Agonizing over Sony LED W900A vs. Samsung Plasma F8500 vs. Samsung LED 8000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

 

I literally joined AVS just a minute ago, and am happy to finally be a part of this community.  I have been a Home Theater enthusiast for over 20 years, and greatly enjoy the qualities of pristine audio and picture quality.  Like most AVS hobbiests, when it comes to purchasing a television I have no problems buying a smaller TV with a superior picture over a lesser quality TV that's 5" - 10" bigger.  I can't imagine anyone subscribed to this site that would purchase a mediocre TV no matter how big (or cheap) the price is.  Maybe a 2nd TV for the garage, but certainly not as their primary viewing source.

 

The title of this thread defines the current dilemma I'm facing.  Before we go there, I would like to share my personal thoughts on the subject.  I have been a loyal fan of Sony since I entered the hobby.  Their "Trinitron" series of CRT's were exceptional TV's (even with the stabilization wire).  Since then, I purchased a 35" Proscan CRT followed by a Sony 720P CRT (a very nice one, actually).  My next two flat panels were Sony LCD's, which I felt were decent quality but not quite to the level of the their CRT sets.  Both are 120Hz, and deliver a fine picture quality overall.  I'm quite happy with how they handle motion (for what they are), and always had a preference for their "natural" look over the "vivid & robust" appearance of some of their competitors.  I found the sharpness of the Sony models to be "just right", and while I do enjoy the overall look of the LCD's I own they come with a sacrifice of some snowy blacks during darker scenes (the dreaded flashlighting / clouding effect).  These aren't full-array local dimming sets obviously. These are CCFL displays that came out several years before the LED's came out.  My current home theater CCFL monitor at least does frame dimming (but as we know that's a cop out, and takes a second or so for the dim to actually occur - which is a little annoying in itself).

 

During normal TV and movie watching, the contrast surprisingly looks very good (almost excellent).  As long as the scene shows low-medium bright, the blacks appear plenty dark enough to show a nice contrast ratio.  The sacrifice is mostly noticed only when the picture faded to black (or switched to a very dark scene).  The TV can show very good detail in the shadows, but that is sadly at the cost of also seeing some "pixel glow" around the sides & corners.  Reducing the blacklight / contrast / brightness at this point ultimately makes the picture appear TOO DARK.  That's the "crux" of Sony televisions.  On the flipside, Samsung's TV's appear exceptionally bright & vivid (overly so out of the box IMO).  Dropping the contrast on the Samsungs (not because of clouding but more from their overall brightness) seems to give a similar effect where the TV's picture and detail is a little too dim - causing slight loss of detail in darker areas of the picture.

 

I spent a lot of time demo'ing the 3 mentioned TV's for a few weeks now, and have done enough research to say my head is spinning!  So much information and mis-information.  Reading claims how "every" 120Hz & 240Hz TV's inserts black frames to reduce blur.  Then reading this theory crushed by reading how better quality LED-LCD sets (i.e., Samsung & Sony) insert actual true frames and not "cheat" by using the easier method of flashing black pixels.  I guess that's the difference between a "true" native 240Hz panel vs. a 60Hz-120Hz panel faking 120Hz-240Hz (I don't see any 60Hz these days thank goodness).

 

Along with this search, lies a semi-strong interest with Plasma.  I first considered purchasing the Panasonic ZT60 or VT60 models before they ran out of stock.  Heck, I was highly considering the ST60 model due to it's incredible cost value!  After doing the demo in stores, I was abruptly turned away from them for several reasons:

 

1)  Our viewing room is not a lightless basement dungeon.  There is often low ambient light in the room.  We rarely watch movies in the room "pitch black", but also realize the importance of dimming as much as possible to remove ambient light (just like movie theaters but not quite as drastic).

 

2)  While I found the inky blacks of the Panasonic sets to be SUPERB, I was *not* happy with their whites!  Imagine watching a TV going into an Apple commercial, and instead of seeing the brilliant crisp white, what you see instead is a faded light shade of gray.  The lumen rating of the Panasonics appeared close the Pioneer Elite Kuro's (also very low).  That's the essence of plasma, so either you like it or you don't.

 

3)  I could easily hear a static buzz coming from the front of the monitor during the demo!  And that was sitting at least 6-7 feet away.  Some users also report hearing a soft fan noise while the unit cools.  Unfortunately, I'm even more an audiophile than a videophile, so I immediately knew I wouldn't like hearing soft humming sounds during the quiet parts that may be brightly lit.  I'm sure it happens more often than people realize.

 

4)  Last (but NOT least), while at the TV store I could clearly see a SEVERE case of image retention on the lower-right corner!  Now, granted... this was Paul's TV (and not Best Buy's Magnolia store), and they tend to loop the same exact scenes over and over again (complete with the marketing static logo).  I do realize that company-store floor models suffer 100x more abuse compared to an individual's home environment.  But I'm sorry... a $3k+ price TV just shouldn't have these problems with image retention.  IMO, it is the WORST problem that plasmas have.  Even if the full-blown "burn-in" is resolved, image retention clearly isn't.

 

I've read that properly breaking in a plasma TV for the first 100-200 hours, it's less likely to have permanent burn-in damage happen.  I also heard stories of people accessing a TV's menu for 10-15 minutes and seeing briefer moments of I.R.  Someone can play PS3 / Xbox for 3-4 hours and witness even more severe I.R.

 

IMO, seeing that "ghost" of image retention is almost as bad as seeing motion blur.  In some ways it's worse because at least during a movie motion blur comes & goes at random.  But with the retained image, I would be constantly waiting for the next bright scene to see if the defect is still there.

 

Because of these "burning" issues (pun intended), my mind quickly shifted back to the LED backlit sets.  I knew I would prefer one that performs well with local dimming.  Both Sony's W900A and Samsung's F8000 series have very good feedback on their technologies.  W900a's have "Dynamic Edge Lighting" (versus regular edge lighting but still the same concept).  F8000's have "Micro Dimming" - which supposedly can dim hundreds of different areas somehow.  Vizio (yeah, I know) at least has a full array local dimming unit - but it's kind of silly since it only dims 16 sections.  As well all know, there's a lot more stuff that goes into picture quality than (just) local dimming.  I seriously considered the W850A model for its bigger size of 65", but every time I visited the stores I could see significant flash lighting problems.  I soon deducted the 55" W900A model might work better for me since it has the "Deep Black Panel" that the 850a's lack.

 

One Best Buy store showed the Samsung 8000's to have very rich & inky blacks!  In fact, their blacks during a movie's end credits were highly impressive (almost no flashlighting at all).  I go to another store, and the 8000's models there are even worse than the 850A!!!  What gives?  So in my frustration I start to go against my own promise and reconsider the plasma again.  But instead of the dim Panasonics (which are mostly out of stock by now) I started looking at the Samsung F8500.

 

WOW!  What an amazing picture.  I demo'd the same end credits, and the white/black edge separation was outstanding.  The whites only resided with the text (as it should be).  No clouding of white specks on the sides or corners.  Every space surrounding the text was perfect pitch-black!  Not only that, it was pitch-black at just about every angle that I viewed the TV.  LCD's, on the other hand, tend to show more brightness the more you sit to the side of the unit.  I would honestly say the Samsung plasma is 98%-99% as close as the Panasonic's (in terms of rich inky blacks).  What's amazed me most about this set is their bright lumens.  I think their rating is around 150 (as opposed to Panasonic's 70).  Please don't quote me on these numbers, I'm just throwing an approximate guess.  As for the LED tv's?  I'm guessing their lumens range from 200-250?

 

Furthermore, I heard no fan noise from the F8500.  The stand is elegant, sleek, and sexy as hell.  The picture was stunningly beautiful.  However, my main 2 gripes of concern (image retention, and faint static hum) still hold me back from pulling the trigger.

 

It's frustrating being in this position.  I really want to like these plasmas so bad.  The 600Hz refresh rate provides excellent motion for sports (although, I would actually prefer using LCD's motion-flow interpolation).  With regular TV or movies, absolutely not.  I *LOATHE* the "Soap Opera Effect" to no end!  It's awesome for sports, but TERRIBLE for movies.

 

I was also comparing other scenes.  On rare occasions, the LED LCD would slightly outperform the plasma - mostly in detail with the darker areas (even with the picture being changed from "vivid" to "normal").  More often than not, the "overall picture" of the Plasma was either slightly better or considerably better than the high end LCD's. Most of the time it was just slightly better.

 

So I'm really at a quandry.  I don't know what I should do.  The Sony W900A has the best deal & price right now, but it's 'only' 55".  In my situation, the 55" is a better size due to other constraints in the room.  Distance-wise, we would be better off with a 60"-65" television.  A 60" could provide the best compromise between optimal distance and aesthetics, but the 850A doesn't come in 60" (it does come in 65").  I do prefer the Sony LED models over the Samsung's due to their "natural" look.  They seem to mimic the plasmas better than most other models (Samsung included).  But for about $500 more I can get a 60" plasma F8500 over the Sony 55" W900A.

 

If I wasn't "allergic" to plasma, this would be a very easy decision for me.  I'm just not convinced that I will never hear the static hum (even at 12-14 feet), nor am I convinced I will never have any issues with image retention.  I prefer not to run maintenance schedules of washing out the screen several hours a week, or performing rituals to make absolutely sure the TV is not kept on the same channel for more than a few hours (those damn channel logos).  If (and that's a big if) the Sony model proves to have excellent black levels that rival the plasmas, I'm confident the W900A is probably the right decision for me.  I don't expect it to be 98% as close, but even if it's 75%-80% as close I would be very pleased with the Sony.

 

It's also possible that no current LED TV can never get there because of the limits of edge-lit technology.  But I have also read some people had GREAT success with either the W900A and/or the W850A model on their first try!  Some had to go through 1 or 2 exchanges before landing the most trouble-free unit.

 

Any thoughts on the subject are appreciated.

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post #2 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 05:33 AM
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If i was in the market looking for a 65" HDTV right now i would definitely spring for last year's Sony XBR-65HX950 with LED full-array local-dimmed and still available for sale for a little more than $3,000.00.
Personally i would stay away from any LED edge-lit HDTVs as i have yet to read a review that doesn't mention some kind of limitation of the technology, even on the highest rated edge-lit models from Samsung and Sony, which according to test reports at the new consolidated website for Sound&Vision and Home Theater magazine, have the best performing LED edge-lit HDTVs.
The Sony XBR-55HX950 was extensively tested by Home Theater magazine last year and the review is available online; The reviewer was shocked seeing better black level and shadow details on the Sony LED model than on a Panasonic plasma display on a side by side comparison....
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post #3 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hopefully the Best Buy stores might still sell them.  It's worth taking a look, but due to the age of the TV (also like the W900A) I don't believe it's displayed in the Magnolia area.

I wonder how Home Theater Magazine ranks the HX950 vs. the W900A models.  CNet's review seemed to give the W900A a better score overall than the HX950 model.  I can also look to see if the HX950 comes in 55" or 60".

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post #4 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 12:46 PM
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I was somewhat in the same quandary. Really wanted a plasma, but Image Retention/Burn-In were issues that I didn't want to deal with. Demoed the Sony W900A and Samsung F8000 and ended up choosing the Sony because it had a slightly better picture and was $500 cheaper. Must admit that my decision was somewhat biased by the fact that I had just returned a Samsung UN55F6350 that failed after three days.
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post #5 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 01:45 PM
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Didn't want to buy obsolete plasma either. Returned a UN60F6400 after three weeks of trying different settings. Bought the KDL-55W900A for under 1700 and think it's great. Viewing angle is my only minor issue -- blacks turn less black moving off center.
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post #6 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 02:14 PM
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If you can wait, you should check out the upcoming Vizio M or P series tv's with full array local dimming (FALD). Most people agree that this is the best LED tech to produce deep blacks. I believe the E series is already available. Vizio has really upped their game over the years. The P series will be UHD and extremely affordable. The 50" is only $1000. I myself am waiting for a 70" P series, hopefully they'll be out the second half of this year.
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post #7 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 02:34 PM
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The Sony 900A was unanimously rated better across the board over the Samsung 8000, but by a small margin in all categories.

The Samsung plasma would be better at night by a little bit over both LCDs & the brightness would be good enough in the day too, but not as bright as either as well.

If you want quality, I would wait a few more months, the 2014 line of TVs are rolling out very soon from all manufactures.
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post #8 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

The Sony 900A was unanimously rated better across the board over the Samsung 8000, but by a small margin in all categories.

The Samsung plasma would be better at night by a little bit over both LCDs & the brightness would be good enough in the day too, but not as bright as either as well.

If you want quality, I would wait a few more months, the 2014 line of TVs are rolling out very soon from all manufactures.
The first of the 2014 Sony's will be in stores in the next 2 weeks. The Samsung line up will be in stores the last week of March/first week of April. This per their in store reps I spoke to over the last few weeks. Sony will only have the W600,W800 and W850B available in march,but samsung will have pretty much every model 55" and below at launch.
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post #9 of 95 Old 02-12-2014, 06:12 PM
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If you want the best picture, it's Samsung Plasma F8500 all the way. It's stunning.
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post #10 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies folks.

 

I really do like the picture quality of the F8500 a lot.  Sony is coming out with a new "S" series, which is a curved TV with very similar specs as the W900a model.  It's the only other TV they have that has the "deep black panel".  It's dynamic edge lit with their version of local dimming.  So far it only comes in a 65" size and will be apx. $3 grand.

 

It's good to know they are phasing out the W900a's.  It makes me all the happier that I'm in the process of taking the plunge on that model (if I don't like it, I will probably change to the F8500 plasma).  Cost is another factor in all of this too, and like the above person stated the W900a is $500 less than the Samsung 8000 (same size).  I'm guessing I'm paying for the camera, the DirecTV smart app, and other little quirks I probably will not use.  The 55" W900a is also $500 less than the 60" Plasma F8500.

 

If there are ANY expert plasma users on this thread, I would love to hear from them.  Mainly... I'm curious to know what to realistically expect with the negatives of plasma.  From my understanding, the phosphors dim as the TV gets older (thus, making the TV darker & darker after the first 5-6 years).  I have a feeling this is why some people recalibrate plasma once (or twice) after the initial install.

 

I would also like to know what to expect regarding image retention.  What's the likelihood of me seeing some I.R. after properly breaking in for 100-200 hours?  If a station's logo was left on for 4 hours, how long with the image retention last under normal TV viewing?  Twice as long at 8 hours?  If I use the electronic screen scrubber, does it wash out the blurry ghost in less time?

 

This TV is supposed to go into a family room where we have 3 kids.  Even though I plan on moving the game system into another room, I'm concerned about having a TV that my wife and I will have to "worry" over... constantly taking mental notes at how long TV station #A was watched, and how long we are able to watch it before switching channels.  And the other lurking concerns that someone may "mess up" and cause image retention.  Some of the comments I hear is that it can be a stubborn pain to fix (sometimes taking hours or days of rigorous high intensity illuminated screen savers.

 

But when the plasma WORKS... wow... what an amazing picture it is!  Holy cow.

 

I'm really crossing my fingers the Sony LED tv will not flashlight too much.  Viewing the TV off angle is a perfect way to see if the television suffers from that.  It's a fair test to do because there are times when guests are over and may watch some content at 25-40 degrees off angle.

 

It's too bad the mass market is moving away from the full array local dimming.  Everyone seems to like the "ultra thin sleek & slender look".  Personally, I'm watching the TV and not the side so I don't care about that too much.  Granted, it looks like it's "Soooooo 2011".  Vizio has really come a long way since their introduction in the LCD market.  The earlier units were very cheaply made, but the last couple years have shown some remarkable improvement in their picture quality, screen size, and the various technologies that they offer.  For instance, this year they are offering a full array local dimming unit (lights shining from the back forward rather than edge lit).  Unfortunately the TV doesn't get very high marks on colors and other aspects that make a good TV great.  I went on their website, and I think I remember their unit stating to only have 16 local dimming zones.  Wow, that's it?  If it's full array they should really have at least 80 if not 100 or more to really be effective.

 

Another reason why I'm strongly considering plasma is because I think we will be happier with a 60" over a 55" (and a 65" for that matter because of our size constraints).  I hope the very experienced users with plasma chime in on this subject at hand.  So far, all of the information has been helpful.

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post #11 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for the replies folks.

I really do like the picture quality of the F8500 a lot.  Sony is coming out with a new "S" series, which is a curved TV with very similar specs as the W900a model.  It's the only other TV they have that has the "deep black panel".  It's dynamic edge lit with their version of local dimming.  So far it only comes in a 65" size and will be apx. $3 grand.

It's good to know they are phasing out the W900a's.  It makes me all the happier that I'm in the process of taking the plunge on that model (if I don't like it, I will probably change to the F8500 plasma).  Cost is another factor in all of this too, and like the above person stated the W900a is $500 less than the Samsung 8000 (same size).  I'm guessing I'm paying for the camera, the DirecTV smart app, and other little quirks I probably will not use.  The 55" W900a is also $500 less than the 60" Plasma F8500.

If there are ANY expert plasma users on this thread, I would love to hear from them.  Mainly... I'm curious to know what to realistically expect with the negatives of plasma.  From my understanding, the phosphors dim as the TV gets older (thus, making the TV darker & darker after the first 5-6 years).  I have a feeling this is why some people recalibrate plasma once (or twice) after the initial install.

I would also like to know what to expect regarding image retention.  What's the likelihood of me seeing some I.R. after properly breaking in for 100-200 hours?  If a station's logo was left on for 4 hours, how long with the image retention last under normal TV viewing?  Twice as long at 8 hours?  If I use the electronic screen scrubber, does it wash out the blurry ghost in less time?

This TV is supposed to go into a family room where we have 3 kids.  Even though I plan on moving the game system into another room, I'm concerned about having a TV that my wife and I will have to "worry" over... constantly taking mental notes at how long TV station #A was watched, and how long we are able to watch it before switching channels.  And the other lurking concerns that someone may "mess up" and cause image retention.  Some of the comments I hear is that it can be a stubborn pain to fix (sometimes taking hours or days of rigorous high intensity illuminated screen savers.

But when the plasma WORKS... wow... what an amazing picture it is!  Holy cow.

I'm really crossing my fingers the Sony LED tv will not flashlight too much.  Viewing the TV off angle is a perfect way to see if the television suffers from that.  It's a fair test to do because there are times when guests are over and may watch some content at 25-40 degrees off angle.

It's too bad the mass market is moving away from the full array local dimming.  Everyone seems to like the "ultra thin sleek & slender look".  Personally, I'm watching the TV and not the side so I don't care about that too much.  Granted, it looks like it's "Soooooo 2011".  Vizio has really come a long way since their introduction in the LCD market.  The earlier units were very cheaply made, but the last couple years have shown some remarkable improvement in their picture quality, screen size, and the various technologies that they offer.  For instance, this year they are offering a full array local dimming unit (lights shining from the back forward rather than edge lit).  Unfortunately the TV doesn't get very high marks on colors and other aspects that make a good TV great.  I went on their website, and I think I remember their unit stating to only have 16 local dimming zones.  Wow, that's it?  If it's full array they should really have at least 80 if not 100 or more to really be effective.

Another reason why I'm strongly considering plasma is because I think we will be happier with a 60" over a 55" (and a 65" for that matter because of our size constraints).  I hope the very experienced users with plasma chime in on this subject at hand.  So far, all of the information has been helpful.


I'm cut & pasting my post from another thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

People are excited about Vizio's new line, they are going to be both affordable & high quality.


500x1000px-LL-0abb0f6e_viziochart.png]

All are full array local dimming, which will automatically be better than your Samsung edge lit TV you had.

E series has 16 dimming zones.
M series has 32 dimming zones.
P series has 64 dimming zones.

The E series is out now & the M & P will be released shortly.

I wouldn't worry about color accuracy, any modern TV can get it dialed in right.
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post #12 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 05:44 AM
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If you want the best picture, it's Samsung Plasma F8500 all the way. It's stunning.
I second this. If you want the best picture out of these TV's it would be the F8500 hands down. Color saturation, motion, black levels and screen uniformity just can't be beat on a plasma by any edge lit LED.

The F8500 has a great daytime filter, probably better then most LEDs produced today, it can get more then bright enough for daytime viewing, has no fans built into the TV and Samsung plasma's in general handle IR extremely well. Also, at least IR goes away if you were to get some and it is usually only noticeable if you go looking for it on colored slides. Flashlighting and clouding aren't going anywhere. What you see is what you get.

I challenge anyway who owns an edge lit LED and is a videophile to say they can watch a TV with flashlighting and clouding and actually not focus on that the entire time you are viewing a movie.

Only positive thing I can say about an edge lit LED is you won't have to worry about IR. Can't think of another reason to choose one and that is not a big enough positive to me in any way.

Good luck with what you choose. We can only tell you what we would do but it is you that has to be happy with your purchase not us.
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post #13 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blau808 View Post

If you can wait, you should check out the upcoming Vizio M or P series tv's with full array local dimming (FALD). Most people agree that this is the best LED tech to produce deep blacks. I believe the E series is already available. Vizio has really upped their game over the years. The P series will be UHD and extremely affordable. The 50" is only $1000. I myself am waiting for a 70" P series, hopefully they'll be out the second half of this year.
Really need to wait until some reviews are in on these sets. With the limited amount of zones that the M and P series have it might not live up to the hype that people are expecting.

The 2014 E series, while full array and with an even smaller amount of zones then the M and P is absolutely nothing to write home about. There are much better edge lit TV's then the 2014 Vizio FALD LED set. So there are no guarantee's how good these TV's will actually be just because they are using FALD and only time will tell.

The Sharp Elite had somewhere around 300 zones give or take a few and it still was not a plasma killer. Plasma pictures are just that good.
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post #14 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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If the sole deciding factor on LED tv is... "is it full array local dimming", then I would agree the Vizio is the clear winner.  I would also guess that 60 zones from the "P" series is the way to go.  But when I stand in front of these Vizios, there are just other (more subtle & hidden) aspects of the picture that don't really "wow" me that much.  They are an INCREDIBLE value though!  In my opinion, they are probably THE best valued LED lcd TV on the market hands down.

 

I don't trust their reliability long-term though.  It will take a few more years for me to feel more confident in that regard.  I'm hoping they have made really good strides in the reliability factor.  A good friend of mine has both the HX full array series (very rich blacks and no flashlighting), and he also has an edge-lit Samsung led that he lucked out on too (virtually no flashlighting when viewing directly from the front, only slight flashlighting when viewing from the side).

 

As for image retention, I usually see it (sometimes easily) when the background is light.  For instance, an Apple commercial or a scene on a snowy mountain.  But you are also right that when the scene turns dark I also immediately start to look for flashlighting issues.  But one difference to help combat that is frame dimming.  Along with the local dimming, I suspect some of these monitors "cheat" by also dimming the entire frame to help prevent this clouding effect.

 

I have also heard that Samsung's TV handles image retention very well.  It's surprising because the screen is much brighter than Pansonic's.  I like the heat transfer cooling vs. the noisy fan cooling (GREAT design IMO).  I still wish someone could answer these "burning" questions on Image Retention.  Like... how often it happens.  How long it takes to remove.  Are there procedures to completely safeguard against it.  If I watch a 3 hour movie that's 2.35:1 letterbox will there be image retention from the black bars?  If people watch standard def TV using pillar box mode (after broken in of course) will there be I.R. on the sides?  Does the TV gradually become dimmer over the years, and need to be re-calibrated again?

 

I have never own a plasma, and have more concerns with the plasma than I do with LED's (even with the flashlighting problem).

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post #15 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 11:05 AM
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TV picture quality is %100 based on ones perspective. We are all human, have different tastes and likes. I hate seafood, but I know lots of people that love it. While we can agree maybe on basic fundamentals what you like visually with your eyes will be completely different then mine. There are too many variables really and I've found out all you really need to do is pick the best set that you like which you can afford. While some sets are clearly better made then others, I've seen a couple cheap Vizio sets that looked great which were calibrated just right. Your eyes also get use to something over time. If you change something quickly, like I did with buying a new set, it takes time for my brain to get use to what I'm looking at. All anyone can do in reality is tell you how well the TV set is made and build quality. Someone telling you to get a set based on their visual liking is like me telling you to get out and buy a certain food because I think it is the best. You have to taste for yourself. Really, I do hate a $50 plate of lobster that someone else would just love.
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Originally Posted by turnbowm View Post

I was somewhat in the same quandary. Really wanted a plasma, but Image Retention/Burn-In were issues that I didn't want to deal with. Demoed the Sony W900A and Samsung F8000 and ended up choosing the Sony because it had a slightly better picture and was $500 cheaper. Must admit that my decision was somewhat biased by the fact that I had just returned a Samsung UN55F6350 that failed after three days.

There are plenty of good reasons to pick a plasma or an LED depending on your priorities. Burn-in is not a good reason to avoid a purchase though. Hasn't been a real issue for a number of years now from any of the major manufactures. It's still possible in extreme circumstances on either plasma or LED, but rare on both.

Get plasma if you are a videophile who primarily watches theatrical movies or TV shows shot in theatrical style and who wants a more film-like look and motion resolution. Get LED if you want brightness over accuracy, watch primarily TV-originated content or prefer the lower energy consumption or are scared off by the quickly disappearing market for new plasma sets. Also, you're topped out at 65" for the consumer plasma market but can go bigger with LED.
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post #17 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Opentoe View Post

TV picture quality is %100 based on ones perspective. We are all human, have different tastes and likes. I hate seafood, but I know lots of people that love it. While we can agree maybe on basic fundamentals what you like visually with your eyes will be completely different then mine. There are too many variables really and I've found out all you really need to do is pick the best set that you like which you can afford. While some sets are clearly better made then others, I've seen a couple cheap Vizio sets that looked great which were calibrated just right. Your eyes also get use to something over time. If you change something quickly, like I did with buying a new set, it takes time for my brain to get use to what I'm looking at. All anyone can do in reality is tell you how well the TV set is made and build quality. Someone telling you to get a set based on their visual liking is like me telling you to get out and buy a certain food because I think it is the best. You have to taste for yourself. Really, I do hate a $50 plate of lobster that someone else would just love.
Comparing food to a TV is very different. There is no way to measure the taste of food but there are ways to measure what makes up a quality picture. There are ways to measure contrast, colors, black levels, brightness levels, gamma, etc. So yes, maybe personal preference might come in to some degree depending on the type of picture you prefer but there are clear winners and losers with TV's. A Vizio E series is in no way equal to an Samsung F8000. You might prefer the Vizio but at that point you are obviously not selecting the better TV no matter what your opinion is.

When selecting TV's in the upper tier, it is then a closer game but we can give our opinions on what we like better and why. The buyer then can choose or decide for himself but might hear things that they didn't think about or maybe will become better educated by asking his question and might start to think about things he might not have thought of. He says he doesn't know much about plasma's so I will educate a little.

I cureently own a VT60. I also owned a Samsung LED, es7500 as well as a Samsung plasma E7000. The VT60 is in a class of it's own. I also put the F8500 in this class. As far as IR, my VT60 is great. I can run a station logo for hours then e the channel and not see a thing. Running the super bowl last week left no trace of IR. I do check my screen from time to time in case I need to run the wiper but so far just changing up the content is enough to keep my screen clean.

If you do get IR, it can vary how long it takes to clear up and it depends on how long you let it go without clearing it. Most IR will disappear in minutes, some things might take longer. I will tell you from everything I have read and seen the Samsung is much better with IR then the Panasonic's this year. IR is not really something you should stress over.

As far as life of a plasma, they are now rated to about 100,000 hours before they will fade to about half brightness. They say that is about 30 years. So this means that the life a plasma is not even relevant anymore in any decision. If you have your TV for 30 years or if it lasts that long before something else break in it that will probably be a miracle.

If you watch TV with black bars, you just want to make sure you mix it up with full content just to wear evenly. If you decide to watch a couple of widescreen movies one day, that won't leave IR. Widescreen movies shine on these TV's. If you watch something all day long every day then you might have a problem but in know way do people worry about watching widescreen movies regularly on a plasma.

Like you, I was scared of plasma's and never thought I would buy one currently but once I educated myself more and realized how LED owners would rip apart Plasma's when if fact they really didn't know much about them at all I have become a plasma believer. I am able to just sit down now and really enjoy movie and TV time. I was not able to really do that with my LED. I always found myself looking at the issues of the tech while watching and always needed to be dead center to the TV which always limited my movement when watching. Having an open floor plan with my dining room I can enjoy my plasma from anywhere I move. I can also sit a different couch in the room and don't always need to be dead center. I actually re-arranged my room when I got the plasma as I didn't need my couch setup dead center and was able to move it closer to the TV buy angling them on the sides.
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post #18 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 01:40 PM
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If you want the best picture, it's Samsung Plasma F8500 all the way. It's stunning.

Probably so, but it will be obsolete soon and when I see "bright room, wife, 3 kids, video games" I wouldn't consider plasma for the OP.
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Currently have an ISF tuned Panasonic VT 10 58". Not a new plasma. I have had no problems with burn in or image retention. If you like the plasma, buy it. I just ordered a 55" TV for my son. Its a Sony W900A. Its the best bang for the buck at around $1700. I am waiting for a 70" OLED at $4000 or less to come out.

Got Tubes?
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post #20 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mule65 View Post

Probably so, but it will be obsolete soon and when I see "bright room, wife, 3 kids, video games" I wouldn't consider plasma for the OP.

Buy what you like.

In the name of accuracy, let me clear a few things up.

Bright room - the Samsung XXF8500 are the brightest plasmas ever. Rivaling LED tv's.

Video Games (I'm assuming you mean Image Retention) - Virtually non-existent on the F8500.

Obsolescence - What's obsolete about one of the best pictures of any flat panel set?

There's a lot of misinformation on Plasma TV's, that does not apply to the recent crop of excellent models from Panasonic and Samsung. Too bad most consumers can't let go of their pre-conceived notions of current plasma technology.
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post #21 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 05:21 PM
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I second this. If you want the best picture out of these TV's it would be the F8500 hands down. Color saturation, motion, black levels and screen uniformity just can't be beat on a plasma by any edge lit LED.

The F8500 has a great daytime filter, probably better then most LEDs produced today, it can get more then bright enough for daytime viewing, has no fans built into the TV and Samsung plasma's in general handle IR extremely well. Also, at least IR goes away if you were to get some and it is usually only noticeable if you go looking for it on colored slides. Flashlighting and clouding aren't going anywhere. What you see is what you get.

I challenge anyway who owns an edge lit LED and is a videophile to say they can watch a TV with flashlighting and clouding and actually not focus on that the entire time you are viewing a movie.

Only positive thing I can say about an edge lit LED is you won't have to worry about IR. Can't think of another reason to choose one and that is not a big enough positive to me in any way.

Good luck with what you choose. We can only tell you what we would do but it is you that has to be happy with your purchase not us.

I always thought general plasma picture was horrible with all the dithering & color banding.
Sure you can not focus on it & ignore it, just like with clouding on an LCD, but it is there & I notice it.
The biggest advantage in contrast & black levels over LCDs are in dark to very dim rooms, which doesn't really apply to 90% of my viewing..

Speaking of which, the Samsung plasma black levels aren't that far off from from the LCDs he would be choosing. If he were to get a Panasonic ZT60, that would be a huge difference, but the F8500, not so much.
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post #22 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Buy what you like.

In the name of accuracy, let me clear a few things up.

Bright room - the Samsung XXF8500 are the brightest plasmas ever. Rivaling LED tv's.

Video Games (I'm assuming you mean Image Retention) - Virtually non-existent on the F8500.

Obsolescence - What's obsolete about one of the best pictures of any flat panel set?

There's a lot of misinformation on Plasma TV's, that does not apply to the recent crop of excellent models from Panasonic and Samsung. Too bad most consumers can't let go of their pre-conceived notions of current plasma technology.
It's nice to read posts from people who know what they are talking about. Lol

What does an obsolete picture even mean? The F8500 will give you a better picture then anything out right now and probably until OLED TV's come out. So I guess we are saying anything till then will be absolete. Well at least with the F8500 you will have the best obsolete TV at that time.

And for brightness, it is very rare you will need anything brighter then an F8500. A pro calibration would almost never calibrate to full brightness that panel is capable of.
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post #23 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mule65 View Post

Probably so, but it will be obsolete soon and when I see "bright room, wife, 3 kids, video games" I wouldn't consider plasma for the OP.


From reading this, sounds like you have never owned a plasma before. Everything you buy today will be absolete tomorrow, that does not mean a thing if the panel has reference picture quality. A good example is the Pioneer Elite Kuro. Bright room, wife, 2 kids, video games ? I got them all and my plasma performs excellent. It ultimately comes down whether the OP wants the best picture quality or good picture quality.
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post #24 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 06:36 PM
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Burn-in is not a good reason to avoid a purchase though. Hasn't been a real issue for a number of years now from any of the major manufactures.

The Master Burn-In thread in the Plasma forum is 169 pages long, which speaks volumes about the extent of an ongoing problem.
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The Master Burn-In thread in the Plasma forum is 169 pages long, which speaks volumes about the extent of an ongoing problem.
I was part of that thread back months ago when I owned an ST60 and freaked out when I saw IR. Quickly exchange it for an LED, es7500.

Now, 8 months later I sold my es7500 and bought a VT60. I could not be happier. What a relief going back to a plasma. This time around I took a different approach. I was just going to watch the TV and not constantly look for IR and you know what, IR hasn't been an issue at all.

Keep an eye on your panel, especially after any marathon type viewing and take care of stubborn IR in the beginning if you even have any and you won't have worry about a thing. Just knowing you own a TV with one off the best pictures ever will keep you smiling for a long time.
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post #26 of 95 Old 02-13-2014, 10:36 PM
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For what it's worth. I'm a plasma person, have been one for a long time, but recently bought my new TV and I chose the 55W900 from Sony. It was between that and the Panasonic VT60.

 

It was a very tough choice, but with my recent viewing and gaming habits, I simply did not want to baby my television. It took a lot of time for me to tinker with the 900 for me to be comfortable with it, but at the end of the day I found it to be the only LCD television that could stand up to a Plasma in terms of PQ. By far the clearest motion of any LCD based television ive seen, far better than the F8000, outstanding color reproduction, excellent broadcast TV presentation, and the best black levels I've seen on a non full array based LED set.

 

If I was a buying a TV for movie watching only, I would have gotten the VT60, and in your case I would also consider the F8500. But with my gaming habits I simply did not want to deal with it.

 

I guess what Im trying to say is, take the F8000 out of the equation, look at the 900 and the F8500 and consider what your viewing habits will be.

 

Also, I agree with whoever stated the difference in black levels is not THAT huge when talking about the F8500. I found the 8500 to be significantly worse than the VT and of course ZT Panny models. 8500 main selling point imo is it's brightness.

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post #27 of 95 Old 02-14-2014, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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These comments are all wonderful advice.  I can't say I'm over the hump regarding I.R., but I'm getting closer to reaching that hump than I was before.

 

MK7e... Your statements about the W900a are encouraging.  It sounds like my suspicions on this model may be true.  Compared to other EDGE LIT models, this picture seems to replicate an image that looks as close to plasma as you can get.  I think the main reason why Panny's ST, VT & ZT have better blacks is because of their overall lumen brightness.  I asked one of my local Best Buy's if they had "Life of Pi" in their collection, and they did!  They took 1/3 the screens (the ones I was looking at) and displayed "Life of Pi" while the others were displaying "The Avengers" or "Transformers 3".  While I was there, I was literally the only person watching "Life of Pi".  Everyone else seemed to flock towards the brighter screens showing action scenes (lol).

 

There's an terrific scene where a starry night is reflected on the ocean water.  I found the blacks on the F8500 to be SUPERB.  The neighboring W850 model was considerably lighter in the blacks.  The further distance I viewed (from the center of course) the darker these blacks got on the 850 (but I could still see a little difference vs. the F8500).  As I walked back closer, the brighter the blacks on the W850 became more noticeable again but the F8500 remained jet black.  I walked at an angle.  The W850's blacks were even brighter, yet the F8500... perfect jet black.

 

Next we watched a scene that focused on the tiger.  The crisp details on the hair and whiskers... STUNNING on the F8500.  Still very nice looking on the W850.  Sadly, the W900a only hits 55" and is now considered an older television to be displayed in the bright main floor outside the Magnolia Section - making it impossible to do a full comparison.  This is a shame, because everything I read states the W900a trumps the W850 with its 240 Hz native Deep Black Panel.  Both motion and contrast ratios are about as good as you can get with edge lit (I presume).

 

So I walked back to the Magnolia room to revisit the starry night from "Life of Pi".  I asked the salesman to turn up the brightness on the F8500.  The only 2 things set to maximum were contrast and 'cell light'.  I thought that was interesting because plasmas have no backlight.  Surprisingly, the brightness was only set at 45.  As the brightness was bumped to 55-60, details once lost in the shadows of normal scenes started to come through a little better.  At super close viewing, the inky blacks were not quite as jet black as before.  Still excellent - near superb blacks though (even from inches away from the screen).  I walk back 10-12 feet, and suddenly I see no visual difference on the blacks compared to how they were before (superb), and this was on the 64" set.  The floor person then brought the brightness all the way up to 100.  The starry night scene looked quite horrid (lol).  However, the UNIFORMITY of the light gray blacks was perfectly even!  No "flashlight clouding" from the corners or sides of the monitor.  A *cough* "nice" even shade of gray between the pixels of light between the stars.  Once the brightness was brought back down to 45-60 the image looked stunningly perfect again.

 

I then ask to see the beautiful orange-yellow sunrise scene.  The colors were awe inspiring.  The detail on the shades of the clouds POPPED!  And you know what else popped?  The image retention of the Samsung demo bars!!!  Funny thing is, when I was first watching the movie clips (they had it looped during the day trying to catch a fish) I didn't even notice the image retention.  But once I saw it, all I could see was the image retention from that point forward.  Granted, it would only be visible when the scene was bright.  Medium to dark scenes it was completely undetectable.  A spokesperson from Samsung was inside the Magnolia room, and we had a lengthily discussion.  He stated these problems are more prone with floor display models because they are required to showcase the pop up menus 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end.  He said he owns a plasma TV and fell asleep (leaving his TV on overnight) and had no image retention.  But he also couldn't attest if there was a static logo or not.

 

I have no doubts as long as the screen doesn't have a static logo, there should be ZERO problems.  I also believe if the logo was subtle & muted (i.e., Kelly & Michael during the weekday mornings) there shouldn't be a problem.  But when the logo's contrast is bold, I think having it on screen for just 15 minutes may show a hint of it.  Easily on = Easily faded I hope.  From the AVS board, it sounds like if the image retention is addressed early with screen wipes or that handy Disney WOW disc everyone talks about (it's stated to have a pixel inverter screen saver) any sense of image retention an be resolved fairly quickly.  But we're not talking minutes here, we are talking several hours (like leaving it run overnight).  I really don't want to "baby" a television.  I would like it to be used without fear or worry of these mishaps.  I have NO qualms checking the picture on a weekly basis, but I DO have qualms with continuous maintenance.  It's a hassle, and also will add energy use to the electric bill.  The culprit is NOT the television though.  It's primarily the stations f&(*%ing use of bold logos... a terrible choice that has absolutely ZERO benefit to the viewer.  Sports programs with the scorebar, or news stations that have a scrolling "ticker" at the bottom are also culprits that will likely cause I.R. as well.

 

And like turnbowm pointed out... there is a plasma thread with 169+ pages of comments from frustrated plasma owners regarding this very issue!  That speaks VOLUMES of this problem, and I have a feeling this issue is underplayed in favor of the picture's fidelity.  Now if these temporary I.R. problems only happen "once in a blue moon", and if proper break-in can ensure with 100% confidence they only happen "once in a blue moon" - even with a BOLD sports ticker, BOLD channel logo, or BOLD scorebar I'm *SOLD* and will get the F8500 plasma.

 

I would like to know what to *honestly* expect when it comes to image retention.

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post #28 of 95 Old 02-14-2014, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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By the way...

 

I did not hear any buzz humming from any of the Samsung monitors, so if it's prevalent it's super quiet compared to the Panasonics.  I think Samsung's cooling system without the fan was a terrific idea.

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post #29 of 95 Old 02-14-2014, 09:44 AM
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For what it's worth. I'm a plasma person, have been one for a long time, but recently bought my new TV and I chose the 55W900 from Sony. It was between that and the Panasonic VT60.

It was a very tough choice, but with my recent viewing and gaming habits, I simply did not want to baby my television. It took a lot of time for me to tinker with the 900 for me to be comfortable with it, but at the end of the day I found it to be the only LCD television that could stand up to a Plasma in terms of PQ. By far the clearest motion of any LCD based television ive seen, far better than the F8000, outstanding color reproduction, excellent broadcast TV presentation, and the best black levels I've seen on a non full array based LED set.

If I was a buying a TV for movie watching only, I would have gotten the VT60, and in your case I would also consider the F8500. But with my gaming habits I simply did not want to deal with it.

I guess what Im trying to say is, take the F8000 out of the equation, look at the 900 and the F8500 and consider what your viewing habits will be.

Also, I agree with whoever stated the difference in black levels is not THAT huge when talking about the F8500. I found the 8500 to be significantly worse than the VT and of course ZT Panny models. 8500 main selling point imo is it's brightness.

Totally agree. Watched Ironman 3 last night on Starz and the w900a picture is amazing -- super sharp, nice blacks (near center), great whites, no motion issues and zero annoying dither! biggrin.gif
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post #30 of 95 Old 02-14-2014, 09:53 AM
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I've followed this thread with interest, because I've been trying to decide between the same TVs with many of the same concerns expressed by the OP. I'll be upgrading from a three-year old 720p LG plasma. I'd like to bring up a couple of points that I don't think have been addressed.

Regarding IR, I find that user interfaces, such as from a DVR or a Roku/Chomecast app, are bigger culprits than station logos and letter/pillarboxes. If I leave the Roku on a menu for even 10 minutes, I definitely still see it in bright scenes once I start playing content. However, it does go away eventually, and for the most part I'm able to ignore it. I think the issue for me isn't so much the actual IR that I observe, but the constant concern about it, the sense that I need to baby the set. It's probably some sort of personality disorder, although I suspect that a lot of us share it.

The other thing that concerns me about these newer plasmas is ABL. I don't like the idea of scenes suddenly dimming when they get too bright. I haven't witnessed this in person, so I don't know how bad it is, but if it were noticeable it would annoy me. I have read that Samsungs are better about this than Panasonics, and I've also read that certain settings may minimize it, so maybe it's not really an issue.

I'm not trying to argue against buying a plasma here. I know there are problems with LCDs as well, or else I would have already decided to get one. But those problems have already been addressed in this thread, so I'm not going to repeat them.

My advice is to buy from a vendor with a good return policy. Go into the purchase knowing that if you can't get over the inherent problems in the set, you'll simply return it and get the other. I think that will help take some pressure off your decision.
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Reply LCD Flat Panel Displays

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