My Take on the Value Electronics Shootout (I was there) - LED Wins - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 05-15-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

I don't visit here much and am an infrequent poster, but I wanted to give you all my impressions of the 55" F8000 set I saw at the Value Electronics shootout; I attended and got to vote. I DO NOT WORK FOR OR SELL ANY OF THESE COMPANY'S PRODUCTS; this is just my opinion.

Here are the results: http://tc-p65zt60.com/uploads/VE_2013_Shootout_Results.pdf

As a disclosure, I went to this event fully expecting to walk out with a ZT60 because of everything I've read on these forums and others. After the event, I think the ZT60 was the third-worst TV there (ahead of the WT60 total disaster and the lousy Sony 4k model).

Honestly, I thought the LED F8000 was the best looking TV out of all of them. It clearly had worse black levels than the plasmas, but had much better black levels than either the Sony or Panasonic sets. Both the Sony and Panasonic LED sets were absolute garbage in comparison to the Samsung across the board, so much so that the WT60 was a running joke amongst everyone; yes the Sony was a 4k TV but it didn't make any difference, still bad, and both of these after what would cost a consumer $500 to calibrate their set. The experts even used $10,000 meters to do the calibration, so I'm sure they did it right.

Everyone there (including the experts) had a bias in favor of Plasma TVs (some for good reasons), but I convinced some of them that the LED Samsung was better at least in some respects. I learned from the experts there the reason why the LED looked better to me: an LCD has a static gamma (in this case 2.4 as per the calibration) whereas plasmas by design have dynamic gamma; according to the experts, the gamma can vary from the high 1.x's to the high 2.x's. When playing Dark Knight, ALL of the plasmas were crushing black detail. There was a good amount of very dark detail lost on all the plasmas that showed up just fine on the Samsung LED. Granted, the black levels were noticably more "grey" than the plasmas (not by a huge amount), but the overall picture just looked better to me on the Samsung LED. Color accuracy was better on the Samsung LED to the point where it was the only TV that matched or surpassed the Kuro in color fidelity; I even emailed Robert about that to say that the color accuracy scores for the Samsung LED were far lower than they should have been - easily a 9...I may have given it a 10. The Samsung LED did very well in the artificial tests (spears & munsen, a custom disc by David Mackenzie), then they put on a basketball game in between tests. I pointed out to everyone around me that the Samsung LED looked the best by far in this scenario, and I didn't hear any objections.

Overall, if you're watching movies in a pitch-black room, the Samsung F8500 plasma is probably the TV to get. Anything other than near-perfect darkness and the Samsung LED is best. Oh and they went over the user interface of all the TVs, and...holy crap the Samsung's is so slick, colorful, and pretty! Not really all that important, but a nice feather in our cap if you buy one.

The Panasonic plasmas had an annoying flicker on some content that drove me and a guy sitting next to me absolutely crazy; the TVs were unwatchable. The Samsung plasma did not have such an issue. The ZT60 was the worst of the 3 because it had a max light output of 30 fL, the VT60 had a max of 40 fL, and the Samsung had a max of 67 fL. In a bright room, neither panasonic plasma was more than decent. The ZT60 and VT60 had identical black levels according to the experts there (they measured them at 0.0013 or something along those lines). The Samsung's black levels were ever so slightly greyer, but without TVs in a bitch black room AND right next to each other, you'd never tell the difference. In addition, if you look at very dark content up close on a plasma, it has a fuzziness to it; this was clear on every plasma there. This was important to me because I'll only be sitting 6 feet or so from the TV, so that's not acceptable in my environment.

The motion performance of the plasmas was better than the Samsung LED only with interlaced content, so if that's important to you, you should go for the Samsung plasma. Note I'm comparing with 240hz enabled on the Samsung LED.

Just my opinion, obviously, but I spent 5 hours there looking over 7 sets sitting right next to each other all of which were calibrated by the best guys in the industry, so I think I'm on very good footing. I disagree with most of the final scores; I shouldn't have told Robert I agreed with most of them...I was trying to be nice and not belittle his event which was a GREAT EVENT! If you can make it to Scarsdale, NY next year, GO! Robert is an amazing guy to deal with and he knows all the best guys in the industry including all the best engineers at Panasonic and Samsung, so he can offer insight that no one else can.

Here's my list in order of awesomeness (1 is best, 7 is worst):

  1. Samsung LED
  2. Samsung Plasma
  3. Pioneer Kuro
  4. VT60
  5. ZT60
  6. Sony 4k LED
  7. Panasonic WT60 <-- one of the worst TVs I've ever seen
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post #2 of 33 Old 05-15-2013, 03:00 PM
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Thank you for the effort to see the Shootout in person and to give us your review.

You mentioned plasma "fuzzy" blacks. I also sit close to my TVs and see this "fuzziness" not only on blacks, but all the time on every single plasma I've watched. It's one of the main reasons I didn't buy a Kuro or an Elite years ago. As the bearded plasma founder in the Shootout has mentioned more than once, this is an inherent aspect of phosphor-based displays. Some people like this "warmth." I don't. YMMV

p.s. Did you forward this review to RZ? If so, did he reply?
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post #3 of 33 Old 05-15-2013, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I certainly wasn't there, so I didn't see what you did, but I agree the Panasonic looked dreadful from the web broadcast - I was shocked how bad it looked. Just terrible. I think LCD got the shaft there - I think the F8000 deserved much higher scores than it got, and I think it deserved more attention at the shootout. Unfortunately it was obvious fairly early on that all the love was going to be aimed at the plasmas. I will say that if I were looking at a plasma, it would not be a Panasonic.

And yeah, it doesn't affect image quality, but the F8000 menus and interface is all very slick - the built-in image and video player has a stunning interface - very slick and polished.
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post #4 of 33 Old 05-15-2013, 07:14 PM
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Thank you for posting your thoughts. It is greatly appreciated. I had a Panasonic plasma about 4 1/2 years ago. After I bought it I started having major eye issues and headaches. I could hardly watch TV and was even having problems during the day under the lights at work. Went to my Doctor then my eye doctor and finally a ophthalmologist .Never even thought that it might be the TV. Nobody could find out what was going on but something I always noticed was watching TV on my 40" LCD set in the bedroom or my 30" monitor relieved the issue. So on a hunch I sold the 50" plasma and moved the 40" lCD in the living room. Within days all my symptoms were gone. I watched this set for 4 weeks then I finally bought a Samsung UN55B8500 (their last full array backlit set) Have never had another problem. The Doctors and others felt there was something in the plamsa sets that caused this issue with my eyes. So needless to say I won't try another plasma set.

So what I was getting at is I've been looking at getting a larger set to replace the UN55B8500 and almost bought a 60" Sharp Elite late last year (wish I had now) but decided to wait and see what CES and all the new models had to offer and there was talk of a new Elite. I couldn't wait to see the "shootout " this year but was really disappointed when the results came out. All the talk was about plasma this and plasma is the new king. Blah,Blah,Blah. Hardly a mention of the new F8000. I had very high hopes for this set from the initial reviews from CES. I wish it had deeper blacks and I'll wait and see some real world 60" & 65" reviews before I decide what to do. If I thought I could find a good new 60" Elite I would probably buy one now. i asked Robert about getting one but he just said get a F8000 so I don't know if they are all gone or not.

Anyway I really wanted to thank you for your thoughts on the F8000. I still read both current threads here to keep up with issues or owners thoughts so I can make a good decision.

Jim
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post #5 of 33 Old 05-15-2013, 11:23 PM
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Could you explain why interlaced content looks bad on LEDs? How exactly does it look bad? All that i could find about interlacing was way above my head as far as a layman goes. What would be interlaced? Netflix, blu rays, DVDs, video games? Sorry, I'm not well versed in the lingo.
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post #6 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 04:52 AM
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This thread has made me feel better about my F8000. After seeing the shootout and all the positive 2013 plasma reviews, I was starting to have buyer's remorse. The shootout was nothing but praise upon praise for the plasma sets. I rarely saw them even look at or discuss the LEDs in the room.
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post #7 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 05:27 AM
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Robert provides a unique event for many years now but lets not forget Panasonic is the primary sponsor and many of the attendee's have been Plasma loyalists. There is an obvious BIAS toward plasma with scoring favoring plasma in ideal environments but I'd love to see these supposed experts place those plasmas in our homes with southern exposure with daytime viewing and THEN score! They'd be destroyed by that F8000 and dozen other LCD's yet they are in DENIAL as to daytime reality and just how much content is viewed in daylight hours.

Viewed this Shootout both nights and couldn't get over how they hid the F8000 from viewers on the lower tier and placed that WT60 putrid LCD above it and the Samsung was blocked and ignored throughout while the few survivors of plasma were given the upfront comparative stage another obvious BIAS favoring the lemming plasma followers. Calibrators seem to have an arrogance that ignores the reality of daytime viewing and luxury homes with tall window spaces and absent a dedicated Home Theater but even then I would not choose a plasma ever again as it feels to two dimensional like a CRT which to my eyes sucks - when I owned a Panasonic plasma it seemed like a CRT with a flatness like a tube TV with tons of reflections while my Sharp had a peering into a window feel and gave more immersive 3D wow factor - I hated the Plasma and could not tolerate it for more than a week and all a calibrator would have done is make it DIMMER as they usually do - I'm sorry but when you leave my home I live with the results and I hate DIM PQ and don't give a hoot what your instruments say it's supposed to be.

No Sharp, LG and limited Sony and Samsung participation to the point where you hide and block the F8000 below that piece of junk WT60 and the extremely low scores demo's this as a Plasma shootout and denies what Consumers feel and favor in consumer choice reality which favors LCD/LED easily and close to putting plasma in it's grave - were the differences so great as these scores suggest the opposite would be true but consumers continue to favor and choose LCD especially in the larger HT sizes. I likely may target the F8000 75" or one of it's cheaper siblings at that size or a Sharp.

The Sony turned out to be a huge disappointment and it seems a 950 series would be far better than this first generation 4K. One would have to surmise that to these arrogant know it all's that they have better eyes than the rest of us and that we just accept what they deem is the proper PQ for those of us favoring LCD and be a plasma lemming - but listen to me Calibrators that if your were to place any of these in my viewing room it would be DESTROYED during daylight hours for gaming, sports, movies especially dark scene content and I could never tolerate the lousy whites of the Panasonic - they never address those whites when it demo's a Caribbean wake or snow resort as dirty gray or yellow when in reality they are brilliant WHITE and require sunglasses or goggles - WHITE in the Contrast world is as important as the BLACK gentlemen! This is a pretty cheap marketing event for a conglomerate like Panasonic who proved their bias by placing that WT60 in the competition as a flagship? Are you kidding?

Panasonic has spent MILLIONS over the past decade trashing LCD and they piled on with it by providing this as Flagship but it proved to be more an effort to further trash LCD as it proved to be about 8 year old PQ technology reminding me of my first LCD 11 yrs ago an RCA which only looked good when it was off and then I upgraded to a Sony LCD when a 23" cost $1700 on sale and it still runs excellent and troublefree as the day I bought it on my kitchen counter. Perhaps the WT60 having an IPS has some advantages but it was hands down horrendous during the shootout and Panny should be embarrassed placing this on display as flagship material and for this Shootout ignoring so many other options that better meet the viewing reality outside the Mancave environs.
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Samsung 65F8000, 60D8000, 40HU6350, Panasonic 50E60 LCD's
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post #8 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 07:02 AM
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Lets face it Westa, LCd had not much to offer this year. btw the really expensive LEDs are not available for a VE Shootout

Samsung 4K UN85S9
Sony 4K XBR 84X900
LG 4K 84LM960V
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post #9 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cleveland Plasma View Post

The LED may or ,may not have won but the XBR-xx900A and the LG 84LM960V are still great sets wink.gif

The Sony 55X900 has just been priced at £4000 in the UK where I live and like the gentleman above my lounge faces the full glare of the sun for most of the day. Now at the moment I have an 8G Pioneer 428XD which has done me proud for 5 years but there's no getting away from the fact that during the day the picture is dull as dishwater. Granted at night it's sublime but that only makes up about 20% of my viewing so Im looking to get the best LED I can this year with the 4k Sony at the top of my wanted list.smile.gif
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The LED will do a little better in the light situation, but I bet nothing out there in the past or today will make you happy in those conditions except good shades for the windows wink.gif
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post #12 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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So Chris what would you recommend for someone in my boat (see post above) Would you still look to find a 60" Elite set or go for one of the F8000 models?

I'm just curious if you think the Elite is still worth hunting down and would trust one. By trusting I mean some of the problems people in the Elite thread have had with newer build dates.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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post #13 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Cleveland Plasma View Post

The LED will do a little better in the light situation, but I bet nothing out there in the past or today will make you happy in those conditions except good shades for the windows wink.gif

I know!, But the boss doesn't want blinds:rolleyes:
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post #14 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 02:53 PM
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My wife loves plantation shutters. Kind of expensive but they do look great.
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post #15 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 03:13 PM
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I was looking into that Samsung LCD, but the input lag numbers are dreadful for gaming.

If I were to go 4k with Sony, it would be the 55-inch model that uses the new Sharp panel. I'm curious, could you tell a 1080p image was upscaled? As in, did the image appear razor sharp or had some softness to it. I've been curious about buying the Sony 4k set, but I keep getting conflicted opinions on if 4k is really worth it at that screen size.
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post #16 of 33 Old 05-16-2013, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vaxick View Post

I was looking into that Samsung LCD, but the input lag numbers are dreadful for gaming.

If I were to go 4k with Sony, it would be the 55-inch model that uses the new Sharp panel. I'm curious, could you tell a 1080p image was upscaled? As in, did the image appear razor sharp or had some softness to it. I've been curious about buying the Sony 4k set, but I keep getting conflicted opinions on if 4k is really worth it at that screen size.

I ran my own input lag tests with the F8000 and I posted the results on the flagship models thread. In PC mode the lag is very respectable (17-33ms over several tests) - plus it has the benefit of 4:4:4 chroma processing. You do lose virtually all picture options unfortunately, but PC mode is definitely the way to go with the Samsung.
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post #17 of 33 Old 05-17-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by eagle_2 View Post

I ran my own input lag tests with the F8000 and I posted the results on the flagship models thread. In PC mode the lag is very respectable (17-33ms over several tests) - plus it has the benefit of 4:4:4 chroma processing. You do lose virtually all picture options unfortunately, but PC mode is definitely the way to go with the Samsung.

How was clouding having all those features turned off.
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post #18 of 33 Old 05-17-2013, 05:01 AM
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How was clouding having all those features turned off.

Zero clouding. None. Zilch. I know - my old ES series was plagued by it. According to the Samsung guy at the shootout, the internal components that get hot were moved to an outer area behind the set this year, which eliminates clouding because according to them, the clouding was caused by the hot components pressed up near the panels, causing hot spots. I did notice last year that when I first turned on my set, the clouding was minimal, and after it was on for a while, it would look much, much worse with much more clouding. I started to have a suspicion that it was hot spots near the screen. Whatever they did this year, there was zero clouding. There is some flashlighting though - that can't be avoided thanks to edge-lighting.
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post #19 of 33 Old 05-17-2013, 08:59 PM
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Its a Samsung, there will be clouding, don't fall for the BS.

That is all.
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post #20 of 33 Old 05-17-2013, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by digmor crusher View Post

Its a Samsung, there will be clouding, don't fall for the BS.

That is all.

I must be lying then. rolleyes.gif

I've had two different F8000s now - with a third on the way. The previous sets both had dead pixels. But there was zero clouding. Period. I should know - I had the ES7500 last year which had horrible clouding, so I know very well what clouding looks like. Neither F8000 I've had in my living room had even a spot of clouding. Flashlighting, yes. Clouding, no.
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post #21 of 33 Old 05-17-2013, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 View Post

Robert provides a unique event for many years now but lets not forget Panasonic is the primary sponsor and many of the attendee's have been Plasma loyalists. There is an obvious BIAS toward plasma with scoring favoring plasma in ideal environments but I'd love to see these supposed experts place those plasmas in our homes with southern exposure with daytime viewing and THEN score! They'd be destroyed by that F8000 and dozen other LCD's yet they are in DENIAL as to daytime reality and just how much content is viewed in daylight hours.

.

You said it yourself. "in ideal environments". From a purists perspective who care more about image quality than anything else. Meaning to the exclusion and minimization of all other considerations. Which would include your floor to ceiling windows and their splendid views which you can't and won't deny yourself even for a moment.

So no "DENIAL". Merely a different perspective, one in which you do not share.

Every last one of those "supposed experts" have stated at one time or another that if darkening a room is not an option or priority, then plasma might not be the best choice. Obviously, scoring would change if daytime bright room viewing was entered into the equation. But again, not the aim of their purist perspective. I don't know why you continue to get all lathered up about this, year after year.

Mourning the disappearance of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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post #22 of 33 Old 05-18-2013, 07:47 AM
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...... Merely a different perspective, one in which you do not share.
... But again, not the aim of their purist perspective. I don't know why you continue to get all lathered up about this, year after year.

The reason that some people object to the VE methodology not just a different perspective, but because it is clearly biased and ignores real, not just "personal preference," problems with plasmas. This is not an objective methodology.

How about an IR test? Leave all the Tvs set on a fixed high contrast scene overnight, for an hour, and for 20 minutes and let's see if there are IR problems.

Year after year they all are fixated with black levels. As westa already pointed asked : why this fixation to the exclusion of real world white performance?

Crowning a "King" based on a biased methodology - which VE takes great pains to say is objective - doesn't seem fair to people with a higher concern for objectivity.
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post #23 of 33 Old 05-19-2013, 06:31 AM
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I kind of wish they would just separate the two technologies into their own categories: which one is the best plasma and which is the best LED.
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post #24 of 33 Old 05-19-2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle_2 View Post

I must be lying then. rolleyes.gif

I've had two different F8000s now - with a third on the way. The previous sets both had dead pixels. But there was zero clouding. Period. I should know - I had the ES7500 last year which had horrible clouding, so I know very well what clouding looks like. Neither F8000 I've had in my living room had even a spot of clouding. Flashlighting, yes. Clouding, no.

Yes, I believe you, not saying every Samsung has clouding, however by reading this forum on a daily basis it seems that Samsung has a proclivity to clouding more than other brands.

That is all.
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post #25 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digmor crusher View Post

Yes, I believe you, not saying every Samsung has clouding, however by reading this forum on a daily basis it seems that Samsung has a proclivity to clouding more than other brands.

That is all.

Well, yes, Samsung definitely has a troubled history regarding clouding. The ES series was dreadful, and the previous year wasn't any better. I'm really thinking that this year they may have finally gotten it under control. I'll have my third F8000 delivered tomorrow, so we'll see if the third one is as free of clouding as the first two.
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post #26 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by digmor crusher View Post

Yes, I believe you, not saying every Samsung has clouding, however by reading this forum on a daily basis it seems that Samsung has a proclivity to clouding more than other brands.

That is all.
Guess you haven't read any LG threads then. lol
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post #27 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle_2 View Post

Well, yes, Samsung definitely has a troubled history regarding clouding. The ES series was dreadful, and the previous year wasn't any better. I'm really thinking that this year they may have finally gotten it under control. I'll have my third F8000 delivered tomorrow, so we'll see if the third one is as free of clouding as the first two.
I got lucky....I have an es7500 with minimal couding in movie mode and none when in standard mode. Turning down the brightness makes black screens totally uniform.

It is good to know that this might not be an issue to many though in the F series though. Even minimal clouding bothers me so I use standard mode to remove it all on the es7500.
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post #28 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Surprised to see people are already bringing their preconceptions to this thread without having seen any of these models. You guys complain of bias yet you're the ones bringing the bias in the first place; that is precisely why I stopped coming to these forums regularly. Just because a company has burned you in the past doesnt mean their current products are bad OR VICE VERSA. For example, think about the PlayStation 3: the worst console by far in 2007, but by far the best in 2013; good companies recognize mistakes and correct them. Don't let emotions cloud judgement of solid state devices.

And yes Cleveland Plasma, I'm sure those are nice sets as well. I actually REALLY want a LG PC monitor (their new models are amazing), but I can't find the calibration device to go with it, so I ended up with a Dell 2013H with a Xrite Pro. Too bad LG didn't have any sets in the roundup. I used to HAAAAAATE LG products in general, but I've gotta say they've turned a corner in a major way in the past year. They're following Samsung's lead and are doing a fantastic job of it.

One of the guys at the event sitting next to me said he had a Sharp Elite, hated it, and returned it; he walked out with the Samsung plasma F8500. I've seen Elites in Magnolia stores and they have the same color shift problem that my current Sharp has. IMO Sharp TVs are the worst ones out there in 2013 (aside from that dreadful Panasonic LED WT60 lol).

The Sony 4k was near-terrible in image quality. I would stay away from first generation 4k TVs since you're basically paying to be a beta tester. I'll bet in 2 years Sony's 4k TVs are amazing.

And ultimately, remember that these thoughts are just my opinion. There's a reason people prefer plasma, but I have no idea what that reason is. Dynamic, uncontrollable gamma and "fuzziness" makes plasmas a no go for me. And the 2013 panasonic plasmas I would pass on completely due to their flickering and low light output. If you HAVE to get a panasonic, get the VT60, something that everyone at the event agreed on (at least on the Friday night that I was there).

As much as I sound like a shill, I'm not: whether you prefer a plasma or LED, buy a top end Samsung if you want the best TV in 2013. But I haven't seen the $20k+ 4K TVs, so that might be better. And there's always the 150" $300,000 panasonic plasma that's 8K; I hope you have a hell of a video card for that one :P

Watching TV is supposed to be fun, so lets keep the discussion that way. Thanks to many of you for the kind words.
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post #29 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh and there's a reason the F8000 has no cloding this year. They moved the electronics out of the TV and into the base. The Samsung rep talks about exactly this during his 5-minute presentation of the new models; see the shootout videos if your'e interested. And if you care, I'm the one who asks the question about 120hz input on 2013 TVs.
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post #30 of 33 Old 05-20-2013, 10:44 AM
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^^ The Panasonic 152'' 4K $500.000 Plasma is a 2009 TV so nobody's cares for that TV anymore smile.gif


http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=490650&catGroupId=14624&displayTab=O
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Reply LCD Flat Panel Displays

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