My dad has wanted a plasma TV for quite a while; so all of our shopping trips in at least the last 12 months have incorporated visiting electrical shops to look at TV's. The first few times were interesting but by the 20 or 30th time it was getting a little boring! So I am pleased to say we now own this TV so won't be spending hours looking at TV's in the shops. (Though he may move on to looking at something else!)
This TV arrived at our house on 28th April, so weve been using it for about six months. We had it delivered from Curry's and I helped my dad set it up when I came in from school. It is quite heavy so it took both of us to put it onto the stand. This was not my idea of fun on a Friday afternoon, however I persevered so we could watch the new TV that night!
I am not very technical when it comes to TVs so I thought I would look up what a plasma TV actually is. So here is a definition I found on the internet, I hope it makes things a little clearer (for those of you who are like me and dont know much about plasma TVs) before I move on to the main body of my opinion.
A plasma display is an emissive flat panel display where light is created by phosphors excited by a plasma discharge between two flat panels of glass. The gas discharge contains no mercury (contrary to the backlights of an AMLCD); a mixture of noble gases (neon and xenon) is used instead. This gas mixture is inert and entirely non-harmful. Wikipedia
~ Good points ~
The TV has excellent picture quality, with bright and vibrant colours. The TV we had previous to this one only had good colours if you were sitting at the right height. As this is plasma it doesnt matter where you sit (or stand) the colours remain bright and the picture quality consistent. This means that I can sit on the floor next to the radiator (which I sometimes do) and I can see the same great image as I would if I sat on the chair opposite the TV.
The TV has excellent contrasts and the detail is really sharp. My dad has hired some HD (High Definition) DVDs (my parents bought an HD DVD player when buying the TV to get the full experience of HD) for us to watch. He hired one about the Artic and the detail was fantastic. You could literally see the hairs on the animals backs and as the screen is 50 it almost felt like we were there! When just watching the TV (i.e. not HD DVDs) the quality is still really good. The detail is amazing!
The TV has a good response time (according to my dad like I said Im not technically minded!); there is no blurring or smearing on quick action i.e. sports or fast moving films. I assume this would make it a great TV for playing games on (I wouldnt know as this isnt something I do.)
If you do like playing games though there are plenty connections which you can use. There are 3 scart sockets, 1 S-video, 2 HDMI, 1 Optical, and 1 composite video on the side for connecting a camera or games console.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is for connecting compatible digital audio/video sources such as a set-top box, DVD player or games console. This is a modern replacement for older analog standards such as Scart, s-video and composite video.
I think having both, the older analog connections as well as the modern ones, indicates that the TV is keeping up with modern technology so it means you can use your older audio/video sources as well as new ones as you buy them.
You can view the picture on the screen at full screen, wide screen or zoom. I think we usually use it on the wide screen setting.
The TV is slim so the screen is quite near the wall. Our other TV was wide so it was a little bit closer to us. I dont think it makes a lot of difference in terms of distance from where we are but I do think it looks nicer slimer.
Our TV came with speakers, which fit to bottom of TV, I think these look good and we have had no trouble with the sound. We also have other speakers in the room though so I dont know how they would perform on their own. Alternatively you can get speakers to go on either side of the TV.
The TV came with a tabletop stand ready so you can stand it on a unit. This had to be attached though (in case you want to mount the TV on the wall)
My dad said the TV was easy to set up though personally I couldnt have done it on my own. My dad read the instructions and seemed to sort it out relatively quickly. He said that there are questions and answers in the manual along with drawings.
The remote control that comes with the TV is easy to use, although I was surprised to see that it is quite large, as most things in todays society seem to be getting smaller.
~ Not so good points ~
* There is a blue light when the TV is on (its red when on standby and goes off when TV is off) which is quite annoying in the corner of my eye. We have stood a photo frame in front of it though so its not too bad.
* We had to buy something to stand it on, although you can attach it to the wall. My dad now thinks that we should have mounted it on the wall. If we had though we would be able to see the blue light so we are going to leave it on the stand, at least for a while.
* It seems to take ages for it come on so we have to put it on a couple of minutes before the program we want to watch starts to ensure we dont miss the beginning.
* As the screen is so large it is sometimes hard to everything on the screen if there is a lot going on as you dont know which bit to watch.
* The TV is expensive. I dont know how much my parents paid but looking at online comparison sites it ranges between £1500 and £2100.
As you can see the good points totally outweigh the not so good points (notice I havent even labelled them bad points!) I wasnt particularly bothered when my parents said that we were getting a new TV but I do like this one a lot. I do think it is a bit big for our living room though I am used to it now. If you are looking for a large plasma TV then I would definitely recommend this one :-)
Thanks for reading!