Stuck deciding b/w plasma w/anti-glare and LCD
I'm a first time flat panel buyer myself, and have been debating whether to get LCD or plasma. 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 b/c the room will be bright. I thought it was common knowledge that LCD's have a brighter picture than the plasmas, which is why they're better in a bright room, right? (I read this on the Sharp site: "In the "real world" situations, LCDs are 4 times brighter than plasma displays.")
But then I come across this info, which says the opposite about which is better in a bright room... aargh!
Your Room Lighting
Because of these fundamental differences in how the TVs work, the best choice may depend on placement of the display. The biggest factor is often room light: if you have a darker room, either will work, but plasmas are more visible in a brighter room. Two factors account for this: the contrast ratio and the brightness. Contrast is the difference between the brightest and darkest colors the TV can produce (white vs black). Brightness is a measure of how powerful the light is in general (like a higher wattage light bulb: 100w vs 25w). For both numbers, the higher the value, the better. Plasma contrast is typically 10,000 to 1 (10000:1) or better, while LCD is about 1/10th as good at 1200:1. Many LCD displays use a dynamic method to improve contrast up to 5000:1. This helps by adapting the range based on the overall brightness of the scene being watched. However, because plasmas are brighter and have more contrast, the picture looks better in a brighter room. One issue, though, is that the plasma panel is glass, which can easily reflect room lights and windows. Neither screen will work well in direct sunlight, but you may have better luck placing an LCD to avoid reflections from many windows. A better solution is a set of window curtains to remove the problem altogether.
Thanks in advance for the help everyone!