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July 13, 2009

LCD specifications are a load of crap, says study

bad-viewing-angle.jpgDisplayMate Technologies, in collaboration with Insight Media, have just released the results of a new study revealing that LCD specifications are nothing but a load of crap. Really.

The study pitted top 2008 Sony, Samsung and Sharp LCD HDTVs against a Panasonic plasma, and not surprisingly the plasma set outperformed all LCDs. This is notable because plasma is looking to be on the way out. Most new HDTV buyers are opting for lower-cost LCD sets.

A couple of the most interesting test results have to do with viewing angles and contrast ratio. Pretty well all new HDTVs these days come with manufacturers claiming a 176 viewing angle. But the test results revealed that picture quality on LCD sets deteriorates at 10 degrees (roughly the width of a person from center) and falls all the way to 50% for a person sitting at a 45 degree angle. In essence, everyone watching the same LCD TV is seeing a very different picture. The Panasonic plasma, on the other hand, didn't have a distinguishable decrease in picture quality until a 45 degree viewing angle was reached.

The same goes for contrast ratios. These days we see incredible dynamic contrast ratios of 1, 000, 000:1 and even 2, 000, 000:1. The study revealed static contrast ratios of 1000:1 and 2000:1 for all of the tested LCD HDTVs. The plasma set reached 3842:1.

This is just one study of course. But it just goes to show that specs don't mean everything and despite its cost, plasma appears to still be the superior technology--unless you're watching TV in direct sunlight. LCD's higher brightness helps in that regard!

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Posted by Justin Davey at July 13, 2009 1:00 AM

Recent Comments

Plasmas, for good reason, have consistently had a clearly better picture quality than LCDs. Their only downsides are that they don't work well in a brightly lit room, they consume more power, and have a greater propensity to screen burn-in. If you really want the best in image quality, whether you're by yourself or with friends, plasma is the way to go.


Posted by: George Marengo at August 2, 2009 5:26 PM

Plasma might have better contrast ratio, and may have a better viewing angle (though I always sit directly in front of my TV, so that doesn't bother me), but while Plasma continues to have a fuzzy picture due to the dither patterns they seem to use, it makes no difference how good any other spec might be - Plasma sucks!


Posted by: John Smith at July 14, 2009 7:28 PM
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