Yes, LCD also has viewing angle limitations, but not nearly as bad as DLP.
All you have to do is stand in front of a DLP and move slighly to the right and left and see the shadowing and viewing angle limitations. The same for going from a sitting down on the floor position to a standing up position...the shadowing is very evident. LCD's are much better and consistent at greater angles. Plasma is even better than LCD.
I see the DLP Nuthugger is in perfect form, as usual.
Pretty soon, he will talk himself into believing that DLP's have viewing angles greater than 180 degrees and you can watch tv from behind them......
I think you are the one who is talking to himself at this point.
Yes, some DLP's do have problems with off-angle viewing, but this is NOT an inherent problem with the technology. The viewing angle is going to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and depends on the type and quality of the lenses used in their construction. I personally have a 55" Mitsubishi set that is about 3 years old and also a 65" Toshiba set that is between 5 and 6 years old. Both have more than adequate viewing angles out to about +/- 35 degrees with minimal brightness reduction. Above 35 degrees the Mitsubishi tends to start losing brightness noticeably, but is still quite watchable out to about 50 degrees. The older Toshiba has even better viewing angles and really doesn't appreciably change brightness until you are close to 60 degrees or more off axis. This is all a function of the lenses used in the construction of the set -- and the expense of the lenses (the older Toshiba TV cost 3x the price when new of what a current 65" TV does now -- and some of that extra cost obviously went to the lenses).
Similarly, some LCD's (specifically better IPS based ones) have extremely good viewing angles from almost any orientation -- and are better than DLP usually is at higher angles. On the other hand, many of your cheaper and mainstream LCD panels are based on TFT technology. These panels have color variation problems that correspond to viewing angle that are QUITE severe. Specifically, I have one cheap 42" LCD TV (Sceptre) that works great for direct viewing (which, where I have it wall mounted in my office, is fine). However, at above about 25 degrees off angle the contrast declines rapidly, by 35-40 degrees the colors are obviously wrong, and the colors are in totally different parts of the spectra by the time you reach about 60-70 degrees. Furthermore, if you look at the image from more than about 30-40 degrees below the normal viewing plane, the colors completely INVERT.
On the other hand, plasma does tend to be viewable from almost any angle and can offer great image quality and brightness. This is because a plasma set is self illuminating and uses excited gas that is very similar in practice to the phosphors used on older CRT technology. Unfortunately, plasma also typically consumes 1.5x the power of a fluorescent backlit LCD, 2x the power of a typical DLP, and 4x the power of a typical LED backlit display. They are also still subject to burn-in (the new ones are better, but I still would be nervous using one with an HTPC, long term).
The point of all this is that NONE of the three competing technologies is perfect and all have limitations and/or drawbacks. If your living room is setup to where the sitting locations are located at >45 degree angles from perpendicular to the front of the TV, then a DLP is probably not the best option for you (and a lot of cheaper LCD's will be even worse). Basically, figure out where your TV will go ahead of time and plan accordingly and then BUY accordingly. In all honesty, unless you are buying a TV that is too large for the room you are placing it in, then the vast majority of the time, the seating will already be located in areas that will be just FINE for use with a DLP.
I have a 60" Mitsu DLP and it rocks, I had originally purchased a 73" but they delivered it broken and I had to return it. Glad I did now, as the 73" would have been a bit too big for my space.. but I would have made room for it somehow!
These are not the same as old rear projection TVs, they are nice and bright.. and not heavy at all. The only downfall is that if you plan on hanging them on a wall, you won't be able to. Otherwise, they weigh the same, or less, than a LCD/Plasma of the same size.
Thanks for the info! I was about to pick up a 60 in mitsu.
Honestly, a properly adjusted DLP tends to have a better picture quality than a comparable sized LCD/LED display. Most stores tend to actually adjust them incorrectly intentionally to steer people towards the more expensive sets. The clerks at my local HH Gregg probably hate me -- because whenever I am there, I change the picture settings on the DLP's to where they SHOULD be set. The difference is quite noticeable.
Advantages to DLP:
1) Weight -- compared to a comparable sized plasma or LCD, the weight is usually quite a bit less (especially compared to plasma).
2) Blacks -- the blacks on a DLP are generally much darker than on an LCD/LED set.
3) Color accuracy -- generally better than LCD technology and MUCH better than most newer LED's. The color spectrum produced by an LED backlight is honestly pretty bad -- go look at a spectograph of one some time (they generally look like a slit graph with distinct lines for red/green/blue rather than being anywhere near full spectrum). Honestly, even fluorescent LCD backlight technology produces truer colors than LED does -- it just isn't as reliable, bright, or power efficient. DLP tends to be a very good compromise in this respect.
4) Price per square inch on a DLP cannot be beat.
5) Repairability -- if the panel on an LCD or Plasma dies, it's pretty much a lost cause. Even backlights are difficult to get repaired. On a DLP, replacing the bulb is trivial -- and decent 3rd party Mitsubishi replacement bulbs can be had via Amazon for less than $60 (I've used them and they work fine). Similarly, even replacing the DMD is doable by an end user with a bit of skill. Ditto for the color wheel. While you do have to replace the bulbs periodically (2-3 years on average), at least they CAN be maintained.
6) No burn in -- period. The micro-mirrors are constantly oscillating regardless of content. This makes them excellent for use as HTPC displays. LCD technology is generally fairly immune to burn-in as well -- although PVA/MVA panel types are susceptible to a memory effect similar to burn-in (which fortunately can usually be reversed by leaving a white image on the screen for a few hours). The newer plasma's are much less susceptible to burn-in than they used to be -- that said, I still see lots of them with Xbox menu burns and ones at stores with "ticker burn" at the bottom.
1) Power consumption -- the bulbs often draw 200-250W. This is quite a bit higher than LED backlight based LCD panels. That said, it is still better than most fluorescent backlight LCD panels and WAY better than plasma. For comparison: Mitsubishi 73" DLP: 213W; Toshiba 65" fluorescent backlight LCD panel: 360W; LG 60" Plasma display: 460W; Sharp 70" LED backlight LCD panel: 97W. So, DLP is worse than LED but better that everything else. Honestly, good luck even FINDING the power consumption listed for most plasma displays. If you look at the specs pages, most of the larger plasma displays from Samsung, Panasonic, etc. tend to conveniently omit this bit of info.
1) Depth -- you can't wall mount them. That said, if you are planning on mounting a 73"+ display on your wall, I pity the wall. Also, things to consider when wall mounting: I have seen lots of people wall mount the set, only to realize they still need to have a cabinet for the cable/satellite box, BluRay/DVD player, etc. This means they often end up with a horrendous conglomeration of things to make it work. They also end up with hideous wires hanging from the set to the floor or over to the components (if you plan in advance and put cut-in's in the wall, this can be avoided -- but you have to plan for it). I have also seen people who mount TV's above the mantle of their fireplace -- DON'T DO IT if you ever plan to use the fireplace. I have seen several TV's with permanently discolored screens where the heat rising from the front of a fireplace has caused physical damage to the set.
2) Frequency -- you aren't going to get much over 120Hz out of a DLP. That said, this is still plenty for 3D.
3) DLP Rainbow effect -- generally only noticeable in a darkened room when you rapidly strobe your eyes across the image (and only by some people). The more sensitive your eyes are to flicker, the more this will bother you. If you are one of the people who perceive a noticeable 60Hz flicker from fluorescent lights, then you are more likely to notice the rainbow effect.
4) Brightness -- in a brightly lit room with lots of sun, DLP's are generally not as good as Plasma or LED backlight. That said, most TV watching is done in a living room that is NOT super brightly lit and the vast majority of "Prime Time" TV watching is in the evening when the room is darker. If your primary viewing goal is weekend football in a room with lots of windows, then DLP may not be your best choice.
5) Geometry -- screen linearity on LCD's/plasmas should be nearly perfect (unless the scaler IC is mis-adjusted). On a DLP, their may be subtle distortions due to the optical path from the bulb to the DMD to the screen. If the internal lenses are made properly and the set is properly aligned, this shouldn't be an issue. However, some of the slimmer DLP's occasionally aren't aligned as well as they should be. The deeper sets tend to have a more direct light path and less angular distortion between the top and bottom of the image -- unfortunately, everyone wants slim sets, which is not a good thing for image quality. Sadly, a lot of the best optical engineers have departed this industry in recent years -- and it shows. That said, even the slimmest DLP sets I have seen -- when properly aligned at the factory -- have nearly zero geometry issues, it's just that geometry issues are POSSIBLE with DLP.
On pure "specsmanship", DLP cannot compete with LCD, but specs and actual human perception are often two very different things.
I spent many years working for Philips/Magnavox's projection TV division and I have a very good eye for TV. I see (and get driven nuts by) image issues that most people overlook or take for granted. Overall, under typical home viewing conditions, with a good quality input signal, DLP's do provide the most aesthetically pleasing image to the human eye. Although the time-frame was years ago, pre-DLP, while I was at Philips, we did several focus group studies and while Sony always had better specs and tended to win the reviews based on those specs, at a 10' viewing distance, the participants would invariably pick our sets as having the better picture -- due to purely aesthetic image quality reasons. At 10' distance you don't WANT to be able to see the individual pixels -- you want edges to be smooth, except on things with fine lines (human hair for instance). There are lots of "tricks" that can be done to improve image quality as perceived by the human eye (edge enhancement, dynamic sharpness filters, dynamic contrast, de-macroblocking, peaking, etc.). Another big thing to look for is color reproduction -- especially flesh tones (no snickers please) and blues. Many LCD sets will have noticeable banding in their reproduction of the blue part of the spectrum (the sky for instance). Similarly, flesh tones will often end up looking just subtly "wrong" on LED based LCD panels. Another case in point would be green -- most TV viewers actually rate TV's as having a better picture when the green part of the spectrum is over-emphasized along certain spectral ranges (i.e. the grass on the football field may be brownish and the plants may be wilting, but the human brain generally will consider it more pleasing if it actually APPEARS green). So, while, yes, over-emphasizing the green may make someones olive green suit look greener than it should be in reality, the viewer doesn't notice this because you have no frame of reference (you don't actually KNOW what the color of the suit was to begin with) but your brain tells you that the grass and leaves SHOULD be green, so even though the image is not really accurate, you perceive it as being better. Also, just be aware, the image processing that goes on prior to the display can also vary greatly due to manufacturer (which is why two TV's from different manufacturers that use the EXACT same display, but with different electronics, may look completely different) -- this is why many of the low end sets are so much cheaper and where they fail compared to the high end brands.
Thank you for the accurate and well-written post, I wish more people did proper homework like yourself!
Any speculation as to what the price might be during black Friday? I'm on the fence purchase wise, only thing holding me back is knowing I might be able to get it cheaper in 3 months.
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