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View Full Version : Anyone tried using a Plasma TV for a pc monitor?


kahloq
11-26-04, 11:24 PM
Many Plasma TV's have DVI input or a 15 pin analog and most say they can be used with a PC. The question tho is that most relatively mainstream cost Plasma TV's(in the price range of 1800 to 4000) have a native resolution of 852x480. Some can scale upwards to 1280 x 1024, but their native resolution is still 852x480.

I wanted to know if anyone is using a Plasma TV as their monitor. My wife almost bought one for me to use for computer. Plasma's have a much better picture quality then LCD especially at angle. However, I was worried about burn in and such dealing with a pc display.

BTW, I posted this here, because this is where most ppl visit and it does regard using a 6800 Ultra to connect to the thing(if I got a plasma)

mustrum
11-27-04, 04:38 AM
2 mates of me have a plasma TV and IMO the image is HORRIBLE. Not sharp at all an tearing like hell. I'd say they're great for TV freaks who watch from several meters distance (then the sharpness isn't so important) but it's probably the worst screen you could use together with a computer.
The only real advantage of those things is the screen size.

Chippy
11-27-04, 05:47 AM
2 mates of me have a plasma TV and IMO the image is HORRIBLE. Not sharp at all an tearing like hell. I'd say they're great for TV freaks who watch from several meters distance (then the sharpness isn't so important) but it's probably the worst screen you could use together with a computer.
The only real advantage of those things is the screen size.

I agree with you that I wouldn't use one as a computer monitor - not permanently at least.

On the other hand, I think your experiences with your 2 mates plasmas must be because they have crap plasmas.

There is ****ENORMOUS**** difference in performance between the various different makes and models. The electronics in some are completely diabolical, whereas in others they are superb.

I have an old Panasonic TH-42PW3 that I bought back in 2000. Cost me $13,000. The scaling and de-interlacing on it are fantastic (its significantly better than the later Panasonics in this respect, actually) and the color reproduction is excellent. Its also completely sharp and crisp and very good black levels.

The only drawback is a native resolution of 848x480. Its useless as a computer monitor because of that. It is brilliant for racing/driving games with a bunch of mates around the house when we put the wheel and pedals 3 feet from the screen :-)

Chip

PikachuMan
11-27-04, 02:48 PM
I just started using a 42" EDTV plasma as a secondary monitor, it works nice for games like NFS:U2 and Vice city, and of course movies. :)

It's impractical to use as a primary computer monitor, because of the resolution, and it's size, you need to be a bit away to see the whole screen, and that's just odd with a mouse and keyboard.

The strange thing is this plasma has a VGA input, not DVI..

AthlonXP1800
11-27-04, 04:59 PM
Plasma TV put me off, it very good, now current and new Plasma TVs on sales support DVI and VGA resolution of up to 1600x1200 and it still have disadvantages of screen burn in and release alot of heats.

I use my 27inch Thomson LCDTV as primary PC monitor as well watch TV too, it support native 1024x768 and also it can go up to 1280x1024 through Forceware's custom resolution, my LCDTV got very good black colour in games and it never had any ghosting, it got 16ms response time. :)

kahloq
11-28-04, 01:18 AM
I dont like LCD's because of the viewing angle problems associated with them. Someone else cant be watching the display and see everything correctly unless they are standing almsot directly behind me(or in direct frontal line of site).

Plasma TV's have better picture quality then LCD's. That is a fact, however, LCD's are generally better suited for computers vs plasma because there is no possibility really with Burn -in.
I was not thinking so much of getting a 42" plasma as I think that would be way to big, but a 37" might do quite well. Of course, I'd prefer a monitor(plasma) that has native 1024x768 or better rather then 852x480 since scaling would not be an issue so much.

Anyone else care to add their comments?

Saintster
11-28-04, 01:23 AM
I just bought a sony 50"lcd I prefer my 21 crt monitor for gaming. I was going to go plasma but the burn in factor is not good so i got a 50" lc :) d for 4000.00 with stand and now console gaming has just gotten a whole lot better!

AthlonXP1800
11-29-04, 01:05 AM
I dont like LCD's because of the viewing angle problems associated with them. Someone else cant be watching the display and see everything correctly unless they are standing almsot directly behind me(or in direct frontal line of site).

That depend on brands and prices, cheap LCDs often has poor viewing angles but top of the range LCD has best viewing angles like I had 27 inch Thomson LCDTV for 1599 a year ago with Vertical viewing angle of 170 degrees and Horizonal viewing angle of 170 degrees, it better than cheaper competitors that offer 140 by 140 degrees viewing angle.

IPlasma TV's have better picture quality then LCD's. That is a fact, however, LCD's are generally better suited for computers vs plasma because there is no possibility really with Burn -in.

But that was 2 years ago, now (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6463_7-5023901-3.html?tag=cnetfd.ld) things getting better and improving thank to advanced technologies. LCD like mine (http://www.comet.co.uk/comet/html/cache/455_150010.html) since a year ago and now have better picture quality than Plasma TVs and immune to burn-in that Plasma TVs still got the weakness of burn-in and short lifespan. In 3 years time LCD will replace Plasma TV and CRT monitors.

Maybe you not quite get about Burn-in issues with Plasma TVs, I received alots of bad reports from What Video and TV magazine about it before I got my LCDTV a year ago. Burn-in occur just about every Plasma TVs after bought it and viewed channels with their own logos like CBBC, Sky One, CNN etc for long periods like 2 hours or more a day or paused programmes recorded on hard drives or movies on DVD more than a few minuties caused burn-in, here was no solution to the problem and people advised to take precaution and carefully with it.

kahloq
11-29-04, 03:52 AM
There is solution to burn-in. You have to display a gray screen to erase it.
Life span of Plaama is usually 25,000 hours....which if used for 12 hours a day = about 6 yrs. Most ppl dont have the TV on for 12 hours a day so lifespan would be closer to 10 yrs. Its the same life span time frame as crt's and LCD.

LCD will not be replacing Plasma or CRT's(especially in 3 yrs).
samsung is already producing slim CRT models at 35mm thickness. Yes its still thicker then LCD or plasma, but they are working on getting it even thinner.
80% of all monitors today are still crt. LCD will not replace them.

Chippy
11-29-04, 04:21 AM
But that was 2 years ago, now things getting better and improving thank to advanced technologies. LCD like mine since a year ago and now have better picture quality than Plasma TVs.


That's a matter of opinion. Its not an opinion I share. The biggest problem with LCD right now is that there is no way of producing really decent black levels using current technology. This may be acceptable for a PC monitor, where you are displaying primarily a bright Windows desktop. But for serious movie watching its completely inadequate and imho unacceptable.

The early plasma screens (albeit for completely different technical reasons*) suffered from a similiar problem, though not as bad. The modern plasmas - and especially Panasonic and Fujitsu have now really got this cracked, with contrast ratios up around 4000:1, enabling seriously good blacks - actually approaching CRT performance levels.

Compare that you your typical LCD TV with maybe 400:1 or the better ones at 500:1. Its just not good enough. What this means is if you want to watch a movie in a dark bedroom or in the lounge with the lights dimmed, the dark scenes blend into this horribly murky-light-grey (instead of black) and all the detail is lost. Hopeless.

FWIW, its no coincidence that all the high-end movie projectors have abandoned LCD in favour of DLP: DLP offers much better contrast ratios.

Whether they will ever manage to fix this problem with LCD, I seriously doubt. Maybe they will, but LCD's have been around a long time now and its been a recognised problem for a long time, and still no-one has managed to fix it. Personally, I think its an inherent flaw in the underlying technology: the idea of having a permanently ON backlight that is simply masked by the LCD panel is always going to allow some light to come through. The polarisation possible in the LCD crystals isn't efficient enough to block more of the light.

In my opinon the very exciting alternative is Kodak's Light Emitting Polymer technology. So far they only have 2 or 3" screens, suitable for cameras and the like. But surely larger LEP panels will come. These seem to be the ideal solution: they actually *emit* light rather than just mask out a backlight. So if an LEP pixel is OFF, its really really black. No light is coming from it. The other advantage of this is that LEP panels will use much less power, since perhaps only 30% of the panel is actually ON at any time. This means less heat and its also great for portable devices such as laptops.

LCD and plasma are interim technologies that will be completely replaced by LEP within 10 ~15 years, imho. It would come a lot faster, but the whole supply chain needs to be revamped to accommodate it, and the manufacturers have spent such vast amounts of money in developing and marketing LCD and plasma. Still, LEP will come, I am sure of it.

Chip

* The problem with plasma technology is that in normal circumstances a plasma pixel can't switch on and off fast enough. To get around this, they supply a tiny trickle of background current to each pixel to keep it warmed up and ready to go. It can then be switched on much much quicker. The problem is this background current causes a faint glow, and therefore reduces the black levels.

By some very clever engineering, Panansonic led the field in managing to minimise the background current to seriously improve the picture contrast. Other manufactures have more recently followed suit.

wonder squirrel
11-29-04, 07:05 AM
As far as using a plasma tv for the computer, I'd say you should pass, and buy a high quality LCD from a reputable manufacturer. Unless your just dying to have a 32"+ size screen to write that Word document with. (on an offnote, a high quality/ high lumen LCD projector will give about the same picture quality as a large plasma, when used in a dark room)

I have to disagree with some of you guys about the LCD's your talking about. I own a Dell 2001FP (20.1"), and at 1600x1200, its extremly sharp (everybit as sharp as my envision en-910 CRT), and it's viewable angle is perfectly suited for watching movies, and regular computing/ gaming is just fine aswell.

I don't have any problems at all with displaying black images next to white (bleeding over is very minimal). Alot of folks complain about ghosting when watching in a dark room, but I don't see it (maybe because I use DVI?).
Anyways, just my input, if your thinking of going with aflat panel, I'd suggest the Dell, or one of Samsungs highend models, I'm sure you would be impressed

Chippy
11-29-04, 07:21 AM
As far as using a plasma tv for the computer, I'd say you should pass, and buy a high quality LCD from a reputable manufacturer. Unless your just dying to have a 32"+ size screen to write that Word document with. (on an offnote, a high quality/ high lumen LCD projector will give about the same picture quality as a large plasma, when used in a dark room)

I have to disagree with some of you guys about the LCD's your talking about. I own a Dell 2001FP (20.1"), and at 1600x1200, its extremly sharp (everybit as sharp as my envision en-910 CRT), and it's viewable angle is perfectly suited for watching movies, and regular computing/ gaming is just fine aswell.

I don't have any problems at all with displaying black images next to white (bleeding over is very minimal). Alot of folks complain about ghosting when watching in a dark room, but I don't see it (maybe because I use DVI?).
Anyways, just my input, if your thinking of going with aflat panel, I'd suggest the Dell, or one of Samsungs highend models, I'm sure you would be impressed

I can't agree with the LCD projector vs Plasma comparison. A DLP projector yes perhaps. But anyway, its really an apples with pears comparison: plasmas are just big TV's in terms of what they set out to do. A projector is more about trying to recreate that movie theater experience. No-one would seriously consider a projector for a 42" image, you'd want to go much bigger than that.

With respect to your other comments about LCD monitors, I agree. I don't think ghosting is an issue with the better ones, and in terms of "crispness" of the image and lack of "bleeding" as you describe it, they are fine.

But I do maintain that they are *crap* at black levels. If you don't believe me, try it. Pull up a black image on screen and then turn all your lights off. (Do this at night, obviously!) What you see is hardly black, is it.

OK, in normal viewing conditions this may not be a problem - you don't tend to work in total darkness. And furthermore Windows applications tend to be bright windows with dark text. Its really not an issue. But for watching movies? No thanks. Apart from anything else, your average LCD TV is actually worse at black levels than your monitor is.

Chip

wonder squirrel
11-29-04, 10:18 AM
My LCD monitor, just like my old CRT and regular Panasonic 27" does give a dim glow when showing a "black" screen in pitch black darkness (though if you switch modes from say, S-video, to DVI, or to VGA, it will show a perfect black dialog inside the glow, so its not that its not able to produce perfect black, just not optimized I guess?). While this model is/was a abit pricey (I got this thing for a DEAL) as far as movies and games go though, I have no complaints at all for either, and would highly recommend this paticular model LCD. While the 17" Cornea model I'm on right now at work, I can only say at the very most, it gets basic tasks accomplished, and not much more.

StoNer
11-29-04, 10:39 AM
The only plasma i ever had experience with were extremely small screens so i have no idea about that, but im getting pretty excited about these new rayon tubes or w/e that they invented to make CRTs super flat and put off less heat. Thats what im talkin about :P

and those new liquid crystal displays ive been seeing on tv look pretty sharp too with the automatic photo flash card reader inside the TV. :D

kahloq
11-29-04, 12:05 PM
Samsung's super-slim CRT
http://www.i4u.com/article1933.html

LG Philips slim CRT
http://www.i4u.com/article2456.html

Chippy
11-29-04, 12:21 PM
Samsung's super-slim CRT
http://www.i4u.com/article1933.html

LG Philips slim CRT
http://www.i4u.com/article2456.html

Very interesting links those. I hadn't come across either of those products/technologies before.

Still, I think they are a complete waste of time. The manufacturing cost of plasma has come down and down and down, and with it the retail prices. You can now but a good 42" plasma for less than a Sony 36" CRT cost a couple of years ago.

So why would anyone buy one of the above products when they can probably get a good plasma for less? I just can't see their being any mass market demand for them.

Performance-wise, they are probably better than plasma for color purity and black levels. On the other hand, electrons don't like going around corners, so the convergence, registration and geometry performance is likely to be very poor.

Still, interesting nevertheless. It will be intriguing to see if they manage to sell many.

Chip

kahloq
11-29-04, 12:35 PM
Very interesting links those. I hadn't come across either of those products/technologies before.

Still, I think they are a complete waste of time. The manufacturing cost of plasma has come down and down and down, and with it the retail prices. You can now but a good 42" plasma for less than a Sony 36" CRT cost a couple of years ago.

So why would anyone buy one of the above products when they can probably get a good plasma for less? I just can't see their being any mass market demand for them.

Performance-wise, they are probably better than plasma for color purity and black levels. On the other hand, electrons don't like going around corners, so the convergence, registration and geometry performance is likely to be very poor.

Still, interesting nevertheless. It will be intriguing to see if they manage to sell many.

Chip
Price of plasma tv's START at like $1800 for a low quality 37-42" plasma. The articles related to the pics state that these slimmer models will cost not much more then a regular CRT and A LOT less then plasma or LCD. There is a significant amount of buzz around these new CRT and yeah, they will sell a crap load otherwise Samsung wouldn't ramping up to produce 30,000 of them per month.

Aside from that, these slimmer CRT's will be just the ticket for PC users who want large screen, great picture quality without the cost of an LCD or Plasma.

Chippy
11-29-04, 01:07 PM
Price of plasma tv's START at like $1800 for a low quality 37-42" plasma. The articles related to the pics state that these slimmer models will cost not much more then a regular CRT and A LOT less then plasma or LCD. There is a significant amount of buzz around these new CRT and yeah, they will sell a crap load otherwise Samsung wouldn't ramping up to produce 30,000 of them per month.

Aside from that, these slimmer CRT's will be just the ticket for PC users who want large screen, great picture quality without the cost of an LCD or Plasma.

You are entitled to your opinion of course. But I disagree with you.

I am sure they will sell a few of these things in the short term, but in the medium term, CRT is dead.

The only place we will see CRT's in 5 or so years time will be specialist graphics editing applications and cad cam etc.

The reason? Because LCD (and later LEP) are intrinsically cheaper to manufacture, produce and to ship and handle. Even plasma will be cheaper to produce than these things, since it weighs less and the storage/handling/warehousing/shipping etc costs will be less.

imho these new flatter CRT's are a flash in the pan and will appear and disappear in the space of a couple of years. Did you know that Sony announced recently that they aren't even going to manufacture CRT TV's below (I think) 25" anymore. CRT is very nearly dead, if not quite stone cold yet.

Chip

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to mention. I doubt they will be any good for PC monitors either. Like I said before, its really difficult to get electron beams to go around corners. You need really exotic magnet designs around the tube to try to get away with it. An ideal profile for the perfect CRT is say a 19" curved screen (rather than flat) in a box about 3 feet deep. Then the electrons can leave the gun and move in a more or less straight line and hit the screen nice and focussed.

Clearly this is the opposite of these new designs. I suspect they will be plagued with color registration, convergence and screen geometry problems. Just like the first generations of FST TV's were. (And still are, to an extent.)

But hey ho - what do I know. Only time will tell.

wonder squirrel
11-29-04, 01:34 PM
I think if these come out of the gate and get received well, there could very well be a place in the market for them.

Lets say these have a few nice features, focused picture without any distortion/colorations, support for HDTV specs, widesreen, with a number of different inputs (S-video, Component, etc.), a decent set of speakers, at a price of say $500 for a 36" size, I'd be game.

You could be right though, with technology improving day to day, there could very well be a day when CRT's are as rare as chickens teeth..

Chippy
11-29-04, 01:56 PM
Lets say these have a few nice features, focused picture without any distortion/colorations, support for HDTV specs, widesreen, with a number of different inputs (S-video, Component, etc.), a decent set of speakers, at a price of say $500 for a 36" size, I'd be game.


LOL! You don't ask for much do you. Sure you'd be prepared to pay $500? Why not $50? Hehehehehe.

The trouble is, I can see these being *more* expensive to produce than LCD's or plasmas. That's the issue I have with them.

Chip

wonder squirrel
11-29-04, 03:27 PM
LOL! You don't ask for much do you. Sure you'd be prepared to pay $500? Why not $50? Hehehehehe.

The trouble is, I can see these being *more* expensive to produce than LCD's or plasmas. That's the issue I have with them.

Chip
Well the links claim these will be abit more then current models of the same size(CRT's that is), and then drop in price pretty rapidly, so heres me keepin' my fingers crossed on that little gem.

On an off-note, maybe we can start a "Get-The-Squirrel-A-Thin-Flat-Screen-TV-Fund"
And remember, its better to give, than receive, nuff' said.

subbo
11-29-04, 10:58 PM
Firstly, there are super sharp plasmas. I mean dot for dot precision similar to TFT monitors using DVI. Pioneer plasmas especially the latest models are razor sharp, whether you look at its own menu screens or hook a HDMI enabled dvd player or DVI-HDMI PC, per pixel.

Second its true it is very hard to find a compromise between response time, viewing angle and depth of the black shades. Some of the latest 17" fast LCD's are fast only because the darker end is pathetically light. It's easy to be fast when the two extremes never occur, and it's the dark end where LCD's traditionally cut out and ghost the worst.

Third, samsung has done a good job fooling everybody with that vixlim product. It's nowhere near slim, and the neck of the tube is that red butt. There were a few curved 29" 4:3 TVs in the past that were nearly as "slim" but the 16:9 ratio and flat surface has forced the last CRT's to stretch the neck further.

Fourth, if Sony or Panasonic isnt using it, you shouldnt either ;)
(I swear only by those two makers, but not by a blind faith of course).

Chippy
11-30-04, 05:00 AM
Subbo,

I pretty much agree with every word you just said :-)

Chip