Samsung LN52B540 or PN50B540 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 2009-06-20, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5
Question Samsung LN52B540 or PN50B540

Hi everyone,
newbie question here. I was debating between Samsung LCD LN52B540 or plasma PN50B540 models.
So I'm looking at both displays at BestBuy and they both looked very good to me, the feed was 720p HDTV. They had them one next to the other. Which one to choose? The TV will be set in the basement, no windows near and I'll be watching 90% movies, all kinds of sources - DivX, DVD, 720p and 1080p blu-ray; and 10% TV - both SD and 720p HD. No gaming.
Everyone says that plasma is better for movies but the main thing that bugs me a lot is the IR/pixel aging on plasma. Most likely 70-80% of the movies I watch will have horizontal black bars, some tiny some more noticeable. I read the sticky Burn-in: Discuss this issue here only; how we should avoid 4:3 content but rarely anyone mentions the black bars with HD content. Are they really a problem I don't think I can limit my watching to only 15% that have horizontal black bars and I'm not willing to use stretch modes until I'm convinced the image looks good in that mode. I mean we pay to watch beautiful HD content and then we have to stretch the image so heads look like melons or alien heads?!?
On the other hand, the LCD will require no careful break-in and complete freedom what sources to watch forever. What is the downside? I've seen articles talk about LCD having bad viewing angles but in BestBuy I went to the side pretending to sit on a side wall couch (not the one in front of the TV) and didn't notice worse picture, at least not worse than plasma viewed at the same angle.
So help me choose between those two models, the LCD and the plasma. Any suggestions are welcome and FYI that LCD goes for around $2000 and that plasma for around $1600 but I'm willing to pay 400 bucks more if I don't have to worry about IR, burn-in, forgetting the menu screen of the DVD on for 2 hours AND if the movie watching experience is not considerably worse on the LCD compared to the plasma.
2nd LCD on my list is Sony 52V4100 (if I go the LCD route) and 2nd plasma on my list is Panasonic 50S1 (if I go the plasma route). The Samsung PN50B540 plasma is by far the cheapest, the other 3 are roughly $400 more.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 2009-06-20, 02:28 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Panasonic TCP65S1, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 8300-eHDD
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Here's the FAQ on Burn in. Read it carefully. If you vary your viewing, then there is no need for stretching SD these days because there's so much HD and DVD material that people are watching. On the other hand, if you watch 50% SD, or put the same channel with tickers on for 10 hours a day, then you will get burn in from the bars or ticker. This is regarding plasma obviously. The same warning would hold true if you have horizontal black bars on your TV for say 50+% of the viewing, although I think that scenario unlikely, it's not impossible.

So, its a matter of knowing about burn in causes. Proper setup of the TV also helps as mentioned.

FAQ - Burn In & Break In.

If you wish to continue the burn in discussion, please do so in the thread you linked to already.

Viewing angles - The colour tends to fade quite dramatically and blacks are less black at larger viewing angles on LCDs. You may not have known what to look for as it is usually quite dramatic.

Please see the following LCD vs Plasma thread:

Plasma vs LCD

Here's a thread useful for those new to the forum - FAQs, Search Tips, Optimization, etc.

HDTV Frequently Asked Questions: Please read this before posting in the forum

57's Optimization Services (Home Theatre Optimization) . . . . 57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
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