Originally Posted by gorthocar
So far, this set is very comparable to the XBR8 with fabulous 2D quality, brightness, and contrast. I can definitely see a difference in the number of backlighting zones when using it as a PC monitor. Move the mouse cursor around on an all black background with the backlight on max, you can see the smaller zones lighting up. Yes, max backlighting is too much for normal use, IMHO, and reducing the backlighting helps.
Then compared to the Panny VT50 plasma, the HX950 kills it in nearly every category.
The VT50 has loud fans; the HX950 is silent.
The VT50 has pixel noise / plasma dithering and can never hold a steady picture; it is like it has an extra level of film grain. Try the Zone Plate test on the WOW disc to see what I mean. The HX950 is solid and locked on.
The VT50 flickers like crazy, even when playing 24 fps movies at 96 Hz. The HX950 is completely flicker free, and even a lot better than my XBR8 was.
The VT50 had some kind of horizontal bleeding / discoloration depending on what was being displayed. Visiting some webpages really highlighted this.
The VT50 has a big image retention / burn-in problem, which was only made worse if you cranked up the brightness so the whites would look white.
I couldn't quite put my finger on what caused it, but in some movement on the VT50, especially around flesh tones & contrast, you might could see an unnatural red or green shadow with the movement.
Blacks levels are better on the HX950, and fade to black scenes are totally pitch black vs only a dark gray on the VT50.
There is some blooming around the local dimming zones in the HX950 around high contrast areas, so I might give the edge to the VT50 in that one category, but compared with everything else, a local dimming zone LED LCD is the best compromise on price, performance, and features for me. It is not perfect, and I'm not sure if there ever will be one that is perfect within my budget, but I'm very happy with the initial experience.
And now for some movie time!