Panasonic LED TC-55LE54 *Costco* - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-29-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Can someone here tell me the non-Costco model number for the Panasonic TC-55LE54, 55" LED set? Also any feedback on this model is appreciated. I am moving to a new home and need to upgrade from my current Panny 42" Plasma. I love the plasma display so if you think I'm going in the wrong direction with the LED let me know. My preference is to buy at Costco. Thanks!
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post #2 of 36 Old 05-30-2012, 01:08 PM
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From info found on the Panasonic website I believe the E54 is the same as the E50. The only difference appears to be the included wireless adapter. That and the additional Costco warranty plus the price make it a good deal for that particular TV. I have a 50" plasma and am not sure if you are going in the wrong direction but I'd be sure to check out the the black levels, etc. of the set. Haven't seen a review yet.
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post #3 of 36 Old 06-04-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleguluche View Post

Can someone here tell me the non-Costco model number for the Panasonic TC-55LE54, 55" LED set?

From what I can gather:

Panasonic TC-55LE54 =

TC-L55E50 (SMART VIERA® 55" Class E50 Series Full HD LED HDTV)
+
TY-WL20U (Wireless LAN Adapter)
+
Costco Concierge Services (tech support/2nd year warranty/90 day return policy)
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post #4 of 36 Old 06-23-2012, 03:19 PM
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I agree with the above comparisons.
I've been following this TV around, Brandsmart USA had this set for a while but none of their stores appear to stock it.
Also seen it come and go from HHGregg.
I've since been to the Boca Raton Costco a few times to play with the set and review things like the contrast but of all the TV's they display, this is the only one that is never set up or has power supply. Hmmm.
One would think the TV Dept Manager would want this model to have high visibility to the Costco customers near the store entrance where the TV's are displayed.
Especially since this set has decent reviews.
I'm ready to spend...just cant find a business ready to take my money.
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post #5 of 36 Old 07-03-2012, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for posting the regular model number so I can do additional research on this tv. I also saw it at Costco and currently it's on sale for $1,200.00.
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post #6 of 36 Old 07-05-2012, 06:44 AM
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My girlfriend just snagged this tv and I hooked it up the other day. Love the pic and overall features... however.... for the life of me I cannot get the netflix ap to work at all. It gives me a pop up when I try to launch it: Unable to connect to Netflix. Please try again or visit: www.netflix.com/tvhelp.. which is useless.

All other internet functions work great, youtube, pandora, etc.. and the panasonic bluray upstairs can access netflix just fine on the same wireless network.

What I have tried is resetting tv, changing to google DNS, none had an effect. ( using verizon fios westel router )

Spent 20 mins with panny support and the level 1 person couldn't help, escalated to level 2 and awaiting a call back.

If you snag this tv.. please post back your netflix experiences if you use that portion.. otherwise, the tv is a great deal at costco!
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post #7 of 36 Old 07-24-2012, 08:08 PM
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I found this in the FAQs area for the set on the Panasonic sight regarding the Netflix problem.

"Try deactivating the Netflix account and then re-registering the account. First, access the Netflix application. Then, use the Panasonic remote to press the arrow buttons in the following sequence: [Up], [Up], [Down], [Down],
,
,
,
, [Up], [Up], [Up], [Up]. A screen will appear and you will be able deactivate the Netflix account.

Re-enter your account information."

Good luck.
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post #8 of 36 Old 08-08-2012, 07:19 AM
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We just bought this TV last night. Took it home, set it up. Already had wireless router. Immediately found my Netflix account. Even watched a movie last. So far, I'm extremely pleased. Great pic and apps.....
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post #9 of 36 Old 08-23-2012, 02:22 PM
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I was at Costco today but torn between the Panny 50" plasma on their web site (already happy with my Panny 42" 720p) and this 55" edge-lit LED-LCD in the store.

So how is the contrast comparing to plasma? I prefer crt-black and has a JVC RS2 clone.

Thanks.
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post #10 of 36 Old 08-23-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonbud0 View Post

I was at Costco today but torn between the Panny 50" plasma on their web site (already happy with my Panny 42" 720p) and this 55" edge-lit LED-LCD in the store.
So how is the contrast comparing to plasma? I prefer crt-black and has a JVC RS2 clone.
Thanks.

Go with the plasma. You certainly won't get CRT blacks from any IPS panel LED-LCD (with or without local dimming).

It's funny actually, Panasonic's 2012 Plasmas have the best black levels and contrast ratios of any flat-panel TV short of the Sharp Elites (which cost way more) while their current lineup of LED-LCDs have the worst black levels and contrast ratios of any TV sold in 2012 (thanks to the IPS panels used in all of them).
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post #11 of 36 Old 10-07-2012, 10:26 PM
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I just got bought this at Costco, it was on sale for 950... I'm having same issue as danxmanly did, were you able to resolve??? Any help will b greatly appreciated...
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post #12 of 36 Old 10-08-2012, 10:45 PM
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also bought this weekend, having trouble getting home theater (harman kardon avr1565) to connect tv sound using hdmi cables....any insights? otherwise happy with the tv
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post #13 of 36 Old 10-24-2012, 12:34 PM
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I just got this from Costco. I brought back a 60" Vizio due to lip sync issues.

Does anyone have any calibration settings they'd be willing to share? Standard mode seems pretty dark.
Thanks!

Pat
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post #14 of 36 Old 10-25-2012, 09:43 AM
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I have this set and I am thrilled with it. I have turned off the automatic brightness control because I want a bright and sharp display in ask ambient conditions.
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post #15 of 36 Old 11-29-2012, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsan View Post

I just got this from Costco. I brought back a 60" Vizio due to lip sync issues.
Does anyone have any calibration settings they'd be willing to share? Standard mode seems pretty dark.
Thanks!

Reviving this thread, I just picked up this Panasonic at Costco for $849 after also returning the exact same Vizio (which first had lip sync issues that I was putting up with but then the picture completely went out, yet the audio still worked!). Anyway, this is an interesting option but, of course, is not perfect - as anything at this price point will have a few drawbacks. The pluses I have noticed so far include:

1) It's a Panasonic and seems to have better build quality and hopefully has better reliability and software testing than the Vizio.
2) IPS panel offers very good off angle viewing (versus washing out like the Vizio).
3) At least on my set, the back lighting/ edge lighting seems more even/ uniform than the Vizio.
4) Good picture quality once dialed in

Negatives:

1) Out of box picture quality does indeed look very dark and lacks any depth.
2) Black levels are not so hot but once the picture is calibrated, they look fine (at least at the level of older back-lit LCD's with IPS panels).
3) Complete lack of individual color controls, unless I'm missing something?
4) Annoying red "on" light at bottom of bezel which I have yet to figure out how to turn off.

I'm still woking on getting the best picture, but so far, these settings are a beginning:

Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 50
Contrast: 100
Brightness: 40
Color: 55
Tint: -5
Sharpness: 80
Color Temp: Cool
The rest of the picture controls under that (Color Mgmt, AI, Motion and so on) - OFF.

Like I said, I'm still tweaking (there is still a tiny bit too much magenta in some flesh tones and the contrast may be slightly high) but it looks so much better than the defaults.
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post #16 of 36 Old 11-29-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatliner View Post

Reviving this thread, I just picked up this Panasonic at Costco for $849 after also returning the exact same Vizio (which first had lip sync issues that I was putting up with but then the picture completely went out, yet the audio still worked!). Anyway, this is an interesting option but, of course, is not perfect - as anything at this price point will have a few drawbacks. The pluses I have noticed so far include:
1) It's a Panasonic and seems to have better build quality and hopefully has better reliability and software testing than the Vizio.
2) IPS panel offers very good off angle viewing (versus washing out like the Vizio).
3) At least on my set, the back lighting/ edge lighting seems more even/ uniform than the Vizio.
4) Good picture quality once dialed in
Negatives:
1) Out of box picture quality does indeed look very dark and lacks any depth.
2) Black levels are not so hot but once the picture is calibrated, they look fine (at least at the level of older back-lit LCD's with IPS panels).
3) Complete lack of individual color controls, unless I'm missing something?
4) Annoying red "on" light at bottom of bezel which I have yet to figure out how to turn off.
I'm still woking on getting the best picture, but so far, these settings are a beginning:
Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 50
Contrast: 100
Brightness: 40
Color: 55
Tint: -5
Sharpness: 80
Color Temp: Cool
The rest of the picture controls under that (Color Mgmt, AI, Motion and so on) - OFF.
Like I said, I'm still tweaking (there is still a tiny bit too much magenta in some flesh tones and the contrast may be slightly high) but it looks so much better than the defaults.

@Flatliner: Thank You for your input on the Panasonic you bought today. I've been going back & forth between the Vizio M550SL and the Panasonic TC-55LE54 at Costco. The CNET review on the Panasonic is less than favorable, especially regarding the picture quality, blacks, etc. It sounds like you've found some personal resolution to the quality of the picture out of the box. I'm trying to keep in mind your point regarding the price point and how no choice will be perfect. After reading the CNET review, I was reconsidering getting this tv on Saturday. But am looking for additional input as to how much you and others are able to tweak it to make it more satisfactory. We both know the blacks won't be as black as in plasmas, but there are pros & cons to both routes. Please post an update/any recommendations as you see fit..
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post #17 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 12:32 PM
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I performed the advanced calibration from the Disney WOW disk last night using the "Normal" color temp WB. Here are the settings I ended up with:

Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 40
Contrast:100
Brightness: 60
Color: 52
Tint: -6
Color Temp: Normal

Interestingly, using "Cool" for the color temp, the values were pretty much the same give or take one or two points in the color and tint. No dead pixels showed up and the overall evenness of the grays looked pretty good. No obvious clouding or flash-lighting. The biggest problem with this set is the lack of individual color controls. Occasionally, flesh tones can look slightly off to me - either a little pasty or a bit on the magenta side. I'm sure if I could adj. the individual colors, this would be an easy fix. Most folks probably would not notice this issue. So far, I think it's a great deal for the money and I think I would have to pay somewhere between $1300-$1500 to do better. I'm still deciding if I'm going to keep it or spend the extra bucks for something noticeably better.

As far as plasmas go, I had one of the higher end Panasonic VT models a few years ago - briefly- and that experience pretty much turned me off of them. The most annoying issue was a slight green tinge in the shadows of flesh tones (I notice this stuff right off being a photographer with a lot of experience in color reproduction) AND dingy whites in very bright scenes (sort of the opposite of the black issue with LED/ LCD). It was also a major power hog. I put a meter on it and whenever the screen turned white, power consumption jumped up to almost 400 watts or so! I think it also buzzed a little with a bright screen displayed. So, even plasmas have issues.
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post #18 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatliner View Post

I performed the advanced calibration from the Disney WOW disk last night using the "Normal" color temp WB. Here are the settings I ended up with:
Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 40
Contrast:100
Brightness: 60
Color: 52
Tint: -6
Color Temp: Normal
Interestingly, using "Cool" for the color temp, the values were pretty much the same give or take one or two points in the color and tint. No dead pixels showed up and the overall evenness of the grays looked pretty good. No obvious clouding or flash-lighting. The biggest problem with this set is the lack of individual color controls. Occasionally, flesh tones can look slightly off to me - either a little pasty or a bit on the magenta side. I'm sure if I could adj. the individual colors, this would be an easy fix. Most folks probably would not notice this issue. So far, I think it's a great deal for the money and I think I would have to pay somewhere between $1300-$1500 to do better. I'm still deciding if I'm going to keep it or spend the extra bucks for something noticeably better.
As far as plasmas go, I had one of the higher end Panasonic VT models a few years ago - briefly- and that experience pretty much turned me off of them. The most annoying issue was a slight green tinge in the shadows of flesh tones (I notice this stuff right off being a photographer with a lot of experience in color reproduction) AND dingy whites in very bright scenes (sort of the opposite of the black issue with LED/ LCD). It was also a major power hog. I put a meter on it and whenever the screen turned white, power consumption jumped up to almost 400 watts or so! I think it also buzzed a little with a bright screen displayed. So, even plasmas have issues.

Thank you for your post. It's great to see results from someone who has made the effort to calibrate their screen properly. I really wish more forum members would make an effort to go through even an elementary calibration, as is available on many disney movies for example. Instead, they whine about how their tv's suck or must be defective.

I am also a major skeptic of plasma; the burn-in issue is a huge red flag for me, as is energy consumption, along with the other factors you mention. I guess I just enjoy the 'punchy' colors of lcd too much to ever give plasma tv's serious consideration.

Again, great post and I trust I will learn a lot about panasonic tv's in this thread.
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post #19 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 03:49 PM
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Hi all,

It's been a long while since I've posted here on AVS but I recently picked up this set from Costco and I thought I might chime in with some information that I have YET to see stated ANY WHERE on the net about the Costco version of this TV.

While I do like this set quite a bit, there is one caveat that every informed user should know is that this "Costco version of the 55le50" LACKS GAME MODE. It took me a bit of hoopla to figure it out, through reading numerous user reviews of the LE50 (which is suppose to be the same), Game Mode is apparently missing from the LE54. I wasted a good amount of time sifting through the LE50 downloadable pdf manual, googling and even calling Panny support (nice lady but she was as useful as a tits on a bullfrog). I even went a far as to go back to Costco and look at one of their display models thinking maybe the latest firmware I updated when connecting to the TV's internet features removed it or something and here's what I found:

Mine with the latest firmware:

http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/97968/

Costco's display model showing older firmware mode:

http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/97969/

But even with that older firmware Costco Display model, Game is not an option in Picture Mode:

http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/97970/

Just Vivid, Standard, Cinema and Custom. Check Viera Tools and it's not there either.

It wasn't until I went back home and found the actual E54 (not E50) model pdf manual and did a word search for "game" to find that it said "no matches" vs the several that come up with the E50 pdf manual. Then it hit me, I realized it isn't a bug or "hidden" but rather AS DESIGNED.

Now why Panny felt the need to exclude a Game mode on the Costco model vs the normal E50 is beyond me considering they're the same effing set. I know this is a deal breaker for most gamers. If you think just simply turning off all the picture enhancements like the frame interpolation and stuff will make enough of the difference, let me be the first to tell you, it won't. The input latency is quite bad. I would say unplayable - it bothers me even to move my mouse around windows on my HTPC.

For me, surprisingly, even though I have such gamer roots, this does not bother me as I pretty much never play games in the living room. I have several other IPS based HDTV sets that I use for my PC & Consoles which use as my gaming rigs which perform far better (around 30ms of input lag). But for those of you who want this set to play your consoles on, you might be sorely disappointed with the E54 and should purchase the regular E50. Amazon sells it for a decent price but if you return it, you'll have to eat a $61 shipping cost because this display is a beast! 75lbs shipping weight for the 55". Ask me how I know, lol! For me, sure I'd like it, but I don't *need* as I know others do.

As far as picture settings go, I've found the settings ShinobiX stated for his E50 panel to be quite outstanding. It manages to bring out a ton of shadow detail while still maintaining a lot of "pop". I'm guessing his trick of jacking up the brightness so high but using the Black Level setting to "Dark" to bring it back down to normal is what's pulling this off. With this i'm seeing details in dark movies I've never even seen before (I guess my old set was crushing blacks and I didn't know) For your convenience, I'll post his settings here:

"Picture Mode: Standard
Back light +85
Contrast +80
Brightness +85
Color +60
Tint -15
Sharpness +85
Color temp. - Normal
Color mgmt. - Off
A.I. picture - On
C.A.T.S. - Off
Video NR - Auto

Advanced picture:
Block NR - Auto
Mosquito NR - On
Motion Picture Setting - Weak
Black level - Dark

Eco Power Settings - Standard"

The only thing I modified from his settings was to turn off AI Picture, Video NR, Block NR, and lowered the brightness to 80 to compensate for AI Picture being turned off... oh and I turned down the sharpness to 30. Sharpness that high looks cool on some content but brings out a ton of grain on less than ideal content (ie. poor blue ray transfers, etc). Also looks like **** on my PC, 30 sharpness is about as high as I can get away with when viewing stuff on the HTPC.

With these settings, I continuously get blown away at how effing awesome the Smart TV's Hulu plus content appears. For 860 + wireless adapter + costco's free extra years warranty, I feel this TV is a bit of a sleeper as far as value when compared to other TVs on the market. In fact I even had Costco's Samsung ES6150 side by side and the Panny won overall as far as PQ.


http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/97971/

The Samsung has * slightly* better black levels but had worse viewing angles, quite pronounced corner flashlighting (which was the dealbreaker for me because it continually distracted me) yet cost more despite it's huge sale of -$800 off (it's back up to $1400 now I believe). Both the Panny and the Samsung I cherry picked and chose the most pristine box they had on the floor so I don't think I've received a bad set of either. The Samsung's media player did have less problems with my blueray rips - it was most friendly with varying audio streams of my mkv files. Something to note, the Panny is nearly double the weight of the same size Samsung and is definitely far, FAR more sturdily built that the Samsung. Samsung loooooves their plastic. Makes for light lifting but questionable durability.

Hopefully Panny will update their player's file format and audio stream playing capability and for GOD SAKES implement game mode back in to the Costco LE54 model as it appears in the E50. Panasonic, if you're reading this. Please considering it - you're losing out to a huge market of strapped gamers who can afford your lower pricepoint - all they need is that already great Game Mode that exist in the E50 panel. Virtually no work and it's a win win.

Your LCD lags. Learn about input lag and be disenchanted by your expensive LCD set.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input_lag
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post #20 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post

Go with the plasma. You certainly won't get CRT blacks from any IPS panel LED-LCD (with or without local dimming).
It's funny actually, Panasonic's 2012 Plasmas have the best black levels and contrast ratios of any flat-panel TV short of the Sharp Elites (which cost way more) while their current lineup of LED-LCDs have the worst black levels and contrast ratios of any TV sold in 2012 (thanks to the IPS panels used in all of them).

Yes, but you will get dull, off whites with plasma also as the tradeoff. Not to mention the higher energy consumption, and the increased bulk. Plus, you must be vigilant against burn in, with black bars, or constant images of any kind. Why don't you mention these factors? You're obviously incredibly biased, and emotionally invested in plasma technology for some strange reason. Of all things to be loyal to, you choose.....plasma?!?
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post #21 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVW View Post

As far as picture settings go, I've found the settings ShinobiX stated for his E50 panel to be quite outstanding. It manages to bring out a ton of shadow detail while still maintaining a lot of "pop". I'm guessing his trick of jacking up the brightness so high but using the Black Level setting to "Dark" to bring it back down to normal is what's pulling this off. With this i'm seeing details in dark movies I've never even seen before (I guess my old set was crushing blacks and I didn't know) For your convenience, I'll post his settings here:
"Picture Mode: Standard
Back light +85
Contrast +80
Brightness +85
Color +60
Tint -15
Sharpness +85
Color temp. - Normal
Color mgmt. - Off
A.I. picture - On
C.A.T.S. - Off
Video NR - Auto
Advanced picture:
Block NR - Auto
Mosquito NR - On
Motion Picture Setting - Weak
Black level - Dark
Eco Power Settings - Standard"
The only thing I modified from his settings was to turn off AI Picture, Video NR, Block NR, and lowered the brightness to 80 to compensate for AI Picture being turned off.
With these settings, I continuously get blown away at how effing awesome the Smart TV's Hulu plus content appears. For 860 + wireless adapter + costco's free extra years warranty, I feel this TV is a bit of a sleeper as far as value when compared to other TVs on the market. In fact I even had Costco's Samsung ES6150 side by side and the Panny won overall as far as PQ.

Hmm, just testing the picture settings you posted and was planning on putting them through WOW to see what color/ tint/ brightness and contrast adjustments I would actually end up with (using these as a starting point). For some reason though, the "black level" adjustment is grayed/ locked out and can't be changed from "light". Just wondering what setting could be locking i out? EDIT: The manual says it can only be changed for external sources (inputs) so my guess is it does not work with OTA HD signals using the built in TV tuner (which is what source I am using).

Another update...using the above settings certainly does add a lot of "POP" to the image. The tint setting of -15 on my set was way red/ magenta with skin tones but reducing it to around -1, -2 fixed that. With real world program material, I like what I'm seeing. Occasionally, I notice some clipped black detail and over the top color (I have a feeling both will show up once I check the calibration on the WOW disc), but I think these settings likely do make for a good starting point. Thanks for posting them.
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post #22 of 36 Old 11-30-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatliner View Post

Hmm, just testing the picture settings you posted and was planning on putting them through WOW to see what color/ tint/ brightness and contrast adjustments I would actually end up with (using these as a starting point). For some reason though, the "black level" adjustment is grayed/ locked out and can't be changed from "light". Just wondering what setting could be locking i out? EDIT: The manual says it can only be changed for external sources (inputs) so my guess is it does not work with OTA HD signals using the built in TV tuner (which is what source I am using).
Another update...using the above settings certainly does add a lot of "POP" to the image. The tint setting of -15 on my set was way red/ magenta with skin tones but reducing it to around -1, -2 fixed that. With real world program material, I like what I'm seeing. Occasionally, I notice some clipped black detail and over the top color (I have a feeling both will show up once I check the calibration on the WOW disc), but I think these settings likely do make for a good starting point. Thanks for posting them.

Yah, there might be a little over the top exaggerations with these settings which is probably part of the "pop". I'm sure some will turn it down a little for accuracy instead. interesting about the tint, I'll have to check that out when I get home. My input is via home receiver and by HDMI so that's probably why it's not greyed out. Also note the quick edit I made to my post regarding the sharpness setting. I forgot to mention that in my post. Typing this out via phone is a bit painful.

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post #23 of 36 Old 12-01-2012, 11:20 AM
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Good point about the sharpness. Another issue I noticed is that the Black Level adj. is also not adjustable when using the built in Viera apps (Netflix, Amazon and so on) so a work-a-round would be needed unless one will only be using external input sources.

I did notice when I used the WOW Blu-ray calibration disc and pulled up the Contrast/ Brightness screens, all black detail was completely clipped/ crushed with Black Level at "Dark" (which I also saw when toggling the setting with actual program material). Conversely, using such a high Brightness setting goes way too far in the opposite direction, leading to gray blacks (at least technically according to the calibration). The only way I could see to get the black level lower yet still maintain the nice "POP" without relying on the Dark Black Level setting was to lower the Brightness significantly (as the brightness setting controls the black level) AND raise the Back Light level (increasing luminance) Doing so gives that "POP" and allows for more control of the blacks. I also have noticed that the tint and color appears quite different depending upon if the source is Ant/Viera OR through HDMI (such as Blu-ray, Roku, etc.) So anyway, lots of variables and I'm sure each person will want to adjust to their preferences in any case.

Here is a setting I found to be a happy medium between clipping/ crushing shadow detail yet still offering the "POP" and color saturation of the above settings. This can be used on any source (including Ant./ Viera) since Black Level is not changed. This was tested in a moderately bright room so Brightness might need to be further reduced in a dark room (probably to my earlier settings of the low 40's since that calibration was at night in a dark room.

Picture Mode: Standard
Back Light: +95
Contrast: +90
Brightness: +50
Color: +64
Tint: -6
Sharpness: +30 (I agree, this setting looks better with most material. +50 maybe for an enhanced effect with some stuff).
Color Temp.: Normal
Everything else: OFF. Turning A.I. picture to "On" does help in some cases so that's a possible option.
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post #24 of 36 Old 12-02-2012, 04:48 PM
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A few more observations after watching this TV with different program material over the past few days, all unfortunately fairly negative.

1) For whatever reason, when using the built in Vieracast app to stream Netflix and Amazon, I've noticed more than a few times during different movies where the screen would flash black for a split second. The effect is almost like a black image moving across the screen, sort of a shutter/ blind effect. Strangely, I have not seen this when using my Roku streaming so I'm guessing it's an issue with Vieracast.

2) There are a few digital channels in my area which broadcast standard definition - mostly older movies and TV shows. On my previous TV's (one being the newer 60" Vizio E601-A3), the interpolation up in size to HD was so good, I hardly noticed these channels were not broadcast in full HD. On this set, they look really awful. So, the built in interpolation leaves a lot to be desired.

3) I had not noticed it before but when watching older black and white movies, I'm seeing what appears to be some pretty severe flash-lighting coming from either the whole left or right side. Watching the opening scene of "It's a Wonderful Life" the other night (Universe/ space shot with galaxies flashing/ talking to one another) the entire right side of the screen pulsated with the flashing galaxies in the center for instance.

Anyway, some of these may turn out to be deal breakers for me.
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post #25 of 36 Old 12-02-2012, 08:39 PM
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Hey Flatliner, I recently tried your new settings and you're right, the colors and blacks do look more accurate (at least in windows comparing to my laptop). Your settings do achieve a ton of pop albeit a bit bright at times but you mentioned that could be adjusted for darker rooms. I tried dropping just the Contrast and Backlight down 10 points from your settings and it was a little easier on my eyes in my dark living room. I like your settings better than shinobi's - even better it's universal across all inputs. smile.gif I really appreciate you sharing - my TV looks even better now!

Also one more thing, I've noticed A.I. Picture seems to *lessen* some of the noticeable 'dynamic contrasting' auto-brightening/dimming annoyances, like in those semi-rare occasions where most of the screen is static and only one part of the screen is going from dark to bright (happens often in Family Guy where only a character's mouth is animated - seems to happen less on normal, non-cartoony content).

To some of the negative discoveries you've found: I know the answer to #1 but you're not going to like it. frown.gif While watching the Vierra apps' streaming content, hit "info" on the remote. You'll notice whenever the stream dynamically switch between definition modes & bitrates (SD, HD-Med, HD-High, etc), there is a flash of black, similar to the camera shutter effect you mentioned. These streaming apps base their visual quality dynamically, based on your current internet speed connection. It starts off at standard definition, then starts ramping up to HD after it builds more and more buffer... however will ramp back down if your bandwidth all of a sudden drops. Now why your bandwidth is flopping around can be various things - even worse, it could be caused by the source server themselves (hulu, netflix, etc) where they temporarily couldn't handle the load. Or it could be one of the internet hops at fault and would have to be ping tested. This is normal but what is not good is how this Panasonic is handling it, by dropping a frame or two when making the switch. I found it worrisome at first but now welcome it as it's a visual queue to explain why, all of a sudden the picture has sharpened or degraded. The problem is of course, if it happens too often ... and then becomes seriously distracting. It could be the wireless dongle. I remember some reviews complaining about its performance. Try plugging in a network cable directly instead to see if it reduces it.

For #2, do you mean HD scaling? I could be wrong, but I've always interpreted the term "frame interpolation" with modern LCDs these days that use 'motion smoothing' by adding fake frames in between each content frame to make the picture appear more fluid and less "flip book like". However regardless, I think that may be one of this sets downfalls as well - from some of the reviews I've read, it's said this TV handles standard def content horribly. frown.gif However, this is common - most of the HDTV sets that I've had in my possession (and I've had quite a few) don't handle SD well and often look far worse than the old boob-tubes we grew up with. There was only one HDTV i had temporarily a few years back that left me seriously surprised at how good it handled the standard definition feed from my cable (before free cable went HD) and it was a budget model 52" Sharp (don't remember the model number). Your old Visio might have been similar in that particular strength. If you do watch alot of SD content still, then I could see this being a deal breaker. For me I've sort of become an HD snob so I only really focus on how each set compares in at least 1080i but ideally lossless 1080p content which is why all my blueray rips avg 30gb, lol! wink.gif

For #3 I'll have to check that out. You're going to have to expect some flashlighing from an edge-lit LED HDTV set - I know this Panny had FAR less corner flashlighting than the higher end Samsung I returned to costco. However your symptoms have me curious with your description. Flashlighting usually is only visible in the corners, you say the entire left hand side or right? Hmm... It's almost as if the "360 backlight scanning", one of Panny's tricks in the bag to create better motion resolution might actually be too noticeable in a black and white movie. I don't own much of any old B&W content but maybe my rip of Sin Citys black and white scenes will be enough for me to see what you're talking about. I'll that movie a play perhaps tonight or tomorrow - worth another watch anyways smile.gif Question, does the effect lessen with the backlight setting lowered ?

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post #26 of 36 Old 12-03-2012, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KVW View Post

Hey Flatliner, I recently tried your new settings and you're right, the colors and blacks do look more accurate (at least in windows comparing to my laptop). Your settings do achieve a ton of pop albeit a bit bright at times but you mentioned that could be adjusted for darker rooms. I tried dropping just the Contrast and Backlight down 10 points from your settings and it was a little easier on my eyes in my dark living room. I like your settings better than shinobi's - even better it's universal across all inputs. smile.gif I really appreciate you sharing - my TV looks even better now!
Also one more thing, I've noticed A.I. Picture seems to *lessen* some of the noticeable 'dynamic contrasting' auto-brightening/dimming annoyances, like in those semi-rare occasions where most of the screen is static and only one part of the screen is going from dark to bright (happens often in Family Guy where only a character's mouth is animated - seems to happen less on normal, non-cartoony content).
To some of the negative discoveries you've found: I know the answer to #1 but you're not going to like it. frown.gif While watching the Vierra apps' streaming content, hit "info" on the remote. You'll notice whenever the stream dynamically switch between definition modes & bitrates (SD, HD-Med, HD-High, etc), there is a flash of black, similar to the camera shutter effect you mentioned. These streaming apps base their visual quality dynamically, based on your current internet speed connection. It starts off at standard definition, then starts ramping up to HD after it builds more and more buffer... however will ramp back down if your bandwidth all of a sudden drops. Now why your bandwidth is flopping around can be various things - even worse, it could be caused by the source server themselves (hulu, netflix, etc) where they temporarily couldn't handle the load. Or it could be one of the internet hops at fault and would have to be ping tested. This is normal but what is not good is how this Panasonic is handling it, by dropping a frame or two when making the switch. I found it worrisome at first but now welcome it as it's a visual queue to explain why, all of a sudden the picture has sharpened or degraded. The problem is of course, if it happens too often ... and then becomes seriously distracting. It could be the wireless dongle. I remember some reviews complaining about its performance. Try plugging in a network cable directly instead to see if it reduces it.
For #2, do you mean HD scaling? I could be wrong, but I've always interpreted the term "frame interpolation" with modern LCDs these days that use 'motion smoothing' by adding fake frames in between each content frame to make the picture appear more fluid and less "flip book like". However regardless, I think that may be one of this sets downfalls as well - from some of the reviews I've read, it's said this TV handles standard def content horribly. frown.gif However, this is common - most of the HDTV sets that I've had in my possession (and I've had quite a few) don't handle SD well and often look far worse than the old boob-tubes we grew up with. There was only one HDTV i had temporarily a few years back that left me seriously surprised at how good it handled the standard definition feed from my cable (before free cable went HD) and it was a budget model 52" Sharp (don't remember the model number). Your old Visio might have been similar in that particular strength. If you do watch alot of SD content still, then I could see this being a deal breaker. For me I've sort of become an HD snob so I only really focus on how each set compares in at least 1080i but ideally lossless 1080p content which is why all my blueray rips avg 30gb, lol! wink.gif
For #3 I'll have to check that out. You're going to have to expect some flashlighing from an edge-lit LED HDTV set - I know this Panny had FAR less corner flashlighting than the higher end Samsung I returned to costco. However your symptoms have me curious with your description. Flashlighting usually is only visible in the corners, you say the entire left hand side or right? Hmm... It's almost as if the "360 backlight scanning", one of Panny's tricks in the bag to create better motion resolution might actually be too noticeable in a black and white movie. I don't own much of any old B&W content but maybe my rip of Sin Citys black and white scenes will be enough for me to see what you're talking about. I'll that movie a play perhaps tonight or tomorrow - worth another watch anyways smile.gif Question, does the effect lessen with the backlight setting lowered ?

Thanks for your insightful observations. To your points, I think your right.

Regarding the black frame/ shutter effect while watching streaming content (1), I first suspected the issue to be the included wireless dongle - or perhaps where it's located - thinking the metal back of this TV might be shielding the wireless signal a bit (though under Network Status, the signal strength shows five full bars). Now I'm guessing the Roku player buffers streaming content much better than what's going on within the Panasonic TV using Vieracast.

Yes, HD scaling would be the correct term to use I think - resizing the SD signal to HD. I often think in still photographic terms and "interpolation" is used in reference to scaling a lower resolution image up in size. I should have thought about the confusion that term would have with all the other video frame to frame interpolation that goes on ("3:2 pulldown" and / motion smoothing). The Vizio I was referring to is a brand new model which I had for about a month before it lost it's picture. It also suffered from a really bad lip sync issue. Very nice set otherwise but I think quality control with regard to both software and hardware are lacking. A shame because it did a lot of stuff right.

For the last issue, I think I just need to watch more material - and do more testing - to see how much of an issue it might be if at all. Thus far, I have only noticed it twice with OTA stuff so there could have been other contributing variables - including the deterioration of the original B&W material itself.

I agree about my above settings being over the top depending on ambient lighting conditions. I'm still tweaking both Back Light and Brightness myself (lowering both as needed).
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post #27 of 36 Old 12-05-2012, 04:11 PM
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Hi, guys. Long time lurker, first time poster.

Just got the TC-55LE54. Good tips in this thread that I'll use.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Netflix app on this unit has the "post play" function,
especially since I got this TV for my elderly mother primarily for watching Netflix.

Does anyone know if it is possible to force Netflix to be selected by default when the unit is turned on?
I know, it's just one button, but she's easily confused.
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post #28 of 36 Old 12-07-2012, 07:36 AM
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I've been looking at this TV but I can't find specs anywhere (not just for this TV) that tell what type if screen this TV has: gloss or matte. From a couple of pictures posted above it looks glossy to me, can anyone confirm. A broader question: is there a place where I can find the screen type specification for any/most/some TVs?

I'm look for a 55"-60" for a large, bight room with lots of windows (8)... so I'm thinking a matte screen is a necessity. Comments?
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post #29 of 36 Old 12-07-2012, 01:19 PM
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I've been looking at this TV but I can't find specs anywhere (not just for this TV) that tell what type if screen this TV has: gloss or matte. From a couple of pictures posted above it looks glossy to me, can anyone confirm. A broader question: is there a place where I can find the screen type specification for any/most/some TVs?
I'm look for a 55"-60" for a large, bight room with lots of windows (8)... so I'm thinking a matte screen is a necessity. Comments?

The screen is a luster/ Semi matte surface bordering on even semi-gloss - so it's somewhere between a true matte like on the Sharps and a very reflective glossy. I actually returned my Panasonic and the screen reflectivity was one of the reasons, the other being the complete lack of fine color controls to calibrate the screen. My viewing environment has a bank of floor to ceiling windows and a sliding glass door exactly opposite/ facing the TV. There is never any direct sun but the indirect light is enough to cause an issue with reflections during the day with all but a truly matte screen. So far, the Sharps seem to have the best Matte screens. I previously tried one of the newer 60" Vizio E601i-A3's and it also has a matte screen, though not quite as matte as the Sharps. The reflectivity of the screen itself idid not cause an issue (the fact that the screen stopped coming on did though!). The blacks are also much deeper on the Sharp than either the Vizio or the Panasonic. The Panasonic does have far superior build quality to either of the others. Hope that helps.
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post #30 of 36 Old 12-26-2012, 03:54 PM
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I also have screen reflectiveness concerns. My existing TV just died and I'm looking for a replacement. This TV goes into a large sunroom with floor-to-ceiling glass on 3 sides, and a glass ceiling, so screen reflectiveness is a major issue. I saw this TV as a good value, but now I'm wondering whether it would be a smart buy, due to daytime reflections.

There are obviously some very technically knowledgeable folks posting her, and my open question is, what would be the best TV to get, or those to consider, for my situation, allowing pricing up to around $1300? While I can buy this one from Costco for $949 delivered (+ tax), but this pricing ends 12/28, so I need to decide on this one quickly. To get a better TV viewing experience, it would be worth spending another $300+ if necessary.

Thanks in advance for any info/advice.
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