The Superbowl draws near and you want to see the big game in high definition television (HDTV) but you’re unsure about which type of HDTV television you should buy? If you open up your local consumer electronics flyer, the choice is clear – Plasma.
Here’s 5 Reasons Not to Buy a Plasma TV this Superbowl Season.
The purpose of the article was to provide a counterpoint to some of the misinformation being advertised prior to the Superbowl by various retailers and was not a blanket condemnation of Plasma televisions.
For reasons why you should buy a Plasma check out our May 2005 article entitled – Five Reasons to make your next HDTV a Plasma
Plasma televisions are sleek, sexy and can hang on a wall. In addition to a slim space saving design, Plasma’s offer a wide viewing angle, uniform screen brightness and good colour fidelity. What’s not to love?
Plasma televisions are flat-panel displays that consist of millions of phosphor-coated miniature glass bubbles containing plasma. Each bubble represents one pixel. To produce an image on the plasma panel, electric current flows through the screen which causes the gas inside the glass bubbles to emit ultraviolet rays. The ultraviolet rays then trigger the phosphor coating to produce red, green or blue light.
The number of physical bubbles or pixels inside a plasma television determines the sets Native resolution. DHC recommends you determine the native resolution of any plasma you’re thinking about purchasing. Native resolution is important because it is the source of a tremendous amount of confusion in the minds of consumers which leads to a very common misperception.
The common misperception is that all Plasma televisions are high definition televisions. Instead of being HDTV sets, many plasma sets are Enhanced Definition television (EDTV). If the native resolution of the plasma you are considering is 853 X 480 or something similar then the plasma panel is NOT a high definition television.
Digital Home Canada has learned that many websites and retail flyers are no longer publishing the native resolution of plasma panels preferring to simply say the set has 720p or 1080i capability.
For more information about the different types of HDTV televisions available in the marketplace be sure to read HDTV Canada – Types of Televisions Explained . To learn more about HDTV visit the HDTV Canada section of this site. or visit one of Digital Home Canada’s HDTV forums in the Digital Forums.
Five Reasons not to buy Plasma
The following are five reasons why Digital Home Canada believes you shouldn’t buy a Plasma television.
Burn in occurs when a static image, such as a network icon, is continuously shown and the image is “burned into” the screen. The result is that “burned in” image is visible even when watching other programs.
The actual term burn in is a misnomer (to find out more burn in – click on some of the links listed above) since the screen isn’t actually burned but the unpleasant image left of your screen is all too real.
The effects of burn in on a plasma display are permanent and cannot be erased.
The article and plasma manufacturers go to great lengths to explain how to reduce the likelihood of burn and with proper care and attention DHC agrees that a very determined and careful consumer can avoid the problem.
Although we understand that burn in can be avoided if you are very careful, our attitude is “Do you want really want to buy a $5,000 to $10,000 television set and then constantly worry that it will become an expensive doorstop, because you or your kids, left it on for a few hours on the “wrong” channel ?”
When spending $10,000, we want piece of mind. The risk of burn in is the first reason we would not recommend buying a plasma television.
True HDTV Plasma’s starts around $6,000 Canadian and go up from there. Many 50″ plasma’s are close to $10,000.
An excellent quality 50″ CRT rear projection television can be had for $2,000, while DLP & LCD projection sets retails for approximately $4,000.
With the extra $6,000 to $8,000 dollars you save by not buying plasma, you could outfit your home with a stunning home theatre system which includes six good quality speakers, DVD player, A/V receiver and more.
The high cost of plasma is the second reason why we would not buy a plasma television.
Costly to Repair and Higher Incidence of Repair
Recently when Digital Home Canada was researching our article Should I buy the Extended Warranty? we were surprised to learn the price for an 2 or 3 year extended warranty on a plasma television was much higher than the cost of a 2 or 3 year warranty on a direct view, LCD, CRT or DLP television after adjusting for the purchase price of the product.
Extended warranty costs are an excellent way to gauge the reliability of a consumer product. If the premiums being asked by the insurance companies are higher, then it indicates the product has a higher rate of repair and failure.
Also noteworthy is that despite the high cost of extended warranties on plasma, burn in is not covered by either the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty. Burn in is considered to consumer misuse and therefore not covered.
The high cost of repair, potential for failure and the lack of a comprehensive warranty is the third reason why we would not buy a plasma television.
Standard Definition Television looks terrible
The next time you are shopping for a television, be sure to take notice of what’s playing on those Plasma panels. We can pretty much guarantee, you won’t see a regular standard definition cable signal.
In our experience, HDTV looks beautiful on a true HDTV plasma panel and DVD’s can almost equally compelling, however, standard television, the stuff you watch everyday, generally looks horrible!
The reason for this poor quality image can be attributable to a number of factors including the stretch mode of the television or the poor quality of the analog or digital signal.
Regardless of the reason, Digital Home Canada we have yet to view a standard definition television program on plasma that we would want to watch in our home.
Despite our opinion, DHC learned long ago that picture quality is a very subjective matter. What looks great to one person can look lousy to someone else.
We recommend that if you’re considering buying a plasma, take the time to watch “regular” television on it before you purchase the set or only use your plasma to watch DVD’s or HDTV.
The poor picture quality of Standard definition signals is the fourth reason why we would not buy a plasma television.
Costly and Time Consuming to Mount on a wall
Since the first Phillips commercial in 2001 showing consumers how they could mount a plasma television on the wall, people have dreamt of hanging their televisions on the wall.
Like every dream, get over it!
The reality is that most plasma sets are never hung on walls. Typically they sit on a tabletop on a stand. A stand, that is as deep and wide as an DLP or LCD projection television set.
Why don’t plasma owners have the set up on the wall?
The primary reason is the wires. A typical plasma set has a ton of connections. component or DVI cables from your cable or satellite receiver, component or DVI cables from your DVD player, other audio cables to and from your A/V receivers, and of course the power cable.
The wires can be neatly tucked and hidden behind the set when it sits on a stand. In our opinion, placing a plasma on a tabletop defeats one of the major reasons people buy the set in the first place.
Finally, if you want to mount the plasma panel on the wall and still have it look attractive, you need to fish cables through your walls. Fishing cables means drilling holes and feeding wires which can be messy, costly and time consuming.
The huge effort and high cost of properly mounting a plasma to a wall is the fifth reason why we would not buy a plasma television.
An Extra Reason – It’s not HDTV! (most times)
Our last and potentially sixth reason for not buying a plasma is that often the plasma set is not a high definition television.
It is true that many plasma models offer a native resolution which allows owners to watch true HDTV, however, the problem is the majority of units sold are EDTV sets marketed as being HDTV capable.
Many angry plasma owners and ex-owners have told us they felt deceived when they found out that their EDTV set wasn’t an HDTV television.
Until the manufacturers and sellers of these products clearly articulate this information and stop selling them as HDTV capable, we believe it is a significant disadvantage when buying one of these televisions.
why not plasma (9) should i buy a plasma tv (7) why not plasma tv (6) why not a plasma tv (6) why you shouldnt buy a plasma tv (3) why shouldn i buy a plasma tv (2) why plasma tv is bad (2) why do agencies use plasma from outside canada (2) reasons not to buy a plasma tv (2) why not to get a plasma tv (2) why do most people buy led over plazma tv? (1) why is plasma tv\s not good (1) WHY I SHOULD NOT BUY A PLASMA (1) why buy plazma tv (1) why fear plasma tv (1) why do some plasma tvs not say hdtv (1) Why do some people say no to plasma (1) why does plasama tv have poor quality picture up close (1) why my plasma tv not as clear with the direct tv hd cable box (1) why you shouldn\t buy a plasma tv (1)