Best big TVs?
Plasma vs LCD
Simple question: plasma or LCD? I'm looking for a 37in screen (or thereabouts) and what I've seen of plasmas I like and what I've seen of LCDs I don't. Should I go plasma then? The price is putting me off, though, and the lack of free-to-air HD. Thoughts?
Check SD content too...
While you are in the store check out how the TVs display standard definition content as I found that a panasonic 37 inch plasma gave a much smoother picture with an SD input than a lot of the other HD TVs (both plasma and LCD).
I went for LCD
Personally, I bought a 40" LCD. I compared several LCDs and several plasmas but ultimately went for a very good Samsung LCD and haven't regretted it at all. What you need to consider is that LCDs tend to have better resolution for less money. That's starting to change but slowly. Plasmas tend to have better black and contrast levels. Generally speaking, the contrast and black levels make a bigger difference to perceived image quality than resolution. That depends on the size of the screen and how close you're going to sit to it. It's also hard to judge these things in the store because of the amount and quality of the lights there - plus the set-up of the screen.
I went for the Samsung F series and, side-by side with a good plasma there's little difference in terms of image quality and stability. The plasmas have slightly better contrast. Basically, I would summarise as: if you're going for a cheap fairly large display go LCD with a high resolution. If you're prepared to spend a lot of money then go for a high resolution (1080p)plasma. It's the medium price level that's the difficult choice. I'd say pick a few models of each in your price bracket and try to see them in a showroom side by side. It won't be a definitive answer, due to the store conditions, but should give you an idea of which way to go. Look particularly for motion blur and reaction time. I saw speed2 the other day and, although a generally poor movie, there is a sequence where they're in a room and the lights flick on and off. That sort of thing really shows up response time and motion blur.
at that size, lcd
37in plasmas are rather rare, and if you find one, due to technical limitations, it will have a resolution less than that of 720p material - let alone 1080p as used by Blu-ray and HD DVD.
You should be able to get a 1080p LCD at that size, however.
Plasmas should be considered for sizes over 50in - only those that big can manage the full 720p resolution - although even then you will find it hard to get 1080p without getting into 60in, or bigger, sets.
No difference in Price
Firstly, there is little or no difference in price between 37" Plasmas and 37" LCD, both coming in at around £700 with a decent warranty.
In terms of picture, I think Plasma wins especially with regards to black depths (my 32" Samsung LCD has a very grey black -if that makes sense).
If I were to choose anything at that size, it would be a Plasma - my money would be on a Panasonic.