Stupid consumers

Consumers are stupid. They go where the wind blows. I was just reading that the LCDs have taken over the TV market so much that there is the possibility of plasma companies (like Pioneer that only does plasmas) to exit the TV market or to move to higher-end. People buy the much inferior technology of LCDs not only because of the lower prices, but also because they have no clue which technology is better. The article and even the comments agree. Consumers just don’t get it.

We are very close in buying that Pioneer Kuro 50″ plasma with JBQ so we were looking around plasmas and LCDs at Frys last week. All LCDs had considerable less black levels and were over-sharpened on their default modes (even if you tinker sharpening, it’s how they are). The plasma image was natural, natural, natural. But I guess people fall for the over-sharpened saturated look, thinking that the more “into your eyes” an image is, the better the TV is. Most LCD TVs don’t even de-interlace the right way. You gotta pay a premium for that, and honestly, it’s worth the money.

I KNOW that I will be blasted for writing this blog post, but unless you are very poor and can’t afford a plasma (or you simply don’t use the TV much), you have no excuse for buying an LCD TV instead.

20 Comments »

l3v1 wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 3:08 AM PST:

“very poor and can’t afford a plasma”

Hmm. There are other places than the well-earning bay-area neighborhood, which you should know. Where I live&work, an lcd or plasma both cost more than how much I’d ever pay for a tv. Also, for a comparison, the same panasonic 1080p plasma model I just checked costs ~$600 more in this part of europe, which is not a surprise (I expected a bigger difference), and as a different example, the same bravia model had an ~$400 price difference. Thing is, the salaries are not bigger with that ratio. Go figure.


Luis wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 5:15 AM PST:

I’m not much into the technologies, but for what I remember from the old days of both, plasma was actually cheaper to manufacture. They were not selling 42″-60″ LCDs because they would be too expensive. So why didn’t they sell small and cheap plasmas then? It seemed to be a problem with resolution. You couldn’t get a decent resolution into a small screen using plasma (even today I see big plasmas with only 1024×768).

So I guess that if plasma hasn’t taken over the market it’s because not everybody want (or can afford) a 50″ TV. Most people get a 30″ one, and there you have no choice but LCD (or CRT, but people prefer the cute flat screens, even if they’re worse and more expensive).

By the way, I hate LCD. It’s an evil technology (yes, it’s sharpness is annoying, among other things). I still use a CRT monitor and have been waiting for years for OLED or something else to take over. Maybe someday…


DavidEF wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 6:26 AM PST:

One thing I’ve heard about plasmas is that their image degrades significantly over a relatively short period of time, compared to other technologies, including lcd. This isn’t just something I heard “from a friend” or anything like that. It was a technology comparison review which included plasma, lcd, crt, oled, and others. I happen to like the crisp image of an lcd, but I agree it does have a tendency to look unnatural, compared to a crt. My guess is that this article was intentionally written as flame-bait, because the author uses their own, very polarized opinion, as a basis of fact, then calls everyone “stupid” who doesn’t agree with that opinion.


Sebastian wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 7:30 AM PST:

To me the only problem with plasmas other than the price is the burn in. I’ve seen quite a few that keep displaying a ghostly object that shouldn’t be there anymore, and that is something I couldn’t live with, especially if I paid top dollar for it. While I agree with you in that black levels on LCDs are lacking, Sonys are fairly decent in that aspect, although they don’t match tubes or plasmas, but they are better than other LCDs out there.

Then also there were some awful examples of plasmas, mostly from Panasonic. There was a 37″ model that was popular a year or so ago, and when I saw it on Circuit City people looked like they were painted on screen with crayons. Then I saw a totally different model at Costco that when it was displaying something bright it would overblow the bright areas and merge all of it into a horrible looking mess. I played with the remote control to adjust it, and there was no way to fix it.

There may be other excellent plasmas out there, but even though I’m not very poor, I wouldn’t spend $2000 on a TV set. I paid $1250 + tax for my Sony 40″ LCD and that’s a little over my budget.


Thom Holwerda wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 8:34 AM PST:

Eugenia, just let people choose for themselves. Who are you to tell others what to buy? It might come as a shock to you, but many people just don’t give a flying fcuk about their TV. Many of my friends barely use their TV!

In addition, I’ve been standing in front of the big plasmas and LCDs quite often here in the shops, and I actually do prefer the LCDs, and so do my parents and most of my friends. They have a slightly more natural feel for me, and that’s just my preference. Your preferences are not representative for the rest of the world, you know.

In addition, I believe plasma TVs suck a whole lot more energy, and that’s seen as a plus by many people, seeing electricity don’t come cheap. Not sure about this one, though.


memson wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 8:47 AM PST:

It’s also a fact that, until a few years ago, plasmas had a tendancy to randomly fail. No idea how much of an issue this is still, but life expectancy of plasmas was dismal at one point.


OOM wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 9:03 AM PST:

DavidEF: “My guess is that this article was intentionally written as flame-bait, because the author uses their own, very polarized opinion, as a basis of fact, then calls everyone “stupid” who doesn’t agree with that opinion.”

Yeah, Eugenia is like that. If you are an absolute beginner in camcorder stuff (HV20 etc) it’s well worth reading her excellent write-ups on this blog. Otherwise she’s as obnoxious as they come, and best ignored.


Jim wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 11:18 AM PST:

What part of Eugenia’s RANTS don’t you understand?

What I see is that Eugenia gets to rant and then we get to rant. I bought a 37″ lcd last summer for under a grand and it doubles as my computer monitor and it works for me. I think plasma has not done a very good job at selling its advantages nor telling us how to work around its short comings, in addition, I am one of the poor that is price sensitive and the $800 I spent for the lcd tv is the most I have ever spent for a tv in my life and I live in a motorhome where a crt would be inpractical. I do value all the comments from Eugenia’s rant to the rants in the comments and here lies the value of the blog is in the posts. Now if I had read this before I bought my TV, I would have looked at Plasma alot closer as well as many of you.
come on, be honest now! so would you!


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 11:44 AM PST:

Jim, thanks for the understanding.

The rest of you, the way it works is this:
1. Eugenia reads something on the web.
2. Eugenia gets to rant about it her mind.

Nothing to do with “flamebaiting” on purpose.

As for the plasmas failing, the technology has progressed. Pioneer’s TVs are known to be the best in the world. But they do come with a premium.


Andy wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 1:28 PM PST:

My Rant: Dump your TVs, it’s just a waste of time!


Dukes wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 1:43 PM PST:

I have two reasons why I stick with LCD.

1. It’s cheaper.
2. Power consumption is significantly less than plasma.
3. Picture quality is more than adequate.


Dukes wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 1:44 PM PST:

I meant three reasons. 😉


jeff wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 2:03 PM PST:

I just bought a 37″ Samsung 720p. I could have bought a 42″ plasma for the same price but its all about brand. I would have had to buy insignia or Phillips or some crap, and reviews told me that even though the burn in goes away, STILL, its annoying as hell. Yes, watching SD TV is like watching 1970’s tv, but I don’t watch SD, comcast has everything I need in HD


jeff wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 2:12 PM PST:

When I look at plasmas in the store it reminds me of those huge screens on times square. You look at it and can see each little bulb or pixel. With LCD its much more dense and from 10 to 15 feet away those pixels are invisible, unlike plasma.


Thom Holwerda wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 2:42 PM PST:

When I look at plasmas in the store it reminds me of those huge screens on times square. You look at it and can see each little bulb or pixel. With LCD its much more dense and from 10 to 15 feet away those pixels are invisible, unlike plasma.

Bingo.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 2:46 PM PST:

This is absolutely not true. You obviously compare the plasmas to 32″ LCDs if that’s all you see, or you don’t view the TVs from a distance that you would watch them on your room.


Frank Miller wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 5:10 PM PST:

I don’t know what you’ve heard about plasmas but here’s two data points.

I’ve got a Panasonic 58″ 1080p and its absolutely amazing. Its about 4 months old.

I also have a Philips 42″ 720p. This one we’ve had for about 4 years. Its also amazing, no color fade that I can detect and no burnin either.


Jalal ad-Din Muhammad wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 5:23 PM PST:

You do realise that plasma have a short life span? only averaging around 3-4 years if you’re lucky?


Frank Miller wrote on February 16th, 2008 at 5:27 PM PST:

Well, like I said. I’ve had my Phillips for about 4 years now and it looks as good now as the day I bought it.


Jon Belson wrote on February 19th, 2008 at 9:17 AM PST:

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