John from New York calls in to ask Scott a Home Theater question - John has a Samsung Plasma HDTV that's starting to get horizontal lines and was told that to avoid replacing it, if he can replace the "Y axis" board to repair it. Thoughts? Scott says that it could be some sort of driver circuitry and it begs the question ... should you repair it or replace it with an LED TV. The rule of thumb is to keep replacement parts for up to 7 years, so there may be parts available for at least the next few months.
Darren feels like Plasma TVs going away is like watching vinyl dying all over again. With both Pioneer and Panasonic out of the game, where can he find a plasma now? Leo says that nothing looks as good as plasma, but everyone bought LCDs. Companies just have to follow the demand, and LG is the last man standing. Darren could still find a few Panasonic VT or ST models, but they're getting harder and harder to find and they're really expensive. So that leaves last year's Samsung, and LG.
David bought a Pansonic VT55 and had it professionally calibrated. He's now looking at an OLED TV, but he's not sure it'll be around very long. Scott says that OLED is stunning. But they're not cheap by any means. And new models are going to be curved, also. Scott isn't much of a fan because with screen sizes below 110", it's just an unneeded feature. There's also the problem that OLED simply isn't going to be mainstream for awhile due to the cost and we don't know how long it will survive over the long term, especially with blue colors. Blue tends to age faster.
Samsung announced last week that it was going to stop making Plasma TVs. So, even though it's a superior technology to LCD, Samsung joins Panasonic and Pioneer to give up on it. That leaves LG as the last company standing. It makes sense because ultra high definition TVs are coming online and they look beautiful at 60-70". It's bound to take over the premium level category.
Roland is moving to Denver Colorado and he's concerned about how his plasma TVs will handle the change in altitude. The chatroom has come up with an article on how high Plasma TVs can go, and it may be a problem. It largely depends on what plasma TV Roland has and how old it is. Leo advises checking with the manufacturer. LCD TVs don't have that issue.
Asher's parents are getting a new TV and he gets to choose what he wants. There's not a lot of TVs to choose from, however. He's looking at the LG 55" 120Hz 3D LED Smart TV for $1200. Leo says that's a good TV. He also adds that the 120Hz isn't all that important: in fact, it can create a "plastic" look. It's still a good choice, though.
Pam wants to get a plasma TV. She saw one at Office Depot for $249. Leo says that a lot of companies are getting out of the game and so they're being discounted. Samsung makes a pretty good plasma, but that cost means it's not very big. It's also probably only 720p. Leo suggests she pay more and get the 1080p TV. LG and Vizio are good too, but Leo prefers the Panasonic Viera. Leo also says if she can avoid getting a "smart TV" and add a Roku, it's even better because she can upgrade the smart functionality outside of the TV.
Paul wants to buy a new HDTV for the Olympics. What should he get in the 65" range? Leo says that Panasonic is getting out of the plasma business and now is the time to look hard at a plasma TV before they disappear. There are tons of good choices with Samsung, Vizio, and many others. The best TV out there right now is the Panasonic Viera. The ST, VT and the ZT, depending on his price range. The Panasonic Viera ZT60 is the top of the line.
This week's home theater segment with Scott Wilkinson also marks the return of Scott's annual holiday concert known as Tuba Christmas! Scott also avoided Black Friday like the plague, even though there were some great deals to be had. Leo says that a lot of people probably scored deals on HDTVs yesterday, but Scott says that the week before the Super Bowl is even bigger. Scott's favorite TV is still plasma, too. It still has the best picture if you have a room that you can darken.
Scott is back with a few listener questions: