: Is plasma still better for sports than LCD?

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2009-08-28, 01:09 PM
I havent done much research on TV in over 3 years, but the slower response times of LCD, the sometimes flatter looking picture of LCD and fear of ghosting always steered me to liking the look of plasma better.

I know that LCD has improved response times in the past 3 years and is generally more energy efficient (runs a lot cooler) than plasma. Is plasma still better for sports viewing than LCD?? Just thinking of a 42" for a family room.

2009-08-28, 01:16 PM
for the most part yes.

Especialy when your dollar is considered. you need to drop alot more cash on a good LCD to get good PQ/high speed Sports then compared to a Plasma.

2009-08-28, 02:18 PM
No its completely false.

New LCD's have a fast refresh rate, but both technologies look fantastic with HD.

LCD is the way to go IMHO, although I know many will disagree with me...

2009-08-28, 02:32 PM
We already have an LCD vs. Plasma thread, link below. Let's stick to the specific question asked about sports.


2009-08-28, 04:24 PM
For sports and LCD you'll need at least a 120Hz model which may be pricier than a comparable plasma. However, the brighter colours on a LCD might be more appealing to you while watching sports. Ultimately, you need to check them out and see which suits your viewing needs better. Both have their pros and cons.

2009-08-28, 04:24 PM
Plasma in the past was always better with fast motion. LCD has caught up by manipulating the signal--but some say too much manipulation makes the video look different or even artificial. What you could do is go to a store and compare a plasma and LCD side by side with fast moving scenes. Change the different motion settings on the LCD to see if you like the picture. What you may notice more with HD cable/satellite is macro blocking due to excessive compression. I especially notice this with HD NFL and HD shows that have flashing lights or confetti falling (like at the end of the Super Bowl).

2009-08-28, 04:51 PM
I know that LCD has improved response times in the past 3 years and is generally more energy efficient (runs a lot cooler) than plasma.

Not sure where you get that info from. Response times on LCD panels have been down to a few ms for several years and the energy efficiency argument is a canard that doesn't stand up under real life testing.

Finally what LCD are you talking about. LCD with LED backlighting or regular LCD?

2009-08-28, 05:12 PM
Does it really matter for broadcast HD??
All progressive signals are 30 frames per second, and interlaced is 60 fields per second.
30 fps = 33.3 msec per frame
60 fps = 16.6 msec per field

LCDs are aound 6 msec and plasmas are faster.
Most HD TVs actually display the same frame (or part of it) multiple times since the TV'sframe rate is higher than the broadcast source.

Is my logic OK, or am I missing something?

(BTW, my first post!)

2009-08-28, 07:34 PM
Also depends on how you are viewing your sports and in what sort of room. How bright do you like the room and how many people are you watching with? (where are the seats? )

LCD (generalization) is better in brighter rooms, plasma (see previous bracket) has a wider viewing angle.

Plasma has an overall better picture (bias showing)

2009-08-29, 08:53 AM
All progressive signals are 30 frames per second, and interlaced is 60 fields per second.

Don't you generally get 60 frames per second with a 720p broadcast signal?

2009-08-29, 10:50 AM
Don't you generally get 60 frames per second with a 720p broadcast signal?
I think you are correct... I will hit google to find out more.
(I don't have HD via cable/sat, just blu-ray and antenna)

2009-08-29, 11:50 AM
Hugh, I am generalizing on response times of LCD. It seems that 3-4 years ago most were 8ms and higher. Now, I see a lot of 5-6ms which is closer to most of the plasma or RPTV's with 4ms.

I always liked the pic of plasma better than LCD and found LCD to be at times flat, grainy or have some ghosting with hockey and other fast sports. I liked that plasma seemed bright, punchy, brilliant. But I saw a friend with a Samsung A650? LCD and was impressed with its picture. I just wondered how LCD and plasma compared for sports viewing now.

2009-08-31, 04:42 PM
I spent a few minutes and couldn't find mush info on the frame rate.
My guess would be that it is 30, since 60 would about double the bandwidth requirement (depending on compression)

As for plasma response time, I think they are under 1ms. When shopping for my plasma last week I saw one plasma with a time of .6 ms.
I bet the manufacturers measure response time differently. For example, when do you consider a pixel to be on? At 50%, 80%, 90% etc of max?

2009-09-08, 10:54 AM
I will post a response from xrox on another forum as he is much better than I at explaining LCD response times. Just remember that 240hz LCD TVs are more expensive than lower to mid level plasmas. This price discrepancy is even more true for the 42" size which the OP has asked about.

LCD have two motion problems

1-physical response of the liquid crystal
2-“hold-type” display (pixels are on for the entire frame period)

Response times are getting shorter and shorter. But, even with infinitely small response time the video will never achieve motion quality of a CRT because of the “hold-type” problem. Possible solutions are to scan back light or increase frame rate (hence the 120Hz you hear about).

What is 120Hz?

Well firstly there are two approaches:

1: Black frame insertion --- each frame from a 60Hz signal is followed by an artificially added black frame thus doubling the frame rate without doubling the number of signal frames. Problem is it also increases perception of flicker and reduces brightness and contrast.

2. Motion compensation --- each frame from a 60Hz signal is followed by a fabricated frame that represents the in-between frame of the previous and next frame. The best way to understand this is by example. Consider a signal that is a black screen with a laterally moving white dot from left to right. If frame1 shows the dot on the left hand side of the screen and frame2 shows the dot on the right hand side of the screen, the motion compensation algorithm fabricates (through calculation) a “new frame” where the dot is in the centre of the screen and then inserts it into the signal stream.

Original signal [Frame1 - Frame2] 60Hz

Motion compensated signal [Frame1 - NewFrame1 - Frame2 - NewFrame2] 120Hz

Why 120Hz?

Hold-type causes blurring because we integrate light in the direction of motion. Our eyes are tracking the motion. The less time the light is on in a given location the less blurring we perceive. In the above example the white dot is moving laterally so our eyes are tracking it, but for each frame the white dot emits light for 16 full milliseconds at one location even though our eyes are moving (tracking it). This produces blurr on our retina. So it makes total sense to just reduce the time it emits in one spot. At 120Hz the time is now 8ms per frame.

Note: Without black insertion or motion compensation 120Hz will not work because the white dot will emit for 8ms “twice” in the same spot thus rendering the high refresh rate useless.

Is 120Hz good enough???

In short NO. This is because to reach the performance of a Plasma display the frame time must be 4-6msec (emission time of a plasma per frame). And to reach the performance of a CRT the frame time must be 1.6msec (emmission time per phosphor including decay)

2009-09-08, 11:53 PM
I was always told plasma response time was way less than 1ms, is that not correct?

2009-09-10, 10:55 AM
My friends all say watching sports on my Samsung 55A950 way outclassed their Pioneer and Panasonic plasmas.

No wonder everyone came over for the hockey playoffs last year. No urging from my part required, general consensus was to host it at my place.


However on paper plasma is much better - the numbers like the explanation above just don't lie. However, perception was that the PQ on the LCD was much better.

2009-09-10, 03:15 PM
they must need to tune the pic on their plasmas, specially the fact that they are Panny and Pioneer, the picture on those TVs should be second to none,

my mom actually has a 46A950, My 50 S1 picture tops it, I'll admit her LCD is 1 of the best LCDs I've seen, most look washed and dull to me,

her boyfriend was hardcore LCD guy until he came to my place,

2009-09-10, 04:31 PM
LCDs are typically not great for large groups due to the significantly poorer viewing angle. As soon as you move about 20-30 degrees off axis, the image washes out even more...

Perhaps you have better beer & snacks ;)

2009-09-10, 04:36 PM
also could be the extra 5" vs a 50" tv. thats alot more size.

2009-10-24, 11:21 PM
a good plasma is way better

better blacks

no motion blurring

no viewing angle issues

more accurate color

... anyone who watches sports (or anything) on my pro-141 pioneer elite wants one!