga).
  • 42" is the biggest I can fit on my metal shelf. This is a for a bedroom, not a living room. View distance is around 9 ft.
  • something about direct view really appeals to me over projection at least for gaming.
  • 99% for gaming including current gen and next gen.

I’m not really under the impression that buying a TV specifically for gaming is anything other than confusing and difficult.

So many TVs have absurd overscan and underscan problems, and so many TVs don’t support PC input well. I would do some serious research about which TVs are good for PC gaming before plunking down the money.

People have had good experiences with the Samsung DLP sets. Personally, I tried playing WoW on my Grand Wega 42" LCD RP tv but even though I was getting 1:1 pixel mapping at 1280x720 I just felt that the experience was inferior to playing on my Dell 2005 at 1680x1050.

Regardless of which TV you get you may have to play around with Powerstrip to adjust timings and other stuff.

Bear in mind that LCD systems keep the backlight on allt he time and close the pixels off to the light, therefore in most panels you get a greyish tone to all “pure” blacks from the light bleeding through. Also there is a tendency for the brighter portions of the screen at the top and bottom when there is dark in the middle to become darker themselves (ie whites becoming grayish).

What about the future?

Well, plan for it - don’t buy for it.

Samsung already 8 month ago revealed the future - a 40 inch OLED:


Here’s a comment from PC World:

Oh - and maybe a picture?

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