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Help Buying a new TV for use as monitor and gaming tv

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post #1 of 5
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Hey all,

I am gearing up and doing some research on TV’s for this Black Friday/Christmas sales. As you see below I really have no knowledge of TVs….

My primary use for the TV will be as a monitor for my PC and for use with my xbox 360 (and possibly ps3 down the road). I also have the ability to access tv and movies through either resolution.

Among the many things I need info on is how much difference does 720 vs. 1080p really make (particularly in cost benefit analysis)? Particularly in concept of using with the xbox360 and as a monitor for my pc gaming?

What is the difference between DLP, LED, LCD, and Plasma?
How does refresh rate relevant to the different types and what supports 3d gaming with Nvidia?

What kind of lag input/response times do I need to know about/consider given my primary use above?

Is 3d gaming worth it? My geforces are 3d enabled so do all I need is a 100hz refresh rate?

Difference between Matte and glossy finish/what settings are they good in (light dark)

What is the future tech looking like as far as value now vs. soon to be released?

Questions/details I must know about the TV I buy?
post #2 of 5
I guess I'll just start by answering questions.

720i/p vs 1080i/p: Resolution doesn't particularly matter for actual gameplay for MOST games (RTS, certain rpgs notwithstanding) However the i/p DOES MATTER, A LOT. 720i and 1080i are both interlaced video formats. Basically (and I mean really basic) this equates to video that isn't as smooth/precise as 1080p (for those of you technical gurus, I mean this in latency terms, not in graphical quality terms)

DLP, LED, LCD and Plasma are all display technologies (bar LED, its a backlight technology, as it is marketed now; LED displays do exist, but they are out of everyone's budget - trust me)

DLP (Digital Light Processing) is a projection technology with an extremely precise, vastly dynamic focal point. This is what causes DLP rear projection displays to be so much thicker than LCD and Plasma displays, there is literally a light projection just like in the movie theater inside the display itself. These displays are capable of VERY good colors, but ambient lighting tends to affect them in different ways than most other display methods (not as much as projectors, but still a noticeable effect) DLP TV's have very low input delay and incredibly quick response times and refresh rates (its basically a CRT)

LCD (LED-LCD as well) - These panels are the most common right now, they are very reliable, and cheap to manufacture. This means cheap for the end user as well. One advantage of LCD displays is that ambient light doesn't have much effect on perceived color (measured color tests will show the differences easily) The drawbacks of LCD are really a compromise - you get a nice slender display, but at the cost of poor color reproduction (save high end panels, which can be found in TVs, especially high end ones), viewing angle, and commonly uneven backlighting. LCD Displays have a relatively low to moderate input delay (depending on the inclusion of a scaler, if any, and any A2D processing) moderately low to fairly high response times. And mediocre refresh rates. (Hey, it is what it is. Most people will never notice this, but this is comparative)

Plasma - Plasma display panels are kind of quirky. They are slightly bulkier than LCD, but not quite as bulky as DLP. They have an amazing viewing angle, and very accurate color reproduction. Ambient light has little effect on perceived color replication here as well. Plasma displays are VERY heavy, and can have both CCFL and LED backlights. A few of the drawbacks (although being made lesser by advancements in technology - seeing as plasma displays are still very young) include image burn in (rotating displays lessen this issue by rotating the quadrants of the display periodically) potentially low life span, sensitivity to altitude. Plasma displays share about the same statistics as far as response time and refresh rates as LCDs (Don't let the 600hz marketing fool you, the pixels on the screen are capable of that, but when you connect a PC to the display, it will not be listed as an option)

I cannot comment on 3D gaming currently.

Matte finish displays will typically treat your eyes better than glossy displays. Color replication is better, and glare is a non-issue. Glossy displays have a lot of "glow factor" to them, and they are very visually appealing, they seem to make the colors "Pop" more. This is the same effect you get when you turn up the brightness of the backlight and get more vibrant colors from a display.

The future is OLED displays. Its not conceivable now, but I imagine probably in the next twenty years we will no longer by TV's or displays in long rectangular boxes, but rather in poster roll tubes. and instead of standing them on surfaces they will come ready to hang on the wall. In other words, I'm sure that at a minimum, you will get 4-5 years out of your TV, at which point you may be ready to upgrade, or decide to continue using the one you already have.

Please don't take any of what I say as factual for this purchase decision, its all personal experience, and is likely out of date.

My best advice to you for buying a TV is this:

When you go to the store, bring a PURE WHITE color swatch and a PURE BLACK color swatch (if possible). The Black and White values of a display are unchanging. No matter how much you adjust the RGB values on a display you will never be able to fix a poor white or black. Use the swatches for a real comparison of the white displayed and the black displayed on the screen. Sit (or stand) approximately as far away from the set as you will be using it regularly, and preferably in about the same lighting. Make sure the screen doesn't cause your eyes fatigue, and that you are able to perceive the whole picture without wandering (I.E. No squinting, no batting eyes).
    
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post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

I guess I'll just start by answering questions.
720i/p vs 1080i/p: Resolution doesn't particularly matter for actual gameplay for MOST games (RTS, certain rpgs notwithstanding) However the i/p DOES MATTER, A LOT. 720i and 1080i are both interlaced video formats. Basically (and I mean really basic) this equates to video that isn't as smooth/precise as 1080p (for those of you technical gurus, I mean this in latency terms, not in graphical quality terms)
DLP, LED, LCD and Plasma are all display technologies (bar LED, its a backlight technology, as it is marketed now; LED displays do exist, but they are out of everyone's budget - trust me)
DLP (Digital Light Processing) is a projection technology with an extremely precise, vastly dynamic focal point. This is what causes DLP rear projection displays to be so much thicker than LCD and Plasma displays, there is literally a light projection just like in the movie theater inside the display itself. These displays are capable of VERY good colors, but ambient lighting tends to affect them in different ways than most other display methods (not as much as projectors, but still a noticeable effect) DLP TV's have very low input delay and incredibly quick response times and refresh rates (its basically a CRT)
LCD (LED-LCD as well) - These panels are the most common right now, they are very reliable, and cheap to manufacture. This means cheap for the end user as well. One advantage of LCD displays is that ambient light doesn't have much effect on perceived color (measured color tests will show the differences easily) The drawbacks of LCD are really a compromise - you get a nice slender display, but at the cost of poor color reproduction (save high end panels, which can be found in TVs, especially high end ones), viewing angle, and commonly uneven backlighting. LCD Displays have a relatively low to moderate input delay (depending on the inclusion of a scaler, if any, and any A2D processing) moderately low to fairly high response times. And mediocre refresh rates. (Hey, it is what it is. Most people will never notice this, but this is comparative)
Plasma - Plasma display panels are kind of quirky. They are slightly bulkier than LCD, but not quite as bulky as DLP. They have an amazing viewing angle, and very accurate color reproduction. Ambient light has little effect on perceived color replication here as well. Plasma displays are VERY heavy, and can have both CCFL and LED backlights. A few of the drawbacks (although being made lesser by advancements in technology - seeing as plasma displays are still very young) include image burn in (rotating displays lessen this issue by rotating the quadrants of the display periodically) potentially low life span, sensitivity to altitude. Plasma displays share about the same statistics as far as response time and refresh rates as LCDs (Don't let the 600hz marketing fool you, the pixels on the screen are capable of that, but when you connect a PC to the display, it will not be listed as an option)
I cannot comment on 3D gaming currently.
Matte finish displays will typically treat your eyes better than glossy displays. Color replication is better, and glare is a non-issue. Glossy displays have a lot of "glow factor" to them, and they are very visually appealing, they seem to make the colors "Pop" more. This is the same effect you get when you turn up the brightness of the backlight and get more vibrant colors from a display.
The future is OLED displays. Its not conceivable now, but I imagine probably in the next twenty years we will no longer by TV's or displays in long rectangular boxes, but rather in poster roll tubes. and instead of standing them on surfaces they will come ready to hang on the wall. In other words, I'm sure that at a minimum, you will get 4-5 years out of your TV, at which point you may be ready to upgrade, or decide to continue using the one you already have.
Please don't take any of what I say as factual for this purchase decision, its all personal experience, and is likely out of date.
My best advice to you for buying a TV is this:
When you go to the store, bring a PURE WHITE color swatch and a PURE BLACK color swatch (if possible). The Black and White values of a display are unchanging. No matter how much you adjust the RGB values on a display you will never be able to fix a poor white or black. Use the swatches for a real comparison of the white displayed and the black displayed on the screen. Sit (or stand) approximately as far away from the set as you will be using it regularly, and preferably in about the same lighting. Make sure the screen doesn't cause your eyes fatigue, and that you are able to perceive the whole picture without wandering (I.E. No squinting, no batting eyes).

Awesome.

Interesting take on the swatch advise.If you have the time though, I hope you can visit avsforum.

By the way, depending on your personality, reading too much may be a bad thing. No display tech is PERFECT.

Anyway, some advice from me:

Think twice on a plasma

-ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter) /fluctuating brightness. Apparently is inherent to the current plasma displays.
Depending on how much white the screen has, the display will either dim or brighten independent of auto saving feature and ambient light sensors.
You CANNOT turn this off. This depends on how sensitive you are though. This is WORST when using the PC especially when you run multiple
windows on you're display.

If the display on the image is has a lot of white or bright sections the display will suddenly dim. remove the image and the display will brighten up!

DOESN'T happen with LCDs

-Horizontal Line Bleed

Here's the vid also showing ABL.. read the description

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bd1A6o1UsOs

Here's more Horizontal Line Bleed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8C4OWPQKPg


-Image Retention (erroneously called "Burn IN" by average customers)... temporary ghosted images stuck on the display even when changing outputs.
Burn in is permanent image stuck on the display. It still can happen with Plasma displays if you stick to a single content for too long. (leaving that taskbar w/o screen savers).

-"Impossible on LCDs" (unless you forcefully try to like leaving a static image for weeks on end)

-Glare - annoying as fck if you have a bright room and can't use blinds. Even the highest end plasma filters on the current market are no match for LCDs matte display for dissipating glare.

-electricity consumption - worse than LCDs.

-eye fatigue and flicker - depending on how sensitive you are you may notice flicker. AFAIK the way plasma tech works.. it's much eye straining than LCDs for prolonged use.


For your purposes I suggest LCDs or LEDs

Why? because you gonna be using it as a PC monitor and gaming.

PCs and games tend to have static images a lot of the time (like static HUDS showing your bullets or lifebar or maps). This can get burnt in on the display or get stuck for days on a Plasma
Use screensavers ASAP.
PCs are usually use with changing window sizes and very varied content. Plasma ABL (brightness fluctuation) can ruin your experience.

I don't think you can do a that Geforce thing with 99% of the TVs .

99% of the TVs don't do REAL 120hz (120 unique frames per second).

Unless you can find a way to do 30fps for each eye with that device, IDK what to say.

PS3 3D gaming is really subjective, I find the inconsistent frame rates with top tier games nauseating and the drop in resolution noticeable.
MotorStorm and that game where there's a planet on the background and you're a spaceship shooting asteroids and aliens had amazing 3D though. (probably due to consistent framerate)

Matte is awesome because it barely reflects you and the stuff in your room while watching TV. Matte is also best on bright rooms!
LCDs/LEDs are better in brightrooms because they are brighter.
There are no MATTE plasmas.

if you're serious about competitive gaming then what you may be talking about is INPUT LAG (afaik it's different from response time).
You cannot see the INPUT lag specs on any TV and you're best bet is to ask other people who own the set.

If you have bad input lag (like the vid below [follow the description]), the action on the screen will be a few frames late than when you press the action button.
If you fire a bullet, it would be 2-4 frames late shown.

Not only that but unless they do the vs. CRT TEST. they're mostly GUESSING if the display has good or bad input lag. (~30ms late is acceptable afaik).

CRT TEST:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaZ-P2O1Jew

Hahaha! Goodluck finding people that do that with the display you'll be buying.

Future Tech?

Hmmm

OLEDs afaik will be the best in terms of viewing angles, contrast (best blacks and whites) and fastest response times. but I doubt you can find a 23 inch OLED display for cheap. I bet it's at least a thousand dollars.

OLEDs die significantly faster than any other display on the market AFAIK.. due to the BLUE color dieing out way faster than the other colors.


LCDs aren't perfect too. They can have uneven backlighting and noticeable smearing but that's just about it.

If you're in the US though, you can still probably take a chance with a Plasma (great black levels, amazing contrast, great experience on a dark room) and return and replace it within a few days if you hate it.

NEVER get a 720p display that's 1024x768.. stick to at least 1366x768.. NOTHING anything lower than that.

If you choose so you will have crawling artifacts/uneven/jagged edges and A LOT of lost detail.

I have a 1080p display against 1024x768 "720p" display and the 1024x768 sucks ass.
Edited by tubers - 11/12/11 at 12:43am
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post #4 of 5
I would not recommend a TV as a monitor.

The response times of these TV's are very slow, compared to monitors.
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateN34 View Post

I would not recommend a TV as a monitor.
The response times of these TV's are very slow, compared to monitors.

Depends on the set and depends on the viewer if he notices smearing or ghosting significantly.

Unless you meant INPUT LAG.

After gaming on a 47 inch 1080p display from my 23" was awesome visually (probably because of having the thought of a bigger display and always using the surrounding objects as a comparison).

On a pitch dark room and seating close enough to a good 23" monitor would give the same effect but I doubt people would do just that.
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