Plasma, DLP or HD projection?

I am currently putting together a media room. So I figured with the vast amount of knowledge on this site I could get many great suggestions. When my wife and I planned to build this home she insisted she get to have the industrial kitchen she has always wanted. I in return bargained for a movie/media room. The room is 20x30 with no windows and concrete walls. (3/4 of our home is concrete if you are wondering.) So yesterday I went to the local Magnolia Hi=Fi and started my search for the proper equipment for my needs.
So when I was looking around one of those shark like salesmen approached me and started giving me the speech on each and every option I may have. Here is the quick breakdown.

  1. Front projection HD: HD projector 7000dollars- screen - $1800 entry level “high end” sound package - $1600 Pros; great for movies and a very impressive large screen
    cons: awful for regular television hd or otherwise, must be dark in the room to take advantage of the hd projection, cost for what you get is nil.

  2. HD plasma 42" plus: Tv cost = $3000 - $6500 sound package same as above. Pros: great picture, works well with television and movies. Cons: dependability suspect, costly to repair, quality is drastic from one brand to the next both in mechanics and picture quality, prices rapidly dropping

  3. DLP Tv cost 3000-4500 pros: great cost for what you get. Picture quality seems as good or better than plasma, much more reasonable price for larger screen sizes up to 62", repair costs low. Cons: new chipset, mirrors can fail causing pixel problems, size is large and would have to build a false wall get the “flush” type look.

    He also mentioned not getting into too much detail LCD. And he told me to stay away from ED-Plasma. Why? From what I have seen ED plasma are very affordable and look good next to a HD. Was this guy being honest with me? OR better yet… what would you do if you had a 8-10k budget for a media room? Would you run it off the new microsoft media center? Your opinions are valuable thanks so much.
    My wife got her kitchen so I get the “mans room” hahaha.

Important question:

How much do you want to spend on Front projection HD, HD plasma etc?

my wife and I have negotiated a 10k maximum for the hardware. Her kitchen was much more but…you know how that goes :confused:

I’m only 18 but my class is 80 % female ;D, so i can imagine how that goes

so 10,000 $, do you also want a good dolby sorround system?

Here a site from NEC if you looking for projectors, btw the NEC HT1100 costs around $4795 and he looks fine, currently searching a review of the nec…

A really big HD TV:

At 18, I couldn’t buy a US$5 cassette tape player used for ten years.

The latest DLP TVs looked very good. 170 degrees left-side and right-side, the image was still very good.

But I am inclined to buy only things that weigh less than 50kg and isn’t more than 80-90cm wide per unit. Unless it’s easily mountable and detachable easily on the wall or on the ceiling. I do all things myself so I have to lift and move things anytime anywhere. I got the flu after I moved that 100kg LG refrigerator from balcony to the main bedroom and I had to move the 2.2m-tall and 1.5m-wide glass doors on the kitchen as well. Because it took hours. Why do they use such heavy glass? Moving 100kg refrigerator was easy by comparison. All the glass things are also LG Chemical.

Yugi EL monitors are also coming to the market rapidly. I’m not sure of the size, but it was big and good enough to replace all the monitors and TVs at my home. I forgot what Yugi is in English.

That’s a picture of Samsung SDI 80-inch PDP which was copied and posted at Impress which I downloaded and uploaded on my FTP server which I linked at CDFreaks. There are Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, Samsung Electric, and Samsung and Sony LCD (S-LCD). They all develop and make Samsung display products, independently, often competing among themselves.

There’s a forum dedicated to TVs and projectors, a little down the list.

Be advised that projectors have a limited lamp life, in the vicinity of 800hrs, which given approximately 3-4hrs of tele a day (kid/wife/etc) then it’s only going to last you a year or two. Lamps are approximately $800 au / $500-600 US to replace.
Projectors also generate alot of heat, so they have require much airflow, hence have filters which need periodic cleaning.
Also, the fans tend to be relatively loud, in a nice quiet environment, which you have if you are buying a high end sound system.

The room as you have mentioned, needs to be practically light proof to get good contrast. This is pretty difficult to achieve. Better off with a Plasma screen or rear projection tele.

If you are happy watching TV in a dark room and mainly watch TV for typically half an hour longer at a time, I would recommend the front-projection option. I have a Panasonic PT-AE500E and have to say I’m very happy with the picture on it. When running in a dark room, I have yet to see any other TV system other than a good quality CRT matches the colour rendering. Prices for high resolution projectors such as native HDTV are very reasonable compared with getting a native HDTV resolution Plasma. :cool:

However there are a few drawbacks. For example LCD projectors with a low contrast ratio have a noticeable glow on black or dark scenes. While projectors do have a cooling fan, most of the newer projectors including my Panasonic are fairly quiet and certainly quieter than the average PC. Finally, background light significantly affects the picture’s contrast. For example turning the light on has the same effect as turning up the brightness on a PC monitor. :confused:

Most projectors have bulbs that typically last between 1,500 and 3,000 hours. This works out at replacing the bulb every 1.5 to 2.5 years for an average of 3 hours viewing per day. However, however their life also depends on how many cycles the projector is powered up. This along with a 30 second warm-up time makes them less suitable for short viewing times such as quickly checking what’s on TV. Finally, while the filters in a projector tend to need cleaning (rinsing) every 100 hours, this is still less often than wiping the dust off a TV screen every few days. :stuck_out_tongue:

Here in Ireland, I haven’t seen any great quality plasma sets. The one thing that put me off these is the colour rendering, for example when I see a plasma TV running next to a regular TV the colour looks much more vivid on the TV than the plasma set. I have yet to see a plasma set that can show a deep red colour as most I have seen shows red with a tint of orange. Then again, from what I have read on recent plasma TV reviews, the new sets have much better colour rendering. Other issues I have heard with plasma include pixels failing over time and the picture brightness dropping over time. However, I have yet to see a set with a dud pixel. Screen-burn can also be an issue such as viewing a channels with a bright logo. VH-1 has an example with an awfully bright logo.

Then again, the main advantage with a plasma set is that they take up a fraction of the space of CRT and most rear-projection sets, much like comparing an PC TFT monitor to a CRT monitor. They have no warm-up time from what I recall making them very suitable for frequent short use such as quickly checking what’s on TV. The cost of good native HDTV resolution sets can be very expensive. Finally, while most 42" plasma sets claim to support HDTV, these down-scale the 1280x720 (or 1920x1080) HDTV resolution down to their native resolution of 848x480 which turns out just marginally better than standard definition TV. For HDTV viewing, I would recommend looking for a native resolution equal to or greater 1280x720.

I can’t really comment much on rear-projection TVs as I have not seen these working in real life, however I heard that their vertical viewing angle is quite poor which can be annoying should the viewer get up, hear something interesting from the TV and then must duck to see what’s happening :eek: Anyway, for more info on the advantages and drawbacks of DLP, have a look at this article comparing plasma against DLP:

For more information comparing front & rear projection with CRT and plasma, have a look at this thread.

More like $200. I love my DLP. Brighter than a plasma and much cheaper for the same size. My 61" is only 18" deep.The new ones are only like 9" deep.
Sure you have to replace the lamp( these are rated more like 6000 hrs) but the main thing is that you can.The “pixles” on a plasma burn out over time. Go with the DLP.

9 inch depth for a 61 inch HDTV sounds extremely thin. My 29 inch HDTV is deeper. :frowning:

Kenshin - the new ones are as thin as 7 inch for a 50 or even 61 inch screen. They had the method for some time, but the expense kept them from making them so thin. And they are bloody expensive! About 9000 dollars for a 61 inch DLP. :stuck_out_tongue:

Just got a new JVC HD-ILA projection set here. I strongly suggest that you look at one of these before buying any rear projection set, or even a plasma set. They can be bought for $3200-3400 in most areas. Picture quality will amaze you, and particularly on low-res signals. Most sets will do great with HDTV pictures, but you want to see what they do with 480 and 720 ictures before you buy. Not to mention how a broadsast picture looks on one.

I previewed all the options before buying. If you put one of these sets in a wall of projection and plasma sets, it leaps out at you with it’s color and detail, contrast and brightness. An amazing value IMHO.

Hi RD,

I actually went over to Best Buy a couple weeks ago and saw the set you mention. It is indeed a very nice DLP with a very bright output. Oddly, My wife is “pressuring” me to go plasma :bigsmile: I have to agree with her due to the seating arrangement in our basement media/bar area. We want folks seated at the bar which is way off to the side to be able to see as well as those in the front. So I pulled the trigger on a 42" Panny commercial model. The TH 42PHD7UY. No tuner-nothing, just a big ass monitor, but I got a pretty good deal on it at around $3300 + I opted for the 3 year extended warranty. This is a 7th generation plasma and they are touting the same burn in possibility as a CRT. I don’t believe it but, that’s what they say. When I get everything working, I will publish a report here. I also just got DirecTV HD package as Comcast did not have HD in my area yet and also, OTA is not an option either! :frowning:

Interestingly, I actually am using my Comcast cable for Cable TV ( basic package ) cable modem and also for my DirecTV. Since each DirecTV receiver is about 5 bucks (HD Satellite receiver was 300!) and my very basic cable package is only 13.95 a month I keep them both. I just got one HD DirecTV receiver and one standard. I can still use regular cable every where in the house that has a TV and since my PC has a Leadtek Winfast TV tuner that I use a lot it is pretty handy. So this made for a neat installation and only required some special splitters for sending DC power to the dish. So far everything works although I have yet to try my HD Receiver as the Plasma won’t be here for a couple weeks (backorder) . I bought everything on the Internet. :stuck_out_tongue: All together with surround sound and Momitsu VN880 upscaling DVD player Onkyo receiver/amp and Micro 6 5.1 speakers, I kept it at around $5500 about. I will also give my impressions of the network capable DVD player as it will definately be of interest here. Region free and Macrovision turned off right out of the box! :wink:


The JVC is really not a DLP in the usual sense. It’s a 3-chip LcOS system. I can view mine from virtually any side angle with no trouble. You do need to be at eye-level with the screen though.

Check out the new VOOM satellite service, they look to have the best lineup for HD, but it’s not cheap. DirecTV is promising to roll out loads of HD channels in the next 1-2 years, but I’m not sure where they will get them from. I find that broadcast HD is very prone to weather issues, and unreliable.

That’s right I forgot about that! I guess I have DLP on the brain. You are also correct that even though DirecTV is sending up a couple satellites next year,they just have the capability to broadcast hundreds of HD programs. They don’t mention where the heck they are going to get them. I guess I just hope they will broadcast local HD such as news and the Jay Leno show etc.

I know we are a little ahead of the game like a lot of people, so I just will have to wait as the HD starts coming along! I also hope my DVD player makes the wait easier. Once you see the HD broadcast, you hate to go back to SD. I think my Panasonic will do a good job displaying SD though. As long as I am about 8 feet away from the screen.

Voom looks to be a better deal i wish I would have checked into that! I will do some more investigating. Maybe I can switch.

Unfortunately, what will will (and do) see is a lot of low-def programming being transmitted in hi-def format. I’m often amazed at the low quality picture on many DirecTV channels. GIGO.
I currently get the local channels from DirecTV, and the picture is much worse than it is off-air. Heavily compressed.

Hmmm, this is interesting. Looks like Voom may be about to go belly up. I wonder if DirecTV will absorb them.

I was already wondering where VOOM gets their satellite service from. Looks like we’re stuck with DirecTV.

Well I am definately stuck as cable informed me that they will have HD “within 2 years” in my area. :sad:

Let’s just hope when DirecTV throws up those two new satelllites they will cut the compression as this is a common complaint around the net. I guess Voom HD has an awesome picture when compared to DirecTV HD. From what I can read there is a bandwidth problem at DirecTV right now, so they are using compression heavily.

That sounds almost like DivX HD and WMV HD, but still in MPEG-2 format, just resized?

Perhaps the average quality’s a little better in South Korea because there are so few channels. None in this island I live so I’ve been watching only digital satellite TV channels and standard DVD on this LG HDTV. I should have bought a few more 20-inch LCD TV/monitors instead.