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Ambient Light Issue - LCD vs RPTV

by jspeedo / November 5, 2007 8:56 AM PST

I have read HDTV reviews until my head is about to burst. I've had two things affecting my choice: size limited by existing entertainment center and an ambient light issue caused by two stories of windows. I was leaning towards LCD versus plasma based on a brief review comment that LCD is usually best in ambient light situations. After convincing my better half that allowing the furniture to restrict our viewing pleasure was not a good idea I am now looking into RPTVs to take advantage of their size and price but I cannot find info on their ability to handle sunlight glare. I am looking for others' experience with an ambient light situation and there experiences. Can a RPTV handle sunlight glare. (please no responses on curtains / blinds etc I am treading there as well, some of you must know what I mean!) Thanks!

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go LCD
by jostenmeat / November 5, 2007 9:33 AM PST

Rptv's do offer bang for buck in Size vs cost. And even if they might be better with glare than a plasma, its still not good. At all. I have one, and when its that particular time of day, I will not be watching a movie. Go LCD. It could be a must for you.

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go LCD
by jspeedo / November 5, 2007 10:49 AM PST
In reply to: go LCD

Thanks - real world examples are the best proof of what works and what doesn't. On my current TV (10 year old JVC) the sun was so bad two Sundays ago had to go to bedroom to watch the football game. Thanks again - I'd rather settle for a smaller screen at more $$ than have a bigger screen and not be able to watch during a sunny day.

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Confirming rear projections as weak in high ambient light
by NM_Bill / November 5, 2007 11:44 AM PST
In reply to: go LCD

situations. (from another rear projector owner.)

With LCD you have extra brightness power to jack up.

But don't get in the habit of running it all the time with brightness, color & contrast jacked up. That is NOT the proper way to have it calibrated. Using normal settings most of the time will also contribute longer life of the set.

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RP vs LCD vs Plasma
by HTHMAN / November 5, 2007 12:30 PM PST

I HAD an RP TV in a room with a lot of windows that reflected on the screen. I replaced it with a 47" LCD and it works quite well. In very bright light, it can look a little washed out, but still very watchable. I also have a 50" plasma. The plasma is also good in a bright room. but suffers if you get direct reflections on the screen.

If you have a bright and reflective room, LCD is your best bet.

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LCD is not the only way to go...
by stuntman_mike / November 6, 2007 6:18 AM PST

They do make plasmas with anti-glare screens that work as well as LCD screens. A plasma is also just as bright as an LCD if not brighter and has much better viewing angles than any other TV technology.

The LCD being the only option in a brightly lit room does not hold water anymore. Check out he Panasonic plasmas with anti-glare screens.

You should also be aware that at the same time that plasmas are making sets with anti-glare screens, LCDs have reversed course and started making TVs with shiny reflective screens. So you might listen to the other posters and fork some cash on an LCD and have it be for naught.

As far as RPTVs, a Sony SXRD's, the XBR2 in particular, are extremely bright and has screen like an LCD (LCoS is basically a variation of LCD). I am not saying that it is the best option, but I would not rule that out either if you are looking for a huge screen that isn't huge money.

Not saying that you shouldn't get an LCD, but you do have other choices. Some of them, depending on your budget and screen size needs, could be better choices.

PS if budget is not an issue and you are looking to get the creme de la creme of LCDs, which right now is Samsung, you should be aware that just about all of their new models, especially the high end ones, have shiny screens. The shiny screens improve black level which is the main weakness of LCDs along with motion blur. So they are sacrificing glare to try and catch up, much like the way plasma is sacrificing some of the lead they have in black level to compete in bright rooms.

Good luck

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to LCD is not the only way
by jspeedo / November 6, 2007 9:42 AM PST

Thanks - all of this is helpful - years ago I would have just pulled the trigger and bought something (in 1975 bought first TV - was >$800 for a 25" Zenith and in 80 bought a $795 VCR - so today's prices really are bargains to some of us older guys). Now it seems the older I get the more I want to buy the perfect component.
I was definitely wondering about anti-glare screen. I figure if my budget was going to allow for a Sony 46" Bravia XBR top of the line I may be able to get a much larger screen in either RPTV or plasma - and from what I understand from you is that there are options with both with anti-glare screens. plus still working on the better half on some remote control blinds taht could be closed on sunny days easily. Thanks Again!
Anyone else with anti-glare screen experience?

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Stuntman, you are right
by HTHMAN / November 6, 2007 9:46 AM PST

Just like they have done on laptops and LCD monitors, the reflective screens look sharper, but bring the same problem to LCD TVs as plasmas had--reflection. My LCD has a non reflective screen and is good in the reflective room it is in. The RP TV that I had in that room was unwatchable. My plasma with a reflective screen is also good in the room I use it because I get very little reflection on the screen.

All things said, the plasma is overall superior and if the one with the anti-reflective coating can be used in that room, it is a good choice. I could not be happier with the picture on my 50" Panasonic plasma. From what I have seen, the anti-reflective Panasonics help, but still reflect more than the matte screened LCDs.

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Stuck in same boat - bright room: LCD or anti glare plasma
by Amiro99 / November 18, 2007 11:47 AM PST

hi there, first of all, glad to have joined recently, as there's so much good stuff on this site!

I'm a first time flat panel buyer myself, and have been debating whether to get LCD or plasma, first of all. Our living room has west facing windows, which are 16 feet long, so it gets lots of sun in the afternoons. We don't have great curtains, so reducing the light would not be possible.

So I guess we have two problems: 1) glare and 2) bright room in general. Based on that, I'd heard LCD is the way to go because of the glare and bright conditions. I understand that plasmas however, offer much better pictures. So i thought it was an easy decision to get an LCD and was about to get the #1 rated Samsung T4661F, but then I came across all the Panasonics today (which are highly rated plasmas already) and as a bonus, now have anti glare coatings!

So now what do I do? Are these new Panasonics comparable to LCD's and I should now base my decision purely on how the picture quality is?

I'm trying to figure out if brightness of the room and glare are in fact the same issue which both would be resolved with these Pannys, or separate. ie if I don't have a glare problem if I get the Panny, if it would still be better to get an LCD regardless b/c the room will be bright. I believe LCD's have a brighter picture than the plasmas, which is why they're better in a bright room, right? (I read this on a site: "In the "real world" situations, LCDs are 4 times brighter than plasma displays.")

Thanks in advance for the help everyone!

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In your real world you should invest in your fundamental
by NM_Bill / November 18, 2007 4:00 PM PST

west facing windows problem. It will not go away. Room darkening shades will go much farther in making your ambient light problem go away than selecting an LCD over a plasma. Yes, the LCD has more brightness power. But, without the big ambient light problem, concern over glare will vanish.

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