#1 Posted by TheRealMoot (355 posts) -

Call me crazy, but I'm still using an SD TV for all my gaming. It's time for that to change.

Are we past the point where certain TV's aren't fast enough for certain games? Is that a concern anymore? Do I need to worry about losing frames in fighting games or something like that?

Anything else I need to know upgrading so very late? (I've had the same TV since the launch of MGS2)

A note on 3D: I cannot see 3D images through glasses or on a 3DS screen so don't mention that stuff, it is entirely lost on me.

Thanks for any information.

#2 Edited by bigjeffrey (4809 posts) -

Okay, You are Crazy.

Go 1080p for sure

#3 Edited by OtakuGamer (1224 posts) -

Invest in a Samsung 1080p HDTV. You can't go wrong with that. Size depends on your preference and the size of the room you’re in. Nothing else matters really.

2k/4k televisions won't really be a thing for another couple of years and I really doubt the next gen consoles will be able to play games at that resolution anyway.

#4 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

All I can say is get ready for your mind to be blown. That's the reaction I had when I first got an HDTV years ago.

#5 Posted by MB (12049 posts) -

@therealmoot: You didn't really give enough information...HDTV's range in size from handheld all the way up to projector screen size living room setups. What is your budget, and how far away from the screen are you typically when playing games or watching movies?

Moderator
#6 Posted by Sergio (2054 posts) -

I own a Samsung. I wouldn't recommend a Samsung. Go with a Panasonic like this one.

As far as 3D goes, even if you don't care for it, you'll most likely get it in the TV you buy.

#7 Posted by TheRealMoot (355 posts) -

@mb said:

@therealmoot: You didn't really give enough information...HDTV's range in size from handheld all the way up to projector screen size living room setups. What is your budget, and how far away from the screen are you typically when playing games or watching movies?

I'am sitting 6 or 7 feet from my current TV. Without buying a new television stand I have a 26x22 inch compartment, or 33 inches diagonally, to store the Television. (Without buying a new stand)

My budget? ... a couple hundred dollars? $300 or so? I just want a TV for my games. No bells, no whistles. I just want to plug in my PS3 and some of my old consoles into it. I haven't sat down and watched cable television for years so all those apps and built in WiFi garbage doesn't interest me.

#8 Edited by LiquidPrince (15850 posts) -

@sergio said:

I own a Samsung. I wouldn't recommend a Samsung. Go with a Panasonic like this one.

As far as 3D goes, even if you don't care for it, you'll most likely get it in the TV you buy.

Samsung makes the best panels around. I wouldn't even consider Panasonic in my top five... The order for screen technologies goes: Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, and then Toshiba/Panasonic. At least in my experience. My house currently has 6 TV's in it for reference sake.

#9 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1918 posts) -
#10 Edited by jsnyder82 (728 posts) -
@liquidprince said:

@sergio said:

I own a Samsung. I wouldn't recommend a Samsung. Go with a Panasonic like this one.

As far as 3D goes, even if you don't care for it, you'll most likely get it in the TV you buy.

Samsung makes the best panels around. I wouldn't even consider Panasonic in my top five... The order for screen technologies goes: Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, and then Toshiba/Panasonic. At least in my experience. My house currently has 6 TV's in it for reference sake.

That may be true for LCDs, but plasmas have better picture that LCDs, and Panasonic makes the best plasmas. Therefore, get a Panasonic.

Samsung also makes plasmas, though. And even though they're not quite as good as the Panasonics, they can be cheaper. I would personally recommend the PN43F4500 Samsung plasma, since it's much cheaper than the Panasonic ST60. It's only 720p, but at your distance you won't be able to tell, and it still looks better than most 1080p Samsung LCDs.

And just for reference I have both the Samsung 43" plasma in my bedroom, a UT50 in my other room, and the ST60 in my living room.

And if you might be able to spend just a teeny bit more, go for the Panasonic S60 instead of the ST60. It's 1080p, and it cuts out all the stuff you don't need from the ST60, mainly 3D. It's also much cheaper.

#11 Edited by Captain_Felafel (1553 posts) -

@rollingzeppelin said:

Start at the TV store, or this site:

http://thewirecutter.com/

Wirecutter all the way. One of the best resources for buying any new piece of technology. My only real advice here would be to not skimp on resolution and just get a 1080p, even if you're getting something relatively small. I've got a 32" 720p Samsung, and it's great, but I regret not paying more for a 1080p model now.

And as has been echoed in this thread already, you can't go wrong with Samsung for LCD's/LED's, and you can't go wrong with Panasonic for plasmas.

#12 Edited by Sergio (2054 posts) -

@liquidprince said:

@sergio said:

I own a Samsung. I wouldn't recommend a Samsung. Go with a Panasonic like this one.

As far as 3D goes, even if you don't care for it, you'll most likely get it in the TV you buy.

Samsung makes the best panels around. I wouldn't even consider Panasonic in my top five... The order for screen technologies goes: Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, and then Toshiba/Panasonic. At least in my experience. My house currently has 6 TV's in it for reference sake.

My Samsung isn't terrible, but it isn't as good as it could be. In the end, your experience and mine differ, and are purely anecdotal. This is why I pointed to the Wirecutter, and they've also recommended a Samsung as their $500 TV, with the Panasonic being the best TV.

Given the OP's latest comments, their pick is from Vizio.

Edit: Reading their review for the best small TV, you might as well pick the Samsung they mention in the middle of the review, even if I personally wouldn't. You're gaming console can act as a streaming box, negating the Vizio's benefit of having them built in.

#13 Posted by MB (12049 posts) -

@therealmoot: I'd personally recommend a 32" 1080p Vizio with a refresh rate of 120hz or higher. You can find these at Costco for around $300.


I know a lot of people are going to recommend Samsung, which are nice, but a lot of that is marketing hype. "Official HDTV of the Xbox 360 and the NFL!" and all of that nonsense. Nothing wrong with Samsung, but take a good look at Vizio if you can find a display model in a store, they are great TV's. I have owned numerous Vizio TV's and have been recommending them to my friends and family for years. Currently I have a 32" 1080p 120hz set that I use as a computer monitor and for my PS3, and then I also have a 55" 1080p 120hz set in my living room that I use for Netflix, Blu-Ray, my HTPC, and Xbox 360. They are both awesome and I got them for a fraction of what a Samsung or Sony would cost. Oh, and they both have built-in 802.11n Wifi and internet apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, too.

Primarily you are going to want these features:

-120hz refresh rate or higher. NOT 60hz.

-1080p resolution if possible, otherwise 720p is probably fine for a 32" screen size...you probably won't be able to tell the difference anyway.

-LED Backlit or Sidelit. I prefer Backlit, but take a look at the difference in stores and see what you think. Both are fine, stay away from traditional fluorescent-lit sets if you can. Most are LED now.

-Make sure whatever you buy has enough HDMI inputs and other inputs/outputs to accept everything you want to hook up to it. Nothing more frustrating than getting that awesome new TV home and finding out it only has two HDMI ports and you want to hook up three devices to it!

-Internet connected "Smart" TV if possible...these typically have built-in wifi and internet apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Great if you don't have a Roku or other set-top box, enables streaming of lots of content over Wifi straight to your TV. Also, TV's get automatic firmware updates over the air which can periodically give you improved functionality and new features


I know that you can find a set with all of these features that is within your budget! Last year I got my 32" Vizio "smart" TV at Costco for $299, and that was a year ago! Good luck man, whatever you do just buy from somewhere that has a liberal return or exchange policy so you can get it home and test it out with your consoles and what not to be sure you're happy with it.

Moderator
#14 Edited by LiquidPrince (15850 posts) -

@sergio: @jsnyder82: I guess the difference is that I would never get a Plasma TV. It's LCD or LED only in my household.

#15 Posted by Flacracker (1601 posts) -

Get a Plasma

Online
#16 Edited by WickedFather (1730 posts) -

Oh no, you poor sod. I've had to go back to a HDTV to read the writing on GTA V but will be back on the crt as soon as that's over. I've mentioned it before but if you can pick up a decent CRT monitor then that's the best of both worlds. Haven't managed to fix mine yet as it started smoking from the back and crackling a month ago. LCDs are smeary vile things.

#17 Posted by Microshock (341 posts) -

Oh no, you poor sod. I've had to go back to a HDTV to read the writing on GTA V but will be back on the crt as soon as that's over. I've mentioned it before but if you can pick up a decent CRT monitor then that's the best of both worlds. Haven't managed to fix mine yet as it started smoking from the back and crackling a month ago. LCDs are smeary vile things.

Alright, gramps.

#18 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1918 posts) -
#19 Posted by Green_Incarnate (1788 posts) -

WTF, it's 2013.

#20 Posted by SuperSambo (2854 posts) -

Oh no, you poor sod. I've had to go back to a HDTV to read the writing on GTA V but will be back on the crt as soon as that's over. I've mentioned it before but if you can pick up a decent CRT monitor then that's the best of both worlds. Haven't managed to fix mine yet as it started smoking from the back and crackling a month ago. LCDs are smeary vile things.

Have you seen any recent TVs?

#21 Posted by CommonReason (109 posts) -

@mb: I agree with everything except 120hz and Smart apps.

120hz is unnatural and forces the TV to over process the source image. It looks weird and often doesn't improve anything with gaming or movies. It also costs more than any standard 60hz TV but adds little benefit. You're better off turning off any sort of image post-processing on modern TVs as all they do is mess with the actual source video against how it was initially made. I recently bought a 120hz TV thinking I'd see the benefit, but I have yet to find it make anything look better at all.

Smart apps are a good idea in theory, but most of them are poorly implemented and not updated well. I want my TV to be fully functional as a panel and that's about it. Everything else is handled better though boxes. Whether that be Apple TV, Chromecast, PS3, 360 etc. Sure, they may be functional, but they are very bare bones and I've never seen them work very well.

#22 Posted by TheRealMoot (355 posts) -
@mb said:

@therealmoot: I'd personally recommend a 32" 1080p Vizio with a refresh rate of 120hz or higher. You can find these at Costco for around $300.

I know a lot of people are going to recommend Samsung, which are nice, but a lot of that is marketing hype. "Official HDTV of the Xbox 360 and the NFL!" and all of that nonsense. Nothing wrong with Samsung, but take a good look at Vizio if you can find a display model in a store, they are great TV's. I have owned numerous Vizio TV's and have been recommending them to my friends and family for years. Currently I have a 32" 1080p 120hz set that I use as a computer monitor and for my PS3, and then I also have a 55" 1080p 120hz set in my living room that I use for Netflix, Blu-Ray, my HTPC, and Xbox 360. They are both awesome and I got them for a fraction of what a Samsung or Sony would cost. Oh, and they both have built-in 802.11n Wifi and internet apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, too.

Primarily you are going to want these features:

-120hz refresh rate or higher. NOT 60hz.

-1080p resolution if possible, otherwise 720p is probably fine for a 32" screen size...you probably won't be able to tell the difference anyway.

-LED Backlit or Sidelit. I prefer Backlit, but take a look at the difference in stores and see what you think. Both are fine, stay away from traditional fluorescent-lit sets if you can. Most are LED now.

-Make sure whatever you buy has enough HDMI inputs and other inputs/outputs to accept everything you want to hook up to it. Nothing more frustrating than getting that awesome new TV home and finding out it only has two HDMI ports and you want to hook up three devices to it!

-Internet connected "Smart" TV if possible...these typically have built-in wifi and internet apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Great if you don't have a Roku or other set-top box, enables streaming of lots of content over Wifi straight to your TV. Also, TV's get automatic firmware updates over the air which can periodically give you improved functionality and new features

I know that you can find a set with all of these features that is within your budget! Last year I got my 32" Vizio "smart" TV at Costco for $299, and that was a year ago! Good luck man, whatever you do just buy from somewhere that has a liberal return or exchange policy so you can get it home and test it out with your consoles and what not to be sure you're happy with it.


^ Thank you! Just what I needed to hear.

When I poked around my local Walmart and Costco just to look at prices the cheapest TV they had in the 20 to 30 Inch range was $700. Might have to look a little harder this weekend. And the movie they had playing on them looked terribly pix elated, so it wasn't a good show piece. Hopefully with this new information I can find something good! Thanks for the info.

#23 Posted by Korwin (2830 posts) -

Only 2 things really matter

  • 2D Image Quality
  • Input Latency

Everything else is bullshit I promise you. Every blu-ray on the planet (minus the rare 1080i exception... wtf BBC) conforms to the 1080p/24hz format, all those other 120/240/98764328765987326598hz motion flow technologies are all interpolated image ruining garbage designed to trick people who don't know any better into spending more than they need to.

The Panasonic ST60 is an excellent performer in the 2D image department however it does suffer from a fairly hefty amount of input latency, coming over from an old fashioned CRT this may actually be quite jarring to you from a gaming standpoint as opposed to most people who have gotten used to it over the years. If you are able to however find the earlier ST50 on the cheap it enjoys nearly the same level of image quality (you won't be able to tell the difference) but clocks in drastically lower in the latency department.

Sony's KDL 'W' line up is one of the best group of sets out there for gaming all coming in at 8ms of latency or less (http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/input-lag). The image quality is still very good just not ST60 good. That being said you're coming over from an old CRT so really anything is going to melt your brain at this point so I wouldn't fuss to much as long as you don't by some cheap garbage with wildly poor colour and contrast.

#24 Posted by oldenglishC (922 posts) -

Anyone that tries to tell you not to get a plasma is a filthy lier

@sergio: @jsnyder82: I guess the difference is that I would never get a Plasma TV. It's LCD or LED only in my household.

Your household is missing out on the superior TV experience. Especially for games.

#25 Posted by SuperSambo (2854 posts) -

@korwin said:

Sony's KDL 'W' line up is one of the best group of sets out there for gaming all coming in at 8ms of latency or less (http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/input-lag). The image quality is still very good just not ST60 good. That being said you're coming over from an old CRT so really anything is going to melt your brain at this point so I wouldn't fuss to much as long as you don't by some cheap garbage with wildly poor colour and contrast.

This is the TV that I recently upgraded to, and it is fantastic. (w6)

When using other people's I notice so much screen juddering and dodgy colours, but I have had no problems.

Do not get the w8 though, as the picture quality is way worse than the w6.

#26 Posted by LiquidPrince (15850 posts) -

Anyone that tries to tell you not to get a plasma is a filthy lier

@liquidprince said:

@sergio: @jsnyder82: I guess the difference is that I would never get a Plasma TV. It's LCD or LED only in my household.

Your household is missing out on the superior TV experience. Especially for games.

Not in my experience.

#27 Edited by jsnyder82 (728 posts) -

@liquidprince: That's too bad. They really are great. Seriously, the black levels alone put LCDs and LEDs to shame.

#28 Posted by mrcraggle (1836 posts) -

If you're looking to get your first HDTV, go for a Pioneer. They don't make them any more but their Kuro line were the best and getting hold of one now costs thousands. Seriously though, go for a plasma but actually take the time to look at the screen and do some tests if you can. My current tv is a Samsung (don't know the model) LCD but the panel is pure trash. The picture is somewhat soft and if I'm watching something or playing a game where there is a lot of darkness, it may as well be haunted there is so much ghosting.

#29 Posted by MB (12049 posts) -

@mb: I agree with everything except 120hz and Smart apps.

120hz is unnatural and forces the TV to over process the source image. It looks weird and often doesn't improve anything with gaming or movies. It also costs more than any standard 60hz TV but adds little benefit. You're better off turning off any sort of image post-processing on modern TVs as all they do is mess with the actual source video against how it was initially made. I recently bought a 120hz TV thinking I'd see the benefit, but I have yet to find it make anything look better at all.

Smart apps are a good idea in theory, but most of them are poorly implemented and not updated well. I want my TV to be fully functional as a panel and that's about it. Everything else is handled better though boxes. Whether that be Apple TV, Chromecast, PS3, 360 etc. Sure, they may be functional, but they are very bare bones and I've never seen them work very well.

I think you're forgetting one crucial aspect of 120hz sets - the manner in which frames are dropped or blended is user selectable, rendering all of those negatives moot. Only positives remain, especially if you're like me and use HDTV's for several different applications, a chief one being as a computer monitor where 120hz is noticeable even on the desktop. There is no compelling reason to opt for 60hz over 120hz, especially now as costs have come down drastically and in fact, the larger screen size you go the fewer 60hz sets are even made anymore.

It's not necessarily about making things look "better", its about having the flexibility to display different sources in the most accurate way possible. The only times I have 120hz "on" is for 60 FPS HD sports or other live content where it actually makes a difference, and for some BluRay discs. Otherwise it creates that awful "soap opera" effect. However, to discount the technology completely is a little short sighted, especially with the cost difference being so negligible when one compares 120hz units to their 60hz counterparts. Then we've got people like my parents who leave the "Smooth Motion" setting on MAX all the time and love it, and can't understand why I cringe every time I look at the $2,500 TV they're ruining.

Moderator
#30 Posted by MB (12049 posts) -

@liquidprince: That's too bad. They really are great. Seriously, the black levels alone put LCDs and LEDs to shame.

I think this represents the most common uninformed attitude towards plasma displays among gamers today, stemming from the problems plasmas had ten years ago. Those problems have all been addressed and then some, including problems with image retention. Plasma displays have unmatched black levels, contrast ratios, and refresh rates that are way faster than even the most expensive LCD's.

The downside is that plasmas consume more energy than any other display technology, they weigh a lot more than LCD's, and due to the higher energy requirements, they can tend to emit a lot of heat. Over the past few years, prices of plasma displays have been coming down quite a bit and they are pretty much on par with LED LCD's now. They are a great option for gaming, maybe the best option if you ask me. However, they start at 40" diagonal and up and aren't available for $300 or under, so for the purposes of this discussion, plasms are out of the running entirely.

Moderator
#31 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1031 posts) -

@therealmoot: I agree 100% what @mb said. Just make sure about the overscan settings on the TV, since it could be a killer for you.

#32 Posted by TheRealMoot (355 posts) -

@therealmoot: I agree 100% what @mb said. Just make sure about the overscan settings on the TV, since it could be a killer for you.

I have some pretty bad over scan on my current TV, made watching normal TV impossible. (One of the reasons I cancelled my cable)

#33 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1031 posts) -

@therealmoot: Also please make sure to buy a good brand named TV. Samsung, Panasonic, Vizio, LG and Toshiba are some of the good few. Avoid Curtis, Hi Sense and Coby at all cost (Shudders).

#34 Posted by Indiana_Jenkins (382 posts) -

I originally came into this thread to offer advice, but something is distracting me.

I can't believe people are still arguing about LCD vs Plasma. It's 2006 all over again.

#35 Edited by MB (12049 posts) -

I originally came into this thread to offer advice, but something is distracting me.

I can't believe people are still arguing about LCD vs Plasma. It's 2006 all over again.

Both technologies have matured a lot since then...unfortunately, I think most people are still basing their arguments off of ten year old technology and not the current state of things.

Moderator
#36 Edited by bybeach (4730 posts) -

@microshock said:

@wickedfather said:

Oh no, you poor sod. I've had to go back to a HDTV to read the writing on GTA V but will be back on the crt as soon as that's over. I've mentioned it before but if you can pick up a decent CRT monitor then that's the best of both worlds. Haven't managed to fix mine yet as it started smoking from the back and crackling a month ago. LCDs are smeary vile things.

Alright, gramps.

Lol, but he is right about CRT Monitors. My Mitsubishi Diamond pro 2070 just rocks, and high res with something like Dead Space 2 made the game look outstanding despite being 4:3. Also simply looking at text and pictures looks somehow better.

I for the moment, have a Samsung 56" DLP, an older model looking out of the movie Dune that even now has very good black level compared to straight LCD. I'm thinking Plasma in the 2 year off future myself, 3d I hope. we will see how the other technologies are doing also, like OLED, and of course back lit led.

#37 Posted by MormonWarrior (2544 posts) -

For me, I just used my mom's Costco membership and went and got a 40" that was on sale. I checked buyer reviews on their site first to make sure I wasn't getting a junk TV, but I got it for like $400 back in 2011 and it's a pretty good LED LCD 1080p Philips. They also have great consumer warranties there that exceed the manufacturer stuff so it seems worth it.

#38 Edited by Syed117 (387 posts) -

Start here

http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/

If your budget is around $300, you are realistically looking at a 32 inch LCD tv (from a respectable brand, vizio is fine) or a smaller LCD monitor. Don't be confused by people throwing around LED. It's the same technology, just lit differently.

I say start at that site because input lag can kill the gaming experience on any screen. You aren't going to get incredible picture quality for $300 so your priority should be the the lowest input lag possible.

With most things, the most you spend, the better the quality. Tvs are a bit strange because there are too many other factors that come into play. For $1000 there is no tv on the planet that can touch the panasonic st60 plasma. No LCD/LED comes close to that level of picture quality for that price. It's just too bad that the newer panasonics don't have the same low input lag the older models do. For the money, plasma has always has better picture quality and much better value overall. As TVs add more and more features, input lag is increasing. More processing, more online connectivity. It can really hurt the gameplay experience.

There is no real debate between plasma and LCD. Year after year the best TVs are always plasmas. LCDs have their advantages in bright rooms and power consumption but from a strictly image quality perspective, plasma almost always wins. This isn't based on opinion, it's based on countless reviews from countless sites. I would never have bought an LCD, but I also didn't expect Input lag to get out of hand. It's priority number one for me and I would make the switch to LCD and live with an inferior picture if it meant the lowest possible lag. I currently have a 3 year old 55 inch panasonic plasma that I love and wouldn't change unless it breaks and I'm forced to.

Edit : one last thing to consider. At 32 inches, you will find a lot of TVs that are 720p and not full hd 1080. Don't get me wrong, it's obviously better to have the full resolution but at 32 inches, it can get hard to tell the difference if you're sitting a normal distance away from the TV. A monitor might be better because they will all be 1080 but you will sacrifice size and a monitor will usually not have as many inputs. I would definitely recommend getting something that is 1080 but if you're budget is $300 and you find a good TV that just happens to be 720p, it's not the end of the world. Not if you're sitting a normal distance away.

#39 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4162 posts) -
#40 Posted by LiquidPrince (15850 posts) -

@mb said:

@jsnyder82 said:

@liquidprince: That's too bad. They really are great. Seriously, the black levels alone put LCDs and LEDs to shame.

I think this represents the most common uninformed attitude towards plasma displays among gamers today, stemming from the problems plasmas had ten years ago. Those problems have all been addressed and then some, including problems with image retention. Plasma displays have unmatched black levels, contrast ratios, and refresh rates that are way faster than even the most expensive LCD's.

The downside is that plasmas consume more energy than any other display technology, they weigh a lot more than LCD's, and due to the higher energy requirements, they can tend to emit a lot of heat. Over the past few years, prices of plasma displays have been coming down quite a bit and they are pretty much on par with LED LCD's now. They are a great option for gaming, maybe the best option if you ask me. However, they start at 40" diagonal and up and aren't available for $300 or under, so for the purposes of this discussion, plasms are out of the running entirely.

I'm not uninformed on the benefits of any of the different varieties of screen technologies. I often work with my uncle who has a business selling and installing top of the line panels and projectors, with the merchandise and installs sometimes reaching upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 depending on what the customer asks for. It's part of my job to explain the different benefits of the screen technologies to customers. The negatives you stated for Plasma TV's aren't exactly negligible. Black levels are also debatable since on LED TV's the pixels straight up turn off when it is supposed to be rendering a black image, giving you some of the deepest blacks possible. It then depends on how many nits that TV can display to counter with the white levels. As for refresh rates, Plasma doesn't exactly measure refresh rates the same way LCD and LED's do. The 600hz refresh rate is more of a marketing ploy then a true representation of the TV's capabilities. A good LED TV with 120hz - 240hz has essentially no issues with motion blur. Like I said, I personally would take a good LCD, LED, or even DLP panel over a Plasma. But that is my preference.

#41 Posted by Chaser324 (6335 posts) -

I'll further endorse MB's recommendation of a Vizio. I have a 32" Samsung LCD now which is a pretty good TV, but I only have a Samsung because I managed to get a deal on it (store closing out stock on old model) after my 32" Vizio was stolen.

Moderator
#42 Posted by Humanity (8846 posts) -

@therealmoot: Most important of all look around for the response time. I bought a nice Samsung 3D TV a while back and it had really horrible response time forcing me to run everything in game mode and even then I had to get used to it. Response Time is basically input lag, the time between you pressing a button on the controller and something happening on your screen. Most noticable in platformers and first person shooters.

So beside picture quality I'd say that's your most pertinent stat to look out for (the lower the better). Also I wouldn't suggest getting a plasma since despite large advancements in technology they still have burn in and are still not worth the hassle.