And this really makes me sad. It does not appear that picture quality is a driving factor in anybody’s choices in stand-alone (e.g. not projector) televisions, so the market has dictated that paying less money for better PQ is worse than paying more for crappier quality, along with “Smart Apps” and “3D” and, worst of all, 4K.
I want a plasma. Technically, I want a new in box 60" Pioneer Kuro (or, even more technically, two, one to store against accident), but my choices for high quality are now searching around for last year’s Samsung plasma (never as good as a Panasonic still less a Pioneer) or coughing up four big ones for an OLED which, while having superior black level performance to even a plasma, exhibits all the faults of the LCD that it is based on.
LCD TVs (whether LED backlight or not) are better than plasmas in the following ways:
- They take up less volume per unit of screen size;
- they produce much less heat.
That’s it. That’s the list. Here’s a list of things modern TVs do that I don’t want to pay for:
- motion compensation;
4K means worse quality on existing 1080p content for basically no advantage, considering that there is zero native 4K content; 3D is a stupid gimmick that makes me literally want to throw up; apps have no place in a piece of display hardware (a $99 Roku has better software and can be replaced without servicing the adjectival logic board in my television); bundled speakers never sound as good as even a low-end soundbar; 120hz is a gimmick to make up for the poor refresh characteristics of LCD; and motion compensation is lousy video processing software that degrades picture quality in order to more smoothly display NFL demo reels in showrooms.
And that vendors still shove non-defeatable overscan down your throat, in 2015, on a digital display, just shows how hopeless this quest is for me.
What I really want is a successor to my old TV, a 50" Panasonic professional plasma monitor – sure, it was expensive, but it didn’t include any of the above, had DVI, was 100% directly addressable, and never, ever, ever failed to produce a gorgeous picture.
Consumer preference, and economies of scale realized from printing lots and lots and lots of LCD monitors for the computer industry, have killed good quality TV displays dead. Commodity businesses gonna commoditize, I suppose, but I can still bemoan.