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Consumers Want LCD Over Plasma
Westinghouse TX-42F430S
May 28, 2008 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
TFC Info says there’s a lot of consumer confusion, and price isn’t as big of a factor when it comes to TV purchases.
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Posted by Ed Johnson  on  05/28  at  12:01 PM

I think it is more like what the big box electronics stores tell the customer what they want. Alot of people that go to these stores are looking to the sales person as the accurate source of information to help guide them in their buying decision.

How can this be achieved when a large percentage of these sales people are not properly informed or do not care to inform themselves with accurate information. How can the consumer walk away with a technology that fits their enviorment?

The consumer is better off reading throught the various online electronic forums where there are true home theater enthusiasts. There is much more detailed info on these forums than you will ever receive from most sales people. You still have to be careful on the forums as there are still people that spread rumors and misinformation.

My most recent addition was a Pioneer Kuro Plasma. My reason for choosing a Kuro plasma was I wanted a display that would give me the most accurate reproduction of of the source material possible. After viewing many different display types this is the set I chose. Even after being told the horror stories of having to have the plasma gas recharged and that I will have station logo burn in is several weeks.

I am sure you could abuse any technoligy and cause it to fail in many different manners. I have a Sony CRT display for my home PC and have had the desk top stay static overnight many times and have no hint of image retention or burn in. Of course the the CRT is one of their top tier models and is properly adjusted.

A salesmen’s worst enemy is a properly informed consumer, they will buy what they know they want not what the salesman needs to sell.

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  05/28  at  12:04 PM

I totally agree with you, Ed. I think part of what the study says (or is trying to say) is that manufacturers should take more interest in what consumers know and what they don’t know—and I do think what goes on at the retailer factors into that.

Posted by Ian  on  05/28  at  12:14 PM

This article is misleading, the title is “Consumers want LCD over Plasma” but the article nowhere discusses this topic instead you discuss whether consumers are aware of how long TVs in general last?

Posted by Rachel Cericola  on  05/28  at  12:23 PM

You are right, Ian! The report wasn’t so much about those numbers (LCD vs. plasma) as to WHY… I have tweaked the info above just a bit. Sorry about that.

Posted by mike  on  05/28  at  12:54 PM

“Even after being told the horror stories of having to have the plasma gas recharged and that I will have station logo burn in is several weeks. “\


haha .. you gotta be kidding me…

it all depends on where you go and who you speak with ...  i know some B & M sales people who are regulars on AVS and read more than you ... just have to look hard to find one…

Unless you are in miami

Posted by Rod Weeks  on  05/28  at  03:31 PM

Most of the salespeople out there don’t seem to know any real details about HD technology in general.  I was told by one salesman that the PS3 produces 5.1 ch of analog output.  When I told another that I was going to buy a particular 24 fps / 120 Hz-capable LCD (from him) he had no idea what i was talking about.  Most interestingly (and sad too) he never asked me why I thought these features were important.  I think most retiailers (CC being the worst) don’t want to pay enough to attract motivated, quality salespeople.  And they wonder why internet businesses are killin’ them….

Posted by Matt  on  05/28  at  03:32 PM

1. Performance

2. Price

3. Reliablity

4. Design

5. Features

That is my top 5

Posted by Ian  on  05/28  at  03:57 PM

Just a comment re the original title: I have opted for plasma to replace my existing projection tv because for large screens, over 60 inches, it is both cheaper and gives a better picture than LCD. Burn in is no longer a problem with pixel shifting, electricity use is still a very minor cost, and planned obsolescence means that as long as it lasts for five years or so I shall be satisfied.

Posted by Crude Dude  on  05/28  at  04:24 PM

Price is the main reason people are buying LCD’s over plasma,you can get a 1080p LCD for 25-50% less.Plasma’s generally have a better picture but most people cannot tell the differance.

Posted by Barry  on  05/29  at  02:30 AM

My wide and I made a conscious decision to buy a LCD and not a plasma. Although we thought the plasma probably had a marginally better picture, the Sony W series we purchased is so good that the slight improvement plasma has really does not matter. We were concerned that the plasma would have a shorter life expectancy due to much greater heat generation within the case. We were also concerned with plasma burn in and its greater tendency for brightness fade with time.

Posted by Kris  on  05/29  at  07:31 AM

Look, I bought a 42’ Insignia plasma 3 yrs ago. It doesn’t suffer from “Burn in” never needed to recharge the plasma.  These are just lies that the B/M employees tell ppl to get them to buy LCD.

I will admit that some manufactures at the begining had some sets that suffered from Image retention but thats a thing of the past.

The reason why LCD touts 120hz is that it has to have a faster processor to take away from motion blur that LCD’s suffer from.  The sales ppl make these seem like an advantage over Plasma and its not, simply cause plasma doesn’t suffer from motion blur its faster than 120hz.

My brother loves LCD, he has a Sony Bravia 720p, I can see the blocky pixels sometimes that define a round shape.  I can’t stand it and am pissed that stores like BB/FS/CC tout LCD as better.

Posted by Thomas  on  05/29  at  08:12 AM

I work pt at a bb and i try to give customers all the right info so they can make an informed decision when they are purchasing a tv. I never try to tell them what they should buy, i only answer there questions listen to what they are going to use the tv for and give them some opinions. funny thing is i love plasmas and try to give customers some great info on plasmas, i give them the goods and the bads. seems to me the average customer thinks plasmas are horrible and when i mention that there is a slight possibility of burn in they say “thats what all my friends say is lcd is better” and walk straight to the lcd wall.

any hoo just a thought

Posted by DSM  on  05/29  at  11:25 AM

First off, B&M;employees don’t “tell lies about plasma to get customers to buy LCD”, although I realize the general hostility towards a B&M;employee exists and expect retarded comments like that.

Fact is, B&Mers;are greeted with these misconceptions immediately.  All it takes is Uncle Bubbas 400lb. wife to burn in QVC and the stage is set.

Many choose LCD actually over screen glare concerns, not burn-in.  Of course, it’s a safe choice for people with kids that won’t pay attention to leaving a game on pause for hours.

Posted by soundzilla  on  05/29  at  07:45 PM

I’ll tell you my experiences with plasma that made me an LCD fan:

1.) i bought a $4000 plasma display for a company for which I worked. Someone left it on all night and “INPUT 1” was forever burned into the display in our main meeting room. Nice. Real nice.

2.) I’ve never seen a plasma display that wasn’t pixelated and blocky, nor have I seen one that could show black and gray next to each other without getting all kinds of artifacts.

3.) The elimination of the “screen door” effect on LCD projectors and increased black levels on sets like Sony’s Bravia XBR sold me on LCD as the better technology.  I’ve never seen a plasma screen anywhere that compares to a Bravia XBR.

The biggest barrier for LCD was getting larger screen sizes. now that they’ve accomplished that, I’m not surprised that consumers like them better than plasmas. Maybe we don’t give consumers enough credit for making sound decisions.

Posted by Steven  on  05/29  at  08:53 PM

Guys, I sell LCDs and Plasmas too and I like to split a difference for people. The term “BETTER”..... I always tell customers that better can be a very subjective thing. A Pioneer Kuro Plasma probably technically has the most accurate picture reproduction that is true to the source material… HOWEVER some customers genuinely prefer the “look” of a Bravia LCD or similar in comparison. This is just a personal preference at the end of the day. To me I prefer accuracy and a natural looking picture hence why I own a Kuro Plasma.

The reality now is that a lot of people aren’t so picky about accuracy and LCDs do a reasonable job too. many people do watch their TV in bright living rooms and with LCD prices being pretty good these days I CAN see how an LCD is easier to live with for a lot of people.

Posted by WalksInDarkness  on  05/30  at  10:30 AM

As I have stated on other threads, and have gotten flamed foe,  most consumers have NO idea what they are actually buying.  And this is sometimes compounded by incompetent salespeople who have no idea what they are selling.  The reasons they prefer LCD, are the same as why the do not care about Blu-Ray; all J6P cares about are two things:
1) Big Screen
2) Small Price
Combined with misconceptions about burn-in, LCD becomes the J6P mantra.  They also feel “comfortable” with the technology, because they have LCD computer screens at home and work.  Personally, if I see a comparable Plasma & LCD side-by-side, there is HUGE difference when sports or action are shown; to me the fast movement just looks plain “blurry” on an LCD, but to J6P he thinks “wow, it looks faster on my new TV, cool!”.

Posted by joemama127  on  05/30  at  12:06 PM

Two points made by WalksInDarkness and Steven pretty much sum up this issue in my experience. People are more comfortable with lcd because they are more familiar with the technology and it doesn’t sound too “exotic” and “expensive to repair”. Also the point made by Steven is a good one that I’ve found to be true with some of my family/friends…..some people actually prefer blinding brightness and a cartoonlike color space.

Even though everyone comments about how nice the picture on my plasma is…..they still buy lcd’s and jack up the color/contrast and brightness to frightening levels.

Posted by Steve Berger  on  05/30  at  07:12 PM

5 Years is a surprisingly accurate estimate of lifespan for all HD and HD-ready flat panel TVs. While the panel itself could last longer, the circuit boards will not. (and they are failing catastrophically at that age)  I went into great technical detail in an email to Ed Foster’s “Gripe Line” at InfoWorld. http://weblog.infoworld.com/gripeline/archives/2008/02/theoretically_r.html?source=NLC-GRIPE&cgd=2008-03-04 that I don’t care to type out again. Some of the follow up comments were pretty interesting also. There’s a reason why extended warranty prices have risen dramatically: to cover the cost of replacing 3 year old unrepairable sets. If the link does not make it into this reply you can find it by a search for “ed foster theoretically repairable”

Posted by Steven  on  05/31  at  10:14 AM

I will respond to WalksinDarkness’s comments about the driving factors in LCDs being large size and small price. This is true to a degree but a really big one is people wanting to buy something that they believe won’t be obsolete technology in the near future. It’s amazing the extra features customers hope to get because they have heard it’s important. Definitely there is a big belief out there that LCDs will last longer. I hear that daily from customers.

Posted by Alex Johansen  on  06/03  at  03:09 PM

I still like DLP…

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